The musical lineup for the 101st Telkwa Barbecue may be even better than it was last year.
On Friday, the Bulkley Valley Kinsmen announced rockers April Wine as the final act, joining Kim Mitchell and Emerson Drive.
April Wine and Kim Mitchell take to the stage the Saturday of the Labour Day weekend while Emerson Drive perform on Sunday.
“We’re pretty excited about it, it’s a pretty big follow-up to last year,” said BV Kinsmen treasurer Mike Henfrey.
“It’s a big deal and a great value to have two of those artists on one night.”
Although they’ve never stopped in the Bulkley Valley, April Wine with guitarist Brian Greenway, lead singer Myles Goodwyn, Roy Nichol on drum and Richard Lanthier on bass, Greenway does remember the scenery from a trip to Prince Rupert last year following a concert in Prince George.
“It’s pretty out there,” Greenway said.
Given the view, Greenway said he was looking forward to taking the stage in Telkwa.
“If it’s not raining,” he said with a chuckle, then recounted the story of a Canada Day outdoor concert in Val d’Or in northern Quebec that had to be cancelled because it snowed.
“If it’s perfect, a nice beautiful summer night, you can’t beat it.”
Other than rain and snow, Greenway said the only technical challenge is the wind which can push the sound around.
Greenway joined April Wine in 1977 and said the decision was easy.
Greenway had already played in a couple of bands with Steve Lang who was the bassist for April Wine at the time and thus the familiarity made him a natural suggestion.
“Plus I lived in town close to everybody, they couldn’t have asked for more,” Greenway added with a laugh.
He was already a fan of their songs, notably Child’s Garden and Victim for Your Love.
“I’d hear them on the radio all the time, I really liked the material and when you know somebody in the band you tend to like it a little more,” he said.
“When they said, ‘Do you want to join?’ I said absolutely.”
Since then April Wine has played many concerts, indoors and outdoors, but every show is different which helps keep the whole process fresh, Greenway explained.
In fact, Greenway said, in addition to hanging out with his bandmates, the concerts are the best part of being a member of April Wine.
“There’s no better feeling in the world to me than playing music in front of people and getting the reaction that they’re enjoying it,” he said.
“The interaction makes everything spontaneous, it’s almost like a high that you get from exercise.”
As for a favourite song, Greenway first went off the list of April Wine originals.
“We’ve been playing 21st Century Schizoid Man [King Crimson song] a lot,” he said.
“It’s a lot of fun.”
As for his favourite April Wine original, Greenway points to his signature piece, Sign of a Gypsy Queen, the song which contains his favourite guitar solo.
“I love playing Sign of a Gypsy Queen,” he said.
In the end, Greenway said, playing any song the crowd loves to sing along and interact with is the best.
“Those are the ones I like,” he said.
Setting the stage for April Wine is Canadian rocker Kim Mitchell.
Mitchell first became a mainstay on the Canadian music scene with Max Webster in the early 1970s before he went solo in the ’80s.
He’s perhaps best known for his solo hits like, Go for Soda, Patio Lanterns and I am a Wild Party.
His last album, Aint Life Amazing, was released in 2007.
Mitchell currently hosts a weekday afternoon radio show on Q107 in Toronto.
On Sunday night, Emerson Drive takes to the stage.
The Canadian country music band just finished touring with Doc Walker on CMT’s Hitlist 2013 cross-country tour.
The group is responsible for such hits as I Should be Sleeping, Fall Into Me and chart-topping ballad Moments.
Tickets prices are the same for both night, $35 for general admission and $45 for preferred seating.
There are a limited number of preferred seats available and Henfrey said he expects them to go quickly once tickets become available May 15.
“If you want preferred seating, you better buy your tickets fast,” he said.
As an extra incentive to purchase tickets early, the Kinsmen are offering a VIP upgrade to preferred seating and a meet and greet with the bands for anyone who buys between May 15 and 31.
Tickets are available at the Burns Lake, Houston, Smithers and Hazelton branches of the Bulkley Valley Credit Union, Bulkley Valley Insurance Services in Houston and Smithers, Midway Service in Telkwa and Total Floors.