Joe Vickers brings Valley Home to stage | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm

Joe Vickers brings Valley Home to stage

    Joe Vickers’s solo release Valley Home is not only a lot of the valley but also a lot of himself.
    The Drumheller born singer-songwriter produced a CD for the celebration of the centennial of coal mining in the valley. He crafted a well researched, inspired work centred on the history of Drumheller.
    What makes it unique is that rather than looking in at his subject, he is a product of it. His namesake traces its way back to the first hardware store in the valley. His maternal grandfather was among the first generation of miners to make the valley their home.
    “I was privileged growing up in the same community as my grandparents. As a kid, I spent lots of weekends, evenings and after school at my grandparents'. Their stories about the past shaped who I am, they have had a great influence on me and their stories naturally became my own,” said Vickers. “For me to have the opportunity to share them is almost a a way of giving back or at least paying respect to the lives they lived, and honouring them.”
    Vickers will be performing the CD in its entirety at Kaleidoscope Theatre on November 4. This will be the official launch of the CD in the valley, although the CD has been available for some time. He performed at this year’s May Day celebrations.
    To say it has been a busy year for Vickers is an understatement. He graduated from university, and spent the summer touring with his band Audio/Rocketry.
    In the meantime, he also researched, wrote, performed and recorded Valley Home, in celebration of the centennial of coal mining. The CD is more than a tribute to miners, it is a celebration of the history and the lifeblood of the valley.
    “I spent much more time researching than I imagined. If you want to have something historically correct in a piece of work, you've got to put the time into it,” Vickers said. “It is very humbling to hear the response.”
    He brought his CD along with him on tour, and played a few of the songs along the way. He did get a chance of a lifetime to showcase the work in Glace Bay at the Miners Museum, on the same stage that the famous Men of the Deeps perform. It created a buzz and was advertised on TV and radio. He was well received, and was a highlight of the tour.
    “There was an emotional response. It made me realize that even though I am writing songs that are from a location thousands of kilometres away, many of the themes are relevant to people who lived through the same things,” he said.
    “With stories that are close to home, you are bound to bring forth a lot of emotion from yourself, and put that into song. As a songwriter you hope the emotion you are feeling can be transcended in sound.”        
    The November 4 performance is special.
    “This is the show I have been waiting to do all summer,” he said.
    “I wanted to ensure I had enough time to bring the best show forth. We could have done it earlier but it seemed like it was too rushed. It’s for my hometown, so I wanted to make it special."
     Vickers will be on stage with a couple band mates to accompany his historical journey through the valley. The show will also incorporate a few choice stories.
    The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Atlas Coal Mine and at Shredz Skate Shop.


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