Must-See Country Artists at Roots Fest

Must-See Country Artists at Roots Fest

Unearthing the Gems of British Columbia’s Roots Music Scene

As the sun sets over the picturesque landscapes of British Columbia, the air crackles with the energy of Roots Fest, a celebration of the province’s vibrant country and roots music scene. This annual event, nestled in the heart of the Canadian West, has become a must-attend destination for music enthusiasts from far and wide. And let me tell you, the lineup of country artists gracing the stages this year is nothing short of extraordinary.

Uncovering the Talents of Erin Costelo and the Outlaw Social

Now, I’ll admit, when I first heard about Erin Costelo and the Outlaw Social, I was intrigued by the name alone. Outlaw social? What could that possibly mean? Well, let me tell you, this five-piece band from Vancouver Island delivers a sound that’s equal parts outlaw country and indie folk, with a dash of rockabilly for good measure. Erin’s smoky vocals and the band’s infectious energy have a way of captivating audiences, drawing them into a world of heartbreak, rebellion, and pure musical bliss.

One of the standout tracks on their latest album, “Whiskey and Wine,” is a perfect example of their genre-blending prowess. The song starts with a simple, yet haunting guitar riff, before Erin’s voice cuts through the air, weaving a tale of a tumultuous love affair. The interplay between the twangy guitars and the driving rhythm section creates a sense of tension and release that’ll have you tapping your toes and nodding your head in equal measure. And trust me, when they take the stage at Roots Fest, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single soul standing still.

Exploring the Soulful Sounds of Dawn Pemberton

But Erin Costelo and the Outlaw Social aren’t the only country acts that have caught my eye (or, more accurately, my ears) in the lead-up to Roots Fest. Another artist I’m particularly excited to see is the incomparable Dawn Pemberton. This Vancouver-based powerhouse has been making waves in the Canadian music scene for years, and her powerful vocals and soulful style have earned her a loyal following.

What sets Dawn apart is her ability to seamlessly blend the rich traditions of country music with the raw emotion and grit of gospel and R&B. Her songs are like sonic rollercoasters, taking you on a journey from the depths of heartbreak to the heights of joy and resilience. And when she takes the stage, it’s like the very earth beneath your feet starts to vibrate with the sheer force of her performance.

One of my personal favorites from Dawn’s discography is “Ain’t No Grave,” a cover of the classic spiritual that showcases her incredible range and her ability to breathe new life into a timeless tune. The way she effortlessly transitions between the soft, introspective verses and the soaring, gospel-tinged choruses is nothing short of mesmerizing. And I can only imagine how powerful and transcendent that song will be when she performs it live at Roots Fest.

Discovering the Heartfelt Storytelling of Pharis and Jason Romero

But the country music magic doesn’t stop there, my friends. Another duo that I’m absolutely buzzing to see at Roots Fest is Pharis and Jason Romero. These two hail from the small town of Horsefly, British Columbia, and their music is a testament to the power of storytelling and the enduring spirit of the Canadian West.

Pharis and Jason’s sound is a captivating blend of folk, bluegrass, and old-time country, with their intricate harmonies and masterful instrumentation taking center stage. And let me tell you, their songwriting is something truly special. Each track is like a beautifully crafted short story, weaving tales of love, loss, and the everyday struggles that make us human.

One song that’s been on repeat in my playlist is “A Wanderer I’ll Stay,” a poignant ballad that explores the restless nature of the human spirit. The way Pharis and Jason’s voices intertwine, conveying a sense of melancholy and longing, is absolutely spellbinding. And when they launch into the chorus, with its soaring melodies and irresistible hook, you can’t help but feel a tug at your heartstrings.

But what really sets Pharis and Jason apart is their deep connection to the land and the people of British Columbia. Their music is imbued with a sense of place, a reverence for the natural world, and a celebration of the resilience and endurance of the human spirit. And I can’t wait to see how they channel that energy and passion when they take the stage at Roots Fest.

Honoring the Roots of Country Music at Roots Fest

As I delve deeper into the lineup of country artists set to grace the stages of Roots Fest, I’m struck by the incredible diversity and richness of the British Columbia music scene. From the genre-bending sounds of Erin Costelo and the Outlaw Social to the soulful powerhouse that is Dawn Pemberton, and the heartfelt storytelling of Pharis and Jason Romero, this festival is a true celebration of the enduring legacy of country music.

But what truly sets Roots Fest apart is its unwavering commitment to honoring the roots of this beloved genre. Rather than simply showcasing the latest trends and pop-infused country sounds, the festival organizers have curated a lineup that pays homage to the rich traditions and cultural influences that have shaped the evolution of country music.

