Local product South West joins Zachary Lucky for Friday Rawlinson performance

Scott Roos

Special to the Herald

The E.A. Rawlinson Centre hosts a loaded schedule for country music lovers on Friday, when Saskatoon expat Zachary Lucky takes the stage with local product South West opening.

South West is a solo project from much beloved and respected local musician Stephen Williams. Over the last few years, Williams has become known for being a very competent and trusty sideman, playing in many local projects on both the bass and guitar. Friday’s show will be his first shot at playing front and centre.

“I love music so it’s nice to always be able to play with different people all the time,” Williams said in a recent interview with the Herald. “You always take something from every different kind of artist, but I’ve had these songs for so long and been sitting on them forever, so it’s nice to be able finally get that out there.”

Williams is getting ready to release the debut album by South West very soon. If the tracks he’s released so far are any indication, his sound comfortably resides within the “alt-country” genre. It’s folksy to be sure, but more reminiscent of a plugged-in Dylan vibe.

Williams will be bringing a four-piece band to the Rawlinson to debut many of the tracks from this highly anticipated record. 

“This show means so much to me,” he said. “I can’t even put words to it honestly. I’m nervous. Playing as South West is a new thing, but I know a lot of my friends and family are coming out to watch it and support it.”

Lucky, on the other hand, will perform with Myles Zurawell on the dobro. This stripped down, acoustic sound is ideal for performing tracks from Lucky’s last two albums entitled ‘Midwestern’ and the recently released ‘Songs for Hard Times.’

His soulful voice lends well to this more intimate format with a timbre comparable to that of the legendary Gordon Lightfoot.

The Ontario-based Lucky was born and raised in Saskatoon, and always looks forward to returning to his home province. 

“There’s something about being at home on the prairies,” Lucky said in a recent phone interview with the Herald. “There’s a certain kind of understanding between people. Here in Ontario I’ve never stopped feeling like someone in a foreign land. That feeling has never gone away and I don’t think it ever will.

Lucky said there’s always a part of him ready to pack up and head back to Saskatchewan. Coming back for a performance, he explained, is like taking a deep breath of fresh air.

I feel like people on the prairies just kind of get it,” he said. “That’s something that puts you at ease when you have that knowledge.”

Zachary Lucky will perform at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre for the Arts on Friday with South West opening. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. with the doors opening at 7 p.m. For ticket information, visit the E.A. Rawlinson website.

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