A trio of Mid-Island musicians is building a powerful and diverse array of original musical “tales” that the world can groove to.
The Kerri Tales—made up of vocalist Kerri Shannon and guitarist Jim Kraneveldt of Port Alberni, and Nanaimo’s Graham White on keyboard—released their first single, “Thistle Girl,” on Nov. 1.
The three bandmates met a few years ago while performing in Pink Floyd tribute band Time, as well as My Generation—a tribute to the muscians of Woodstock. Shannon also had a starring role in ‘A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline’ with the Portal Players in the spring of 2015, where she played the role of Patsy Cline.
“It was around a year and a half ago that we started throwing around some original song ideas,” said White. “We really fired it back up around six months ago.”
The music video for “Thistle Girl” was filmed on Shannon’s family’s property in Beaver Creek by Imaginationfx, a company owned by Kraneveldt. In the video, Shannon wanders through a sunny field, singing, blowing bubbles and posing.
“They basically threw me out in the middle of a field,” Shannon laughed. “It all went very smoothly. It was lots of fun.”
White says the release of the video also launched the band’s social media platform.
“It was basically us saying, ‘Hey, we’re here!'” Shannon added.
The song itself is inspired a bit by the “Ugly Duckling” tale, said Shannon. “It’s about coming out of your shell and emerging into yourself,” she said.
“The lyrics have some metaphor about being a thistle and becoming a flower,” added White.
All three band members co-write their songs. The trio has already begun working on a music video for their next single, “Find my Soul,” and they are hoping to release a new single every month or two. They are also planning two album release shows in early 2020, most likely in Port Alberni and Nanaimo, although dates are still to be determined.
“We want to build up a following on the Mid-Island,” said White.
“Being from Port, I’ve had a really amazing following since [Patsy Cline],” said Shannon. “Port’s always so good for coming out to the shows and following along.”
Shannon has never had any kind of formal vocal training, although she started singing at Alberni District Secondary School under the direction of Sarah Falls.
“[Shannon] just grabs an audience,” White explained.
“Stevie Nicks is my all-time inspiration,” said Shannon. “She’s my goddess.”
Shannon is also inspired by the vocals of Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders and, of course, Patsy Cline. “You pull from the different artists that you love,” she added.
The band members describe themselves as an indie pop/rock band from the land of trees and lakes.
“We’re somewhere definitely in a pop-rock genre,” said White. “Some of the songs are outright ballads, some of them have a folk-country feel.
“We won’t be afraid to do something funky or jazzy. Pop is sort of a general genre—we don’t want to be too pigeonholed.”
As for their band name “The Kerri Tales”—that was Kranevdelt’s idea. It’s a play on words that features Shannon’s first name.
“I like fairy tales,” Shannon laughed. “I wanted to be Madonna, but nobody can be Madonna.”