Bees and the Bare Bones are ready for the big stage at Rockin' River, with a little help from their friends - InfoNews

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Bees and the Bare Bones are ready for the big stage at Rockin' River, with a little help from their friends

The Bees and the Bare Bones are Madison Olds (front left) and Abby Wale (front right). Joining them for Rockin' River Fest are (from back left to right) Alex Ward, Stu McCallum, Jared Wilman, and Kris Ruston. August 4, 2017.
August 05, 2017 - 8:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - Madison Olds, 19, and Abby Wale, 20, were hoping to play under a tent on a small side stage when Olds' mother got in touch with the organizer of the Rockin' River Country Music Fest in Merritt going on this weekend.

After submitting their music and waiting to hear back, the girls learned they would be playing on the festival's main stage just a few hours before music legend Willie Nelson.

"We hadn't even been playing together for a year at that point when we found out," says Olds of the good news they received in April but couldn't release to the public yet. "We were just bouncing because we weren't allowed to tell anybody and it was a bit of a secret."

"I remember just crying in Madison's kitchen when we found out," adds Wale.

After learning they would be playing the main stage in front of thousands of country music fans, the first call they made was to another local musician they had met in passing but had never played with, Kris Ruston, 38. Ruston is plays lap steel and keyboards for the band and has been playing and teaching music in Kamloops since the 90s. He called up a few local musicians he was playing with at the time, and just like that, the duo became a six-piece band with four months to prepare for the biggest crowd the band has played for.

Olds and Wale are no strangers to things moving quickly. The band formed only a year ago when Olds found an online contest calling or aspiring country artists and bands to enter their music for a chance to win a trip to Nashville to record at the Sound Emporium recording studio. Olds, Wale, and a former band member entered and won the contest with their song Mad Love, getting the chance to record some of their original music with members of the music industry.

Olds and Wale rehearse in the final days before their big show.
Olds and Wale rehearse in the final days before their big show.

Since then the band has had one of their songs, FOOL, featured on CMT and they have played countless concerts around Kamloops.

The fast success of the young group is something Ruston says he has never seen in his time in the Kamloops music scene. While he believes timing and luck has played a role, he feels the two women have been doing the right things and working hard, and it will show Sunday.

"We've had discussions about this and how I think there is this weird assumption that the girls are just contest winners," says Ruston. "Like they just won this silly little competition and came out of nowhere. We're prepared to prove otherwise and that it is way further beyond that."

For Rockin' River Fest the group will be showing off their new lineup that, along with Ruston, features Alex Ward, 19, on bass; Jared Wilman, 22, on drums; and Stu McCallum, 22, on guitar. All the new additions have been playing in different bands in Kamloops for several years.

The duo has some non-performance related goals for the weekend as they will be rubbing elbows with the likes of other acts playing the festival such as Willie Nelson, Toby Keith, and Kacey Musgraves. Olds says she would like to get her picture taken with Nelson while Wale says she would like to touch his braids.

At least 5,500 tickets have been sold for Sunday, which is the final day of the festival, and single-day passes are still available. The Bees and the Bare Bones will be performing at 5 p.m.

Here is the bands video for the song FOOL:

For more about The Bees and the Bare Bones, go here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Mike McDonald or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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