Williams Lake’s BorderBand will be among the local bands participating in the Fifth Annual Metis Jamboree taking place in McLeese Lake this weekend.
The band plays a wide variety of popular folk/pop/rock cover tunes as well as songs written by its members.
The band especially enjoys performing for residents at the Seniors Village and various community events and has taken the time to entertain wherever they know firefighters, wildfire support workers, and evacuees may be congregated.
As Williams Lake was preparing for wildfire evacuation last month the band played at Taylor Made Cakes.
Since the evacuation order was lifted more than a week ago they have played at the Resiliency Centre in Boitanio Mall, CJ’s Southwestern Grill and and in the Stampede Grounds campground.
“And it certainly cheers us up, too,” says LeRae Haynes, who plays ukulele, banjo, and piano with the group. “Music is like that. It lifts your heart.”
The full BorderBand includes Al Giddens on guitar, Mark Law on drums and Ray Chadwick on electric violin, bass and harmonica.
Giddens and Haynes sing and harmonize together beautifully and occasionally indulge in three-part harmony when Chadwick is playing with them.
They especially gravitate to the cover tunes of artists such as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Johnny Reid, Jimmy Rankin and CCR.
Both Haynes and Giddens are the songwriters in the group: Giddens with songs such as Backwoods, Lady in the Moonlight and Where Was I: and Haynes with songs such as Reach the Other Side.
Gidden’s latest song is called Tower and is based on the character Jaime in the Outlander book series. Some of Gidden’s songs are available on YouTube.
“For me, it’s all about people,” Giddens says. “I like when people like to listen and appreciate a story. I like to hear the music come alive, and I like harmonies. It’s why I sing and why I play. It changes me.
“You can have the worst day in the world and playing to people changes things. It grounds me. When an audience responds with silence, with a look, a tear or a smile, that what makes this all worth while.”
Haynes recently took the children’s nursery rhyme Itsy Bitsy Spider and turned it into a song calling for rain in the Cariboo Chilcotin
The Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the water spout;
Down came the rain and washed the fires out;
Up came the clouds and then it rained some more;
Forget about the spider, let it rain let it pour!
The Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association is hosting the fifth annual Metis Jamboree that takes place at the McLeese Lake Community Hall this weekend Aug. 11, 12, and 13.
In addition to lots of local talent the event features Canadian Hall of Fame inductee Alan Moberg, Aboriginal People’s Choice Award fiddler J.J. Lavallee and The Great Plains Saskia & Darrel.
Other entertainers on the play bill include Fagen Furlong, Ben Jerome, Peter Thorne, Pat Myre, JR Goodwin.
Given the current wildfire situation Wayne Lucier, who will also be there performing, said the entry fee to the jamboree has been waived and instead organizers are asking for cash donations or a donation of food to help wildfire victims.
The standard fees were $20 per day or $30 for the weekend including camping.
A concession is available on site all weekend along with a bouncy castle for the children. Raffles and Loonie auctions are part of the fun. The Saturday evening dinner special is $10.