On Friday, June 21, the main street of Watson will be rocking and twanging with great country-rock and bluegrass sounds at its 3rd annual Streetfest. This year’s musical celebration and dance, presented by the Watson Fire Department with main stage sponsor BHP, features a couple of area favourite bands. 

The Local Group brings its wild and frenetic brand of bluegrass as the openers at 7 pm. The band’s incredible musicianship, its treatment of bluegrass standards, and its clever and humourous originals have gained widespread notoriety.  

The Local Group’s name is a double-edged pun for a bunch of players from the neighbourhood, but also a cluster of galaxies of which the Milky Way is part. From the grounded to the cosmic is a good way to describe their music. 

It’s the Local Group’s first official visit to Watson says creative front man Jaxon Lalonde. Following the Streetfest event, the band rushes back to Saskatoon for a special gig. 

“On June 22 at Amigos, we’re calling it our Saskatoon EP release show. Back in January, we recorded two songs that we wrote about Saskatoon, one called ‘The Beautiful City of Saskatoon’ that I wrote, and one that Ethan (Peters) wrote called ‘You Can Find Love at the Longbranch.’ We think they’re pretty funny. We’re releasing a music video for each song and releasing the EP that weekend.” 

While the band's music is firmly rooted in bluegrass, there’s a wry humour and adept phrasing to the tunes, complete with the sardonic “I Don’t Want to Live Anymore” and the world-weary “The Information Age Frustration Rage,” that point to other influences.  

 “We take influences from all styles of music – a lot of different genres. My lyrics come from a love of all different kinds of music – hip hop, rock, country, punk – anything I can fuse together. With our instrumentals, we work hard to try to craft something different.” 

The unmistakable theme is the incredible musicianship that the foursome (Lalonde, Ethan Peters, Elliot Dillabough of Humboldt origin, and Mary Liv) puts together. Streetfest patrons are in for a treat. 

That launches into the 9 pm stage holders, The Brothers G, who have been gaining plenty of attention with their debut album release and their dynamic stage show. It’s a straight up, whiskey laced brand of country rock. It’s edgy, spirited music that’s been packing folks in across the prairies. 

Like any musical assembly, their beginnings were small, born out of their farm in Hafford, SK. Jordan Gall (one of the “G” brothers along with Jason) and a neighbour got together to jam. 

“We started the band in 2018 as a two-piece when we recorded our first EP,” Jordan Gall explains. “We were looking for a bass player, and a neighbour of ours (Elias Brevik) who rode the same school bus as us from K-12 just so happened to get a bass for Christmas that year. It kind of fell into our lap naturally.” 

The two Gall brothers emerged from playing in cover bands to the beginning of crafting their own tunes and sound. Jordan describes it as a combination of country-blues, rock and roll, and a little alternative influence thrown into the mix. Rock solid instrumental work and soulful, grid road gritty vocals throwback to Stevie Ray and Skynyrd with a strong Saskatchewan sensibility.  

“My brother and I grew up with the music of CCR, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd – we grew up playing this stuff. So when it came time start writing original music, that’s sort of the sound that came out of us.” 

As time went on, the country influence came to the forefront with lyrics and narrative. The resulting amalgam, along with their musicianship bolstered by newcomer Kit Langfield, has caught on with audiences in their ever-expanding sphere. The band’s self-titled January debut album is doing well and available on streaming platforms.  

The Galls et al have performed in Watson before, backing up Jolie Blue, where they caught the eye of organizer Jim Haussecker who asked the band back to light up the night. 

Haussecker says other features of the Streetfest event include activities for the kids prior to the music, burgers cooked up by the Fire Department members, 50/50 draws, and of course refreshments throughout the evening.  

The Brothers G are looking forward to returning as the headliners, along with their good friends The Local Group, for what will prove to be an exceptional evening of music at this year’s Watson Streetfest. Tickets are going fast. They’re available from Watson Firefighters or select businesses in Watson. For more information, call Jim at (306) 287-7130.