Overdue Blues Band hits ‘Music in the Park’ Aug. 10

Performance kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at the Lacombe Memorial Centre’s Echo Stage

The Overdue Blues Band performs Aug. 10 as part of the Music in the Park series. Mike Taylor photo

The Overdue Blues Band performs Aug. 10 as part of the Music in the Park series. Mike Taylor photo

Lacombe’s Music in the Park series continues with Red Deer-based powerhouse group the Overdue Blues Band on Aug. 10.

Performances, which are presented by the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre, kick off at 6:30 p.m. at the Lacombe Memorial Centre’s Echo Stage.

“We started out in October of 2011,” explained Tracy Wells, lead vocalist.

“My guitarist, Dean Bruce and I went to a jam and the host of the jam said, ‘Wait a second – where have you been?’” she recalled with a laugh.

After a few jam sessions, Wells and Bruce were eventually asked if they would consider putting a band together for a New Year’s show.

“I said, sure, that sounds like fun. So that’s how it all started,” she explained. “We realized how fun it was, and we all loved the blues, so we thought, why don’t we just keep doing this!

“It really just kind of fell into my lap – it wasn’t anything intentional, but that was the magic – that’s how it started,” she said.

Besides Wells and Bruce, the Overdue Blues Band is rounded out by Nick Partridge on keyboards, bassist Marcel Meijers and drummer Mark Workun.

“I guess I’ve been singing my whole life – my whole family is musical. My brother is a drummer, my dad plays guitar and bass, you name it. Whatever has strings, he’s playing it.

“My mom is a vocalist, and when I was growing up, I’d be doing harmony for her,” she recalled. Having moved to Red Deer about 20 years ago from Edmonton, Wells also started singing at gigs around the City and a friend suggested she join a band in town.

“I was really just doing it for fun, but it was when I started singing the blues and really growing in an appreciation for that genre, that it blossomed,” she explained, adding that originally, she was introduced to the blues shortly after graduating from high school.

“I liked it, but I didn’t really put two and two together that every rock and roll song from various artists all over the place – the favourites that I had from all of their music – were actually all blues songs,” she said.

“People sometimes say, ‘I don’t like the blues’. But I say, I bet you actually do. Tell me your favourite artist and I’ll find a blues format in there,” she added with a laugh.

“So it took me a little while to really put it all together,” she said, adding she counts legends like Etta James, Koko Taylor and Big Mama Thornton as influential in her own musical journey.

“The ladies with the big voices! They were just laying it all out on the line.

“There are also up-and-comers out of the U.S. that are pretty amazing – Annika Chambers is winning awards all over the place – these ladies just throw it down and have a ‘take no prisoners’ kind of attitude. It’s all really inspiring.”

As to the coming Lacombe show, Wells explained that the band mixes it up with both originals and covers of the classics, too.

As for the genre itself, Wells points to its constant ability to touch audiences as being fundamental to what keeps it so compelling to her personally.

“I think it’s that ability to really express emotions and to make people feel something,” she said. “It’s also that connection to audiences that really draws me in, and I know that the whole band would say the same thing. When we are all jiving, you feel it right down to your toes,” she added.

“Our band is also just like family – it’s just downright fun.”

Next up in the Music in the Park series is Squidjigger on Aug. 17.