The Fiddlers Crossing poster for West My Friend reads: “Canadian eclectic acoustic ensemble.” The quartet of young and accomplished musicians from Vancouver Island has also been called an “Indie folk pop band,” or simply “Indie roots.” Other music reviewers have called the band, “Third-wave indie rock pop with four-part harmonies,” and their style, “Cascadian third-wave indie progressive chamber folk-roots music.”
Obviously, West My Friend defies being pigeon-holed into any one genre. Their blend of acoustic instruments accompanying lush four-part harmonies challenges the conventions of today’s popular music, as can be seen in concert at Fiddlers Crossing on February 25 at 7 pm. . Their catchy songs and arrangements of bass, guitar, mandolin and accordion draw from jazz, classical, folk and pop influences.
Since 2010, when Eden Oliver, Alex Rempel, Jeff Poynter, and Adam Bailey came together to form West My Friend, they have become a key part of a new generation of grassroots folk music on the adventurous acoustic music scene of Canada’s west coast. The only change in the group has been bass player Nick Mintenko recently replacing Bailey.
Classical training and a wealth of diverse musical experience gives them their distinct voice, with passages of intricacy and counterpoint balanced with moments of sweet and exquisite simplicity. Innovation and humor mix easily and seamlessly with traditional genres, echoing old world Klezmer, Cape Breton dance tunes, anthems that sound like show tunes, emotional folk songs, and bluegrass vocal harmonies – with a bit of roots-twang thrown in for good measure. Think “Mumford and Sons” with a female lead singer.
Their name, West My Friend, is a play on “Go West, Young Man.” These four musicians are all westerners through-and-through, and have toured throughout Canada, as well as the US and Europe. Their favorite mode of travel and touring, weather permitting? Cycling – with bass and other instrument in tow!
For video and audio samples, go to westmyfriend.com and fiddlerscrossing.com.
Fiddlers Crossing is at 206 East F Street at Robinson Street, in Downtown Tehachapi. Tickets may be purchased next door at Mountain Music, at Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, and Lucky’s Barbershop, or online through Fiddlerscrossing.com. Tickets to the concert are $20, and as always, coffee and goodies are included. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
On the horizon in 2017: Juni Fisher; A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration; Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band; Ernest Troost, Jill Knight and the Luckys, Gary Stockdale, and The Hay Dudes.