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Wednesday, 08 August 2012 11:25

Blenders lineup set; four additional big-name concerts planned

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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Music lovers in Swift Current are in for a special treat this year. In addition to a regular Blenders concert series, event organizer Shann Gowan has also lined up four special concerts, featuring some of the best talent Canada has to offer.


“I had already booked a fair amount of acts for my regular series, but when these opportunities came up, I knew I had to do them,” admitted Gowan. “These are really big acts that I’ve been wanting to bring in for a while, and I couldn’t say no. They are a lot more expensive, so I had to market them separately, outside of the series.”
The four special concerts will be priced individually, but patrons can still purchase season tickets for the regular Blenders series. All tickets will be available Sept 1. Gowan is already anticipating a sold-out season.
“People are really excited about this, so I’m hoping that we sell out,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of interest from people in Swift Current, as well as from many people outside of the community. It’s going to be a really amazing season.”
The special concerts kick off with a performance by Joel Plaskett on Sept 28. Plaskett has been named as one of Canada’s most treasured voices, and was the first artist to reach one million plays on CBC Radio 3’s online music streaming site.
“We have been listening to him for a very long time, and he’s going to be coming through and doing a duo with Peter Elkas, who is another wonderful performer,” explained Gowan. “I thought we should have him in Swift Current, because he’s great.”
On Oct. 25, Juno-award winning artist Ashley MacIsaac will be welcomed to the Swift Current stage. MacIsaac is a professional Canadian fiddler whose unique musical style has been entertaining audiences for years.
“He can play the fiddle like no one else in the world,” Gowan noted. “He’s trying to rebuild his career, so he has a new band, a new sound, and it’s going to be absolutely fantastic. I’m so excited to have him come.”
Canadian rock singer-songwriter Hawksley Workman will bring his blend of cabaret pop and glam rock to theLyric Theatre Nov 1.
This multi-instrumentalist plays guitar, drums, bass, keyboards and vocals, and is often switching between instruments when playing live.
“He is truly one of the most unique musicians you will ever hear,” said Gowan. “Every concert is different, and he makes amazing music. He’s a fantastic songwriter, as well.”
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings will be the final special concert of the year, Nov 19. The group performed in Swift Current last fall, and were eager to return to the Lyric for another performance — this time featuring some of their ‘Queens’, female artists including Emmylou Harris and Serena Ryder.
“They are one of my favourite bands of all time, and I’m so glad they wanted to come back,” admitted Gowan. “We had such a great concert with them when they were here last, everyone was really into it and it went over so well. It will be worth having them again.”
Gowan is excited about the impressive lineup of performers this year, both in the regular season and the special concerts. The regular series brings 10 shows full of entertainment throughout the season, and she noted the four special concerts are the best she's ever brought in.
“I wouldn’t miss any one of these shows,” she said. “I think people will be talking about these concerts for a long time. The Blenders series is a really close, intimate concert experience, and you just don’t get to be that close to the musicians at many other venues. They come out and sign CDs, talk to the crowd, and that’s so special. It’s not a stuffy concert, but it’s also not a bar, and I think that makes it a really unique, great experience.”
The concerts wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated group of volunteers who make each show a memorable one for the entire crowd. Gowan has the same volunteers help out with every event, ensuring everything runs smoothly.
“They do everything I need them to do and I don’t even have to think about it,” she said. “They are amazing, and I am so thankful for that. This season is going to be lots of fun for all of us — we’ll play name that tune, there will be art on the walls and on the tables — all of the good things that people have come to expect from this series.”
Tickets for both the regular series and the special concerts will go on sale at Pharmasave on Sept 1. Tickets for the individual special concerts are $40 per person. Reserve tables are also available.
For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Shann at 306-778-2686 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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