Fingers were flying, boots were stomping, and the occasional wail of delight from die hard Oiler fans and their bandwagon jumping compatriots rose through the evening din on Friday night in Watson. 

The 3rd annual Street Fest was another smashing success, with an enthusiastic turnout for the pair of great bands that played into the night. 

The event supported the Watson Fire Department. Fire Chief Glen Thacyk announced that the fundraising for a new command truck was complete, and that the new unit was on order. Another exciting announcement was that the department would soon be moving to a new facility, the former OK Tire building on Highway 6. The current hall on Main Street is bursting at the seams with equipment, and the new facility will have room to house existing and new equipment. 

The night kicked off with the Local Group, Saskatoon based bluegrass masters. The addition of well-known fiddle player and independent artist Mary Liv to the ranks adds a Celtic feel to some of the band’s original and covers.  

The group was set to launch an EP the following evening with a couple originals featured on Friday night. ‘Beautiful City of Saskatoon’ and ‘You Can Find Love at Longbranch’ are homages to the hometown. The group's sweet harmonies and multi-instrumental richness give a full sound that crosses from bluegrass and roots into tinges of jazz, Celtic and other exciting, inventive territories. One of the most interesting departures is a tune simply titled ‘Deer TV,’ a score written to accompany a soothing visual doc of deer in their prairie habitat.  

Corb Lund’s ‘Berta Boys’ resounded from the stage, ironically as the Oilers scored their fourth goal on the rigged up big screen playing in the compound. The Irish staple ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ was another crowd favourite.  

Their propensity for clever, tongue in cheek, and somewhat ominous lyrics, as in ‘Information Age Frustration Rage’ and ‘Don’t Want to Live Anymore,’ serves as another band hallmark. Jaxon Lalonde on banjo; Ethan Peters on standup bass, harmonica and fiddle; and Elliot Dillabough on acoustic guitar round out this stunning quartet.  

watson streetfest 2024 2.jpg The Local Group and the Brothers G join members of the Watson Fire Department for a photo on the steps of the Museum.

Next up were the Brothers G, a four-piece powerhouse hailing from Hafford. The Gall Brothers (Jason on vocals/guitars, Jordan on vocals/drum) and Elias Brevik (bass) have added Kit Langford, a country music presence in his own right. Langford is a multi-instrumental threat, whose guitar work alongside Jason’s, pulls off sounds ranging from the Allman Brother’s to southern fried rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was head on country rock from the opening ‘8th Street,’ another homage to Saskatoon, through to the southern boogie tune a la Molly Hatchet, ‘Swinging Door.’ 

The crowd assumed the Brothers were breaking into Kid Rock’s summer anthem ‘All Summer Long’ but were delighted when Jordan belted out a rock-solid version of Warren Zevon’s ‘Werewolves of London.’ 

A special part of the evening saw the Local Group join the Brothers on stage for the beautiful harmony rich ballad ‘Autumn Conversations’ and the high octane ‘Aces High.” 

The band’s sound is tight with great guitar work, and Jason’s high energy connection with the audience makes him a front man to note.  

From start to finish, nothing but good times and a festive crew for the 3rd annual Street Fest in Watson.