Derek Loewen of Del Boy Druid is bringing a unique sound to two unique Jasper venues.
Alongside New Orleans artist Azad Safavi, on August 17, Del Boy Druid will take the stage at the Spice Joint Lounge. Local artist Wade Rimstead is also bringing his signature sound to the party. Then, on August 18, the act moves to The Grizz Café at the Jasper Park Lodge, which will feature an open stage and DJ set.
After reverberating through the Rockies, the tour will then make its way to the prairies, with a number of dates booked in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
With a wide range of influences, spanning from classic rock to jazz, Del Boy Druid has been molded by both classic and modern sounds. A seven-month visit to New Orleans taught Loewen about the foundational influence of Black American music, while his creative writing professors plunged him into the worlds of Beat Generation poets Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. A solo project, Blame and Other Poems, was largely written late at night, after Loewen finished his shift at the Jasper hostel where he worked for two years.
“I think the environment really shaped the recordings,” he said.
Just as the song-writing setting was important to the process, the song-performing venues in Jasper are close to Loewen’s heart. The Grizz, in particular, was a consistent playground for his musical exploration. Loewen fondly recalls many trips down to the Jasper Park Lodge, hauling gear the four kilometres down Old Fort Point Road to play for a handful of people. This DIY ethic motivated the venue choices for the entire tour—the smaller, the more intimate, the better. According to Loewen, he finds performing in these settings slightly more challenging, but far more rewarding.
“When the crowd is smaller, you really have to engage with each individual person in the audience. You can really get a read on what they’re feeling,” he said.
The bottom line of the tour is, simply, “music for music’s sake.” Del Boy Druid’s grassroots approach to touring is something Loewen hopes will inspire fellow artists to do the same, and to motivate local venues to consider the value of art…for art’s sake.
Jack Mastrianni // email@example.com