Jen Charters (left) and Kris Wood get into the music during their set.

Jen Charters (left) and Kris Wood get into the music during their set.

Of gypsies and cowboys

The eclectic musical stylings of Blackberry Wood revisited Fort St. James for a one-night-only show at the Legion.

The eclectic musical stylings of Blackberry Wood revisited Fort St. James for a one-night-only show at the Legion.

The group is on a western Canadian tour, getting out into the winter wonderland for a few weeks, a change from their native land of the Vancouver area.

Most of the group lives in East Vancouver, but drummer Ryan Trigg is living in Squamish, B.C..

With everything from gypsy music to Hank Williams Sr. and Johnny Cash tunes, the group got the crowd up and dancing, some despite themselves.

While short their trumpet player, who is reportedly “somewhere in Mexico,” Blackberry Wood still put on a good show as a three-piece, though perhaps a bit less energetic than their festival shows to larger audiences.

While the group may have toned it down for the low ceilings of the Legion and smaller turnout, they still had some table-top performing by the sexy saxophone player Jen Charters and audience participation, including everyone laying on their back with their legs in the air riding an imaginary bicycle.

Audience turnout was low, with around 30 attendees, but those who did come seemed to enjoy themselves immensely, with plenty of opportunity for interacting with the band after the show.

While only their second time in Fort St. James, the group said they had been invited to play previously at MoM by Lionel Conant, and other friends had played the festival before and told them to try it out.

“It’s a different festival, we had a great time,” said Charters.

For those who were not at MoM, or missed Blackberry Wood’s performances, the group has a very theatrical show, full of audience involvement, dance-offs and bright costumes (remember the bumble bee?).

“We try and turn up the energy as much as we can when we play and the antics usually follow,” said Trigg.

When asked how they manage to bring together such a variety of styles and influences, the group seemed to look at it a bit like an old-school circus act, where everything from the exotic to the down-home would have been under one “big top.”

“We put it all under one big circus tent,” said Kris Wood, group front man.

The band is excited to be playing Glastonbury Festival this summer, a monster-festival in June in England, with around 140,000 people at the festival over the weekend (not including performers, crew, etc.).

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