© Submitted photo
Gordie MacKeeman performs a tune on the fiddle during a past performance with his band, Rhythm Boys.
Gordie MacKeeman’s van is a rockin’ with an eclectic mix of musical influences.
One week into a six-week tour of western Canada, the Daily Herald caught up with MacKeeman by phone while the Prince Edward Island-based band made its way to a community centre in Calgary where they were scheduled to perform on Friday night.
Travelling in true folk musician style -- in a rented van -- Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys are set to roll into Prince Albert on Oct. 23, for an upbeat performance at the E. A. Rawlinson Centre.
“We’re a very visual act,” MacKeeman said. “It’s very high-energy Canadian roots, basically.
“I’m a fiddle player, so I’ve always been attracted to that style myself. We’re all of different backgrounds – kind of a wide range, there’s a little bit of rockabilly during the show, a little bit of old-time country.”
Old time roots music has seen a resurgence in popularity lately thanks to groups like Mumford and Sons receiving a great deal of mainstream radio play, MacKeeman said.
There’s an almost universal approval of the high-energy fun-infused music, he said, noting that they’ve been well-received during recent trips to the UK and throughout their current Canadian tour.
Winding between Alberta and Saskatchewan over the next month, the band is hitting up communities big and small in support of their latest album, released in August.
“You can definitely hear more of our influences in it,” MacKeeman said, adding that it’s more indicative of their eclectic live show than their debut album, which had a greater focus on fiddle-heavy instrumentals.
“This one’s more a mix of vocals and things like that,” he said. “When we first started out we were pretty much primarily old-time fiddle, but we’re doing a mix of everything now -- a lot of vocals and different elements to it.”
With the band’s four members instrumentalists, they’ll switch between fiddle, drums, guitar and upright bass between dance performances and upbeat roots-bluegrass-country songs, MacKeeman said.
As of Thursday afternoon, the E. A Rawlinson Centre Box Office reported that tickets remain available, online, in person, or by calling 306-765-1270 or 1-866-700-ARTS.
The E. A. Rawlinson Centre website is http://www.earawlinsoncentre.ca.