ATHABASCA – The Misery Mountain Boys are a group that are used to change; they started out busking on the streets in Edmonton to get some pocket change for lunch and a beer and now they’re on tour in the prairies playing some toe-tapping music that’s reminiscent of the 1930s.
Steven Gevenich, frontman and manager for the group, says that they’re excited for their first ever show in Athabasca at the Nancy Appleby Theatre on March 17, and that people can look forward to “music that is easily enjoyed by all age groups, music that’s easy to tap your toes to, and even get up and dance along with.”
Tickets for the show are $30 and can be bought at the Whispering Hills Fuels, or at the Value Drug Mart in Athabasca — at the door they’ll cost $35. This year’s show does fall on St. Patrick’s Day, and the Athabasca United Church will be doing an Irish stew and homemade biscuits dinner in advance, as well as handling the intermission concession. Tickets for that are $18, and it will run from 4:30-6:30.
Tour winding down
The act tours and records as a four-piece band: Gevenich plays guitar, Lindsey Bueckert plays the upright bass, Sam Toms switches between the clarinet and saxophone, and Ethan Markwart rounds out the act on the drums.
While music is a full-time profession for Gevenich, who also has an electronic music project ongoing, Markwart is a boilermaker, Toms is an engineer, and Lindsey is currently in school studying film.
The band is on the tail end of their release tour for their album “Full Moon Shuffle”, which came out in September 2022. The tour has taken them all over Alberta, with stops in B.C. and Saskatchewan, but it will wind down on March 17-18, with the show in Athabasca, followed up by a stop in Peace River, where Gevenich is from.
The Misery Mountain Boys are the second show in the Heartwood Folk Club’s spring season, following Calvin Vollrath’s performance on Feb. 28. Charlie DeShane, the music director for the club, focused on getting a series of unique sounds when he was putting the shows together, and the upcoming act is no exception.
During a March 9 interview, Gevenich touched on the evolution of their sound, starting as a more traditional folk band, before releasing their first album that was more bluegrass, and then settling into their current sound, which is really a combination of swing, and jump blues.
“It’s just the music that we like to play. I like that it’s up-tempo, it’s instrumental … If you like to study music, it’s good music to take solos to,” he said.