Music fans will be exposed to many different genres at inaugural Desert Live Music Festival

By on May 7, 2014
Osoyoos’ own talented singer-songwriter Kansas-Lee Hatherly has been booked to perform at the inaugural Desert Live Music Festival, which will run from June 27 until July 1 at Gyro Park in downtown Osoyoos. (Photo supplied)

Osoyoos’ own talented singer-songwriter Kansas-Lee Hatherly has been booked to perform at the inaugural Desert Live Music Festival, which will run from June 27 until July 1 at Gyro Park in downtown Osoyoos. (Photo supplied)

An acclaimed Canadian indie rock band, up-and-coming reggae dance band and blues quartet that is starting to make some major waves on the Canadian music scene will be the headliners when the inaugural Desert Live Music Festival takes over the Town of Osoyoos in seven short weeks.

Yukon Blonde, Red Eye Empire and No Sinner have all been signed to perform at the festival, which is set to take over Gyro Park in downtown Osoyoos from June 27 until July 1.

No Sinner, which features the powerhouse vocals of lead singer Colleen Rennison (which spells out No Sinner when spelled backwards), will be the featured guest when the festival wraps up on Tuesday, July 1, said Mike Campol, the chair of the festival’s organizing committee.

“We wanted a wide genre of music and we have that with our headliners and we have it throughout the festival,” said Campol, who used to run a blues and jazz club in Barrie, Ont. for many years before moving from Ontario to become the general manager of the Spirit Ridge Vineyard Spa and Resort in Osoyoos.

“We’re excited about offering multiple genres of music and we’re equally excited that we’ve kept to our mandate to be all Canadian.”

More than 90 per cent of the bands that will be performing at the first Desert Live Music Festival have been signed and music fans can check them out on the new Desert Live website at

Rennison has been described as a “force of nature” on the concert stage and a “post-modern soul belter and queen of rock … a hard-singing, hard-drinking, hard-working throwback to those her and the guys in the band grew up listening to, including Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones and Diana Ross.

Rennison and her band are from Vancouver, where they have gained a reputation as one of that city’s best live acts.

Campol said No Sinner are one of the best bands in the country right now and Desert Live is thrilled to have landed them to headline on the final night of the festival.

Yukon Blonde are an indie rock band that have gained a lot of attention and radio play over the last couple of years across Canada with their accessible, but alternative guitar-based rock and roll.

Red Eye Empire are sure to have crowds dancing as their reggae-ska-rock hybrid makes them one of the West Coast’s most promising young bands, said Campol.

They have three CDs to their credit and have toured with such bands as G Love and Special Sauce, Pepper, Fishbone, Slightly Stoopid and Michael Franti and Spearhead.

Their latest release in 2011 is called Last Chance for Sunshine. They have toured across North America extensively in support of that release.

Another act he’s really excited about is Jory Kinjo, a talented guitarist who mixes reggae, soul, funk and rhythm and blues into a rich, musical stew, said Campol.

“He’s opened for ZZ Top, The Tragically Hip and Buddy Guy and has been on three world tours opening for B.B. King,” he said. “You don’t get to play with legends like that unless you have some real talent. I think he’ll be one of the biggest hits at the festival.”

Some of the other acts booked include the reggae band Tasman Jude, singer-songwriter Ari Neufeld, blues purist Pappa Dawg, rock guitarist and songwriter Devon Coyote, classic rock band Matt Stanley & the Decoys and Osoyoos’ own talented singer-songwriter Kansas-Lee Hatherly.

“We’re really thrilled to have Kansas-Lee be able to perform in her own hometown,” he said. “She’s a very talented young singer and songwriter and the sky is the limit for her career.”

Campol said he and the committee are convinced the festival is going to be a huge hit right away.

“I don’t think you will get a better backdrop for a music festival anywhere in the country,” he said. “We know the bands and musicians are going to love playing here and I think we’re going to get some really big crowds considering we’ve centred the festival around Canada Day celebrations, which always attract huge crowds to town.”

The entire festival will be free of charge to all music lovers, he added.

Volunteers who wanted to help out in organizing the festival are needed and welcome, he said.

“We need people for everything from parking to stage set up and takedown, security and working in the beer gardens,” he said. “It should be a great volunteer experience as you will get to listen to some great music and be part of an event we think it going to bring a lot of excitement to our community.

“We’re going to bring the desert alive with five days of great music and we think people are going to want to be a part of that.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer can fill out a contact form on the Desert Live website or leave information on the Desert Live Facebook page.


Osoyoos Times


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