May 02, 2016 - 2:30 PM
KELOWNA - What could be better than listening to a band of seasoned musicians playing the rootsy bluesy music they love? Maybe listening to that same band in a professor's library overlooking the city.
Dirt Road Opera is lead by local legends Barry Mathers and Rachel Matkin, putting out music the former Cruzeros front man desribes as a “hard left” from its alternative country sound.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do my whole life,” Mathers says. “It’s pretty much the focus right now."
After a couple of hiccups in the last two years, he says the band has now settled on a line-up that can play a variety of instruments but has no drums.
“It’s definitely an accoustic sound. We’re still doing some Cruzeros songs but with different instrumentation,” Mathers says. “It’s been a lot of fun redoing some of the old stuff with different instruments."
He says the concert May 14 will be held in the library of an education professor, a large high-ceiling, book-lined room with a fantastic view and equally fantastic acoustics.
“All those books, they suck up the right amount of sound, plus they give off their own creative energy,” Mathers adds.
Long-time collaborator Rachel Matkin — she sang back-up vocals on Cruzeros recordings — has the “voice of an angel,” Mathers says, and will sound fantastic in the venue.
Rounding out the band is Chris Stanford on stand-up bass, plus the duo of Gidd on lap steel/dobro and and Bettyanne Hampton on accordion.
Plans are to live tape the concert. Mathers says the band will begin recording soon at his Redhouse Recording studio from “a stack of songs” he has built up in the last few years.
The concert begins at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 14. The venue holds about 50 people and there are a few tickets left for $20. Call Mather at 250-469-4000 or Stanford at 250-801-8011.
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