DAUPHIN — Canada’s longest running country music festival has conjured up a cool concept for the June 27 opening night.
It’s being billed as an evening with "The Young Guns of Outlaw Country" on the Manitoba Lotteries Main Stage, and it features performances by the sons of three legendary musical "outlaws": Justin Townes Earle, son of Steve Earle; Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, son of Willie Nelson; and headliner Shooter Jennings, son of Waylon Jennings.
Make no mistake about it, Shooter Jennings has never been one to allow expectations, boundaries, genre or ideals to dictate the direction of his art. From the moment he burst onto the scene, it was clear that he had a style and a vision all his own that would separate him from the leagues of cookie-cutter artists out there.
His new album "The Other Life" sees Shooter using all the colours of the palettes of previous recordings, and bringing them together to make his most diverse and interesting album to date. He also hosts a regular radio show on SiriusXM called "Shooter Jennings’ Electric Rodeo."
Check him out at shooterjennings.com.
Meanwhile, for some, their first musical memory might be a favourite song playing on the radio, a video on MTV or a concert their parents took them to. For singer-songwriter-guitarist Lukas Nelson, his first music memory is being onstage with such superstars as Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and his father Willie Nelson singing along and stomping his feet to a crowd of thousands.
To say Lukas was born to play music is an understatement. The sixth child of one of the most acclaimed and beloved music stars of all time, Willie Nelson, and his fourth wife Annie, Lukas inherited his father’s musicality, his penchant for penning his own music, and his love of the road.
But more important — and possibly more surprising to some — he also inherited his father’s humility and genuineness.
"Our name, Promise of the Real, comes from trying to do it the real way," he said. "That’s what my goal in life is — to stay human, stay real, stay humble, and stay grounded for the rest of my life.
"I’ve learned a lot from my dad. He got me my first guitar when I was 12 and taught me chords, but I also learned by his example of how he lives his life and how he keeps his humility."
For more on Nelson, see promiseofthereal.com.
On a rainy Nashville Thursday last October, Justin Townes Earle leapt onstage at the famed Ryman Auditorium to accept the 2011 Americana Music Award for song of the year.
The triumphant evening capped a turbulent 12 months for the gifted young musician categorized by significant hardship as well as notable achievement including debut performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall and on "The Late Show with David Letterman."
Just one week later, Earle retreated to the western mountains of North Carolina to record his next album, "Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now" — an intriguing title given the importance of change in Earle’s approach to art.
"I think it’s the job of the artist to be in transition and constantly learning more," he says. "The new record is completely different than my last one, ‘Harlem River Blues.’ This time I’ve gone in a Memphis-soul direction."
Check him out at justintownesearle.com.
Dauphin’s Countryfest celebrates its 24th anniversary June 27-30. Tickets for this year’s event sold out in a record-setting 12 hours in November.
Countryfest is a not-for-profit organization that consists of a 12-member volunteer board of directors and a membership of more than 1,500 loyal followers.
Organizers credit the 2,000 volunteers who work tirelessly every year providing essential services for the festival weekend, while fundraising for their respective community organizations. Countryfest contributes approximately $150,000 annually toward these organizations for providing these services.