By Darlene Barss

It’s summer festival time and this week there is a playlist for summer and for a festival.

Last weekend, July 21-23, I went to Gateway Music Festival in Bengough, SK. We took a vintage trailer and had a few troubles getting going. We ended up missing the first few acts of the day including Library  Voices and Close Talker. Not a good start missing those talented Saskatchewan artists but things picked up. We were getting settled during Factor & Kay The Aquanaut but what I heard was sounding good. The lovely Basia Bulat came on and helped us relax with her velvet vocals and soothing music. I was happy to see Northcote again. He was living in Regina at one point but left us for the west coast. He was solo this time so it was more folky than rock but made me smile and sway. Jess Moskaluke, the Saskatchewan sweetheart, had the Bengough crowd up and dancing to her country pop. Not my thing but the crowd was sure enjoying it and she has a tight band backing her. The Wooden Sky rocked their set sharing some of the songs from their new album. 54-40 took us on a journey back sounding better than ever. We stayed for a few songs from the  fabulous The Dudes before heading back to our trailer to finish setting up for the nigh

We missed the pancake breakfast and songwriter circles that were happening at the pool stage. ONe day I will check those out. We made it over to the stages in time to catch some Dangerously Canadian blues rock. Son Howler brought the rock and Etienne Fletcher brought the soul. Bombargo was bringing the funk and getting people moving. Their set seemed to end too soon. We were entertained by the garage rock of The Steves followed by the surf rock of The Garrys. Prairie folk singer Kirby Criddle slowed things down and gave us a chance to take a breath. Marshall Burns brought along some friends and played some country tunes for us.  Nice Horse from Calgary had “ It’s the Zac Brown Band in miniskirts; the Runaways at a hoedown; the Spice Girls on a whiskey bender” in their bio and it kind of fit. They were fun and talented and sexy but not quite my thing either. (There were some stage and sound issues going on so the schedule got mixed up a little. I may not have it exact.)

Megan Nash with Bears in Hazenmore came on and that definitely had more of the substance I enjoy. Great vocals and instrumentation. Shadowy Men On a Shadowy Planet with Dallas Good in the band now, had me up and dancing. Definitely one of my highlights. There were some technical difficulties on their set but we did get to hear Having An Average Weekend and then an amazing mash up of guitar lick covers before they left the stage. Megan Nash and the Bears were back on to fill the time and entertain us while they worked on getting what they needed to finish the show driven in from Regina. They did a great job of it and the sound was back and running and The Sadies put on a fabulous set. Such a talented group and it was definitely another highlight for me. Lindi Ortega hit the stage with her trademark red boots, red lipstick and black dress and surely won over some new fans. Tom Cochrane and Red Rider were good and played all the hits. Tom’s vocals aren’t quite what they used to be but otherwise it was just what you would expect from these veterans of the scene.

We left the park to the sounds of Parallel 49’s cover tunes and missed the Small City Blues. Even with the technical difficulties it was a great couple days of music. During the weekend there were rumours of Sam Elliott being there and pictures popping up of selfies with him. When we got home my sister was looking up the band Bombargo and found a picture of an uncle with a strong resemblance to Sam Elliott. Mystery solved. Or is it?

You can find a better article of the festival here. Step off the map and float at Bengough, Saskatchewan’s Gateway Festival


And because it is still summer and I had this ready to go last week but forgot to post it, here is the Summer Playlist as well. It began last year and was added to and tweaked for this year. Happy summer listening!


What festivals are you doing this summer? Want to tell us about it? You can tell us here or hit that Contribute button up there and send a message.