Popular local band Renegade Station is gearing up for a Cruise In Concert slated for Sept. 4th at the Stettler Sports Park.
Tickets are $50 per vehicle and are available on the band’s web site or via www.showpass.com/cruise-in-concert/?eventref+fb_oea.
With the ongoing pandemic, it’s been a relatively quiet year for the band – so they are more than excited at the notion of hitting the stage to perform for local fans.
“We wanted to do something, and what better place to do this than in our hometown,” said singer/bassist Luanne Carl. Rounding out the band are guitarist Russell Carl, guitarist/vocalist Kent Nixon and drummer Scott McKnight.
“We’ve been working on it for a couple of months to get all of the Alberta Health regulations sorted out. So in conjunction with the Town of Stettler and Alberta Culture Days, we are kicking off Alberta Culture Days in September.
“These cruise-in concerts have become popular as well – people can drive in and watch the show and it will be pumped through their car radios,” she explained, adding that a total of 100 vehicles are allowed – so snap up your tickets early.
”It will be a lot of fun.”
As mentioned, the band is thrilled for the opportunity as they’ve only played once since March.
“We hit the stage, and I tell you, our one-hour set went by in what felt like five minutes! We were just so happy to be back onstage, singing and being together,” she said. “Music is such a universal language – it just makes you feel better!”
Meanwhile, band members have been working on new music during the downtime in particular.
“We did have a studio date and an EP planned for this year in April. We were heading into the studio to record the six songs and of course everything got pulled,” she explained.
Funding for that new project, unfortunately, was also put on hold with the shutdown.
“But we are still working on new music and we hope to be performing a couple of new songs at the show. The plan is also to work towards at least releasing another single. We might not be able to do the full EP right off the bat, but people coming out and supporting the concert is going to help as well,” she said.
As to their sound, Luanne explained how the band is always evolving and keeping things fresh.
“Country music is always evolving, too,” she said. “But what we are also happy about is that country music seems to be turning back to a story-telling (nature). These new songs (of ours) have a lot of that – and we are happy about it.
“And of course our signature harmonies are what are at the forefront. We want songs to tell a story so that people can also relate to them as well,” she added.
Looking back, the band came together almost accidentally as Luanne and Russell began attending and performing at a town variety show in Stettler.
There they met Nixon and McKnight and decided to create a band to play dances and parties – becoming the ‘go to’ act on the circuit. Their moniker of Renegade Station is also symbolic of the group’s approach to music.
As pointed out on their web site, the ‘Station’ part of their name is a nod to the vintage working steam train that is a tourist attraction in Stettler and which is a throwback to the region’s pioneering past.
In recent years, the band has also won back-to-back Association of Country Music in Alberta Awards as Group of the Year (2015 and 2016) as well as the ACMA Fan’s Choice of the Year in 2015.
They also landed the 2018 ACMA Single of the Year for the terrifically-crafted hit Who’s Gonna Love Me Tonight.
For Luanne, balancing the demands of being in a busy band with full-time work is a challenge, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s been singing professionally since she was 16 years old.
“One thing that has also happened this year with COVID-19 is this (increased) online presence with all of the musicians,” she explained. “We’ve been able to watch and see things that we never really have before,” she said, listing off a bevy of favourite artists who haven’t let the pandemic get in the way of offering up some terrific appearances online.
“That fires you up, and it gets you wanting to perform and helps you remember why you do this,” she said. “I’ve gotten back into writing as well, so that’s been good. One highlight was writing with Duane Steele this year so that was really exciting.
“All of us really want to get back into the writing. We’ve also been able to do some things that we haven’t been able to do because of how busy we have been over the past five years,” she explained. “That also rejuvenates you. And this has all made us realize how much we love music and how much we love playing,” she said.
“When music is truly a part of you, that just doesn’t stop. I’ve stepped away from playing at times in the past, and it just calls you back. It is who you are.”
For more about the band, find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also visit their web site at www.renegadestationmusic.com.