Three west-coast musical storytellers graced The Brickhouse with their songs of youth, travel and adventure on February 10.
Ryan Schepens (guitar and vocals), Brian Bailey (mandolin and bass), and Andy Cotter (vocals, guitar and bass) make up the Canmore and Banff band, Elk Run and Riot.
In the middle of their winter tour, the west-coast alternative folk-rock group stopped in Fernie, which was on their list of ski-town tour destinations.
Cotter and Bailey have known each other since their youth in New Brunswick, and both met up with Schepens eight years ago. Four years ago, the trio officially launched as a band. Two other members, Marc and Bojan could not make this tour.
Releasing their second album a year and a half ago, self-titled “Elk Run and Riot”, the group is still finding new places to show of their music.
The name, Elk Run and Riot came as a combination of two things. First, the group’s jam space studio in Canmore is set on Elk Run Boulevard. Second, the group was inspired by the annual tourist traffic in town.
“We had this cool idea of the Elk in Banff rising up and riding against the people in the summertime,” said Schepens. “You always get the tourists there that are trying to feed them all the time, pet them and ride them.”
The groups’ lyrical background rests around their journey’s in coming out west, and trying to find their place in the world. Songs focus on some of the hardships that come along with moving away for the first time; living large, trying to have it all, as well as the highs and lows that go along with this lifestyle of no relationships, and regular parties.
Having spent two seasons in Banff, the group also writes about their adventures, as well as about friends who have come and gone in the past, and the memories associated with these individuals.
For Bailey, music is a chore he enjoys doing. Originally, music was a passion. When he decided to turn it into something which could make him money, it became a chore. Now that life has granted him stability in what he does, music has returned to the point of being carefree, with the aspect of profit attached.
Music has always been in Schepens life, and he was introduced to it by his mother who was a vocal teacher.
“It was always something that we had as a family growing up,” said Schepens. “We never had a lot of money, but we always had music. As I got older, it kind of stuck with me, and I just never live my life without it.”
The furthest away from home music has taken Elk Run and Riot was that same weekend, when the group traveled to Revelstoke, Kelowna and finally, Mount Baldy in Oliver, B.C.