“It costs almost the same or even less to travel from Whitehorse to Germany than to Eastern Canada and there are so many more people,” Barr says. “I needed an opportunity like this to play outside of Canada. I know how to tour Canada, but Europe and the States seems so foreign to me. It’s nice to have a foot in the door.” While the singer/songwriter/guitarist’s soulful folk tunes composing the melodies of his stage name, Old Cabin, has been backed by a wide array of band members in the past (more recently Jordy Walker and Micah Smith), for this European excursion, Tentrees and Hamilton will be playing with Barr onstage.
The last time Barr, Hamilton and Tentrees played together was four years ago at Pop Montreal.
While their musical plate might be full, Hamilton, who plays drums and bass synthesizer for Soda Pony, says that backing Old Cabin isn’t too much of a concern.
“I’ve known Jona longer than Aidan,” Hamilton laughs. “When you know someone and you’ve gone through the stages of puberty together, you don’t feel pressure from them.”
For Soda Pony, who has been collaborating together for four short years (they just released their first full-length album, Sophomore in June 2017), the festival will offer them the opportunity to showcase their most entertaining music to festival goers.
“You don’t get too long, so we have to pack the most fun and excitement we can into about 35 minutes,” Hamilton says.
The most exciting part about the festival for these seasoned young musicians?
Firstly, the music and secondly, the food.
“There’ll be over 400 bands from all over the world,” Barr says. “I’m excited to catch as many bands as possible, check out Hamburg, eat some different foods and take lots of pictures. Maybe I’ll invest in a selfie stick.”
“I’m excited to see Portugal. And The Man – an incredible psych rock band from Alaska. I can’t believe they’re playing at the festival,” Hamilton says. “And to just go to Europe really, to eat some nice cold cuts and meats.”
Before they set sail in late September, Old Cabin and Soda Pony will be gracing Yukon audiences with a kick off show, happening at the Elks Lodge in Whitehorse on September 9th. The all ages show is sponsored by Music Yukon and will feature the recently formed youth band Clairvoyant Felicities.
Tickets are available at the door, but Barr says if you can’t afford the ticket cost, get ahold of him and you can help volunteer.
“I want to say thanks to Music Yukon and our funders who will be helping us, and to Gordie Tentrees and Declan O’Donovan for their guidance,” Barr says. “It takes a lot of people to make these things happen and the community has been so supportive over all these years. It’s awesome.”
“We’re so grateful. Our Yukon audience makes us feel so beloved and special when we do shows in the Yukon and the amount of confidence that gives us is huge,” he says.
“I have optimism that we’ll be able to make a little wave over in Germany and get some recognition for more Yukon musicians and artists,” says Barr.