Print this page
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 11:54

Swift Current singer-songwriter enjoys involvement with various musical projects

Written by  Matthew Libenberg
Rate this item
(0 votes)

For Swift Current singer-songwriter Dave Cyca the past year has been very busy and there is no indication 2015 will be any different.

“I’m finding that the more you do, the more there is to do and the more you get out there, the more people notice you and ask you to do different projects and play at different things,” he said.
He has been a member of the Swift Current band Creek City since 2013.
The four-piece folk/roots group has performed more frequently during the past year.
“Our band actually came together a little bit more,” he said. “One of the things that really brought us together was we got a two-night gig at the casino and we had to have a lot of music.”
That performance was scheduled for June 6 and 7, 2014 and the group started preparing in January 2014 with the addition of new material to their set.
“So now we’ve got lots of material to use,” he said. “We’re better prepared for when we’re playing for a particular group. We can pick songs that might be more appropriate for that group. So it’s good to have lots of material and preparing for that gig helped us get better material and helped our band to tighten up a little bit.”
The band grew from the long-time co-operation between Cyca and singer-songwriter Mark Penner of Herbert.
“We’ve started as a duo, just playing small after dinners and little performances like that and then we had a gig where we thought a bass player would be nice,” Cyca recalled.
They were joined by Donovan Epp from Herbert and they played together as a trio for a while.
“Donovan is a very good singer and he added a lot of backup vocals, a good bass, a good rhythm,” Cyca said.
When the trio played at an event at the Lyric Theatre the sound technician was Michael Tetrault, who has many years of experience as a drummer and sound/recording engineer. Cyca received an e-mail from Tetrault the following day to express interest in playing with them and that was the start of Creek City.
The group plays a lot of original material written by Cyca and Penner, but they will also play cover material, especially for larger gigs such as the one at the Living Sky Casino.
“I think people in general like to hear something familiar too, something that they know,” Cyca said. “We could probably pull out the odd Johnny Cash tune, but it’s not like we want to play Johnny Cash. We want to play our own stuff and I think our stuff has been well received. Some of it is upbeat and melodic and catchy, so in general people are enjoying our own songs.”
During 2014 the group played at numerous events in Swift Current and surrounding area as well as at Bushwakkers Brew Pub in Regina.
The band also performed in Val Marie on Aug. 29 at a concert that was part of Cyca’s artist residency in the village.
For Cyca it was a great experience to participate in the artist residency program, which was hosted by Prairie Wind & Silver Sage in partnership with the Grasslands National Park.
“You meet such great people and to live in another community just for a little while, to experience Val Marie and the park, and then sharing music is always fun,” he said. “I was pretty fortunate that sometimes things come along at the right time. I mean, being retired I have the time. The timing was good, everything seemed to click for that.”
During his residency of two weeks he held two songwriting workshops, an open mic night at the Val Marie hotel and campground sing-a-longs. He also had time to work on his own music and to give attention to another project he was involved in at the time with Swift Current resident Stew Tasche, who produced a musical drama about the history of the Cypress Hills, titled The Cypress Hills would never be the same.
They have been long-time friends and Tasche showed the songs he has written to Cyca. It was the start of Cyca’s involvement with the musical part of the drama performance.
“When I heard the songs I was quite impressed with the melodies and the story in the lyrics,” Cyca said. “I thought they were very good. ... It just needed a bit of tweaking here and there and so it then just grew from there. Then he had this idea that maybe we could put a band together.”
As a result he became part of a group of four local musicians that performed on stage as part of the setting for the drama production.
“It’s way different than doing a set of music where you can interact with the crowd and say things to sort of get that intimate thing going,” he said. “You’ve got 140 people sitting in the Lyric and the lights come on you have to deliver and not mess up. You have to have your lines down, you can’t be saying ‘Hi George, do you have any requests?’ So it’s very different that way, very structured and you get a little more nervous in that kind of situation.”
That drama production was a sold out success and he will again be part of the performance when it returns to the stage at the Lyric Theatre in April. In the meantime he is involved in a related project to produce a soundtrack of the music from this drama.
“We’re hoping to have the soundtrack ready for the next run of the play.”
He was invited to perform at the 2014 Saskatchewan Country Music Association awards weekend in Nipawin, where he played at one of the venues that showcased the musical talents from across the province.
Cyca’s debut album One of these Days was released in July 2012 and he is planning to produce more material during 2015 for a new album.
“I’d like to write a bit more,” he said. “I think about maybe doing a solo album again because sometimes my songs aren’t really geared towards the band.”
For a solo album his songs will be of a more personal nature and reflecting his concerns over issues such as the environment. This is in contrast to the folk/roots style of Creek City that favours a more upbeat style of song.
In the coming months the group will also be active with performances at venues across southwest Saskatchewan and they might even be recording a few songs.
“The band talks about doing some recording and maybe getting even a demo album out or an EP,” he said. “Six or eight songs, sort of showing what we do. We talk about doing that, but we need time.”
For Cyca the new year is already shaping up to be just as busy as the previous one. In addition to his musical activities he wants to travel more and he still enjoys activities such as skiing and cycling.
“It’s good, it kind of makes life interesting,” he said.

Read 4165 times