For five years the Kimberley Arts Council has hosted the Live at Studio 64 Concert Series. Every fall and spring the Live at Studio 64 Committee rounds up a handful of talent to play the intimate venue at Centre 64.
The series features various artists and genres of music and over the past few years the concert series has become increasingly popular.
This fall the concert series included Tim Williams, the Melody Diachun Quartet, the Moulettes and the Rooster Blues Band.
On Friday, Nov. 17 the Bulletin attended the final concert of the series with the Rooster Blues Band and interviewed lead vocalist and guitarist, David Morton.
When asked what the driving force is behind their music Morton says that as the Rooster Blues Band, first and foremost, they are a blues band.
“Even blues has a variety of styles within it,” explained Morton. “We do country blues, we do jazz blues, we do rock blues and then we take it into other realms as well.”
He says they draw inspiration from many other genres from pop and classic rock to R&B and soul.
In terms of how the Calgary-based band first started, Morton says that fellow vocalist/guitarist Victor Coelho formed the band in the year 2000. Coelho taught at the University of Calgary for 20 years before becoming the chair of musicoslogy & ethnomusicology at Boston University.
“It [the band] was made up of university professors and the idea was to create a band that would give a little bit of historic context to blues music,” said Morton. “A lot of bar bands will do a blues song, or two, but Victor was very passionate about the blues and he had this idea that he would sort of elevate the art form a little bit. He had this whole concept of talking to the audience and giving little historical tid-bits.
“We’ve evolved from that, but always keeping the centre very high. I think all of us [band members] have music degrees or university degrees or some kind of higher level [of education] and it really does elevate the musicianship level of the band. That’s one of the important things for us; to take blues, which can be a very simple art form, and elevate it to a level where it can really be appreciated.”
Morton says that bass player Tommy Knowles had previously played with Kimberley musicians, however the Concert Series is what ultimately led them to Kimberley.
“We’re very happy to be here. Kimberley is a beautiful town. Even just driving in – we’re just awestruck. We live in Calgary in the foothills so we get to see the mountains from a distance, but coming to a place as beautiful as this nestled away…” said Morton.
When asked what his favourite part about Kimberley is, Morton replied, “the people, without any hesitation or question. The people who volunteer for the Live at Studio 64 Concert Series, the people who run the hotels, the people who run the restaurants, everyone. We just love everyone [here] and it’s such a great audience; such a great vibe. It’s totally vibey and we love it.”