Loss of main sponsor doesn’t stop Blake Berglund and the Vultures from independently releasing live album, Jasper

By Jodi Brak
Blake Berglund manhandles his guitar, adding a certain physicality to his performance. Photo: Jodi Brak

Blake Berglund manhandles his guitar, adding a certain physicality to his performance.
Photo: Jodi Brak

CALGARY — Despite the loss of their main sponsor, Blake Berglund and the Vultures followed through with the production of their live album, Jasper, which released Sept. 30.

Without financial backing, the band was pushed to raise the budget for recording and producing the album independently. Jasper was recorded live this past August over the course of two performances at the Jasper Legion Branch 31, and saw its release during a show at the Ironwood Stage in Calgary Sept. 30.

Though the loss of their sponsor might have been demoralizing at first, Blake Berglund said that it was still a good experience for the band.

“The band practiced like mad to get ready for this. Doing this on our own really gave us something to work for, and the album totally captured the energy of our live show,” Berglund said.

Jasper is the band’s first live album, and the feel of a live performance really goes hand in hand with their alt-country style. The Vultures know how to create presence with their playing, and Berglund’s singing style, ranging from a booming Johnny Cash throwback to a sarcastic take on a southern drawl, fits perfectly with the acoustics of a live performance.

Jasper contains 17 tracks in total, five of which have not been released on any of the band’s previous recordings. The album, according to Berglund, is just the beginning of a long creative streak that he hopes will carry the band through 2015.

This streak includes a short tour to Vancouver before the band sets off for the US on a string of gigs that will eventually see them at the Hard Rock Café in Las Vegas, Nevada. Coupled with these live shows, Berglund hopes to release two EPs in the early months of 2015, one featuring fellow bandmate J.R. Louis, and the other featuring Saskatchewan singer / songwriters Belle Plaine.

“I’m caught up in collaborations right now,” Berglund said. “It really keeps my buzz going.”

Blake Burglund and the Vultures, touring with Del Barber and the Profiteers, perform at Rogue Folk Club (at St. James Hall) in Vancouver Oct. 9 and the Jasper Legion in Jasper Oct. 11.

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