Great Lake Swimmers have made a transition over the past decade from fiercely loved but little known indie darlings to critically acclaimed national treasures.
The group will present a pared back performance at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, Nov. 5 in what will be an intimate appreciation of music that focuses on the quieter areas of their extensive catalogue.
“We have six or seven records, have been touring for 13 years and I feel like when we do the whole band tour and have the big crew, that show gets presented in a certain way,” the band’s lead vocalist Tony Dekker explains. “A lot of the time the more quieter stuff, we don’t get to play it as much, falls by the wayside.”
Those songs will be front row and centre for the group’s first ever stop in Revelstoke, although you may have caught them at the recent Salmon Arm’s Roots & Blues Festival.
Great Lake Swimmers feature a blend of acoustic instruments, rural soundscapes, and wistful vocals.
Usually a five-person band, the group found success on a recent tour of Europe when they travelled as a trio — a format they will again use on this tour. Dekker will be joined by guitarist, banjo, and harmonium player Erik Arnesen and Bret Higgins on upright bass, mandolin and keyboard.
Great Lake Swimmers’ easy style is the type that makes you sit back, relax and contemplate the music and lyrics.
“It kind of tells a story and has a kind of narrative to it, it has a bit of an art to it,” Dekker said. “It’s not party music by any stretch of the imagination.”
Opening for the band, and ensuring this special show is one not to be missed, Revelstoke will be treated to Megan Bonnell’s pure and captivating sound. The Toronto singer-songwriter’s trajectory will be one to watch, with the artist signing to Cadence Records last year. She released her second album Magnolia earlier this year, which offers songs that range from quiet piano ballads to bigger, poppier tunes.
Great Lake Swimmers, following their 2012 album New Wild Everywhere, will be promoting their latest and sixth album A Forest Of Arms.
The title is taken from album track The Great Bear, a song inspired by a trip Dekker took to the northern rainforests of British Columbia with the World Wildlife Fund. It’s a pristine wilderness area that is under threat of a pipeline construction. The group’s dedication against development in the forest is indicative of their strong social and environmental conscience.
“It’s one of our last remaining unspoiled places really,” Dekker said. “Untouched rainforest not only in Canada but around the world.
“Everyone should know about it. We have such a beautiful and valuable place, right in our midst that we need to be better stewards of.”
“I went up and got to spend some time in that area, and I did find it life changing and inspiring,” added Dekker.
Great Lake Swimmers on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre on 1007 Vernon Avenue.