Exploring the Indigenous Influences of Roots Music

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Roots Fest lineup is the strong presence of Indigenous artists, whose music reflects the deep connection between country and the land and people of British Columbia. Take, for example, the captivating sounds of the Siska Traditions, a collective of musicians from the Nlaka’pamux and Sto:lo nations who have been keeping the traditions of their ancestors alive through their soulful, rhythmic performances.

As I delve into the Siska Traditions’ music, I’m struck by the way they seamlessly blend the traditional instruments and vocal styles of their heritage with the twang and storytelling of classic country. Their rendition of the traditional song “Nxa’Amxcín” is a prime example, with its haunting melodies and the powerful cadence of the hand drum transporting listeners to a world where the past and present coexist in perfect harmony.

And the Siska Traditions are just one piece of the broader Indigenous influence woven throughout the Roots Fest lineup. From the powerful vocals and social commentary of Cris Derksen to the genre-blending wizardry of the Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, this festival is a true celebration of the rich cultural tapestry that has shaped the country music of British Columbia.

Honoring the Legacies of Canadian Country Legends

But Roots Fest isn’t just about showcasing the cutting-edge of the Canadian country scene – it’s also a testament to the enduring legacies of the genre’s forefathers and foremothers. And one of the artists I’m most excited to see take the stage is the legendary Sylvia Tyson, whose contributions to the country and folk music landscape have been nothing short of monumental.

As one-half of the iconic duo Ian and Sylvia, Sylvia Tyson has left an indelible mark on the Canadian music scene, with her soulful vocals and her ability to craft timeless, heartfelt songs. And while her musical partnership with Ian may be the stuff of legend, her solo work is equally deserving of celebration. Albums like “River Road” and “Honey Pie” showcase her versatility as an artist, seamlessly blending country, folk, and even a touch of jazz.

But what truly sets Sylvia Tyson apart is her unwavering commitment to storytelling and social commentary. Her songs don’t just tug at your heartstrings – they challenge you to confront the realities of the world around you. And I can only imagine the power and poignancy of her performance at Roots Fest, where she’ll undoubtedly share the stage with a new generation of country artists who have been inspired by her trailblazing legacy.

Celebrating the Vibrant Diversity of Roots Fest

As I contemplate the rich tapestry of country and roots music that will be on display at Roots Fest, I’m struck by the sheer diversity and vibrancy of the lineup. From the genre-bending sounds of Erin Costelo and the Outlaw Social to the soulful powerhouse that is Dawn Pemberton, and the heartfelt storytelling of Pharis and Jason Romero, this festival is a testament to the enduring, ever-evolving nature of the country music genre.

But what truly sets Roots Fest apart is its unwavering commitment to honoring the roots of this beloved musical tradition. Whether it’s the captivating rhythms and melodies of the Siska Traditions, the genre-blending wizardry of Cris Derksen, or the timeless, socially conscious artistry of Sylvia Tyson, this festival celebrates the rich cultural tapestry that has shaped the country music of British Columbia.

Embracing the Spirit of Community and Camaraderie

And let’s not forget the sense of community and camaraderie that permeates the Roots Fest experience. As I’ve immersed myself in the stories and sounds of the artists on the lineup, I can’t help but feel a deep sense of connection to the broader Roots Fest community – a community that celebrates the power of music to bring people together, to heal, and to inspire.

One of the things that strikes me most about this festival is the way it fosters a spirit of collaboration and cross-pollination among the artists. Whether it’s the Siska Traditions sharing the stage with Cris Derksen or Pharis and Jason Romero joining forces with Sylvia Tyson, there’s a palpable sense of mutual respect and artistic kinship that infuses every performance.

And it’s not just the artists who come together at Roots Fest – the audience, too, is an integral part of the experience. As I envision myself amidst the crowd, swaying to the music and exchanging heartfelt glances with fellow attendees, I can’t help but feel a sense of belonging and community that is truly unique to this festival.

Embracing the Power of Music to Inspire and Heal

But perhaps the most profound aspect of Roots Fest is its ability to tap into the deeper, more transcendent qualities of music. In a world that can often feel divided and chaotic, this festival stands as a beacon of hope and healing, reminding us of the power of music to bridge the gaps between us and to speak to the universal human experience.

Whether it’s the way Erin Costelo and the Outlaw Social’s songs of heartbreak and rebellion resonate with the struggles of modern life or the way Dawn Pemberton’s soulful renditions of gospel classics uplift and inspire, Roots Fest is a celebration of the transformative power of music.

And as I look ahead to the festival, I can’t help but feel a sense of excitement and anticipation. I know that when I step onto the festival grounds, I’ll be transported to a world where the past and present coexist in perfect harmony, where the rich traditions of country music are celebrated and reimagined, and where the power of community and connection is palpable in every note and every embrace.

So if you’re a lover of country and roots music, or if you simply yearn for a deeper connection to the cultural tapestry of British Columbia, I urge you to make your way to Roots Fest. Because trust me, this is an experience that you won’t soon forget.