Andrew Mercer and Cod Gone Wild have brought their brand of east coast, Newfoundland-inspired music to audiences all across western Canada and Goldenites will get a taste of what the group has to offer in the Summer Kicks opener.
Mercer grew up in Newfoundland and was evidently inspired by the unique sound that makes up the province’s music.
“Wherever you went, there would be kitchen parties where everyone had a musical instrument so I grew up playing traditional music and fell in love with it, very young,” Mercer said.
Not only did his home province help shape his career, Mercer believes it is the very reason he got into the music industry to begin with.
“Exposure to that music and how it influenced me growing up is why I’m doing this today,” Mercer said. “Everytime I get on stage it’s like being back home at one of those kitchen parties in Newfoundland. I love that and I love being able to spread the culture and the heritage that I grew up with.”
Mercer moved west to Kelowna in 2009 in pursuit of a change. A year into a job at UBC Okanagan, he realized that a desk job wasn’t for him and he quit to pursue music full-time.
He began searching for musicians to play with, meeting Chad ‘Rhino’ Carter, Cod Gone Wild’s drummer and the only remaining member from the group’s original lineup.
Three albums later and the group’s lineup also includes Roy Kawano, a bassist and Sue Aylard, a fiddle player.
“Personally as a musician I strive to evolve and you learn from mistakes on previous projects and I think any musician strives to be better at what they do and the four of us are no exception to that,” Mercer said.
Cod Gone Wild’s brand of Celtic music might not be as integral to western Canadian culture as it is in Newfoundland, but Mercer believes B.C. audiences have been incredibly receptive to his group’s style since their inception.
“It’s just uplifting music all the time…I think that connects with everybody and the stories behind the songs. People really enjoy it,” he said.
Cod Gone Wild will be the headliner for the June 15 Summer Kicks show, with local act Krista and the Krybabies performing as the “tweener.”