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Blues band Juke to play during Lacombe's Canada Day celebrations

This year's events take place at both Cranna Lake and the field by the junior high school from 4 to 11:30 p.m.
Blues band Juke will be performing at Lacombe's Canada Day celebrations. (Photo submitted)

Red Deer-based blues band Juke is slated to hit the stage at Cranna Lake as part of Lacombe's Canada Day celebrations.

This year's events take place at both Cranna Lake and the field by the junior high school from 4 to 11:30 p.m.

Juke will be performing at Cranna Lake around 8:30 p.m.

"We were known for playing blues around town, and there was a big blues band coming to The Vat (in Red Deer)," recalls guitarist/vocalist Kerry Mann.

"The promoter wanted me to open up for them, and so I needed to come up with a name. I came up with 'Juke'."

The unique moniker was inspired by the legendary 'juke joints' of long-ago Mississippi - where folks would go on Saturday evenings after working from sun up to sun down and have the time of their lives dancing the night away.

Mann loved the concept of helping audiences forget their troubles and to be swept up in the joy of music.

"We want to get people dancing, and 'juke' really is a verb that means to dance. We want them to have a good time," he said, adding that the five-piece band formed back in 2017.

Rounding out the group are Kurt Hanson (lead guitar/vocals), Denis Boisvert (Bass/vocals), Phil Lyska (harmonica/percussion/vocals), and Kent Cadmen (drums/vocals).

Mann said there can be a bit of confusion around the band's name, as some assume it has a connection to jukeboxes.

"I say no, no - don't swear It's about juke joints," he added with a laugh. 

For Mann, a passion for the magic of the blues was sparked early on.

"My uncle turned me onto the blues, and to classic rock. He was only two years older than me, so we would hang out like brothers. We would listen to music after school, in the evenings and on weekends," he recalled. 

"Today, a lot of our influences (as a band) are Sonny Boy Williamson, Hound Dog Taylor, Howlin' Wolf - guys like that. I also love all the rhythms and the shuffles.

"I lean more towards the traditional blues, but we play updated versions of traditional tunes as well," he said.

But the band isn't restricted to blues-oriented material.

The lure of rockabilly has captured their sonic explorations as well. Influences of some of the greats surface in those selections as well.

"Part of our repertoire is rockabilly - Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton, and Carl Perkins. I also love classic country, and there is also a lot of classic rock that I like, too"

As to the upcoming Canada Day gig at Lacombe, Mann said the guys are excited to be a part of the party - which also comes complete with fireworks to round out the evening after they wrap up their show.

"It's a beautiful setting."

Meanwhile, other highlights of the day include an outdoor market, food trucks, family-friendly games, a small pedal bike show with a Stryder Bike Race course, a skills competition with Reds Source for Sports, and a Lacombe E-Sports Tournament.















Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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