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Weyburn Concert Series to host Jake Vaadeland and Sturgeon River Boys

Jake Vaadeland kicked off his ‘Retro Man’ Tour with 23 dates in Canada, including a stop for the Weyburn Concert Series on Monday, April 22.

WEYBURN – Hailing from Cut Knife, Saskatchewan, 20-year-old Jake Vaadeland kicked off his ‘Retro Man’ Tour with 23 dates in Canada and the United Kingdom this spring, including a stop for the Weyburn Concert Series on Monday, April 22.

This follows a well-received 14-date run through the USA as support for The Dead South, as well as being selected to perform at the Great Escape Festival in Brighton, UK this May.

The tour stop in Weyburn will include the Sturgeon River Boys, playing banjo, standup bass and electric guitar to back Vaadeland up.

Telling his story of how he is largely self-taught on guitar and banjo, Vaadeland noted he grew up in a very musical family.

“There was an old country church, and everybody would get out their guitar and banjo and fiddle, lots of people would show up and everybody would start to play, so I grew up with a lot of that music,” he said.

His parents tell him that when he was three or four years old, he sang a lot of Johnny Cash tunes.

His mother tried to get him to take piano lessons, but he had a problem with trying to learn an instrument from someone else. In high school, Vaadeland started playing the banjo, and he would listen to players like Earl Scruggs to pick up the style of picking, and he would try to emulate that.

“When I figured it out, I could play my version of a song,” he said, adding he later added the guitar to his repertoire, and instead of a flat pick, he would use the multi-finger picks from banjo-playing as he developed his own guitar style.

Vaadeland also started writing his own songs as he finished up high school, and with the backup of the Sturgeon River Boys, they like to style their shows after the Grand Ole Opry.

“We like to put on the best show we can every single time,” he said, noting they recruited one of the best banjo players in Western Canada for their group, Jackson Lalonde, and Jake sticks to the guitar. Steve Williams plays the large upright bass, and Joe Rose plays the electric guitar.

“We want everyone to leave with a smile on their face,” he said, noting he is at heart a bluegrass player, although he acknowledges some of his tunes have a flavour of rockabilly as well.

Vaadeland just received news recently that he was the top nominee for Sask. Country Music awards, with six nominations. He admits it’s nice to hear about these accolades, but said he doesn’t often pay a lot of attention to those, even though he is a winner of a number of awards in recent years, as he’s more interested in going out and playing his music.

The tour celebrates the release of his upcoming album Retro Man – More & More set for release on April 26, 2024. The latest single from the project Until the Day I See You Dear, was released to Canadian Country radio on April 2.

Vaadeland explained, “We’ve put together this record especially for my fans, and we’ve got a little something for everyone. We’re releasing new music, along with a few of my personal favourites, and our most requested songs. It’s wonderful to be able to share it, and I sure do hope everyone hears a little something in the album that they enjoy just a little bit.’’