For the local group Wild Honey, the opportunity to play at this year’s Wapiti Music Festival is a compliment and an honour. The group, made up of Shelby Cain, Laura Cain and Jessica Niedermayer, has been playing together for just over three years, and Wapiti will be their biggest show to date.
“They are expecting 2,500 people this year so this will be our biggest show. Before that, we played at the Vogue Theatre last year in Vancouver and that was 1,200 people,” said Shelby Cain.
The local girls are kicking off the performances for the festival, taking the stage at 7 p.m. on the Friday evening. While they are aware they have a softer, more relaxed sound, they are certain they will be able to fill the stage.
“We are not a big sound so I think that will be different for us from that point of view with the outdoors. I’m confident in the Wapiti Sound guys,” said Niedermayer.
According to Wild Honey, their music is more lyrically driven, with most of the lyrics being penned by Shelby Cain. Shelby has other creative writing projects and just released her first book last month, titled Mountain Girl.
“I think our lyrics can really touch people and that is amazing to see,” said Niedermayer.
“Shelby does most of our writing. She brings this mold of clay to us and then we all arrange and add,” continued Laura.
The group describes their music style as “roots music” mostly because the genre is broad enough to encapsulate all the sounds they cover.
“It’s funny because when we were originally thinking we would be kind of country-ish and then we were like no we are not country and then we were going to be folk but we are not really folk so we say roots,” said Shelby. “We actually asked Jess’s dad, he said, call yourself roots because nobody really knows what that is.”
All of the women in Wild Honey are relatively new to music, and started playing later in life, after all had other life experiences.
“The music world was new for all of us. We all came at it without a ton of experience. I think Jess grew up with it around her but wasn’t in it herself. Shelby has been playing guitar for a while but more campfire guitar. I’ve played violin but I have been only four years on the violin so it is a learning curve for all of us,” said Laura.
One element to the group is the strong connection, showcasing friendship and sisterhood through their music. Between the three of them, they have a collection of eight daughters, all under the age of 11. They have planned for all of their girls to join them on stage during their last song at Wapiti.
“I just recently wrote a song, called ‘Blood Harmony’. It’s about sisters and relationships. Our girls are like sisters, they hang out so much. Laura is married to my brother and Jess is married to my friend that I grew up with that I’ve known my whole life,” said Shelby. “For our last song at Wapiti, we are going to bring all the girls up on stage and sort of sing it to them because they have been amazing.”
For Shelby, Laura and Jess, their biggest goal at Wapiti is simple: to have fun on stage and give a good performance.
“That is our big goal for Wapiti, to go up there and have fun and enjoy it,” said Niedermayer.
“There are a million bands that they [Wapiti] could have asked and the fact that they asked us is such an honour. We are blown away,” added Shelby. “We are just going to go up there and sing our hearts out and have a great time.”