Recession-Era string band making timely visit for Alberta’s tough times



You just can’t make this stuff up, – or realistically plan to have this sort of thing happen even coincidentally. Consider how far out a club typically likes to plan their season, and similarly imagine how much a touring act has to consider their own schedule.

There likely could not have been any possible way that the Calgary Folk Club’s Artistic Director Suze Casey would have booked a Recession-era string band for a show in Calgary, just as the province is slipping into an economic downturn.

Sometimes these things just sort of work out for themselves.

Guy Forsyth enthusiastically fronts a creative and diverse collective of acoustic performers known as The Hot Nut Riveters, billed as Texas’ original Recession-era string band. A quick perusal of their website videos confirms that the musicians are truly top-notch, but the magic with this group I would bet is the show, live and unpredictable. In the moment.

This is show business. We’re entertainers, we want to take them somewhere, Forsyth explained during a phone interview.

Indeed, you’re unlikely to see the dizzying assortment of creative instruments alone during their performance of songs dating back decades, if not over a hundred years. Forsyth even declined to let me in on what one of those possible instruments might be – but based on his mention of it, I’d bet on there being an appearance. He did confide that touring with a saw isn’t as easy as it used to be…


You are sure to see a wide assortment of folk acoustic guitars, banjos and more. Their repertoire (based on listening to recent CD Moustache Girl) plays like an amalgam of Spike Jones, early Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Old Crow & The Medicine Show, along with even some Marty Robbins and influences of bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe. All that, along with a healthy dose of Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, if that was moved from Minnesota to The Ozarks for a chautauqua show.

High Resolution Photo (Pledge)

Also on the bill Friday night, local singer/songwriter Scott MacKay will be fulfilling a bucket wish list item he’s had since discovering the club, and attending some shows there. He is humbled by the opportunity to have been asked to play there, and is truly jazzed for his slot on the schedule this season.

Originally from PEI, this transplanted Alberta poet with six strings conjures up memories of musical greats, elements of Sun Records-era Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Ricky Nelson. His songs are lush, heartfelt and rich of voice – that is to say, both as a vocalist, and as a songwriter.

Interestingly, the common denominator for both these artists is the changing face of the music business. Forsyth admitted it isn’t as easy as it used to be to eke out a living as a musician, and appreciates anyone that leaves the comfort of their sofa to come see the band’s shows.

MacKay is over 40% on the way to his own target to funding his next CD on PledgeMusic – so (brief sermon here) maybe support these artists when they tour – come see the shows, and buy their music. It’s a small investment to keep extremely talented musicians in the game, with huge returns for you and the artists.

Or, keep saying you hate Nickelback and ensure that you’ve remembered to pirate their latest album online…your call.

The Hot Nut Riveters, along with leader Guy Forsyth will be here in Calgary Friday night for an appearance at the Calgary Folk Club, along with Scott Mackay.

Listen to my entire interview with Guy Forsyth, and my interview with Scott MacKay on my podcast site, or download them for free from iTunes (ThatDanGuy’s Podcast). Both are very eloquent, and share much more about what they are doing.

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