(From left) Guitarist Danick Dupelle, drummer Mike Melancon, singer Brad Mates and keyboard and vocalist Dale Wallace of Emerson Drive. The band takes the stage at Peachfest on Thursday, Aug. 8. (Submitted)

Emerson Drive ready for their return to Penticton Peach Festival

Award-winning country music band will headline Peach Festival country night

Emerson Drive is ready for round two of performing at Peachfest in Penticton.

The award-winning country music band will be closing the show the night of Aug. 8 at the free family festival, and according to lead singer Brad Mates, they can’t wait to come back. He said most of the band lives in Nashville, Ten., and are used to warm weather similar to the Okanagan.

“We were there a few years ago and had an absolute blast, it’s pretty easy for everyone in the band to come out that way because we love the area,” said Mates. “I think we’ll come up a day before the show just because it’s a nice place to be. We had a blast last time we were here so hopefully, we see a bunch of familiar faces out there again.”

While the band may be used to selling out concert arenas for the past two decades, Mates said their set won’t change much for this outdoor festival. He added that “it is cool to show people new songs off of new projects to gauge how they feel about it.”

“(We’ll play) whatever is current for singles on the radio, every year it seems to change when we’re putting new stuff out,” said Mates. “For the most part, I’ve always been a fan of going to see acts and listening to the songs that are familiar and popular so we make sure that the majority of our shows are stuff that people are going to recognize and sing along to.”

Mates said he’s appreciative of the family-friendly atmosphere, being a father of two, and said he is sure there will be multiple generations of their fans at this event.

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“Family stuff for me is pretty big these days, I have two kids of my own. I’ve always been aware of the different generations that sometimes get to come to the shows,” said Mates.”You can have the kids, the parents and the grandparents there sometimes. And Peachfest is just like that, all ages can come and I think it’s great. I’m not a fan of places that are 18 or 19-plus because music can be liked by people younger than that as well.”

Breaking into the music scene in 2001 with singles I Should Be Sleeping and Fall Into Me, Emerson Drive has come to record and release an impressive discography. Mates said while he enjoys the singing the band’s latest single Country People, which was released in March 2019, his current favourite to perform is Just Got Paid, which released in 2018.

“It’s just really cool when you think about the song last year when I talk about playing songs in front of a crowd for the first time, that is a great example of a song that just seemed to catch people’s attention before it was even played on radio,” said Mates. “Now when we play it, we get that immediate reaction when they hear the first intro into the song. So after doing this stuff for 24 years, it still feels brand new and fresh when you’re able to still have a song that does that.”

Emerson Drive will be performing at Peachfest, as part of Tim Hortons country night, at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 8 on the Peters Bros. main stage. For more information about Peachfest, visit www.peachfest.com.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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