Dale Seaman will be bringing more than just Highway 97 with him to Peachfest.
While they’re normally enjoyed as a trio, the scale of Peachfest is allowing Dale Seaman & Highway 97 to add a live drummer and bassist for their set on Aug. 7 at the Penticton Peach Festival.
“So we’ll have the true five piece,” Seaman said. “I love playing with these guys, they’re such great musicians.”
At its core, Highway 97 is Craig Brown leading on guitar (sometimes mandolin), and assisting with vocals, as well as Betty Anne Northup on the keyboard and vocals.
“What I’m trying to do, and I think I’ve done it, is put together one of the best bands in the Okanagan for dancing.”
His band’s blend of musicians allows him to explore all the genres of rock and roll and country.
“We’ve just opened the door to all kinds of music we can do, so we can please everybody,” he said. “Doing the country thing is good, scheduled for a western show, but there are places that want some rock as well, so we can give them a good variety of rock, contemporary, classic rock and country – both new and old.”
Many of the gains came from synergies between Seaman and Brown.
“Craig Brown rearranged the music to the original songs that I had and just really livened them up – and they sound great now. along with the classic stuff, we also have original stuff.”
He said that teaming up and forming Highway 97 was the best way for him to make great music.
“Because of my age, I’m 57, I realized going as a solo artist, I’m getting late.”
Nonetheless, Seaman said that Brown is challenging him to grow in his music.
“I do rhythm and he’s our lead guitar player, but he’s got me doing harmony lead work with him now.”
Through trial and error, they’ve figured out which songs flawlessly strike a chord with audiences.
“The ones that just sort of work wherever you go, wherever you play – so we just keep those in the sets. Guitars, Cadillacs stuff like that – the classic stuff that people know right away.”
And they’re ready to unload their musical arsenal upon Peachfest.
“It’s one of our highlights of the year because we get to put ourselves in front of a lot more people, and especially local people.”
Seaman & Highway 97 will be on the Peachfest stage from 6:35 until 7:20 p.m. on Aug. 7, just two hours before headlining act George Canyon takes over. Both launched their musical careers after finding success through talent competitions in 2004 – Seaman at the Okanagan Star Search and Canyon through Nashville Star 2.
“I love George. He actually came from Nova Scotia and so did my dad.”
The band released a CD in the spring and it will be for sale at the festival, along with other merchandise.
“(The album) resembles as close to possible what people are going to hear when they see us live.”
Those who can’t make his show on Aug. 7, or anybody who wants more Seaman – he’ll be playing Osoyoos Gyro Park on July 31, the Therapy Vineyards in Naramata on Aug. 1, Peachland’s Blue Rooster Café on Aug. 3, and on Aug. 6 at the Oliver Community Park.
For more info on all of his South Okanagan shows, visit www.dseaman.com.