Country Smokes will be taking the stage at Stoke Fest on April 6. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Country Smokes to make Fernie Stoke Fest debut

According to Fernie musician Morgan Pulsifer, there are two kinds of cigarettes; city smokes and country smokes.

The city smokes are smoother and taste better. Country smokes are grittier and not so pretty around the edges.

While writing music on a property in the country, Pulsifer would smoke Canadian Classic Blue Regulars, a cigarette he classifies as a ‘country smoke’.

When it came time to choose a band name, Country Smokes sounded just right.

Pulsifer no longer smokes but the name stuck. The punk rock band will be playing at Fernie Stoke Fest for the first time this year, showcasing music from their upcoming album, Canadian Blue Regular.

“I got so pumped when Shred Kelly extended the invite,” said Pulsifer. “It was a no brainer – to have the opportunity to play in front of that many people… I don’t think it happens to a lot of bands that are in their infancy stage, like us.”

After a stint away from his hometown, Pulsifer found himself back in Fernie. Now living next door to his childhood home, he is steps away from where he first fell in love with music.

Pulsifer started as a percussionist and eventually transitioned into a guitarist.

When he’s not managing local skate shop, Commit Snow and Skate, or representing taxpayers as a Fernie Councillor, Pulsifer can be found snowboarding or jamming with his bandmates.

Country Smokes have been rocking since 2016, playing local shows in their country-western attire. Together, Pulsifer, bassist and vocalist Alanna Laurin, and drummer Alan Weir, perform music they describe as old classic country, modified and modernized alongside punk rock.

Pulsifer and Laurin are original members, while Weir joined the band in September 2017.

With background in piano and classical training, Pulsifer credited Weir as a unique and extremely important part of the band.

“The band is Alan. The band will cease to exist as soon as Alan can’t drum for us anymore,” said Pulsifer. “The dude looks like an absolute tornado on stage. If you take a photo of him… you can’t catch him, he’s so fast.”

For Pulsifer, the realization that Country Smokes were on the map came last fall when they were asked to open for rock duo The Pack A.D. at The Northern Bar and Stage.

Previously playing with Shred Kelly and now having the opportunity to perform at Stoke Fest, Pulsifer said the band is excited for what is to come.

The group is currently pursuing grant opportunities to record and release their first album, which Pulsifer envisions will be called Canadian Blue Regular.

“We haven’t recorded anything yet. We have a full album and then some ready, so we’ll be able to tour on that. We just need to get into the studio,” he said.

Country Smokes hope to enter a record studio this summer. Recording should be fairly simple, explained Pulsifer, as the entire group and their gear can fit into a Honda Fit.

“We could take the whole band on the road in a Honda Fit. Probably, maybe a little trailer. And I have a Honda Fit already, so we’re halfway there,” said Pulsifer.

Country Smokes takes the stage at Stoke Fest on April 6 at 9:45 p.m.

For more information, visit Ferniestokefest.com/schedule.

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