The Polyjesters, a fun swinging folk band that epitomizes Canadiana music in its finest form, will be warming hearts, igniting community spirit and lighting up the winter festivities with their intellectually witty and comical brand of wholesome music.
On Friday, January 22 at 7 p.m., the Polyjesters are performing at the Mount 7 Recplex as a headlining musical feature of the nine days of community festivities surrounding the Torch Relay events in Golden.
Hailing from Carstairs, Alberta, where the group has been active organizing festivals, disseminating independent music and opening up a concept music-coffee shop, the Polyjesters have toured the world and brought home a diverse and appealing pallet of musical offerings.
Lyrically, the band is near unparalleled for its depth, witticisms and storytelling. Sheldon Valleau, singer/musician/songwriter has been known to lock himself in pool rooms, work under pressure and come out with masterful writings that entertain, inform and delight.
The playful song, entitled, Manjula, for instance, offers an intimate portrayal of life and times of two Simpsons characters. It portrays Apu’s wife as a feminine heroine of sorts, a woman capable of pistol-whipping robbers with a processing gun and raising seven children all at the same time. The tune is set to an upbeat and jazzy drum tempo and infilled with a deadly, but light and progressively scaly guitar solo.
Another crowd favourite is the tune, The Devil Came up to Alberta, a spin-off of an old Charlie Daniels’ classic. In the tune the devil challenges the talented Aaron Young, the group’s renowned and extremely talented guitarist, to a ‘guitar-off’ competition. The devil needs Alberta’s oil fields to keep his pits of hell warm, but only one man can stop him. The high-energy tune somehow incorporates a shout-out to rapper Eminem and takes on folk hip-hop sound for a few stanza, a feat not easily done but pulled off successfully.
The Polyjesters have honed their playful skills performing for audiences around the world. From Canada to the U.S. and Japan to Northern England, the band has earned a grassroots following that has mushroomed into success. They have several upcoming tours planned to the land of our southern neighbours and exclusive shows lined up in Vancouver during the Olympics. Developing their patented and honest sound came through hard work, playing on the streets of Europe for five years.
Jason and Sheldon Valleau, the brothers who form the core of the band, spent five years busking the streets in places like Amsterdam and Nice, France. Along the way, they have given a tip of their hat to the ancient tradition of the troubadours, a word describing medieval musical street performers who would earn a living playing the markets and street corners of ancient cities. In a longstanding tradition, the two have busked for the Prince of Monaco at an exclusive tennis resort and have made friends with extreme characters, including one interesting fellow with two cigarettes hanging from his ears who spoke in nothing but a Donald Duck voice.
The band’s North American experiences have contributed to its overall sounds as well. From playing American carnivals next to a hot dog stand and a cloned goat, to performing AC/DC songs to a group of elementary students in northern BC, Hazelton. The band says that streets have provided them with adventures that contribute so much to their performances.
These days, the Polyjesters are busy advancing a successful music scene in their hometown of Carstairs, Alberta. They began hosting 300-person music festivals in their backyard a few years ago, and since then their efforts have swelled into a 5000- person festival that is held in the town’s central park.
The group’s leader, Jason Valleau, utilizes the internet for his own radio station called Kitchen Radio. It’s an ambitious project that features a plethora of independent artists, many of whom the band has played with over the years. Valleau was actually running pirate broadcasting his station for over three years before being shut down by Industry Canada. He was required to get a legitimate operator’s license.
The Polyjesters are definitely not your mainstream band offering your average audio experience. They exude an excitement and honesty that reaches out to the crowds. Their own stage performance is heartfelt and engaging and will definitely motivate the crowds to dance, laugh and have a great time.