Looking to slip on those cowboy boots and do a little two-stepping this weekend?
There’s plenty scheduled to satisfy the most diverse of crowds throughout the weekend at a variety of venues, whether you’re looking to pack a lawn chair and settle down for some tunes, or kick up your heels for a night of dancing.
Let R Buck Saloon
Friday, June 29 to Sunday, July 1
Following the evening performances of the rodeo, the action begins at the Let R Buck Saloon. Beginning around 9 p.m. each evening, admission is $5. Don’t forget your ID as only those 19+ will be allowed through the Let R Buck gates.
Before the main acts, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evening, local favourites One in the Chamber will warm up the Sandtronic stage.
Following the local boys at 9 p.m. will be Karen Lee Batten and Ben Klick.
Batten, a BC Country Music Awards sensation from Vancouver B.C., just returned home from Muscle Shoals Alabama where she completed her fourth independent record. Recorded entirely in Muscle Shoals, in the landmark Fame Studios that is known for shaping the history of popular music, “Under the Covers” is poised to be her most acclaimed album yet.
“Under the Covers,” features some of the Shoal’s original studio musicians and recorded songs only originating in the place itself. The project is itself unique and innovative, situated in the history and the pulse of the place, which once saw musicians such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Bob Dylan and Lynyrd Skynyrd pass through its doors. Founder Rick Hall even stopped by to check out Batten’s talent and tribute to the place itself.
Outside of Muscle Shoals, Batten has won five BC Country Music Awards for Female Vocalist of the year, the 2014 winner of the Provincial CCMA/BCCMA Spotlight competition, and the 2014 Entertainer of the Year at the East Texas International Country Music Awards.
In 2003, Batten finished in the top 10 in Canadian Idol and released her first album “Every Moment” in 2006. Her previous album, “Cause a Scene” was released in June of 2014 and hit #1 in Canadian album sales and #40 on Billboard Soundscan in the first month.
Ben Klick is coming off of an outstanding 2017 year, where he played at multiple major festivals and events. He was a nominated five times at the British Columbia Country Music Awards, winning Country Club Act of the Year, with nods for Fans’ Choice, Male vocalist of the Year, SOCAN Songwriter of the Year and more.
His “What’s Going On 2017 Tour” saw him take in the Rockin’ River Music Fest, Dunfest and the Calgary Stampede. He’s also opened for country music icon Tanya Tucker, and has shared bills with Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, Chase Bryant, Tim Hicks and Brett Kissel.
Klick has earned five North American Country Music Association Awards, two British Columbia Country Music Awards, a Performing Arts Award, Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and was a Top 7 Canada’s Walk of Fame Emerging Artist.
Klick has well-earned his reputation as a songwriter, vocalist, multi-instrumental musician and a virtuoso guitar player that fuses traditional sounds with a modern country twist.
Four Directions Festival
Saturday, June 30 from 12 to 4 p.m.
Following the parade on Saturday afternoon, bring out a lawn chair and sit yourself in the Sizzle and Chill Zone at the corner of Oliver and Third Avenue for some Main Stage entertainment.
While the Gadzukes ukulele group will be meandering through the streets as wandering minstrels, the Main Stage entertainment will kick off at 12 p.m. with Blackberry Wood.
The self-described “wild crazy barn dance in the back of the carnival” group is sure to bring the party to the streets of Williams Lake, as you won’t want to miss their circus-style, high energy music.
Blackberry Wood will play two sets, from 12 to 12:45 p.m. and from 1 to 1:45 p.m.
They’ll be followed by Prairie Joe at 2 p.m. Prairie Joe is a country gospel band of four brothers (and a brother-in-law) out of southern Manitoba. Their compelling country music is fun to watch and the upbeat rhythms will keep your toes tapping.
The group is a hit at Cowboy Church services, as well as fundraisers, seniors’ dinners, music in the park and, of course, street festivals. If you miss them at the Four Directions Festival, you’ll also be able to catch them at the Cowboy Church on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. at the Stampede Grandstand.
Wrapping up the Main Stage music will be The Alkemist, set to play at 3 p.m. Based “somewhere in the hidden forests of Northern B.C.” The Alkemist is a one man band who combines instruments like guitar, banjo, fiddle, and drone flute (not to mention a kick drum, crash cymbal and a bone rattle boot) with dark and enchanting soundscapes to create fist pumpin’ boot-stomping dance music.
Potato House Garden Party
Saturday, June 30 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Hoping to keep the party going after the Four Directions Festival? Head on over to the Garden Party at the Potato House. Admission is free, the vibe is family friendly, but alcohol will be served and food trucks will be on hand.
Starting off the evening is Chadley, hailing from P.E.I. who has played at the Potato House on more than one occasion. A solo performer, his main goal is to get good enough to entertain people around the campfire with his acoustic guitar and the a new instrument called the merlin.
Local talent Al Giddens, Ray Chadwick and friends will follow Chadley. The two are known for performances at CJ’s Southwestern Grill and often combined skills with other performing acts in town.
Headlining the event will be The Party on High Street.
The funk trio combines funk, folk and jazz and are fueled by rock and roll. On their 10-year celebration tour, their feel-good jams will draw you out to dance and combine their psychedelic music making with campfire and music fest vibes.
Legion Steak Nights
Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30 from 5 p.m. on
If you are hoping for some food to go with your music, the Williams Lake Legion Branch is serving steak dinner ($18 a plate) with all the trimmings from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and will follow up the food with music by local talent Perfect Match.
LeRae Haynes and Cindy Lightfoot lead the Cariboo Chilcotin band who play favourites and versatile dance music set to delight a crowd who want to spin and whirl around the dance floor.