Issue: 2017-04-19, PHOTO: Credit: Brett Elliot
Four members of the Ukes of Hazard, ready to take the stage. Zacharie Pelland, left, Patrick Docherty, Paris Vagabond Gipsy and Aiden Tentrees
“I don’t mind the snow/cause you make me warm/I don’t mind the dark in this romantic cold”
– “Here in the Cold” by the The Ukes of Hazard, from their 2015 album Mine to Creep
After hitchhiking her way all over Canada as a young, eclectic musician searching for a place to call home, Paris Pick settled in Whitehorse in 2013. In such a vibrant and lively music community, it didn’t take long for her to find musicians who complimented her unique style, and, led by her pirate persona, “Paris Vagabond Gypsy,” the Ukes of Hazard were born.
Knowing they had something special – a chemistry that fused together their varied musical styles into a new sound that was wholly their own – the band released their demo album, followed by their first LP, Mine to Creep in 2015.
Fast forward two years, and Ukes of Hazard are still a Whitehorse treasure. Lead by Paris Pick’s melodic voice as she plays the electric ukelele, the band has grown and changed a bit over the years. With Aiden Tentrees on stand-up bass and vocals, Zacharie Pelland on electric guitar, Cain Rogan on saxophone and keyboard, and Patrick Docherty on drums and percussion, they’ve found a sound all their own.
“I write all my own originals,” Pick says. “My inspiration comes from my surroundings – Yukon wildlife and the people around me. I'd say my rhythm on the ukulele is very upbeat and sometimes very Latin feeling.
“The guys build around my songs. Aiden and Patrick's rhythm section is very swing/jazz, while other times totally funky. Cain’s melodic saxophone parts and Zacharie’s outrageous guitar playing really just kicks things up to more of a pop-rock feel. Great chemistry these days.”
They are finding an audience in Whitehorse.
The band of young musicians has been getting bookings all over town. “We’ve got 26 gigs booked within the month. Very little downtime. Good thing the five of us all drive!”
Pick’s stage name is part of her personality as an artist.
“Alter egos tend to happen for us musicians. Paris Vagabond Gypsy is mine, the outrageous pirate I am on stage is definitely not who I am when I'm doing my part time work such as waitressing, cooking or (working as a) barista.”
That may change one day in the not too distant future, as the Ukes of Hazard gain more prestige and find themselves taking risks and realizing new potential.
Pick says she is proud of what they have accomplished this year.
“I was feeling very ambitious this year to apply for some things people said I potentially may not get due to me still being pretty fresh in the music scene here. I'd say getting accepted into three major festivals after 5 years of performing is our biggest accomplishment this year.”
After winning first place in the BYTE Empowering Youth’s Battle of the Bands in February, the Ukes of Hazard will be embarking on their first out-of-territory tour this June, performing at 13 different venues across B.C and 2 venues in Edmonton during their 23 day tour.
“I'm very excited for our tour to British Columbia,” Pick says. “My five-piece band has never been on tour before. Most bands leaving the Yukon are single acts, duos or even trios. But I'm doing what it takes to take these four talented young musicians along with me on the road!”
When they return, they will be performing at the Atlin Music Festival taking place July 7-9 before heading to the Dawson City Music Festival from July 21-23.
Before their B.C tour, the band hopes to record a new EP. They also have plans for a Montreal tour in 2018.
The Ukes of Hazard will be performing at Jarvis Street Saloon for their 80’s Night Tight and Bright Party on Friday, May 26 at 10 p.m. There will be a photo booth available to capture your take on 80’s couture, so be sure to dress for the occasion.
To keep up with the Ukes of Hazard, follow them on Facebook or check out their website at www.UkesofHazardMusic.com.