The Pistolwhips perform at Bo's on Tuesday.

The Pistolwhips perform at Bo's on Tuesday.

Saskatoon band brings its blues-infused indie rock to Red Deer

The Sheepdogs, Deep Dark Woods and now The Pistolwhips — if award-winning bands keep rolling out of Saskatoon, then maybe location has something to do with it. Zach Davies of The Pistolwhips credits the long Prairie winter for helping narrow his focus.

The Sheepdogs, Deep Dark Woods and now The Pistolwhips — if award-winning bands keep rolling out of Saskatoon, then maybe location has something to do with it.

Zach Davies of The Pistolwhips credits the long Prairie winter for helping narrow his focus.

“We have really cold winters here, and no mountains around to go skiing, so people tend to sit around at home and practise their guitar playing,” said the bassist, who performs with the rest of his band on Tuesday at Bo’s Bar and Grill.

Saskatoon’s music-central status could also be connected to the city’s pro-arts mindset. “We’ve got some great live music venues (and) a really great scene where all the bands really support each other,” said Davies, who admitted this close environment can create some cross-pollination.

For instance, before forming the Pistolwhips, Davies and the group’s frontman, Rylan Schultz, played in a Saskatoon band called Guns at Dawn with Leot Hanson, who later became the guitarist for The Sheepdogs (he left last year).

Schultz and Davies eventually signed on guitarist Paul Kuzbik and drummer Tallus Scott and officially became The Pistolwhips in 2012.

But the band’s throwback rock sound still prompts comparisons to The Sheepdogs, which rose to fame after being chosen from 15 North American bands to become the first unsigned act on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

While Davies believes The Pistolwhips have their own sound, he said, “We all grew up listening to Hendrix and Zeppelin and the blues.”

When these retro inspirations are mixed with those of The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Arctic Monkeys, it goes towards explaining the psychedelic undertones in Whatcha Doin’, the first single from the group’s new album, On Your Side.

The CD was recorded with a $10,000 RAWLCO 10K20 grant awarded to the group from Saskatoon radio station Rock 102 FM.

Davies said the money was a huge help in creating the first the full-length recording, which was named Best Album of 2014 by Planet S Readers in Saskatoon.

On Your Side helped launch two Canadian tours. “We’ve been right across the country,” said Davies, “from Charlottetown to Tofino.”

Along the way, The Pistolwhips performed during Canadian Music Week, at JUNOfest, The Sasktel Jazz Festival, The Red Bull Sound Stage, Sasktel Summer Invasion, and Winnipeg’s Prairie Barge Festival. Last fall, band members made their first overseas trip to perform a string of shows in London, England.

Davies, a Prince Albert, Sask., native who grew up in Fort McMurray, hopes to make some new Red Deer fans after the group plays for the first time in this city next week.

“I’m really looking forward to the show.”

Tickets for the 8 p.m. show with The Capones are $10 in advance from the venue or

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

Just Posted

Ponoka RCMP said Traytyn Okeymow, 22, was last seen at this residence at about 9:45 p.m. on April 4. (Photo contributed)
Missing man located by Ponoka RCMP

Ponoka RCMP seek public’s help

RCMP file photo (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)
RCMP lay cattle rustling, drug and firearm charges in central Alberta

A cattle rustling investigation in Clearwater County led to firearms and drug… Continue reading

(File photo by Advocate staff)
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers a statement after a meeting of the college of commissioners at EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced plans Wednesday for a major contract extension for COVID-19 vaccines with Pfizer stretching to 2023. (John Thys, Pool via AP)
EU reaches major climate deal ahead of Biden climate summit

Provisional deal reached after officials negotiated through the night

Mountain Men’s Barbershop co-owners Laura-Lee Gambee, left, and Heidi Forster pose in their Collingwood, Ont., shop in an undated handout image. Small business owners and the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses say companies started in the months leading up to COVID-19 or those that opened during the pandemic don’t qualify for the recently-extended rent or wage subdies or a new hiring subsidy the government announced Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Kiley VanderMeer
New, young small businesses left out of federal budget want more aid: CFIB

Eligibility requirements for subsidies need improving

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Opinion piece
Opinion: Federal budget spends more on everything with no plan to pay for it

The British politician Nigel Lawson once said: “To govern is to choose… Continue reading

FILE - Ted Nugent performs at Rams Head Live in Baltimore on Aug. 16, 2013. Nugent revealed he was in agony after testing positive for coronavirus — months after he said the virus was “not a real pandemic.” “I thought I was dying,” Nugent says in a Facebook live video posted Monday. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)
Ted Nugent, who once dismissed COVID-19, sickened by virus

Rocker a supporter of ex-President Donald Trump

Gwynne Dyer
Bolsonaro: Suicide by COVID

‘Rounding into the home stretch, it’s Italy by a full length, then… Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Red Deer, June 28, 1990. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer and the Royal Family

The recent passing and funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Tanner Pearson, right, celebrates after scoring against Toronto Maple Leafs goalie David Rittich during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Most Read