Chalk music venue to the list of things that are now happening at the Ponoka Legion.
The most recent instalment of that is the album release tour of Winnipeg, Man. country group Sean Burns and Lost Country.
The group is in the midst of its prairie tour and Ponoka was one of its stops on March 12.
Playing straight up country music, Burns says he is excited with this new album, Music for Taverns, Bars, and Honky Tonks.
Released March 9, Burns says he recorded it with his band in November in a cabin north of Winnipeg. The tour started March 7 and they’re busy on the road. It’s Burns’ fourth full length album, his last was released five years ago.
“This is straight up true, original honky tonk country music,” said Burns.
It’s an area of music that he’s always loved.
“It was always in my house. My father was a guitar player and he was a singer,” said Burns.
“So there was a wide depth of country music in our home.”
Burns delved deep into country music when he was 14 and that love has only grown. He also hosts a country radio show at the University of Winnipeg, CKUW 95.9, two hours a week.
“That’s really forced me to dig deeper into the people I’ve been listening to since I was a kid,” said Burns.
“There’s a lot of great stuff out there.”
The big influences in his life are big artists like Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and the Bakersfield country music scene.
“That’s what I loved right away,” said Burns.
This new album is starting to see some more traction with radio shows in Europe and the United States picking it up, something Burns is excited about.
The band is made up of Joanna Miller (drums), Bernie Thiessen (bass) and Grant Siemens (guitar) but also sees support from heavy hitters like Big Dave McLean, Chris Scruggs and Harry Stinson. For this Alberta leg of the tour, Ryan Dyck from Lethbridge is playing the pedal steel.
The reviews have just started coming in and Burns is pleased to see the positive reception.
Other performances of the night came from Ponoka’s Markus Sommer and Boots Graham from Boots and the Hoots.