This past Friday evening, I had the pleasure of catching the performance of Wild Son at the Grateful Fed. I had been fortunate enough to see them play at an O’Flannigan’s “Jam Night” earlier this month also, so when the chance came to see them again, I made sure I was in attendance. As expected, they did not disappoint!
Made up of multi-instrumentalists, Wild Son are an extremely talented three-piece band. Their sound is polished and exciting, but how best to describe it? I think that’s better left to the band members themselves who term their movement inducing style as “folk rock electric/acoustic with dance groove sensibilities.” For me though, what is truly impressive about Wild Son is their multi-instrumentation. That is, not only their ability to play one instrument, but several. On Friday, I witnessed, newest band member, Mitch play three instruments in one song! He played each with wonderful control and skill too, and to think some of us dream of being able to play just one instrument adequately! Not only that, but the band wish to improve upon this and incorporate more instrument switching into their live shows! This talent coupled with Kieran’s fast paced guitar play and Cam’s quick drum work often leaves the audience with a feast of skill to appreciate and wealth of music to move to. Even if you feel the sound may not appeal to you, any music lover will appreciate the talent each man possesses. At times, it’s difficult to know where to look, so you dance instead, or at least I do!
Photo Courtesy of Dunsmoor Photographic
Conceived and formed in the spring of 2011 by Winnipeg, Manitoba duo, Kieran McCaffrey and Cam Wilks, the band is now based in Kelowna and is undergoing an expansion. They added a fiddle/violin player, Mitch, in November 2011 and will become a four-piece act with the addition of bass, guitar and banjo player, Aaron DeSilva in mid-April. Excitingly, Wild Son’s song, What It’s Been, recently attained top 10 status in a local “Garage Band” competition. Thus Wild Son gets to submit another song, She’s My Girl, which will be used in the next round of voting to begin in early April. Bands that attain top 5 status will perform at Sapphire Night Club on April 25th where the final winner will be selected. You can listen to the first track, “What It’s Been” HERE.
So where did this story begin? Well, the band members have a long history of playing together and as with many musical acts, university had a role to play. Recently added fiddle player, Mitch, and drum playing founding member, Cam, met at university. It was six years ago in Brandon, Manitoba when both were studying for degrees in music. Ultimately, Cam obtained his degree in Music Performance, Jazz, on Drum Set and Mitch in Music Performance, Classical, on Violin. Meanwhile, Kieran and, the new member to be added in April, Aaron, have been playing music together since the age of 17. The band members feel very fortunate in the manner of how they came together which essentially stems from Kieran and Cam’s various previous acts in Manitoba and the common musical spirit and vision this fostered.
Thus when Kieran McCaffrey and Cam Wilks first played together as Wild Son in 2011 the chances of success were high. Indeed, last summer they performed well as a duo and played with growing reputation and success at various venues around Manitoba. Despite this success they decided to make the move out west in August 2011 and luckily, thanks to the connection with Mitch, they opted for Kelowna. We should be delighted they chose Kelowna as they have the talent, passion and determination to light up venues around this city and go far. The addition of Aaron in April is exciting and should bring a new dynamic and creativity to the band’s music. Not only that, they are currently in the studio recording new material. So my message is this: support local talent and check them out at the Grateful Fed on April 14th and, assuming they attain a top 5 spot in the “Garage Band” competition, Sapphire on April 25th. They’re Kelowna’s band now, sorry Winnipeg…
Vincent Jones is a Kelowna based writer with a passion for music.
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