Retro rock ’n’ roll booked in Oliver

Some of the most popular music of the 1950s is ready to be rehashed in Oliver

Some of the most popular music of the 1950s is ready to be rehashed in Oliver.

Coming to the Frank Venables Theatre is the Old Friends Tour. The tour features the band Byrd Dawg, whose members Joel Dietrich and Wayne Rempel imitate two timeless duos – the Everly Brothers and Simon and Garfunkel.

The Everly Brothers will entertain the audience during the first half of the show, and Simon and Garfunkel take the stage afterwards – a fitting segue for the history of both bands.

“Simon and Garfunkel were heavily influenced by the Everly Brothers,” Dietrich said. “Paul Simon, in particular, was a huge fan of them. In his songwriting and their harmonies you can really see the influences that the Everly Brothers has on Paul.”

Rempel formed an appreciation for both duos as a teenager after seeing them featured on a TV program about the history of rock ’n’ roll.

“It really mesmerized me how great they sounded together,” he said. “I recorded the audio off of that episode with a tape recorder off the TV and listened over and over. Those sections of Simon and Garfunkel and Everly Brothers I listened to the most.”

It wasn’t until many years later Dietrich and Rempel teamed up. It was while working as backup vocalists for another tribute act where the two found their synergy.

“We just enjoyed making harmonies together,” Dietrich said. “And then Wayne had an idea to try some Everly Brothers songs, and it just grew from there.”

Rempel said countless musicians have been influenced by the Everly Brothers, and among the most popular were the Beatles.

“The style of harmonies are very similar for one thing,” Rempel said. “The Beatles really followed the style of harmony from (the Everly Brothers song) Cathy’s Clown in (Beatles song) Please Please Me. They’ve got a very similar style of harmony where Phil Everly would sing a high note, and he just sang the same note straight through a phrase, and then Don would start at the same note but then work his way down, and then it creates a very interesting tension, and the Beatles obviously liked that.”

The influence the Everly Brothers had over the Beatles was most obvious in the early 1960s – before cementing their legendary status as musicians, the Beatles referred to themselves as ‘the English Everly Brothers.’

Because of the massive impact the Everly Brothers have had over all pop culture, the audience will also hear “a few surprises” by other musicians that were influenced.

When they need the full-band sound, the Byrd Dawgs have the Vintage Electric Band behind them, who also add to the atmosphere of early rock ’n’ roll.

“When it comes to the sounds that they’re creating, they go to great lengths to try to recreate the original sounds and tones. They don’t just make it sound like a modern band trying to cover those songs,” Rempel said. “Our band uses period-correct instruments. When we come out as the Everly Brothers, we went to the effort of having matching suits the way they would have. As well as Everly Brother Gibson guitars, just to give it that authentic look. You won’t see many other tribute acts doing that because they’re not cheap.”

“That’s one of the things that’ll set it up, it’s got that vintage look right away,” Dietrich said.

The Old Friends Tour takes place on Oct. 2 and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $34.50 and can be purchased through For those who can’t attend the show in Oliver, Byrd Dawg will also be making a stop at the Kelowna Community Theatre on Oct. 3.


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