Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Small towns seem to have more than their share of musical talent. This past weekend I had the opportunity to hear a very entertaining local band. The Wild Turkeys from Echo Bay, Ontario call their music 'swamp stomp country.' I might tend to call it alt hillbilly. High energy, tight harmonies, fast, fiddle, guitar, bass, mandolin, and drum and even a trumpet on a few songs. And loud. Mainly fun, silly-in-a-good-way lyrics. The fact that I couldn't really hear much of the lyrics because of the raw on-stage sound just added to the experience. Our region of Eastern Lake Superior/Northern Lake Huron isn't exactly where I'd expect to hear hillbilly inspired music (and somewhat incongruous is that the core of the band is the Jääskeläinen brothers!). But I guess it's not that surprising. The same influences that gave us Appalachian traditional music are in play up here. Add some French Canadian and even some Scandinavian and Native American background to the mix and you end up with special music from a special place, with these guys as just one example of our rich musical confluence.