Squamish Valley Music Festival Band of the Day: Portage & Main

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      Like Christmas when it gets to be the end of November, and Easter when the trees start to sprout leaves after a long winter, it’s starting to feel like it’s almost here. Just so there’s no confusion, we’re not talking the night when the fat bearded guy stuffs himself down the chimney or when a white rabbit breaks into the house to strew chocolate offspring and rainbow coloured eggs everywhere.

      No, we’re talking about the Squamish Valley Music Festival, taking place August 8-10 at the Logger Sports Grounds and Hendrickson Fields. In anticipation of the big day, we’re spending the next few weeks rounding up local artists who’ll be playing this year’s event, and getting them to answer some important questions.

      Like who they’ll be cueing up on the iPod for the Sea to Sky drive to the site, what they’ll be making sure to pack to make it through their set, the all-time dream festival lineup, and who they plan to stalk backstage. And that’s just the start of our probing. Read on, but not before you pick up your Squamish Valley Music Festival ticket. The last thing you want to miss is today’s featured local artist....

      Like Neil Young, the Band, and Blue Rodeo before them, the guys in Portage & Main prove that Canadians do Americana better than their south-of-the-border cousins. The band's keyboardist, Georges Couling, was kind enough to respond to our probing questionnaire.

      Sea To Sky Playlist 

      • Terence Jack, "Home Is Where the Heart Is"
        Off Terence's yet-to-be-released debut album, Reckless Abandon
      • Lions in the Street, "Moving Along"
         2013 Top 20 Peak Performance Project artist
      • Lydia Hol, "Weighing Me Down"
        2013 Top 20 Peak Performance Project artist
      • Dawes, "My Way Back Home"
      • The Doors, "Roadhouse Blues"
      • Kenny Chesney, "Summertime"
      • Dire Straits, "Southbound Again"
      • Antibalas, "Dirty Money"
      • The Sumner Brothers, "Toughest Man in Prison Camp"
      • Elaine Shepherd, "Til The Sun Comes Up"
        Off her new EP, New Day, to be released August 13

      Outdoor essentials:

      24-pack of Pil stashed nearby. That is all. 

      We'd Love to Hang With:

      I'm going to have to go with Jurassic 5 on this one. I had the pleasure of opening for Chali 2Na at the Rio with a Miami Device, and he put on one of the most entertaining shows I've ever witnessed. I can only assume that the whole group is going own the stage up at Squamish. The Matinee came a close second. Those dudes are pretty dreamy.

      First Festival Experience:

      My first multi-day festival experience was at the Merritt Mountain Music Festival. I can't quite recall who was playing that year as the three years I attended have all blurred into one, but over those years I got to see Brooks and Dunn, Dwight Yoakam, Tim McGraw, Travis Tritt, and Big and Rich. I do, however, remember having my '81 VW Vanagon die while waiting in the lineup and having a pickup truck behind us push us through the front gates.

      As stellar As This Year’s Squamish Bill is, What’s Your Fantasy Fest Line-up?

      My fantasy fest line-up would be a mix of musical styles, and a mix of local and international acts (much like the Squamish fest). The boys of Five Alarm Funk are the perfect band to get the party started. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band would be there for sure. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jay Z, Antibalas, Dawes, Mark Knopfler, Ben Harper, Béla Fleck, Gov't Mule, Medeski Martin & Wood, Neil Young, Green Day, Snoop Dogg, and Willie Nelson would all be there too. Representing Vancouver we'd have Mother Mother, FAF (mentioned earlier), Elaine Shepherd, Lions in the Street, Lydia Hol, Miami Device, Terence Jack, and the Jimmy Baldwin Band. 

      What's Your Official Rider Request?

      A flat of Old Style Pilsner, and a bottle of whisky is all we need to be kept happy. 

      Trivia time: What’s Squamish’s official slogan?

      "Come climb a big rock." 

      The Festival takes place at Hendrickson Fields & Logger Sports Ground. Quick—what’s your favourite logger sport?

      You mean lager sport, right? Flip cup. It's a good team game.

      Portage & Main plays the Squamish Valley Music Festival’s Garibaldi Stage at 6:35 p.m. on Thursday (August 8).