Next month lakecity born and bred musician Evan Catalano is bringing a new concert to Williams Lake on Friday, March 8.
Catalano is a longtime musician and is the son of Rocco Catalano, himself an active member in both the community and music scene here in Williams Lake. Recently Catalano has started a new musical side project simply called Side Project, with fellow musician Leah Martin, as well as his own recording company called Shock Collar Records.
“She plays keyboard and does harmonies while I’m playing my 12 string acoustic guitar,” Catalano remarked. “I would call it folk punk.”
Catalano’s Side Project will be playing the opening set for the upcoming concert he’s organized called Athabasca Barnburner with Big Fancy and Guests. He first met the Athabasca Barnburner band last summer at a concert he was playing and liked their sound and style and kept in touch with them afterwards.
“They’re really awesome and ever since I saw them I was like: ‘I want to play with these guys again. They’re really good,’” Catalano said. “They kind of pump you up. It’s like energetic folk, bluegrass music and they blew me away when I first saw them.”
The Athabasca Barnburners are a three-piece string band that delivers their own unique brand of folk music, straight from the mountains surrounding Jasper, Alta. They mix and mash old folk genres, according to Catalano, singing songs of “the Bible, the bottle and everything in between.”
Big Fancy, meanwhile, is a musician from Fort Fraser known for his “sharp wit” and “lovelorn voice,” who will be performing backed by his band the Shiddy Cowboys. They’ll be performing songs about love and loss from their recent studio album Songs to be Broken Up to By.
He organized the concert in the first place to help keep the music scene in Williams Lake alive and founded Shock Collar Records to help facilitate it. Catalano has always wanted to operate his own record company and while it’s essentially a nonprofit at the moment he’s hopeful it will expand and grow naturally as time goes on.
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With the Safety Meetings concert series and Dark Times Festival not happening this year due to the departure of lakecity musican Brandon Hoffman, Catalano is looking to step up and help fill the gap. As such he’s confident people will come out to this show as it’s a great chance to see two larger out-of-town bands.
Looking to the future, Catalano hopes to organize a few punk-rock concerts this spring and summer and bring a more energetic and upbeat tone to the music scene.
“(I hope) to bring some music back from the dead, bring new music in and provide a platform for music that should be out there (in the Williams Lake community),” Catalano said. “Come out to the show. There’s going to be more.”
The doors open at 7 p.m. with tickets $20 at the door, $15 if you buy them ahead of time at the Bean Counter or The Open Book, with the show starting at 8 p.m. A bar may be available at the concert, though Catalano had yet to confirm that at the writing of this article.