Deep down under the hoodoos of the Drumheller Valley lies dark mine shafts emptied of coal, but rich with history. Joe Vickers will be coming for a special show in golden on Oct. 27 at the Crooked Antler located at 421 9th Ave. N.
Joe Vickers has been digging deep to uncover these buried stories of the past with his collection of short stories disguised as songs on his album, Valley Home.
The music is reminiscent of the best work of Alberta cowboy singer Ian Tyson. Vickers sets forth to tell tales of homesteaders, immigrants, miners, union men and hockey players, set against the backdrop of the coal mining towns of the Drumheller Badlands.
As part of Vickers biography he states, “The well researched project combines quotes and stories from community members and former coal miners with Vickers’ ability to capture listeners’ ears with his lyrical prowess. The project originated after he was inspired to write his first coal mining song after a tour of the Atlas Coal Mine, which eventually expanded into a full album to be released in conjunction with the Mining Centennial this year. His roots run deep in the area as well, with both great grandfathers active in the history of the community, as a hardware store owner and coal miner respectively, which adds to the personal impact of the release.”
From Friday night barn dance numbers like the bluegrass instrumental “Boomtown Bustle” to nostalgic conversations over coffee at the local café on a quiet Saturday morning like “Gone Are the Days,” Valley Home wears its’ rural pride proudly. The album consists of traditional folk music with multicultural influences reflective of the history of the town itself.
For the people who call the Drumheller Valley home, these songs will tug at the heart strings with their honest nostalgic look at the stories that shaped the land that they love. But like any powerful folk song ever written, they have the ability to connect with listeners no matter where they are from, as long as they have common themes of struggle, endurance and pure passion.