Yukon musician Gordie Tentrees has come a long way from his first music gig.
It was 2002, and the venue was Steve’s Music Store in Whitehorse.
“We just wanted to have some fun,” recalls Tentrees, when speaking about his inaugural show at the tiny music shop.
Steve’s Music Store has since closed; however, Tentrees’ passion for writing and playing has only grown, and along the way the former school teacher has built quite the impressive music résumé.
It includes multiple European and North American tours, a 2010 Western Canadian Music Award nominee for Roots Solo Album and three albums to date, with plans for a fourth recording to begin after Christmas.
“I really can’t believe the things I’ve got to do through my music,” says the modest Tentrees. “I feel quite blessed and I still can’t get over seeing people coming out and paying to hear my music and listen to my songs.”
For Tentrees, who has been compared to the likes of Fred Eaglesmith and a younger John Prine, being an ambassador for the Yukon is one of the biggest highlights of his music success.
“I get to share the Yukon story and tell people of the immense talent we have in the North and the world-class music being produced here,” said Tentrees. “I’m always quick to talk abut the incredible support Yukon musicians have up here.”
Now Tentrees is back in the Yukon, hiding out, as he calls it, in a cabin in the woods as he prepares for a two-week northern tour of Alaska and the Yukon.
Joining Tentrees on this most recent tour will be regular bandmate Ken Hermanson and longtime Yukon musician and record producer Bob Hamilton.
And thanks to Gordie’s ambassador ways, Sarah MacDougall, a rising singer/songwriter from Vancouver who met Tentrees this summer at the Cottonwood Music Festival in Fort St. James, will also be on the bill.
Lured by Tentrees’ stories of the Yukon’s beauty and immense music talent, MacDougall calls it an easy decision to come to the territory for the first time.
“I’ve always wanted to come north, and after Gordie and I hit it off this summer, it made sense,” says MacDougall.
Like Tentrees, MacDougall’s musical abilities have allowed her to fill her passport.
In three years of making music professionally she has gone on multiple tours of Canada, the U.K. and Scandinavia, where she’s played everything from coffee shops to large theatres.
And now MacDougall is excited to bring her alt country/folk stylings to the North and to experience firsthand some of the stories Tentrees was so passionate to share, something MacDougall says she is already embracing.
“I love it up here, as the community is so vibrant and supportive, and that’s very refreshing.”
YUKON & ALASKA CONCERT DATES
Sept. 23 AB Hall Concert Series, Skagway, AK
Sept. 24/25 Gold Pan Saloon, Whitehorse, YT
Sept. 26 Odd Fellows Hall-KIAC, Dawson City, YT
Sept. 27 Fairview Inn, Talkeetna, AK
Sept. 28 College Coffeehouse, Fairbanks, AK
Sept. 29 Vagabond Blues, Palmer, AK
Sept. 30 Tap Root Cafe, Anchorage, AK
Oct. 1 Tap Root Cafe, Anchorage, AK w/Evan Phillips
Oct. 2 Downeast Saloon, Homer, AK
Oct. 3 Acoustic Accents Concert, Tok, AK
Oct. 4 Old Fire Hall-YAC/Frostbite Society, Whitehorse, YT w/ Dave Haddock, Andrea Burgoyne