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Thursday, 04 September 2014 07:18

Tombstone Whiskey brings rock back with a vengeance to southwest Sask.

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Tombstone Whiskey are an impressive hard rock band out of Swift Current. Tombstone Whiskey are an impressive hard rock band out of Swift Current. Photo contributed

At one point in Darrin Lane's life, he was nearly down and out. One of the things that kept him going: music. Fortunately and most importantly for him, he has come back strong and now music fans of Swift Current and southwest Sask. are benefiting.

Fronting a band called Tombstone Whiskey, Lane established in Calgary in 2013, he has brought his musical talent and passion for smart, hard, and in-your-face rock music to Swift Current. Playing shows in the area, including the Lyric,  Tombstone Whiskey next upcoming show is in Maple Creek Sept. 20 at The Rockin' Horse Cookhouse & Bar with no cover charge.
Lane couldn't be happier with how it's going.
"I haven't heard any negative feedback, it's all very humbling," says Lane, "Nothing but good comments, there's nothing more rewarding than hearing that. We get questions like 'Why aren't you signed (to a major label) yet?' Been close before. Can only keep trying.
"The Eagle and (Magic) 97 has plugged the crap out of us. Just off the street people will say 'hey you're from Tombstone Whiskey.' It's because we're an original band. It's fresh. The scene here is generally a country scene, and I have full appreciation for them and what they do, but there's not a lot of rock bands like us."
He adds he appreciates the musical knowledge of Swift Current music goers. While acknowledging and appreciation for the talent in Swift Current of many of the performers, many are of the country, folk or other musical genre. He says there are few hard rockers like Tombstone Whiskey and fans are loving their sound which he describes as "southern rock." Lane has heard the comparisons to the great Canadian band the Headstones, some may be reminded of The 4 Horsemen or a more modern comparison — in Lane’s view —would be Airbourne.
Swift Current is pretty sophisticated when it comes to their musical appreciation. He says venues such as the Lyric, the York, and Lucky Charlie's to name a few, all contribute to the  ever-growing scene in Swift Current.
"It does help," says Lane of Swift Current and southwest Saskatchewan music fans. "They appreciate original music."
Lane’s song lyrics try to steer away from the hard-drinking, hard partying themes. There's a lot of well thought out songs. He says the one solid thing about country music, is that those songs all try to tell stories, much what he tries to do with southern rock flare.
Lane is a fan of Black Label Society guitarist and solo artist Zakk Wylde.
In talking to Lane, he comes across as a straight-shooter who tells it like it is. Up front, makes no apologies, similar to his music. Lane, who plays guitar and has the lead vocals teamed up with Mike Zac on drums to lead a group with songs such as No Second Wind; Hate to Work; Don’t Cry for Me, Don’t Lie for Me; Roses and Razorblades and what could be considered one of their signature songs, Badass Cupid.
They were headed to Moose Jaw to do some recording at a studio for an EP album this past weekend. Lane is hoping this will contribute to its climb towards major success. This will be done through hard work, something Lane is familiar with.
Tombstone Whiskey was formed in 2013 in Calgary, but when the originals broke up and Lane moved back to Swift Current, he decided to resurrect the band here.
 Lane initially met up with Zac at Lane's employer. Through some conversations, Lane learned that Zac used to play drums, something Lane still owned. Lane sold the drums to Zac who re-learned his talent. Next thing you know, they're jamming together and they realized they had something. They started to play at the Open Mic nights down at the Lyric Theatre and soon the Swift Current venue promoters were asking them to headline some evenings there.
He works hard at his craft for his family, himself and his love of music. At one time, Lane was living on the street, but he persevered and is now starting to reap the rewards. It's hard to successfully mix a full time job, a family including five children and music. He works diligently at each, but when Lane needs to work out his musical energy, his wife is there to fully support him.
"My wife is understanding, she knows when it's my 'me' time," expresses a thankful Lane. "I've got 30 songs, I've got them in the bank so can get them whenever. We're going to go hard this winter."
They will continue to tour the region and will probably head to Alberta next summer.
See them on Facebook or their Twitter account at @Tombwhiskey To hear what they’re all about, visit!/musician/darrinlane

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor