Okotoks blues crew gets nomination at YYC Music Awards – Western Wheel

The Pairie Dogz’ new single 40 Dollars is nominated for Blues Recording of the Year at the YCC Music Awards.

An Okotoks blues outfit has been nominated for the YYC Music Awards.

The Prairie Dogz recent single 40 Dollars has received a nomination for Blues Recording of the Year.

The song tells a story that’s all too real, and when you’re playing the blues, nothing beats having a little life experience.

“That’s the one thing with us being a little older and a little bit of mileage, we’ve got lots of good – and not good – things to write about,” said Keith Hambrook, one of the front men for the Prairie Dogz. “That song is based on some things I went through in my 20s, I was playing guitar and I was really, really, really broke.

“I liked this girl and wanted to show her a good time and I had 40 dollars in my wallet, which was all the money I had in the world, so instead of buying food and being responsible with it I took her out that night.”

“And it was an absolute disaster. That was just one of those ones.”

In the past year, the Prairie Dogz, comprised of Hambrook, Dwight Koenning, Terry Studd, Dave Fast and Martin Wright, signed a deal with Emanant Music/Blues Vox Records to be distributed through Sony’s label The Orchard.

Hambrook credits their appeal to their bona fide blues credentials.

“Musically we tried to hit some real traditional blues moves in those songs,” he said. “The progression’s a standard blues progression and the guitar shots, you can hear Stevie Ray Vaughan in there – he’s shaped my technique a lot.”

While he hesitated to say awards and nominations are everything, Hambrook is excited at the nomination.

“It was really humbling and really reaffirming … there’s some great other bands that have been nominated,” he said, adding he considers Okotoks and area a hot spot for musical talent. “You work your whole life at developing your craft, being a good player and being able to write stuff that makes sense.

“It just made me appreciate the whole thing, appreciate being lucky in the band I’m in and being lucky enough to work with the guys we work with recording that song.”

The band has been busy touring since signing, something Hambrook is happy to do.

“We’ve played a lot, travelled a lot during the summer and it’s been just fantastic, just had a great time and played some memorable shows,” he said.

“It’s just what I always wanted to do.”

To see the full list of nominees for the YYC Music Awards, visit yycmusicawards.com.

The awards will be handed out at the Grey Eagle Event Centre in Calgary on Sunday, Sept. 24.

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