NEW RELEASE! The McGowan Family Band LIVE is now available on iTunes
The North Country Fair is three days of non-stop music and community bonding up in Northern Alberta and one look at this year’s lineup makes it clear why music lovers wait all year for this summer festival.
“We get a lot of regulars from Edmonton and we get some people from as far south as Calgary. One of the really interesting things is that we’ll often get family groups who come together at the fair, sometimes we can have up to two or three generations,” says Brad Buhr, who works publicity and marketing for the fair.
This year’s fair, which runs from June 21-23, is a celebration of its 35th anniversary. As always, people will flock out to the fair site, located about 6 km off of Highway 2 between High Prairie and Slave Lake, about a three hour drive from Grande Prairie. A site map as well as a list of the musical line up is available online at http://lslncca.ca/current/.
The experience of camping out in the beautiful countryside while taking in some great live music as well as other performances and food or craft vendors makes for an unforgettable weekend.
“There’s a lot of space to spread out and little communities form of these different groups who like to hang out together. There’s a family camping area that’s a little bit quieter. It becomes sort of a place where people get together as friends and communities every year,” Buhr says.
Because the event is hosted on land owned by the North Country Community Association, the fun doesn’t have to stop at 9 p.m. and often, musical acts will carry on late into the evening and early morning.
Included in a lineup of almost 50 bands this year, The McGowan Family Band, an Edmonton-based group, has performed at North Country Fair two times prior. Mark McGowan and his brothers Paul and Sean have been volunteering for even longer, having helped at the fair for 15 years.
The band’s performance this year will include some tracks off their new live album, which was just released last week.
“It’s kind of sums up an era, this live disc. We’re going to play some of our older material, maybe not for the last time, but for some of the songs, we’re going to move away from those staples and write new stuff,” McGowan says.
Over the years, the brothers have watched other band members come and go, but the group endures and their love of music has never changed. It started early for the McGowans, as they grew up in a musical environment.
“Pretty much our dad was the beginning influence. He knew how to play guitar and piano and was always plugging away playing Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan and things like that around the house as we were playing as kids,” McGowan says.
“We’d all sit down and watch him in amazement of what he could do. It encouraged us. He had the guitar, so we played his first and then we eventually got our own.”
As a new father himself, McGowan appreciates being able to bring his family along to the fair, a luxury he doesn’t normally have with the band’s gigs. They really love the summer festival scene and write flexible set lists that allow for changes or additions, depending on the crowd’s mood.
“It’s definitely what we’d like to do more of, the festival circuit. We write some of our songs geared towards that vibe, dance-themed and positive, that kind of thing they’re looking for in outdoor festivals,” McGowan says.
Tickets for the North Country Fair are available at the gate and are $140 for adults, $100 for youth.
-As Buhr explains, organizers are working hard to develop the children’s entertainment for the fair, including more kids performers and a children’s area.
“It’s like a true community celebration. There’s something for everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, from people who are just there to listen to music and have fun to families with their kids.”
Hey Mama - Single by The McGowan Family Band Released 4/20/13 AVAILABLE ON iTunes NOW!
The McGowan Family Band self titled debut Album is available on iTunes !
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Keep on dancing!!!