Weekend in the Loops

By way of Kootenay and Okanagan winter wonderlands, TSB made it to Kamloops on Friday afternoon. Separate vehicles we did take to allow a couple of our spouses/roadies/groupies to tag along for what is typically a guys’ weekend! We arrived at the hotel within 5 minutes of each other, grabbed a bite at our favourite 3-in-the-morning habitual frequents, Denny’s, and headed to the Blue Grotto for setup and soundcheck.

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Chris was our sound tech for the weekend; a super guy to work with, and a fellow musician following in his dad’s footsteps. In typical Sonny Boys fashion, we ran through the ins and outs of a couple new songs: Uptown Funk and Love Runs Out.

First set at 9:30 was a bit slow; we are told this is pretty typical of the partay-experienced Kamloopers preparing for a wild night out. First set break in the green room came with a loaded fridge and a huge appetizer platter. We were set! We got to adding our SB logo to the others on the band walls, and by the time we returned to the stage for second set, the place was absolutely packed. From that point on, the combination of Jonny B’s sub-woofer perching, Russ missing his water bottle, Chris’ good night sleeps, and Kevin’s $30 in drugstore purchases were able to keep the “Loopy” Partiers shakin’ all night Friday and Saturday!

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The new tunes were met by an unobstructed show of huge hoots from the crowd, staff with keen eyes kept the stage clear of Sonny Boy trespassers, and it was super to see several friends show up for our Kamloops debut! Saturday afternoon, a music producer gentleman from Germany recognized us downtown and complimented us on our versatility. He said he has never seen another band transition so seamlessly between MJ, Bruno Mars, and Taylor Swift.

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Mucho thanks to Teri, Chris, and the rest of the staff at the Grotto. We’ve been asked back…stay tuned for some spring dates by following us on Facebook!

-Sonny Boy Kev

Busy Weekend, 2014 (and a touching poem)

‘Twas a busy weekend with a country barn dance on Saturday in Vernon and a wedding reception in Winfield on the Sunday.

Saturday afternoon setup and soundcheck…

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Chillaxin’ at Sonny Boy Kev’s place before the gig…


Jonny B…diggin’ it


Russ sharing a tender moment, hosing off a bandmate


Sunday’s wedding reception was a blast! Thanks to our hosts, Geoff and Landis.


what a great idea


quite a musical family…this piano saw its share of action during every set break

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First Dance…

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Packed dance floor all night…wonderful people to hang with! Following tear-down, Russ headed home to Nelson. Here’s his poetic account of the middle-of-the-night adventure:

“It was past one oclock and the evening was done,

My van was packed up as the last song had rung.

Urgency set in as it was time to go home,

Said bye to the Baders while Jon sat on throne.

Wound my way south from Winfield to Kel,

How long would I drive? Diffy to tell.

Sleep will set in at some point along,

A 5 hour drive would prove far too long.

I recounted the night with coffee for fuel,

While scanning the road cuts for whitetail and mule.

(Like) why would Jon leave the safety of stage,

And allow one to strum him with intoxic rage.

And the stage crashing woman that Kev gave the boot,

After knocking his mic stand nearly breaking a tooth.

Chris on the drums. Girls surely dig.

But his Korean lyrics apparently not at the gig. 

And me asking one question but repetitively,

What key is this tune in? C E or D.

Twas making great time perhaps I could make it,

To Nelson BC before the kids would awaken.

.48 Special cranked to 11 my eyes open wide,

Geoff I remember, and such a beautiful bride?

Then suddenly I came too 

As my van shook and shimmied,

I hit the brake pedal nearly spilling my Timmys.

Hot burning rubber, oh what a smell!

Somewhere east of east Beaverdell.

Got out to look.  No apparent fire.

Just a irreparable mess of a blown-out tire.

This happened before at the Tick Tock and Rock.

But closer to town at a respectable clock.

So nothing to do but make room for sleep,

Mic stand in crotch, tangled cables at feet.

Morning came soon and on went the spare,

About the same size as a record by Cher.

