Jack Godwin, left, was the head of the Kettle Valley Brakemen. The band performed across British Columbia for the past 25, years, presenting original compositions about Canada’s railway history. (Black Press file photo)

Jack Godwin, left, was the head of the Kettle Valley Brakemen. The band performed across British Columbia for the past 25, years, presenting original compositions about Canada’s railway history. (Black Press file photo)

Kettle Valley Brakemen disband

South Okanagan musicians have performed railway-themed music for past 25 years

After 25 years of performances around British Columbia, the Kettle Valley Brakemen have pulled into the station for the last time.

The South Okanagan band had performed to thousands, featuring true stories and original songs from Canada’s steam railway past.

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Jack Godwin, head of the Brakemen said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the band.

“Like all live performers, our 2020 schedule was scrubbed but it was only recently in preparing for our first show of 2021 that I accepted the futility of continuing. A masked story teller and mask-muffled songs is no recipe for success — or fun,” he said.

The band has released five CDs of original music. Their performances date back to the opening of the Kettle Valley Railway steam train in Summerland, in September, 1995.

An article by Maggie Ricciardi in the 83rd edition of the Okanagan Historical Society chronicled the Brakemen story. Godwin went on to thank the band’s loyal fans for their support over the years.

“We Brakemen have enjoyed wonderful support from rail fans and history buffs of all ages but it’s now time to mothball the overalls and move on to new musical challenges. Still, the 25 year ride has been sweet,” Godwin said.

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