It’s all about the song as local artists tour Alberta, B.C.

Music for every taste is in the offing when roots-rocker Levi Cuss joins forces with poetic singer Curtis Phagoo, edgy artist Kimberley MacGregor and “golden voiced” folkie John Guliak.

Music for every taste is in the offing when roots-rocker Levi Cuss joins forces with poetic singer Curtis Phagoo, edgy artist Kimberley MacGregor and “golden voiced” folkie John Guliak.

Red Deer artists Phagoo and Cuss will perform in the city with Edmonton’s MacGregor and Guliak twice on Aug. 3. There will be a free 4 p.m. show on the Ross Street Patio, as well as a songwriter’s circle the same evening at the International Beer Haus in Red Deer at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door.

The four tunesmiths will take turns showcasing their works, so “it will be 100 per cent about the song,” said Phagoo, who spearheaded an earlier tour that was so successful the artists wanted to do it again.

This time out, the singer-songwriters will perform 20 shows in 18 days from Victoria to Calgary, with stops across Vancouver Island, the Okanagan, Rockies and Alberta Badlands.

Listeners will be hearing music from all sides of the spectrum. Cuss, who performs “aggressive” foot-stompin’s roots-rock tunes, believes his own sounds are nicely counterbalanced by Guliak’s folk songs, as well as the introspective music made by Phagoo, whom he’s long known from the local bar circuit.

Phagoo plays in many local musical incarnations, including as a back-up musician for other artists. His own songwriting is reflective, emotional and poetic. “I would say it’s almost more pop-y” said the 34-year-old.

Cuss, 41, met Guliak while completing a music residency at the Banff Centre. Guliak, in his 50s, is the oldest of the four. Cuss describes him as a fellow alpha male, and “the guy with the golden voice,” whose rich baritone delivers alt-pop/folk tunes with roots influences.

When the three men talked about touring together, they wanted to add a female perspective, so Guliak brought MacGregor on board. As youngest of the group, MacGregor is described as being a powerhouse vocalist, who sings with passion and edgy soul.

“The dynamic between the four of us is such a beautiful thing,” concluded Cuss.

The singer/songwriters are each given space to deliver their own original material with some musical backing or harmonies from the others to help fill in the sound.

“If you don’t like one kind of music, you’ll soon be hearing another,” promised Cuss. “Whatever happens we’ll be landing on somebody’s favourite.”

Phagoo calls songwriters circles “the truest expression of what I do. It’s just me and my guitar, with the support of fellow musicians on stage.”

The in-the-round format “allows you to showcase your best material” for a discerning, listening public, Phagoo added. “People will actually come up and talk to me afterwards about the lyrics of my song.”

Among his darker tunes is one about a relationship between a lion tamer and a circus acrobat. It ends tragically when one discovers the other’s infidelity. “That’s my favourite of Curtis’s songs,” said Cuss, who admires his way with a lyric.

Cuss will in turn perform his Night Thief, which gets a big thumbs up from Phagoo. It’s loosely about Louis Riel’s struggle with the government “as he’s fighting for his land and his freedom.”

The local singer/songwriters invite everyone who appreciates the creative process of turning ideas into music to the shows. “It’s neat to see how it grows,” said Phagoo.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A worker is constructing the frame of a new building at Clearview Ridge, near 30th Avenue and 67th Street in Red Deer. (Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff).
Alberta wages fell more than any other province in Canada in 2020

Alberta compensation fell by six per cent last year

People board and leave at the Century Park light-rail transit station in Edmonton on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Racism is a real problem:’ Growing number of attacks against Black Muslim women

‘Racism is a real problem:’ Growing number of attacks against Black Muslim women

Alberta Health Services declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Revera Aspen Ridge on Feb. 1. (Photo by Advocate staff)
Two COVID deaths linked to Revera seniors residence in Red Deer

35 active COVID cases at seniors residence

Red Deer musician Lorry Boschman has written a song about love in the time of COVID-19. Proceeds from his single, Romance during a Pandemic, will be donated to the local United Way. (Contributed photo).
Local musician records a song about love in the time of COVID-19 — for charity

Lorry Boschman will donate some proceeds to the United Way

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre can accommodate up to 20 patients requiring a ventilator, says Alberta Health Services.  File photo by Advocate staff
Opinion: UCP government reneging on Red Deer hospital funding

Another year, another Alberta budget and another blow to central Albertans. Budget… Continue reading

Seattle Storm guards Sue Bird, right, and Jordin Canada pose for photos Wednesday, March 3, 2021, on the roof of the Space Needle in Seattle after they raised a flag with the team's new logo on it. Bird re-signed with the Storm earlier in the week. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Sue Bird staying busy with 20th Seattle season on horizon

Sue Bird staying busy with 20th Seattle season on horizon

Lille players celebrate after Jonathan David scored his side's second goal during the French League One soccer match between Lille and Marseille at the Stade Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
David scores 2 as Lille wins to stay two points clear of PSG

David scores 2 as Lille wins to stay two points clear of PSG

Canada defender Shelina Zadorsky, right, passes the ball in front of Argentina forward Sole Jaimes (9) during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup women's soccer match, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. Alphonso Davies and Shelina Zadorsky have been named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Phelan M. Ebenhack
Davies, Zadorsky named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February

Davies, Zadorsky named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February

Manchester United's Fred, left, and Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew challenge for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United at Selhurst Park stadium in London, England, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Mike Hewitt/Pool via AP)
Grueling season starting to catch up with Man U, Leicester

Grueling season starting to catch up with Man U, Leicester

Gary Sanchez goes deep, Yankees hit three home runs to beat Blue Jays 4-1

Gary Sanchez goes deep, Yankees hit three home runs to beat Blue Jays 4-1

Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell (24) dunks as Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. The undermanned Toronto Raptors, down five players and six members of their coaching staff due to health and safety protocols, are scheduled to host the Detroit Pistons in their first action since last Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Carlos Osorio
Powell, Lowry do their bit but undermanned Raptors beaten handily by the Pistons

Powell, Lowry do their bit but undermanned Raptors beaten handily by the Pistons

Canada's Ghislaine Landry, left, runs past France players during the Women's Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, Friday, July 20, 2018. The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, grounded last year by the pandemic, will return for the women in May. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Chiu
World Rugby unveils condensed 2021 sevens schedule with Vancouver a question-mark

World Rugby unveils condensed 2021 sevens schedule with Vancouver a question-mark

Most Read