Bringing attitude to Big Valley Jamboree
The Give ‘Em Hell Boys play the Coors Banquet Saloon Kickoff Party on Thursday at 7 p.m. Supplied
Making their first appearance at the Big Valley Jamboree, The Give ‘Em Hell Boys are doing country music differently.
To play at the BVJ is something vocalist and acoustic guitar player, Quinn Clark never really expected to play at with their unique brand of country music.
“Because of the type of country music that we do play, we never thought we would play at BVJ,” he said. “Of course we love the opportunity and we’re gracious and thankful for it. It wasn’t necessarily on our radar, because it just seems like another world than what we’re in.”
The Give ‘Em Hell Boys are no stranger to Camrose, having played at the Bailey Theatre in the past.
“I’ve got to say, Camrose has been a really, really cool community to us, in the last couple years we’ve been playing in the Bailey Theatre,” Clark said. “The people programming there have been really great to us and have given us a really good opportunity so [BVJ] feels like an extension of that.”
Hailing from Edmonton, and being familiar with the Rose City, Clark says it feels like a local gig.
“[BVJ] is a really big gig for Alberta as a whole, beyond Camrose, beyond Edmonton,” he said. “We’ve definitely appreciated the fans we’ve been making and meeting in Camrose.”
Coming from a punk rock background, the group consists of Clark, lead guitarist and vocalist Charles Biddiscombe, bassist Lindsay Bueckert, and Eric Redekopp on the drums.
“It was basically a group of friends, we all kind of played in punk rock bands or metal bands,” Clark said. “Slowly but surely country kept creeping in there, we were just playing these old country songs in the backyard, at house parties and stuff like that. After a while we knew a handful of tunes and the same four or five dudes kept hanging out and playing the tunes and before you know it we were taking the show on the road.”
The name “The Give Em Hell Boys” was suggested one day, and it stuck.
“It’s like that old World War II slogan, in ‘Give ‘Em Hell’ and we’re The Give ‘Em Hell Boys,” Clark said. “We thought if we threw the ‘the’ in front of it, it would sound like an old bluegrass band. I think it does and I think it works.”
The Give ‘Em Hell Boys come with a bit of an attitude, as if it’s them against the world, and Clark says it comes from their punk background.
“That comes from the punk rock world, it’s kind of that attitude a little bit,” he said. “Accept us or don’t, we don’t care, we’re going to do our thing, so it’s a little bit in your face. It’s not meant to be too aggressive but there is a bit of aggressiveness to it. We’re here to give ‘em hell.”
Playing with an attitude is something Clark took from legendary country artists Hank Williams and Johnny Cash.
“There was an attitude in country that’s been forgotten about, it had its own attitude and its own punk rock aesthetic,” he said. “At the time music was heavily orchestrated with a bunch of crooners and then all of a sudden there was this raw energy in the music. We saw the parity there in what those guys were doing and we felt a kindred spirit with them.”
There is a lot of different sounding country music that’s being produced, but it’s not what the majority of country fans listen to.
“It seems like the radio, it’s not there anymore, it’s gone underground there’s still people making really cool raw records but you definitely don’t hear them on the radio very often,” Clark said.
Bands like 327 Stringband and Hank Williams III, the grandson of Hank Williams, have been producing different type of records.
“[327 Stringband] were playing traditional blue grass music but they were just doing it with an energy and an attitude that was really cool,” Clark said. “It helped give us an inspiration for what we were doing because we felt that these guys were inspired by the same guys we were inspired by.”
With their different style of country, and being a part of the Thursday night kick off, The Give ‘Em Hell boys will be a band to watch.
“We like to have fun and the most fun we have is playing on stage with each other and with an audience and that always translates to a good time for a crowd,” Clark said. “Kicking it off I think we’re going to make sure that the crowd there on Thursday night has the best time possible while we’re there, it should be fun.”