High River’s newly formed “new grass” band, “The Spitzee Post Band,” has created itself as the house band at the Spitzee Post Bar and Grill on Saturday jam nights, and the group is doing everything it can to keep live music in High River strong.
The group’s members include Joe Gore on mandolin, vocals and guitar; his wife, Coralee, on stand-up bass; Wayne Corner on guitar; Bob Weder on banjo; and Craig West on violin.
The idea for the band’s name came from one of its members as a way to pay tribute to the establishment that helped them get their start and also as a way to showcase musical talent in High River.
Gore and the band’s members wanted the name to stand out and celebrate their origin because they are all very proud to have formed at the Spitzee Post in the Heritage Inn.
The group’s members are passionate about the music they play and, like many musicians, they know how therapeutic playing music can be.
“After the flood there wasn’t really any music left in town since Gitters wasn’t going to reopen,” Gore explained. “So since Coralee and I are such big fans of Gitters, we decided that we wanted to bring the music back to High River and try and boost the town’s morale a little bit.”
With the band members well aware of High River’s musical talent, they initially started planning jam nights out of their homes to give musicians a place to play and enjoy music.
Gore soon planned the Saturday jam nights at the Spitzee Post to provide a musical outlet for High River residents who didn’t want to see live music die in their community, but he never imagined a new band would come out of it.
“We talked to Rick Bart, the manager at the Heritage Inn, and he told us he’d love to host a music night but he didn’t have the equipment to make it work,” he said. “We went out that week and bought all of the equipment we needed to host a jam night. We also had people donate some equipment and offer to run the sound board for us.”
The group’s membership seems to have been orchestrated through synchronicity, too.
“Wayne and I met at a Gitters’ jam night before the flood and I met Bob at a different jam but we were also very fortunate that Craig West moved into town, so it’s kinda funny how we all met and have come together to play music,” he said. “Craig is an amazing full-time musician who plays with absolutely everybody. I think God just sends him wherever he is needed.”
The band recently auditioned for the 2014 Shady Grove Bluegrass Festival in Nanton and will be playing at this well-known music festival in August.
Gore said the group is very appreciative of Rick Bart and all of the staff at the Spitzee Post and Heritage Inn for allowing them to host jam nights and make this all possible.
The Spitzee Post Band plays every Saturday night beginning at 6 p.m. at the Spitzee Post on 11 Ave SE. For more on the band, visit the Heritage Jam Facebook page.