It’s been awhile since Oliver Swain’s Big Machine has hit the road, but the trio is back at it and landing in Penticton.
The trio of musicians are headed through the British Columbia interior with the final stop on their tour at The Elite on June 28.
Victoria’s Oliver Swain delivers his own brand of alternative folk and traditional music with a smile and twinkle in his eye. He’s spent the last 15 or so years honing his craft with various bands such as Outlaw Social, Scruj MacDuhk and The Bills. He’s always been a bit of a music geek, collecting old wax cylinder records as a teen and being the only kid in school who claimed Robert Johnson as his favourite musician in a time when grunge rock was on top.
Swain has won awards, supported many known Canadian musicians and his solo debut called In a Big Machine was released to critical acclaim in 2011. It features five tracks of Swain’s original music, coupled with a few heavy hitting traditional folk numbers. Not to be forgotten is Swain’s take of Bruce Springsteen’s I’m on Fire on his 120-year-old goat skin banjo. He’s also toured internationally as a sideman with Juno award winner Toni Childs. Swain has a pure, finely tuned vocals with a big range and undeniable skill behind a banjo or upright bass. He grabs the attention of all who hear him and holds it with his enormous sound and stature. From the most innocent sounding banjo ditties to the imposing bowed bass, Swain delivers.
The collective live version of Swain’s Big Machine has wowed fans from Victoria to Memphis, Tenn, where they showcased at the 2012 Folk Alliance Conference.
Joining the Big Machine band are Richard Moody on fiddle, Quinn Bachand on guitar. Moody is a member of The Bills and the brother of Wailin Jenny’s member Ruth Moody. She has also been Swain’s sometime musical collaborator. Bachand is a growing name in the North American folk music scene having accompanied Ashley MacIsaac on stage and more recently, Natalie McMaster.