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Thursday, 01 September 2011 10:11

Blenders’ 10th season of entertainment looks impressive

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By Aasa Marshall — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 The 10th season of the Blenders concert series in Swift Current showcases some astounding talent, from Canadian indie-music giants to talented up-and-comers.

 This year's line-up starts with a free Culture Days concert September 30 with American jazz band Peripheral Vision, at the Art Gallery of Swift Current.

From there the series moves to The Lyric Theatre with nine more shows between October and May, the last of which will feature Polaris Prize short-list nominee Ron Sexsmith.

 Other highlights of this year's Blenders series include the cabaret-blues croonings of singer-songwriter Jill Barber on November 16th, and Whitehorse, the folky combination of Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland, in April. On October 22nd, Victoria singer-songwriter Leeroy Stagger and the Wildflowers will rock the Lyric stage.

 Shann Gowan, Blenders director, said she is excited to have such big-name artists visiting Swift Current for the concert series' 10th anniversary, and is glad to have a variety of talented young acts as well. Gowan discovered the Rueben Bullock Band from Calgary when they showed up for a concert at the Lyric last year.

 “They thought it was so amazing...and said 'by the way we're musicians can we give you a card?'” said Gowan.  “So they sent me their stuff and they were actually really, really good.”

 New Country Rehab, which will play March 17th, Gowan first saw and this year's Calgary Folk Festival and decided she liked their 'gritty, fun' sound. The first time Gowan saw Michael Rault, a young bluesy musician who performs March 31st, he duct taped a tambourine to his foot so he could play it simultaneously with his guitar. 

 Gowan said getting this level of talent in Swift Current is a combination of timing, luck, and a growing respect for the quality of shows and venues in the city.  When she started the series in 2001 Gowan brought in mostly Saskatchewan talent, and all the shows were held in the Art Gallery of Swift Current, 'blending' art and music. The city's reputation has grown since with those in the music industry, thanks to Gowan's efforts with Blenders and festivals like Long Day's Night each summer. In the past 10 years Blenders has presented over 300 concerts, with over 65,000 people attending in total.

 A season pass for the 2011-2012 Blenders series is $175; a discount of buying door-price tickets equivalent to three free concerts. For tickets and season passes, visit Pharmasave. Full details are available on the 'Blenders' page on

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