The Pernell Reichert Band is playing at the Downtown Community Market Aug. 16 and again that same day at the Gyro Park Bandshell at 7 p.m.

The Pernell Reichert Band is playing at the Downtown Community Market Aug. 16 and again that same day at the Gyro Park Bandshell at 7 p.m.

Folk sounds coming downtown

Before becoming a musician, Pernell Reichert was a world traveller and making a living as a tree planter and working in the oil field.

Before becoming the name behind The Pernell Reichert Band, Reichert was a world traveller and making  a living as a tree planter and working in the Alberta oil field.

The band will be playing twice on Aug. 16 at the Downtown Community Market and that evening in the Gyro Park Bandshell starting at 7 p.m.

The current lineup has been together for about two years. It consists of Reichert, who is the vocalist and plays banjo and harmonica, along with Tom Tischer on the drums and bassist, Ross Fairbairn.

Reichert describes their sound as alternative-folk to avoid being typecast as the brand of folk music that rose to popularity in the 1960s with bands such as Peter, Paul and Mary.

“We’re a little bit like that, but more with an edge,” said Reichert. “I’d describe us as outlaw folk.”

In his younger days, Reichert said his musical tastes were at odds with the folk genre.

“I grew up listening to AC/DC and Metallica,” he said. “Then, when I went travelling in my 20s, I met other people who turned me on to folk music.”

The idea that the lyrics in folk music often talk about travelling and meeting a variety of people was inspiring to Reichert.

“Seeing places around the world is great but interacting with people is what I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” he said. “It’s the people you meet along your travels that make the memories.”

He had been playing guitar already so making the transition to becoming a musician wasn’t too difficult.

“I had a bit of a troubadour thing happening,” said Reichert, who grew up in Surrey but then eventually moved to East Vancover to be closer to the type of music he wanted to play. When he was there, he fell in with a group people with a like mind.

“That’s one piece of advice I would give someone who wants to be a musician,” he said. “Move into the area where those people who are making the kind of music you want to make are already living.”

An interesting note for those who can recall TV shows from the 1960s is that Reichert’s mom named him after TV personality Pernell Roberts, who starred in the long-running western, Bonanza, and Trapper John, M.D., which ran through part of the 1980s.

“It’s somewhat of a unique name,” said Reichert, who admitted to watching the introduction to the medical show that ran through part of the 1980s.

One of nicest things about his band is the fact the trio have been able to remain friends outside of group.

Although they all have regular jobs in order to meet their monthly bill obligations, Reichert said they love what they do and plan to continue honing their musical skills.

“What’s nice about us all having day jobs is that we’ve got some flexibility and we can still revolve the time around our music,” he said.

“We make sure that we maintain a good work ethic.”