“The Junos are in Regina,” the Sirius radio rep tells the rolling crowd, “and it feels good!”
The scene is the Lazy Owl Bar on the University of Regina campus, and Indigo Joseph is about to come out on stage. They’re a local band, the first of four to play the Owl tonight. It’s the first night of the Sirius-sponsored JUNO Fest: 18 venues and over 100 bands filling two nights of concerts. It’s like being a kid in a candy store all over again. There’s so much to choose from that you’ll never be able to take it all in.
So I’m definitely relieved when Indigo Joseph turns out to be an excellent choice; they’re the kind of musicians having so much fun on stage that you wish you were in the band with them.
“All I want to do is drink all day, yes drink all day, oh yeah,” the lead vocalist croons out. “Then I’ll be happy. Then I’ll be happy, yes I will.”
This is a sentiment the largely university-student crowd seems to be able to get behind.
I’d never heard of Indigo Joseph before, and I’m glad that I’m hearing them now. They’re the kind of small-town act that should hit it big. Earnest and intense vocals. Kickdrum so infectious it should be illegal.
Add a distinctly bluesy undertone to the unabashed vocals and the relentless kickdrum, and you’ve got a winning combination. Every third song or so drops into country roots, with wild-west guitar licks and a bass guitar played with the rhythm of a stand-up bass.
“I’m looking at these hands of mine,” he sings out, his voice an intense baritone with an edge of gravel. “And it won’t take long to build a house for you and I.”
It’s the kind of music you can hear in your soul, and your soul is secretly a little bit country, a little bit 80s rock, a little bit swing, and extremely willing to dance. They swap genres like some people swap sweaters, but the eclectic collection of inspiration somehow works; on their Facebook page, they call it “Moon Rock.” I buy it. The kick drum anchors every song, and the keyboard undertones would sound at home in the Doors. All in all, it’s a surprisingly delicious musical meal.
They were apparently out in BC not too long ago, but here’s hoping they head out to the west coast again sometime soon. Indigo Joseph is just too good for the prairies to keep hogging them.