Since Clay and I have relocated to Saskatchewan, one of the most difficult things for me has been missing out on the Calgary Stampede – the midway and the rodeo have been a way of life for my family since I was probably, 5-years-old. But I did get a quick taste of it this year. Last Wednesday, I had to make a brief trip over to Alberta to pick up a horse. And let me tell you, driving in Calgary during Stampede week, with a dually, was a grueling experience to say the least. I am proud to say that I survived. And so did the truck.
Upon my return to Saskatchewan this past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Craven Country Jamboree, held in Craven, SK. With a lively crowd and a line-up of impressive country acts, the festival helps to fill the Stampede void for me, if not make me forget about it almost entirely…
Dave, our \”handlebar blender friend,\” might have had something to do with that too:
It was my second time attending this incredible outdoor concert and I have to tell you, I was once again thoroughly impressed with the culture and energy that comes out in droves for this event.
John Deere green can be found everywhere. Rider Pride is on almost every bandana, fake – or real – tattoo and sweater (when it actually gets a little chilly at night and bikini-clad girls reach for warmer threads). And the Pilsner flows freely.
At Craven, agriculture takes on almost a surreal form. Age old traditions and ways of life are celebrated with a modern frenzy. The youth embrace it and the experienced cherish it. Nothing makes you prouder than wearing “Farm Boy” or “Farm Girl” attire of some sort. And the crowd goes absolutely nuts when a song comes along featuring the line, “She thinks my tractor’s sexy…!”
Of course, Kenny Chesney helps to get the crowd going too.
This year the country star line-up at Craven included Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Diamond Rio, Emerson Drive, Martina McBride, Kevin Costner and Modern West and Chesney closed up Sunday night with an amazing and dynamic performance. I didn\’t want it to end.
Luckily, a new act who will surely keep the Craven spirit alive for me until next year and is quickly filling up all the space in my ipod, is Luke Bryan. Although I was new to his music prior to Craven, he certainly caught my attention when his band ripped out a Metallica interlude. Check out these lyrics, the rock infused country guitar, a killer fiddler and well… now I know why he is a 2-time nominee on People Country magazine\’s most beautiful list.