Jake Vaadeland and the Sturgeon River Boys look to bring back the classics

Photo by Deanna Roos. Jake Vaadeland (right) performs with Stephen Williams (left) and Joel Rohs (centre). Vaadeland and the Sturgeon River Boys will be at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre on Feb. 1.

Wholesome. Family. Entertainment. These are three words that define the Jake Vaadeland and the Sturgeon River Boys experience.

Chock full of old-timey comedy in the vein of Red Skelton, The Colgate Comedy Hour and, most specifically, Flatt and Scruggs, the group hearkens you back to a much simpler time and the music’s pretty good too. It’s almost like a throwback to being in a 50’s radio show studio audience.

“I think I’m bringing back or at least trying to bring back the old way of entertainment,” Vaadeland told the Herald in a brief telephone interview. “Some of my shows even have popcorn and stuff and I like that.”

Originally conceived as a bluegrass orientated solo project for Vaadeland when writing partner, bandmate, and best friend Ira Amundson moved to the United States, the group’s sound has since evolved into something uniquely their own. Whilst it’s part bluegrass, thanks to Vaadeland himself (guitar, banjo and lead vocals), banjo picker Jaxon Lalonde and energetic stand up bassist Stephen Williams, the addition of electric guitarist Joel Rohs causes everything the Sturgeon River Boys do to tilt in a decidedly rockabilly direction.

Sonically, then, Jake Vaadeland and the Sturgeon River Boys are almost like a Sun Records era Johnny Cash or the early country music leanings of Elvis locked in a battle for supremacy with The Dry Branch Fire Squad. 

“Joel (Rohs) is a wonderful player,” Vaadeland said. “He plays a style that you don’t hear much anymore. He got into that when we started. He got into that sort of Luther Perkins inspired rhythm and I really like that he has that for us.”

Vaadeland and company will be performing in Prince Albert at the EA Rawlinson Centre on Wednesday, Feb. 1. The group has been on a hot streak as of late having captured “Album of the Year” for their debut full length “Everybody but Me” as well as the “Roots/Folk Artist of the Year” at the SaskMusic awards this past December.

As they return to Prince Albert, they are also riding the successes of a series of sold out or near sold out shows.

“It’s family friendly,” Vaadeland said. “Get the whole family together, promote happiness and just have a good family friendly show. I think we create a good safe place for people to come and have a good evening.”
Tickets are moving quickly for this show but can still be purchased at https://bit.ly/3FXFPOi or by calling/visiting the EA Rawlinson box office at 306-765-1270. Given the current popularity of this group, this show is not to be missed.