Front Porch Roots Revue (photo submitted).

Front Porch Roots Revue draws inspiration from four decades of music

Edmonton group performs on May 13 in Red Deer

Fans will be treated to some “powerful” music with meaning when Front Porch Roots Revue performs next week in Red Deer.

The Edmonton-based group — made up of Gord Matthews, Ron Rault, Thom Moon and David “Crawdad” Cantera — has performed a variety of shows across Western Canada — with many centring on the seminal music of the 1950s-1970s.

Although the group has many original tunes in its repertoire — including from the group’s latest album, Sugar Cube — the musicians have also toured Alberta performing the music of Levon Helm and The Band, including songs from The Last Waltz.

Front Porch Roots Revue musicians have done other ‘theme’ shows, as well, focusing on influential songs from the early country-rock era — including tunes by Waylon Jennings, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Buffalo Springfield.

This time around, the four musicians will perform a sampling from all of the above when they play on Saturday, May 13, at the Elk’s Lodge.

“We’ll be incorporating music… encompassing four decades, said the group’s bassist/vocalist Ron Rault.

Fans will hear everything from Get Rhythm (Johnny Cash), to Hot Rod Lincoln (Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen), to Up on Cripple Creek (The Band), as well as original Revue tunes such as Eye of the Hurricane.

That the four musicians still gravitate towards ’60s and ’70s music is no surprise, since the era was formative for them. But it goes beyond nostalgia for Rault.

“There’s so much seminal material from the era,” he said. “It’s this great cannon of music… (and) it still speaks to me, powerfully, because of how much is being said in these songs” — from the mysticism of The Weight to the world-weariness of The Shape I’m In (both by The Band).

He believes music from this era continues to resonate with younger generations who can relate to its honesty and lyrical themes about “larger issues” in the human experience.

Edmonton-born bassist (and older brother to CKUA host Lionel Rault) admitted he was as much of a “searcher” as many ’60s kids. “I was a gypsy, hippy, itinerant musician, who was looking for the truth, wherever it took me. I travelled all over North America before having a family made it harder to work from gig to gig…”

His children are now grown and his youngest daughter is into music — but she’s taken up the cello and performs with classical orchestras.

“When I ask her if she’ll play with me, she says, ‘I don’t play rock ‘n’ roll, Dad!’” he recalled, with a wry chuckle. “I thought… was it something I said?”

Rault and the other musicians say they are “thrilled” to be returning to play for Red Deer music lovers, who have been loyal to the band over the years.

For more information, or tickets to the show, please visit centralmusicfest.com.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

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