Merging classic country, catchy 1950s rockabilly and slick modern Nashville sounds, the Boom Chucka Boys are gearing up for the their set at the Central Music Festival.
The band plays Aug. 12 at 8:30 p.m. Influences for the guys run the gamut from legends like Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard to Chuck Berry.
The band was essentially the brainchild of lead singer Ryan Langlois.
“He’s always had this dream and vision for this kind of a band,” explains veteran drummer Dave Grobe. Rounding out the group are Joel Rathjen and Teddy Roy Michaylow. “He’s also a unique character that might say he was born 40 years too late,” he adds with a laugh.
Grobe was called a couple of years back to see if he could help out at various gigs, but he was already a member of local Celtic rock band St. James’ Gate. But as time went on, he found himself increasingly drawn to the classic musical style of the Boom Chucka Boys.
He juggled playing for both bands for a bit before officially joining the Boom Chucka Boys just over a year ago, and “It’s been one cool thing after another.”
Grobe, who is also a worship leader at CrossRoads Church and has an extensive and diverse musical background all his own, also points out that the rockabilly/country sensibilities of what the Boom Chucka Boys better suit him as a drummer.
“I’m a meat and potatoes kind of drummer, so I like to keep it simple,” he explains. “It’s nothing fancy, so it’s great when you let the guitar player ‘paint the picture’, so to speak.”
Rockabilly with its nostalgic 1950s flair is very popular in the southern U.S. and as Grobe says, it’s continually gaining ground in Canada.
“It’s not only about the sound but also about the look, and taking audiences back in time.”
Meanwhile, excitement is building for the Central Music Festival which is described as a family-friendly event showcasing a top-notch array of musical artistry.
Genres run the gamut from rock to blues to country to inspirational, with acts including the Steve Arsenault Band and Charlie Jacobson on Friday evening; Don Swift, The Odds, the Amy Bishop Trio and Jonas & the Massive Attraction on Saturday and an inspirational workshop with The Larsgaard Family Bluegrass Band and Friends on Sunday.
Other Sunday performers include Micah Turchet and Back Porch Swing. Wrapping things up on Sunday afternoon is a songwriters’ circle/acoustic jam at 3:15 p.m.
Several other artists are set to perform as well throughout the event, which also includes a shuttle service running back and forth from the Red Deer Lodge through the weekend.
Meanwhile, there are opportunities for sponsorship involvement and for plenty of volunteer help as well. Anyone interested can check out www.centralmusicfest.com for more details. Weekend passes, including the newly introduced family passes, are available for purchase at the web site as well.
As for the Boom Chucka Boys, the future indeed looks bright as interest in what they have to offer is taking off.
“I enjoy the creative process, and it’s fun to work together and write – we are really committed to our original music,” observes Grobe. “Then you put it out there to audiences and see how they respond to it.”