80 clicks was the max speed recommended to go,

For exceeding this speed would surely mean tow.

Was passed by grandpas and grammas, trains, bikes and campers.

A slow trip for sure, oh what a damper!

Got home near noon and to Kev I will share,

In addition to gas money, will need wear and tear.”

…glad you’re home safely, Russ! Until next time…


Adam and Rachel, 2014

This past weekend, TSB were asked to play for Adam and Rachel’s wedding reception. The Big Shoooe was  where our band started out back in 1993 in what’s called Boundary Country between the Kootenays and the Okanagan, beautiful Grand Forks.

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Jonny B was unable to make the gig so we asked Nelson picker James Picton (great name for a guitar player) to fill the shoes on stage right.

With a 3-hour trip ahead of them, brothers Kevin and Chris hit the road around 9. The only changes in scenery en route were in Beaverdell where the sign of their general store now reads “COLD”, having evolved from the original “COLD DRINK” and the transitional “COLD DINK” earlier this year.

Not surprisingly, the other Boys’ trip from Nelson was a hop-skip-and-jump of just over an hour. Uneventful:)

After meeting at the bride’s parents’ spread in the Almond Gardens area of town (right on the Canada/US border), setup began around noon as guests began trickling in for the 2:00 ceremony. The beautiful bride and her entourage arrived via a souped-up and sophisticated new cargo trailer!


To stall until an appropriate time for sound check, we went for a nature walk (to Carson Road and back again). This also gave us a chance to sit on some hay bales and acoustically run through the bride and groom’s choice for a first song: Could it Be by Charlie Worsham (a good’n…a two-step keeper)

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Following sound check, we were log overdue for a dip in the Kettle. Though it took a while to get to Kevin & Chris’ “secret swimming hole,” the long walk was worth it; apparently only four other people from town know about it and were kind enough to share the sandy beach!

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Supper at the Station Pub, a chillax at the motel, much discussion about wardrobe choices, and we were ready to play.


Following the first couple of dances, the bride snuck off only to return wearing a much more practical — and party-able — outfit. The dance floor was full until midnight, the highlight being the impromptu line dance that we held with an extra dose of Brooks and Dunn, and the trading of solos with our new bandmate.

Considering the neighbours, the dance was done by midnight and thanks to a record tear down we were back to our rooms before 1, pretty rare but most welcome!

Again, thanks to John (father of the bride) for hosting the event in perfect collaboration with the weather forecast, and all the best to Adam and Rachel!

Our next gigs: a double-shot weekend in a few weeks with the Cowboy Festival dance at Vernon’s Historic O’Keefe Ranch and another private wedding in Winfield.

-Sonny Boy Kev

2014 4H Rock Creek Gig

Last weekend, TSB played for the Rock Creek 4H Club’s annual fundraiser, dinner, and dance. This year marks my 14th anniversary since my first gig with TSB playing for 4H’ers and their generous families and supporters. So much has changed over the years, yet so much remains the same.

As we set-up I couldn’t help but remember years playing with Brother Jeff, and later buddy Rodi to my right. And now, our newest member, and formidable guitarist Jonny B is plugged in somewhere at the end of a tangled mess of chords looped unsystematically and haphazardly at my feet. Chris at his drums, pleading typically for ‘more me in the mix’. And Kevin at my left, power-poised and barefoot in front of glowing stage lights, hot bulbs warming his cold drink.


After sound check, TSB took to the field at the Rock Creek fairground ball diamond to toss the ‘ol ball around. A traditional pre-gig activity dating back to 2000. I recollect heroic dives, grinding face-first into the Rock Creek turf, ball firmly in the webbing of an outstretched glove. This year I caught most balls… I think.

But yet a break in tradition this year. Dinner at the Prospector Inn, a historic wood building filled with stuffed creatures, as colourful as those slumped over the wooden bar top. (Is that Uncle Jesse?) And a surprisingly good dinner. Upon exiting, I pondered how this building had survived so many years without burning down, like so many other saloons in the early 1900’s.

