Revy. Fast and Hard.
Mere words can’t describe the Highway 1 drive into Revelstoke through the mountains. If you’ve ever done it, you’ll know what I mean. If you have yet to do it, I’ll try to paint you a picture.
Me, Jerry Seinfeld and Kasey is behind the camera. En route to Revy!
Heading East, the hills begin to grow taller and taller with every twist and turn past Armstrong. The grassy hills of the Okanagan give way to towering green forests of pine and spruce. Lakes become smaller and more remote, and it always seems like it’s springtime driving through Sicamous. Eagles and Osprey patrol overhead, searching for their next unfortunate morsel. The geology begins to change right before our eyes, from the familiar rolling hills of BC’s interior to the steep and craggy rock faces that make up the legendary Rocky Mountains.
As we meander along the highway, we watch through the windshield as a rock formation grows larger than you could imagine, boasting more size and power than anything you’ve ever seen. It swells and swells until we realize it makes us feel infinitesimally small - despite the colossal spirit of Clementine, our beloved butter-yellow coloured 1981 Volkswagen Westfalia, we’re still tiny - and now we’re only looking at a minute fraction of it. It stands like a sentinel guarding it’s rocky mountain brothers behind it. Somewhere past Malakwa it becomes a corridor, enveloping us, and we uneasily wonder where we are - if maybe we had gone off course, or underestimated how much time the drive would take. (After all, Clementine’s little wheels can only carry us at about 90 km/h on the flats.) Those concerns are quickly put to rest as the headlights of another oncoming transport truck peer around the bend ahead.
This enormous sentinel guides our little party-wagon Eastward, and through the grey we can see an opening where the mountains give way. The corridor breaks off and the walls around us dip Northward and Southward, leaving us in view of the sky. We watch the highway ahead bend down to a bridge, and eventually a little community across the river; Revelstoke, BC - One of the most quintessential BC mountain towns.
Photo courtesy of www.destination360.com
It wasn’t long in Revy before we fell in love with the place. We ended up arriving early in the evening with our friend James Jones, aka Jerry Seinfeld. (He pulled off Jerry Seinfeld perfectly at Halloween 2012, and has pretty much been Seinfeld to me ever since.) He was looking to move to Revy for some work, and needed a ride, so naturally we invited him along on the first leg of our road trip. He joined us for most of our time in Revy, as well as this epic cat:
Ben Jammin says “CONSUME!!”
Our good buddy Ben Jammin. Jammin is a local legend - local to planet Earth. He took us around town on our first evening, housed us for our time there, got us onto The Stoke FM, and was an all-round great host for us. We spent a particularly great time at The Regent, playing Foosball into the wee hours of the morning, and having various malted barley beverages - as well as The Shaft Shot. The Shaft Shot is something you’ll have to ask Jammin about, there’s not much documentation online about it, and like Jammin, I think it’s something of local legend. Kasey and I only remember the taste of Coffee and Kahlua.
Regardless, we were hungover the next morning. And how. It was straight to The Modern Bakeshop & Cafe for something to make our shame go away, and our soul hurt less. This place had exactly what we needed. It’s doors were open both mornings we visited, and the atmosphere was alive with young people in and out before work. It just so happened that we were picking up a cold in Revelstoke too, so we looked for a hot cider, but found something else. It was some sort of delicious ginger elixir, good for your immune system. You could have it hot or cold - we enjoyed them hot. It made the shame go away, and made us feel a little better too. Besides, we had a gig coming that night…
The Modern Bakeshop & Café, in the heart of Revelstoke.
Each of us with hangovers, colds and hoarse voices, one would think that we should have rested - especially with a gig in the evening.
Instead we decided to pack our day full of friends, music, and all things Revelstoke. We started by busking for a couple hours over lunch hour before meeting up with Jammin. Following that, we headed to the Stoke FM HQ, where Jammin got us a super cool spot on the air. We met with Scott Duke, the man with the plan behind the young radio station. He interviewed us and gave us some words of encouragement, and we got some airtime - in fact, our CD is still there, so if you call in and request it, you can hear our tunes any time you want up there.
Our interview at Stoke FM. “The lovechild of a second-hand antenna and a keg party.”
Well, it was gigging time. We restrung our instruments, tuned and retuned our instruments, we chatted with our good buddy Josh Loewen who was opening for us, heard from a bunch of buddies coming from Kelowna to see the show, and chatted with a couple of my buddies from home who were in Revy. We were playing at one of the local bars called The Last Drop - an English style pub with a tangible mountain twist to it. The stage stood in the corner of the room, so we could see everybody, one of my favourite stage setups yet on this tour. Johnny Price, the manager at The Last Drop got us all set up and had us ready for Josh’s 10 o'clock start in no time.
Josh is a good buddy of mine I met a couple of years back in Kelowna at jam nights. He and I would usually chat over a couple beers until each of us had our set time, then we’d bust chops, talk about our various projects, and generally have a good time listening to the acts following us. He’s had a couple music projects since I’ve known him, and has kept a strong solo performance in his back pocket. We had the pleasure of having him open for us in Revy.
Early in Josh’s set at The Last Drop, Revelstoke.
It was a banger night. We had a great time all night long, playing a variety of covers and all of our originals. The Harding family came out, and it was really good to see them. As per usual we had strings breaking, and sweat dripping - but that’s usually a good thing… It was nice to kick off our tour with a solid, bangin’ set to keep everyone going. We even got a hotel room out of it. (Whaaaat!?) All told though, we sold albums, saw the best of Revelstoke, had great times, played music and left with Bronchitis.
…The next morning Kasey and I went to the walk-in clinic. Diagnosed with Bronchitis & Sinusitis. NAILED IT.
$120 worth of antibiotics later, we were on the road. This time, we headed south towards the heart of the Kootenays. Nelson.
Jammin leading Kasey and I up the mountainside to Stoke FM… Only in Revy do you have to hike-in for a radio interview. Awesome.