Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback were set to play a free show in Spirit Square earlier this summer on June 9, but the late spring had other ideas and the show was rained out.
Fortunately, Spirit Square programmer Lucas Schuller was able to reschedule them for the end of the summer’s free live music offerings.
Inuvaluit singer-songwriter Willie Thrasher is a legend of Indigenous folk-rock music. He has been performing his songs across North America and Europe since the 1970s, and for the last 15 years with his partner Linda Saddleback. He has recorded three albums, Spirit Child and Sweet Grass in the 1980’s with the CBC, and Indian/Inuit Country, a cassette-only release from 1994.
In 2014, Light in the Attic Records, an independent record label based in Seattle that specializes in reissuing rare and archival recordings released Native North America, Vol. 1: Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985. Compiled by Vancouver DJ Kevin Howes, the album includes three songs by Thrasher as well as contemporaries like Willie Dunn and Curtis “Shingoose” Jonnie. It was nominated for a Grammy and the Polaris Prize for 2015, and sparked a renewed interest in Thrasher’s music.
He was invited to perform at festivals and stages across the continent and Europe, and his song Wolves Don’t Live by the Rules was covered by modern Inuk artist Elisapie gaining airplay in Canada and views across the globe. Light in the Attic later reissued Spirit Child in its entirety, and Indian/Inuit Country was recently rereleased digitally and is now available for a new generation of listeners and fans.
Thrasher and Saddleback continue to travel and perform sharing their songs and joy with audiences all over. Campbell River music fans get a chance to hear them on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. at Spirit Square.
The River Concert series runs every Thursday evening through the summer featuring free live music presented by the City of Campbell River and 99.7 The River with support from the Anchor Inn and Coastal Community Credit Union. Full schedule and information at facebook.com/CRspiritsquare or www.spiritsquare.ca