The Blue Canyon Boys will perform a concert this Sunday, Sept. 4, at 6 p.m. on the grounds of Labadie Station Art & Antiques, 128 Front St., in downtown Labadie, across from The Hawthorne Inn restaurant.
Band leader Jason Hicks is a Labadie native, who helps draw crowds of 400 plus bluegrass fans to the intimate outdoor venue. Hicks, son of Debbie Wagonseller and the late David Hicks, has been based in Colorado for many years. The Blue Canyon Boys have been performing together since 2005.
Opening for the band will be Michael Bauermeister and Gloria Attoun, who play original and rootsy music and are in the bands Augusta Bottoms Consort and the Texas Giants.
People should bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on the ground. Some drinks and snacks will be available, but coolers are welcome.
We spoke with Jason briefly on Thursday afternoon to catch up with whats new since last year. Despite stepping on a garter snake behind Labadie Station while eating an ice cream cone, he's sounding good! Below are condensed excerpts from the interview. (if you'd like to listen to the interview in full, with lots of laughs and elaboration, click the related audio asset in this article)
Missourian: What's new and exciting this time around
Hicks: Well, this time around we have a brand new CD and a brand new banjo player. We'll have the new CD available, its our 6th CD and we decided to do a self titled so its the "Blue Canyon Boys." Our new banjo player is Zach Daniels, in the past he had filled in with us on certain dates. Our old banjo player was in multiple groups, and it became difficult to juggle. He's a great player, and a great singer. He's toured with Zach Brown, Michael Franti, G. Love & Specal Sauce, super cool guy. He has a certain rock feel he plays with and it fits us really well. His approach to music is based in what he was raised on, like Manhattan Transfer vocal jazz & Earth wind and Fire inspired.
Missourian: That's awesome, I'm excited to hear that! How many years have you guys been playing here now?
Hicks: This is our 5th annual performance at Labadie Station.
Missourian: Has the new banjo player added to the variety and style of songs you guys play, have you added anything because of that?
Hicks: We're always looking for new songs to ad, you get tired of playing the same thing all the time so the set list is always evolving. There's actually an old Beatles song that 4 or 5 years ago i mentioned to the band that this would be good, but we didn't make it happen, then over the winter Zach sent an email to me about the song and brought it back up and this time we said, yeah, lets do it! I don't know what we have in mind for the set list with you guys yet. But over the winter time we add new stuff, once we get off the road and back into practice we go over the mental log book of what we want to try out and add. Sometimes the band and the song doesn't quite gel.
Missourian: Whats else can we expect?
Hicks: Well, last year when we played here my aunt Gail had finished making our Nudie Suits, and this year we'll be showing them off again. (see Nudie Cohn) So we had our brand new Buck Owens inspired suits, and this year she'll start making two more, one for Drew and Zach for future gigs. Its kind of like wearing a disco ball! We don't wear them to every show, just special shows.
Missourian: We're honored you wear them in Labadie!
Hicks: We always will!
Missourian: Anything else before we see you Sunday?
Hicks: Just Really looking forward to coming out again. Looking forward to sharing the evening with everyone here in Labadie and the surrounding area, and its going to be a great time and glad to be back. The weather couldn't be more perfect for an outdoor Sunday evening show.