Jackie Treehorn to cut groove in valley
If, during this summer (we’ll call it that) of weather that alternates between warm and waterlogged you can’t seem to get into a groove, you’re in luck – Jackie Treehorn will soon be here to help.
Jackie Treehorn, sometimes described as a funkadelic/soultastic/rockaphonic six-piece sound-storm from Vancouver, rolls into the Bow Valley this week, playing the Canmore Hotel, Saturday (Aug. 4) and Wild Bill’s in Banff, Sunday (Aug. 5).
Jackie Treehorn, a name dubbed from the movie The Big Lebowski by a former member, is Ashley Robyn (vocals), Chelsea Burden (vocals), Adam Kerby (vocals, keytar), Kevin Sanders (guitar), Nick Nixon (bass) and Derek Van Deursen (vocals, drums).
The six-piece is rolling through the valley on a short mountain tour to support the release of its first album, We Are Jackie Treehorn.
The band was started a few years ago by friends at Nelson, B.C.’s Selkirk College and has seen a number of lineup changes. The current lineup, though, said Robyn, has been together for about two and a half years, since she and Van Deursen joined.
These days, it’s all about polishing and promotion as Jackie Treehorn builds a fan base outward from a small music community in East Vancouver.
“This is the first band I’ve been in,” said Robyn. “Our age range is 21 to 31 and it’s kind of evolved by people committed to be in a band and be successful. We’re all friends and we jive creatively, that’s how we came together.”
The present tour will take the band from the Lower Mainland to B.C.’s north coast to the Rockies and back – in a van, which unlike the band’s last ride, is reliable.
“We have a new van and it’s very exciting,” said Robyn. “We’re happy to have something that works, which is totally awesome. We did have an old 1976 RV, which was a lemon and one time it broke down on us three times in one day going from Invermere to Nelson. We got to a show at 11:30 at night and played the gig, but we were so tired after, so out of it we slept for four days after.
“But, that’s the trip we always remember.”
A high energy Jackie Treehorn performance features both originals and a few covers, and, like the quest for wheels, the band has been working to find it’s sound.
“We’re kind of multi-genred. It’s a pretty eclectic sound because we all have different musical tastes. And I think we all have ADD, because we can’t stick to anything,” she kidded.
The band’s first single, “Cruel”, was a Top 20 Finalist in the Shore 104.3 Song Search Competition. It’s now on rotation at the CBC and other Canadian radio stations.
The single “Bad Man,” from an upcoming album, was recently released to college radio.
“We’ve kind of settled on a retro ’70s sound,” said Robyn, “with funk, soul, disco and rock. Blues, metal and Afro funk are out, more dance is in.”
Robyn writes most of the song lyrics and some of the songwriting, but it all goes to the band, “to flesh them out. So it’s a collaborative, collective sound because we all work together on riffs and ideas.
For herself, although Robyn is now singing in a band, she wasn’t always comfortable being on stage and admits to being a late bloomer. “I’ve always sung,” she said, “but I was self-conscious in front of people; I didn’t believe I had the capacity to do it.
“But when I was 21, I picked up a guitar and started playing. Then, one time at a birthday party, I had a few too many drinks and started singing. People gave me a lot of encouragement to keep it up and at 24, I decided to actually get good on the guitar. That was four years ago.
“And now the band thing has happened. We all have jobs we can ditch in summer, Chelsea and I are nannies, and ideally, we’d all like to get to the point of music being our full-time job.”
Featuring four vocalists, keytar, guitar, bass and drums, Jackie Treehorn is what the Georgia Straight called a “funk-soul demolition crew.”
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