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Squidjigger performs Aug. 16 as part of ‘Music in the Park’ series

Known for their extensive range of lively Celtic-toned fiddle tunes, Squidjigger performs Aug. 16 as part of the ‘Music in the Park’ Series.
Known for their extensive range of lively Celtic-toned fiddle tunes, Squidjigger performs Aug. 16 as part of the ‘Music in the Park’ Series. Express file photo

Known for their extensive range of lively Celtic-toned fiddle tunes, Squidjigger performs Aug. 16 as part of the ‘Music in the Park’ Series.

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

Squidjigger consists of Dave Wood, Jesse Corbell, and Peter Feldstein - three gifted guys who have been making music together for about 20 years now.

They have ‘day jobs’ but their passion for music shines through via their energetic performances.

Of course, the last few years have been tough when pandemic restrictions got in the way of a musician’s normal routine, so the men are enjoying the uptick in shows and a renewed sense of creativity that comes with that.

“It’s been great for us to get back into a groove,” said Feldstein.

“We are working on building up our repertoire again and getting ourselves up to a more stable spot. But from last year versus right now, I feel like we are right back on it.”

Corbell agreed, reflecting on how it felt to reconnect with audiences.

“It was nice to be back in action, because for a couple of years, it felt like, are we going to be able to get back into this? Will things return to the norm that we are used to? So it’s nice to fly and do these gigs again.”

The band launched in 2004 at a St. Patrick’s Day gig and has pretty much been a fixture on Montreal’s Irish pub scene ever since.

They released the superbly-crafted Seven-Year Itch back in 2010.

As to first meeting up, Corbell and Feldstein were roommates at the time, and they were stage managing a production of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Wood was one of the singers in the production as well. So that’s how they met him – and they started talking about forming a band.

These days, Feldstein, notes that summer is actually a quieter time for the band.

“So our swing out west is like a dividing line between summer and the busy (autumn) season.”

With that in mind, the guys are really looking forward to landing on the Music in the Park stage - this will mark their third show in the summer series.

“It’s a great stage to play. You get a group of people out there that fills the park, and they are always just super attentive and engaged. It’s just a really enjoyable performance,” said Feldstein.

“I’ve been looking forward to this for awhile - it’s a show that we love to do for everyone.”

Corbell agreed. “It’s just lovely every time we play there.”

In the meantime, the guys are having a blast performing, and much of that boils down to the joys of connecting with an audience.

“For me, it’s about being onstage and enjoying that moment,” explained Corbell. “I can walk into a gig in a bad mood, and maybe about halfway through the night, I start to really enjoy what is happening,” he added. “When there is a gig that is really kicking, that is what I had imagined being a musician was really all about. And it’s what it has always been about.”

Wood agreed, adding that he’s also been doing some solo gigs of late, too.

“Part of the fun for us is being together. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we have a good time. There is something a little therapeutic about it - to be playing music.”

For Feldstein, the music never fails to spark those creative vibes.

“Dave and Jesse are really good friends of mine, and we’ve been doing this for such a long time - it’s just a very comfortable place to play,” he said. “We can also experiment, and do different things.

“Often, I know what David is going to do before he even does it, even if he’s never done it before because I can sense the way that things are going. So you get that double high of playing music with good friends and also connecting with an audience. It’s something that you just can’t do otherwise than in a scene like this.

“It really satisfies a different side of my life,” he said.

Next up in the ‘Music in the Park’ series is Kayla Williams & the Yacht Daddies on Aug. 23.

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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