Reviewed: Summer Send Off – Sept 1, 2012

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Despite the rain and cold in Ponoka, Alberta on Saturday night, the crowd kept warm rocking along side some of country music’s best for the 2nd Annual Summer Send Off Music Festival. 

The show kicked off with the Boom Chucka Boys, who have their own brand of rockabilly and old-time country. They call Red Deer, AB home, just down the road from where the Send Off took place. You can check them out at:

Dean Brody took the stage next to an enthusiastic Alberta crowd with ‘Roll That Barrell Out’. Hit after hit, Brody kept the crowd energized enough to keep warm for the duration of his set. ‘Undone’, ‘Dirt Road Scholar’, and perhaps the crowd favourite ‘Canadian Girls’, where Brody threw on a Team Canada jersey. A perfect ‘warm-up’ before Manitoba’s Doc Walker hit the stage.

Small town Ponoka was more than thrilled to hear Doc Walker start their set with ‘Where I Belong’. It’s sometimes easy to forget just how many hits Doc Walker has had over the years. They’ve been on the scene more than 10 years now. Front to back, their set was filled with Doc Walker classics including ‘She Hasn’t Always Been This Way’, ‘Rocket Girl’, and ‘Beautiful Life’. Anyone has not yet seen a DW show, need to get that on their bucket list.

The Mavericks headlined the Saturday night performance with an impressive band that filled the stage with charisma, and impressive musicianship. The band performed their hits ‘Oh, What a Thrill’, ‘What A Crying Shame’, ‘All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down’, and more. They also performed their new single ‘Born to Be Blue’. The band’s musicians were some of the best I’ve had the pleasure of watching. But, the real highlight was getting the chance to hear lead vocalist Raul Malo’s vocals live. One of the best singer’s in country music by far.

Congrats to the Summer Send Off crew for a fantastic event.