By Chris Brown on June 7, 2019.
Take a look at music charts and and old Canadian venue posters from the 1970s and one name will be seen over and over again – The Stampeders.
The Calgary band went coast to coast, back again and toured internationally during the first half of decade. Life on the road then is what allows the trio – Rich Dodson, KIm Berly and Ronnie King – to do the same sort of thing now.
“We just kept doing those Canadian tours in the ’70s. Every year we did a cross-Canada tour religiously,” Dodson said on the eve of the current tour.
The Stampeders will make their Esplanade debut on June 11 at 7:30 p.m. It’s part of a 17-show,21-night run through the Prairies.
“We played every high school and every doorway. Everybody’s got some place they saw The Stampeders. They’ve all seen us before and they’re coming back to see us again.”
They’re coming back and they’re joined by a new generation of fans. Dodson said the band feeds off the audience, which gives them an adrenaline rush and keeps the good times going.
“They like to come out and they like it loud,” Dodson said. “A lot of young kids and they’re really into it. Forget a word, you hear about it, or forget a lyric. It’s a challenge for us to go up and do the old tunes and do them tight like the record. But that’s the fun part, pulling it off.”
The Stampeders definitely aren’t the only band from days gone by that are out touring still. But the “Sweet City Woman” and “Devil You” singers do have something that sets them apart. All the original members are still in the band. The key? Health.
“You got it,” Dodson said. “It’s amazing the health has held up this long. We had a lot of fun together, we’re like brothers but yeah the health as held out. We’re feeling little aches and pains but in general we’ve been lucky.”
Swapping wine for water and late nights for early gigs has helped too, he said.
Visit stampeders.net to get reacquainted with the band before Tuesday’s show.
Tickets are available online at tixx.ca, by calling 403-502-8777, and in person at the Esplanade box office or the Medicine Hat Mall customer service desk.
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