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WhiskeyJack owners reflect on concerts series, new album

Electric Beavers 2BY CLAIRE CUDAHY

The WhiskeyJack concluded another successful summer/fall concert series with a sold out show by blues musician Keith Hallett and his band on Oct. 10.

The final show marked the tenth this season for Perrault Falls’ WhiskeyJack, a restaurant and music venue run by the newly engaged Graham McDonald and Laura Thomas.

“Pretty much every show in the summer sells out. We’ve got a lot of regulars. We’ve been really lucky,” says McDonald.

The concert series kicked off in May with an appearance by WhiskeyJack veteran Big Dave McLean.

“Big Dave McLean, who has been here three or four times, puts on an amazing show. A couple of times he just sort of transformed. I’ve seen him in Winnipeg before, and I’ve never seen him that enthusiastic,” explains McDonald.

McDonald attributes the energy he sees on stage to the intimate venue and enthusiastic crowd.

“I think our venue here somehow elevates all of the performers that come here. Most of them say it’s the best show they’ve played on their whole tour. It’s a really good crowd up here. People are more vocal than they are in the city—just more into it and appreciative,” say McDonald.

“I think the bands get this far up the highway and are surprised that people care so much. They are just such fans.”

Romi Mayes, Leaf Rapids, Chris Culigan Band, Mike Lynch Band, Brock Zeman, The Billionairs, The Perpetrators, and Tim Watson Band also took the stage at the WhiskeyJack this summer, bringing a mix of country, blues, and rock up Highway 105 (with a few Juno Nominations thrown in for good measure).Electic Beavers

McDonald, Thomas, and Red Laker J.D. Blazek also performed at the WhiskeyJack this summer with their band The Electric Beavers.

The Electric Beavers, with McDonald on guitar/vocals, Thomas on bass/vocals, and Blazek on drums, have been together for three year. This summer marked the release of their first self-titled album and the recording of their second unnamed album, set to come out next spring.

Both albums contain original songs—a mix of blues, country, and rock, says McDonald—written by the band and recorded with few dub-overs.

“This album is pretty much live, off the floor,” explains McDonald.

Their first album, The Electric Beavers, is available for purchase as the WhiskeyJack and Home Hardware locations in Red Lake and Ear Falls.

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