MUSIC PREVIEW: Rural Alberta Advantage shows deep roots

The Rural Alberta Advantage is in town for a couple of sold out shows at Union Hall, including tonight. The band name was coined by frontman Nils Edenloff’s brother discussing heading back to the family farm in Donalda, where Nils also spent part of his childhood.

A number of the band’s songs relate to Alberta history, much like some of the Tragically Hip’s repertoire alludes to Canadian and Ontarian history: Songs like Dethbridge in Lethbridge, Edmonton, Tornado ’87, Vulcan AB, and Frank AB (detailing the tragedy that befell that town in 1903, when much of a mined mountain fell across and through the small settlement).

The newest album’s lead track is called Beacon Hill, inspired by the Fort McMurray fires of last year. The album, titled The Wild, was released just last month, and many fans and media would argue that it’s the indie-folk project’s best effort yet. And that’s saying something, given the band has been nominated for Junos, and shortlisted for the Polaris Prize for past releases.

If you don’t have tickets to tonight’s show, well, hold on to your hats, because they’ll definitely be back. They have roots here.

Friday December 1

The Dead South – The New Moon Folk Club is back at it this weekend with this offering, a Regina bluegrass-folk quartet that started their way into the musical meanderings of the prairies back in 2012. Their latest release, 2016’s Illusion & Doubt, found its way to No. 5 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart. You can never go wrong with any show this club curates. Boots and the Hoots open. St Basil’s Cultural Centre, 7:30 pm, SOLD OUT.

Jann Arden Christmas – The near-legendary singer-songwriter whose past is almost as synonymous with our province as the Oilers-Flames rivalry is hosting a series of Christmas shows this weekend at the Winspear Centre. The shows are said to include hits and holiday favorites, and with Arden’s incredible talents the gigs are sure to be an extraordinary rapture of song and festive spirit. Shows are Friday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 2 pm, Saturday at 7:30 pm, and Monday at 7:30 pm. BUY

Prince Bunny – This show is somewhat of a who’s who of the local music scene, with the incredible psych-pop stylings of this band, accompanied by another local heavyweight, Latcho Drom, as well as psych rockers Ominous Cloud and Calgary post punk project Heavydive. Sewing Machine Factory, 8 pm, $10.

Chron Goblin – This Calgary band released their most recent album in 2015, titled Backwater. Their self-proclaimed “boogie-infused facepunch” style of rock ‘n’ roll has won them fans throughout the prairies, and all the way to Europe, where they have toured a couple of times. The band is heading back into the studio in early 2018 to record their fourth album, so might just have a couple of new offerings ready for this show. Maybe. No promises. Iron Eyes, Dead Fibres, and Primeapes also perform. Starlite Room Lower Hall (Brixx), 8 pm, $10. BUY

Saturday 2

A Tribe Called Red – This Ottawa collective combines hip hop, reggae, and dubstep with heavy First Nations influence into an experimental sub-genre that doesn’t even really have a name, but is as raw, emotional, and frenzied as any other. They continue touring to support their 2016 release We Are the Halluci Nation amidst a cavalcade of accolades and awards over their short history, including one Juno award and three nominations, a Canadian Independent Music Award, an iHeartRadio Much Music Video Award, and a couple of Polaris long list nods. Starlite Room, 8 pm, SOLD OUT.