Jump on The Band Wagon: Kelowna pair bring mobile recording studio anywhere - InfoNews

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Jump on The Band Wagon: Kelowna pair bring mobile recording studio anywhere

Jake Cooke of Kelowna looks over the equipment in his custom-built mobile recording studio called The Band Wagon.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Buzz Truss
March 21, 2019 - 4:00 PM

KELOWNA - Jake Cooke and Buzz Truss of Kelowna had been in Nashville for less than an hour when their truck got totalled last month. They were both fine, but the truck they'd used to travel across the United States was toast. The two Kelowna men were stranded in the heart of America. It looked like the ambitious, musical road trip they'd started months ago had finally hit a dead stop.

"It felt like a game ender," Cooke said.

After Cooke and Truss finished their post-secondary education last year at Okanagan College in Kelowna, they decided to drive through the United States and pay their way as they went along. They found an empty cargo trailer they planned to convert into a makeshift living space, but as they started building, an idea hit them.

Inspired by tiny desk concerts popular on NPR, the non-profit American radio network, they turned the trailer into a mobile concert recording studio. They toured it through America, capturing intimate performances from a wide range of musicians. Despite a series of setbacks, they've returned to Kelowna with a mission to bring mobile concerts to the city.

"We want to bring more musicians to one place," Cooke said.

The pair filled the trailer with video and audio recording equipment, christened it The Band Wagon and hit the road. As they traveled they invited musicians in different cities to perform free of charge in The Band Wagon. Bands would play their set, and Truss and Cooke would record their music. Cooke, who's dabbled in songwriting, saw the experience as a chance to discover underappreciated acts.

"It's musicians helping musicians," he said.

Cooke and Truss saw plenty of great performers in the early days of their trip; unfortunately, these shows will never be seen. On Jan. 15, the pair arrived in Miami, Florida and left their trailer as they explored the city. When they returned they found the trailer latch broken. Cooke's laptop with three band recordings on it was gone, along with a drone, a bass guitar, a camera and another laptop. In total, Cooke said they lost around $6000 worth of equipment.

"It put a halt to things," he said.

Cooke found a silver lining in the theft, as it forced them to buy better replacement equipment. They were set to start over when they drove to Nashville and were involved in a car accident on Feb. 20. They were stuck until the settlement for the accident gave them more than double what they paid for the truck, which allowed them to get home.

"There were some crazy hiccups along the way," Cooke said.

After their wild experiences, Cooke and Truss want to bring The Band Wagon experience to Kelowna. They're hoping to get involved with outdoor events in the summer and capture the local music scene by offering the intimate recording space to Kelowna performers.

"There are a lot of talented people here," Cooke said.


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