Special to The Record
The two musical acts visiting the Sid Williams Theatre on Jan. 23 have strong Vancouver Island roots.
Towers and Trees of Victoria began playing their current batch of gigs Nov. 13 in Kamloops. Once they’ve played a dozen dates in Alberta and B.C., they end the current road swing Jan. 23 at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay.
Metchosin native Jesse Roper will also play that evening as part of his current swing through the two provinces.
“This will be our first chance to do a headlining tour,” Towers and Trees mainman Adrian Chalifour said in an interview. “It’s just exceeded all expectations; it’s been incredible,” added the band’s lead singer and songwriter.
“We played Calgary on a Monday night, and the venue (Wine Ohs) was completely sold out. Lethbridge, the venue there (Owl Acoustic Lounge) was completely over-capacity. Kelowna (Streaming Café) was totally sold out.
“We played … in a 150-seat community theatre (Red Brick Arts Centre) in Edson, Alta., and there must have been 130 bums in the seats.
“We’ve been really happy with how the album has come together on the stage and how it’s sounding.”
After their successful debut EP Broken Record in 2013, Towers and Trees released their debut full-length CD The West Coast in October.
“We’re incredibly proud of it,” Chalifour said of The West Coast. “Sometimes I say we’re almost too proud of it. We’re like parents with their precious first baby.”
He described The West Coast as a marked departure from the preceding EP.
“The first album was just a very personal exercise for myself to get comfortable with creating music again. There was basically one audience that mattered, and that was me.”
Chalifour managed to remain optimistic in the songs in spite of the painful breakup of a seven-year personal relationship and young marriage.
“Often when someone goes through a period of upheaval or loss or change or whatever … in the aftermath, there’s an opportunity to take stock. There’s a time of reclamation and rediscovery as well.”
He and the rest of the band learned much since the EP about their sound, and they wanted the full-length studio recording to sound more like they do live.
“I’m very honoured to say it sounds exactly like I wanted it to sound. So we’re very proud of it.”
For more about Towers and Trees, which was a finalist in CBC’s Searchlight Content and the PEAK Performance Project, visit www.towersandtreesmusic.com.
Roper, the other act Jan. 23, will perform this year at the International Blues Competition in Memphis after winning the White Rock Blues Society’s Blues Challenge.
“I’m really excited. I can’t wait,” he said in an interview.
Roper has learned much from recording the Roper Show EP followed by CDs Son of John and Red Bird.
“I got more perspective on how good I actually was,” he said. “Walking into a studio, I just had (bad) tempo. Vocally, hearing myself back over and over was painful.
“My guitar playing was pretty decent, but having to play it every time with feel … it was a huge learning lesson but it made me better on the stage.”
He’s writing for his fourth recording, and hopes it will be his best yet.
To learn more about Roper, visit jesseroper.ca.
Towers and Trees and Jesse Roper perform Jan. 23 at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay as part of the Sid’s Blue Circle Series.
For details and tickets, visit www.sidwilliamstheatere.com, phone 250-338-2430 or visit the Sid box office at 442 Cliffe Ave.