This article first appeared in print in the June issue of Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine.
A staple of local summer entertainment, the Revelstoke Arts Council’s annual Street Fest features a wide array of musical performers from local talent to award-winning Canadian groups like The Long War and unique world fusion sounds like Diyet and The Love Soliders’ Indigenous Canadian folk and Namgar’s unique fusion of traditional Buryat and Mongolian melodies with modern instrumentation.
Held nightly in Grizzly Plaza, beginning at the end of June and running through the end of August, the long-standing free-to-attend concert series attract both locals and tourists alike. There’s a family-friendly vibe and it’s not uncommon to find children freely playing and dancing in front of the stage while adults spend a moment or two catching up with one another. While it’s worth attending all of the Street Fest performances, here are six you definitely shouldn’t miss:
The Long War return with their uniquely Canadian-folk sound
With a dynamic sound ranging from folk to rock, The Long War have made Revelstoke’s Street Fest part of their touring schedule for the past several years. The group’s familiar folk sounds are interjected with emotive instrumentation and incredible vocalization, raising their music to the next level.
The 2017 CBC Searchlight winners may be based out of Vancouver, but its members hail from all across the country, a factor the group credits for helping to craft its uniquely Canadian sound. Not content to be known only as a “contest band,” The Long War have created a buzz in the music scene by singing about what they know best, Canada.
The Long War play Revelstoke Street Fest on Monday, July 22.
Diyet and The Love Soldiers combine Aboriginal stories, melodies
With stories strongly grounded in Diyet’s Indigenous Northern Canadian roots and a strong desire to preserve her language (the Kluane dialect of Southern Tutchone), Diyet and The Love Soldiers’ weave each musical tale together with the catchy melodies of alternative country, folk, roots and traditional Aborignal sounds.
Diyet, who was raised in a cabin in the Kluane region in the Yukon Territory, draws inspiration for her songs from the harsh reality of living in Northern Canada. Performing as a trio with husband Robert van Lieshout on guitar and foot percussion and multi-instrumentalist Bob Hamilton, Diyet’s musical presence has been described as both diverse and unique.
Diyet and The Love Soldiers play Revelstoke Street Fest Tuesday, July 23.
Dirty Catfish Brass Band aim to have you up on your feet with traditional New Orleans brass sounds
If you missed the Dirty Catfish Brass Band’s performance at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre last fall, this year’s Street Fest is your chance to catch them live. The Dirty Catfish Brass Band may be based out of Winnipeg, but their big sound comes filled with the powerful, soul-drenching rhythms of New Orleans brass tradition.
The Dirty Catfish Brass Band play Revelstoke Street Fest Tuesday, August 6.
Namgar fuses traditional Buryat and Mongolian melodies with modern instruments.
Fusing traditional Mongolian instruments with electric bass and drums, four-piece music group Namgar has crafted a unique sound that has been shared on festival stages across the world from Norway to Malaysia.
Vocalist Namgar Lkhasaranova first learned to sing as a child growing up in a small village in South Central Siberia, on the eastern borderland where China, Russia and Mongolia meet. The melodic music she creates was passed down to from her grandparents and father, who sang to her as a child. Using inventive arrangements that encompass the melodies shared by Buryats and Mongols, Namgar tells the tales and myths of ancient Mongol fighters, champions, horses and famous battles.
Namgar perform at Revelstoke Street Fest on Sunday, Aug. 11.
MNGWA ‘s polyrhythmic sound has roots in South America’s cumbia music
With roots in South America’s Afro-Lation cumbia music, MNGWA string together the cultural sounds of salsa, psych rock, reggae and hip hop to create a uniquely eclectic, polyrhythmic sound. The group’s musicians come from across North America, Europe, Mexico and Asia, and their songs often weave together lyrics in multiple languages. MNGWA (pronounced “MING-WAH”) describe themselves as a “party band” — so you might want to come with an extra pair of shoes.
MNGWA play Revelstoke Street Fest Friday, August 16
Sister Speak celebrates women through musical collaboration
Indie-pop/rock/blues/world group Sister Speak is a collaboration of women with diverse musical backgrounds. Driving the group’s creative force is Canadian-born front-woman Sherri Anne. Although Sister Speak sometimes performs solo, the groups high energy shows have landed them headlining concerts and a residency with hall-of-fame guitarist Greg Douglass from the Steve Miller Band.
Sister Speak perform at Revelstoke Street Fest on Sunday, August 25.
Revelstoke Street Fest Runs nightly in Grizzly Plaza (off Mackenzie Avenue) from June 29 to August 25, 6:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.