Join the Skydiggers at the Kimberley Conference Centre Sunday, November 3. Heather Pollock file.

Join the Skydiggers at the Kimberley Conference Centre Sunday, November 3. Heather Pollock file.

Toronto folk rock band Skydiggers at Kimberley Conference Centre

MIKE REDFERN

On a three-gig tour of Edmonton, Calgary and Kimberley, the Toronto folk rock band Skydiggers will bring the music from their brand new album “Let’s Get Friendship Right”, just released October 4, to the Kimberley Conference Centre Sunday night, November 3.

Created 25 years ago in the beverage room of the Spadina Hotel in Toronto by singer Andy Maize and guitarist Josh Finlayson, Skydiggers began as the house band in a weekly showcase called Acoustic Meltdown. The duo recruited Ron Macey, Wayne Stokes and Peter Cash to form the original band. Since those days Skydiggers has featured an ever changing rota of musicians backing Andy and Josh, depending on who was available for each tour or studio recording session. For this Western Canada tour the band features Andy Maize and Jessy Bell Smith on vocals, Josh Finlayson and Aaron Comeau on guitar, Noel Webb on drums and John Dinsmore on bass.

Since 1990 the band has released 19 albums, winning a Juno award along the way. Their latest album, “Let’s Get Frriendship Right”, came about as follows:

In November, 2017, Josh Finlayson and Andy Maize found themselves turning to the healing power of music to deal with the recent loss of several friends and family members. A week-long writing retreat at the Banff Centre led to a recording session in early 2018 at The Tragically Hip’s Bathouse studio with engineer/producer Nyles Spencer, drummer Peter von Althen and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Comeau. Initially intending to write and record a suite of songs chronicling the five stages of grief, the idea for the album gradually morphed into a 9-song celebration of the enduring relationships that have influenced, inspired and carried Josh and Andy through life’s fleeting passage… and to finding a way to overcome loss through music’s good medicine.

Skydigger have played some big shows, opening for 54-40, The Tragically Hip, Cowboy Junkies, and Blue Rodeo in the early days and appearing on the same bills with Gord Downie and Blackie & the Rodeo Kings since. Following the Kimberley concert the band returns to Ontario for a concert at Meaford Hall, two at the National Arts Centre, and one at the Danforth Music Hall. Bringing them to the Kimberley Conference Centre is a feather in the cap for local sponsors RCR, Trickle Creek Lodge, and radio stations 102.9 Drive and B-104.

Tickets are $35 online at meetkimberley.ca or $45 at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the concert start at 7. Promises to be a good night!

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