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Like previous years, an early pre-gig arrival ensured that we caught the latter part of the auction that serves as the significant fundraising event for the evening. Young cowboys and cowgirls stood in their red 4H shirts and jeans in anticipation of the summons of the auctioneer at stage front. Each child was auctioned-off to the highest bidder for what I’d imagine would be back-breaking work on one kind of ranch or another. As ever, final bids were impressive and reflective of a community committed to supporting its youth.


Once the lights dimmed and we played our first tune, dancers of all ages hit the floor. Kids as young as ten years old (with obvious technical training in country dance) swung each other around, faces beaming with youthful bliss; a contrast to my musical compadres!

We deviated from our typical pop/rock-driven set list, inserting classic country tunes such as those by Clint Black and George Strait. A musical departure that certainly challenged us to recollect lyrics of a hurtin’ kind.

Finally, our night ended with a night at the Arosa Ranch on the Anarchist Summit, west of Rock Creek – our preferred accommodation when playing in the area. Once again, the accommodation and hospitality of Marianne & John allowed us to wind down and relax before waking to a tasty European breakfast.

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As ever, fun times for all! Thanks 4(H) having us back and see y’all for year 15! SonnyBoyRuss.

Dan and Crystal’s wedding…and Edgewood Canada Day

Branding Day, 2013

For the second year in a row, we were invited to the Willow Springs Ranch in the Christian Valley to play a Branding Day dance.

Thanks to Bill and Bonnie, Gord and Deona, and all the country and city folks from all over North America for such a fun time.

The Party Barn — scratch that; the Multipurpose Agricultural Facility has undergone several updates/improvements since this time last year…guest rooms, a kitchen, a breezeway, a new stage…

branding, setup-soundcheck, a rodeo, a great dinner, a fun dance, cowboy cabins, and brekky at the Gold Pan…a good weekend!

Tick Tock…a success!!

Thank you all for partying with us this past new year’s eve! The dancefloor was packed as over 200 people attended in support of raising funds for the North Okanagan Hospice Society.

Big thanks to our sponsors: 107.5 KISS FM, Best Western PLUS, Thrive Physiotherapy, VantageOne Credit Union, Printech, Olive Tree Design, Kal-Mor Mortgages and Investments, Randy Wilson of SUNLIFE, Tillicum Electric and Attridge – snow, ski, wake!

Thanks also to those who donated over $3000 in door prizes! Do we try it again next year?


2012 Draws to a Close

…and what a year it’s been for TSB.

This past summer, in particular, has been a rough one. We lost our brother/bandmate Rodi to cancer. Rodi had been with the band since 2002. Words cannot express how much he is missed.

In September, we played a few songs for his celebration of life event in Nelson, his hometown. Rodi’s daughter, Rachel, joined us on stage for a few songs. What a privilege for us. She most certainly inhertited her dad’s talent.

Meantime, we still had a few booked gigs to play. We were fortunate to have two fantastic local musician friends join us as needed…Tim Boulter (The Creeks) and Jon Buller (solo recording artist).

In early December, we officially invited Jon into the band and thankfully he accepted. Jon had a vision of throwing a huge New Year’s dance event in Vernon as a fundraiser. The North Okanagan Hospice Society (hospice house) was the clear choice for where any money raised would go.

The past month has been a whirlwind as we (mostly Jon) have been asking local businesses to help sponsor the event (money and/or door prizes). Big thanks to Jason at Kiss FM and Kristin at the Morning Star for the press!!!

Setup began the morning of the 29th. Tickets are available at the Best Western Vernon Lodge an online from our website. Hope to see you there!!!


IPE 2012

Another year…13, according to our count. Rodi wasn’t able to make this year’s party so Jonny B sat in with us for the two nights. The pix tell the story!

Willow Springs Ranch – Branding Day Party

Chris thought we were playing a wedding reception right up until we started unloading gear. No. A Branding Day party meant all the young-uns (black angus) were branded and the ranchers (owners, managers, neighbours, and contractors) needed a reason to party. Enter The Sonny Boys.