Bringing the country inside | Squamish Chief

Bringing the country inside

Alternative country singer-songwriter J.R. Proctor to perform at the Squamish BAG on March 14

It is the unique building and enthusiastic audiences that bring country singer-songwriter J.R. Proctor back to perform at the Brackendale Art Gallery, March 14.

"It has all this amazing, eclectic artwork, wooden carvings, and faces built into the wall — just the structure of it — gives it this unique aspect to it," Proctor told The Chief.

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Last year, Proctor played the 17th Brackendale Bluegrass Festival with the Stardust Stringband.

"The audience was sold out. Everyone was super into the show... lots of hooting and hollering," he recalled.

This time around, Proctor will be fresh off the drop of Daydream Sommelier, his first album release of original material, which is coming out the first week of March.

"I am excited about it," Proctor, 29, said.

"It is the first time I have recorded my own songs. I have spent a lot of time playing traditional music, primarily bluegrass and what is called old-time music, so this was a bit different. The instrumentation was different and it was a different process to bring these songs to life....

"It feels like it is more of me out there."

Growing up, the Victoria-based artist enjoyed performers such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, but about five years ago he started attending bluegrass jams in Vancouver and got involved in that scene and the old-time music community, he said.

Old-time music, also known as North American folk music, includes instrumental fiddle and often accompanies folk dances, such as square dancing.

At the Brackendale show, Proctor said his goal is to make a connection with the audience.

He will be performing with the Daydreamers (Miles Zurawell on pedal steel, Peter Mynett on bass and James Higgins on drums) with Ben Arsenault as his opener.

Proctor said other artists he enjoys seeing live include the Real Ponchos (with Ben Arsenault) , female duo Twin Bandit and string band Che Apalache, based out of Buenos Aires.

"I try to connect with my listeners both through the instrumentation and the music and then deference for the story-telling tradition that is so rich in folk music," he said. "Whenever I go see a great live show, what makes it so great is that connection with the audience, and I strive to do the same."

Catch the Squamish show Saturday, March 14, at 8 p.m. Tickets at XOCO and the BAG. To reserve tickets, call the gallery at 604-898-3333.

J.R. Proctor
J.R. Proctor. - Courtesy J.R. Proctor

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