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Rainmaker Bash ushers in headphone disco and country concert

St. Albert's Sparrow Blue is performing a set at Rainmaker Festival on Friday, May 24.

Bodies swaying in strange rhythmic motions with random shouts of lyrics and hollers from the crowd. That’s a typical description of crowds dancing to Rainmaker Festival’s rock and country concerts held respectively on Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25. 

But this year, organizers are introducing a fresh way to party. Friday is billed as Rainmaker Rock and Silent Dance Party. The headline act is Headphone Disco, the silent party people making music with three DJs. 

Clubbers are given a wireless set of three-channel headphones. The speaker system is switched off while three DJs spin three completely different sets. Clubbers flick between channels listening to their preferred music and take control of their dance floor experience. 

While Headphone Dsico lends itself to quiet dancing into the late-night hours, Friday night opens with Chronic Rock, a high-energy rock and roll five-piece. It is a popular Edmonton dance band borrowing selections from Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Journey, Heart, April Wine, Lady Gaga, Pink, Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe. 

Sandwiched in between Chronic Rock and Headphone Disco is St. Albert’s own Sparrow Blue. Inspired by the old school roots of rock’n roll, Sparrow Blue has created a sound coining the term “Real Thick Rock’n Roll.” The six-piece band’s latest singles are Don’t Tell Me Nothin’, a catchy, foot-stomper, and Hold Me Down, a blistering headbanger. 

Saturday’s Country Concert instead brings together four hot country acts including James Barker Band, Steven Lee Olsen, Jacquie Daniels and Justin Sutton. 

Headlining the concert is James Barker Band, four musicians who eight years ago, started opening for local bands in dive bars and largely on their own charted multiple No. 1 singles and millions of global streams. 

This Ontario band has enjoyed a string of gold-certified tracks including New Old Trucks, Over All Over Again, Good Together and Summertime as well as the platinum-certified Keep it Simple. 

Nashville’s Steven Lee Olsen pop-infused take on country means to energize and inspire. The Toronto-born singer –songwriter whose No. 1 chart-topping Blue Ain’t Your Color, brings out the genre’s poignant themes of love, work and play. 

St. Albert’s Jacquie Daniels and the Blank Slates is a true-blue Metis Outlaw Country Artist. With a microphone in hand, Daniels is a rebel who proves women can swing fierce outlaw swagger while decked out in sparkling rhinestones. 

Justin Sutton and North of 49 show off their traditional approach to the country music scene with personal experiences and observations that capture the struggles and humour of everyday life. Sutton’s latest release is Drinkin’ and Dreamin’. 

Admission for Friday Night Rock and Silent Dance Party is $38.10. Tickets for Saturday Night Country Concert are $66.67. Both are available online at

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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