By Liam Prost
CALGARY – Reaching deep into Canadian Roots for a third year in a row, Allison Brock and the team over at Wide Cut Weekend have a smorgasbord for you. The multi-venue music festival hits that late fall period where the shadows are long, the nights start early, but you can still hit the streets on skinny tires.
It’s like a rootsy Sled Island, with so much content that you can’t possibly see it all, and venues stretching across the core from Inglewood to Sunalta. Bicycle is perhaps the best way to see the fest, but given the season and the relative distance, Wide Cut Weekend also offers a venue-to-venue buss service powered by everyone’s favorite party wheels the BassBus. Venues include the newly minted King Eddy spaces at the National Music Centre, as well as old favorites like the Blues Can, The #1 Legion (it truly is #1 isn’t it?) and Mikey’s Juke Joint. This year they’ve expanded to the new Mikey’s on 12th location as well.
If you missed any acts last year, you’ll be able to revisit favorites like Matt Patershuk, Amy Nelson, and Tom Phillips. But there are a whole shwack of new artists to sink your teeth into in-keeping with the roots and singer-songwriter aesthetic. Scott Cook brings roadworn wisdom to Wide Cut Weekend for the first time, as well as the country contrast of Saskatoon songwriter Zachary Lucky, and the deep-voiced sad-sackery of the reincarnation of Townes Van Zandt himself, Richard Inman.
In its inception, Wide Cut Weekend focused on Alberta Artists, and as it’s grown, it’s reach has broadened into Western Canada, and now, it’s bringing in acts from even further away like Eliza Gilkyson, Lynne Hanson, and Linda McRae. Several of these artists will be getting the true Alberta experience, with a few key Albertan players backing several artists over the course of the weekend. It’s a true exercise in musical community building, like a conference for roots artists.
There’s also a renewed emphasis on gender representation at the festival.
“We’ve really upped the girl-power on the line-up this year,” board member Tara Sukut tells BeatRoute, “Almost half of our programming is [female]-fronted acts.”
Highlights include Kayla Luky and Little Miss Higgins (see our full preview in this section).
Wide Cut Weekend takes place at multiple venues on October 12-14 (Calgary).Eliza Gilkyson, Linda McRae, Lynne Hanson, Roots, Wide Cut Weekend