Getting the band back together: LJ Tyson and the Locals hit the stage Saturday night

Saskatchewan’s music scene ground to a halt when COVID-19 hit, but Prince Albert’s LJ Tyson didn’t let that slow him down.

Tyson spent the last two years writing and recording new material, while also teaching a few music sessions in northern schools. The fruits of that labour will be apparent Saturday night when LJ Tyson and the Locals perform at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library Theatre.

“I’m super nervous,” Tyson said with a laugh during an interview Friday morning. “I’m really nervous, but excited at the same time.

“I’ve had a few shows on my own, and our band played one together last year, but this is what we’re calling for our first official show date.”

Even though live performances were rare, Tyson’s music still received plenty of radio play. His single, ‘Sober’, recently hit number four on the Indigenous Music Countdown top-40 list, up from number 11 the week before.

Tyson said he has kept busy in the recording studio, and wants to give music lovers a chance to hear the results.

“We really strive to create a safe space with our shows,” he explained. “We really tried to create a positive experience, a safe experience, and we hope people from all sorts of backgrounds get to come enjoy our show.”

Saturday’s concert begins at 7 p.m. at the library theatre. Special guests Mercy Glover, Josh Stumpf, and Taya Lebel will also perform.

Tyson said he’s eager to draw attention to the library theatre, which he considers one of Prince Albert’s most underutilized spaces.

“My friend Adreanna Boucher did a play called ‘Sting’ and they used the theatre to put that play on. Now we’re using the theatre and the library to put on our concert. I’d just like to encourage people to head out to events at the Library, and just go check out the library and read,” he said. “It’s not used as much as it should be in our community.”