A Retro Write-Up From 2018!

Many thanks to The Riz for writing this great article for Canadian Beats online magazine in anticipation of our show last year at the Bassment - since that humdinger of a night, we have released our second full length album Baba Was A Bootlegger to a successful sold-out release party last December, also at the Bassment - you can find both Whiskey Jerks records on iTunes and Bandcamp, and we’ll be releasing Baba Was A Bootlegger this spring on vinyl and cd! We’re pretty darned excited, I have to say!!

“The Whiskey Jerks to play The Bassment in Saskatoon on February 23rd

ByThe Riz on February 22, 2018

As part of the Northern Soul Series, local old-school neo-country punks The Whiskey Jerks will be carousing up country chaos at The Bassment on Friday February 23rd.

A long-running fan favourite, and a staple of the Saskatoon music scene, The Whiskey Jerks are bringing their down-home, klezmer-influenced, folky-swing, roots-rock joy to Saskatoon music fans’ hearts, to promote their current project, and to create a rousing Friday night raucous!

The Whiskey Jerks’ new album, My Baba Was a Bootlegger, is in the works including the klezmer meets prairie country-rock title track, a sonic train chugging track with intermingling parts, a mix of “Istanbul Was Constantinople” travelling down the line past Folsom Prison, “Charlene” a mystic darkness-emitting dirge, “Everybody’s In a Hurry” a driving thoughtful pop tune and the Dixieland influenced “Walleyed Clyde”.

Band members Gillian Snider (accordion), Anna Bekolay (violin), James Diakuw (clarinet), Nevin Buehler (upright bass), Peter Aboyni (guitar), and Aidan Weiman (percussion) eagerly await whiskey influenced singalongs and jigging polka-influenced choices.

With opening act Fabian Minnema, The Whiskey Jerks will be creating a floor stomping, wall shaking, big cheering good time!  Grab your moonshine jugs and hop on, then off the wagon, at the Bassment this Friday night!”

What an incredible show at the Bassment!!

Wow! I’m SO happy that we’re including a song recorded live from the Bassment’s sold out show this past Friday - such an amazing night!! We’ve held off on releasing our record online just for a week or so, so that we can include all the wonderful folks that came out to our show!! Stay tuned for the online release (hopefully by December 22nd) of BABA WAS A BOOTLEGGER, with a live recording of Wall—Eyed Clyde to boot….and THANK-YOU to all the good folks that helped to make the show a memorable one!!


Tuesday August 22nd: The Whiskey Jerks set out for adventures east, on their way to a beautiful 100 year old cottage north-east of Winnipeg on Lac du bonnet! And what a fantastic way to kick off the tour! The cottage has been in the family of our dear friend Al for several generations. He cooked an amazing dinner and invited around 40 people - there was a lot of magic happening that night! Everyone got up to dance, the vibe was so wonderful and everyone was having an incredible time. Then, after the show - the icing on the cake, as it were - we all went for a steam and then jumped in the gorgeous lake at around midnight, floating on our backs and gazing at a sky full of stars and the northern lights. It really was unbelievable!


Wednesday August 23rd: From there we headed to Winnipeg for a house concert at the beautiful home of JF and Kirsten. Again, so many wonderful people came and we had such an incredible time, visiting with old friends and making a lot of new ones! Then, after we were done, several of the kids got up and sang a whole bunch of pop tunes with everyone singing along - SO much fun!! Then, of course, we all had a great night swim in the pool after all was said and done...the perfect ending to a wonderful day!


Thursday August 24th: The Whiskey Jerks then headed to Thunder Bay to play the famous Apollo and got a lovely visit in with Sheila, Alex and Tina. Of course Sheila, the consummate venue host, had a meal waiting for us when we arrived! We played to a small, but enthusiastic crowd, and met some great people. We love the Appollo!


Friday August 25th: Loplops in Sault Ste Marie! Wow! Loved the venue and the staff, and I knew we were exactly where we belonged when I saw the amazing bourbon and scotch collection AND there was a crib game going on at the bar. My kinda place!


Saturday August 26th: The Local in Toronto!! Matty Powell! It was so amazing to be back in the company of one of Saskatoon’s own, with SO many friends coming to the Local to see The Whiskey Jerks and hang out an amazing neighbourhood bar! It was good to be back in my old ‘hood, and the Local stayed packed for the entire night with folks dancing and everyone having a blast. SUPER UBER good feelings all round!


Sunday August 27th: Can you say Sunday Funday Brunch! OOOOHHH YA! Lisa seriously knows how to throw a party! So many beautiful people! Caesar and Mimosa bar! Amazing spread! A live stream of our show in Iceland! A crazy rides in a Sand Rail down St. Clair Avenue in Toronto! Generous new friends offering gifts of accordions and vintage records! It seriously goes on and on, but I’m exceeding the quota of respectable exclamation marks for one entry!


Monday August 28th: FREE DAY!! The Jerks dispersed for the day, to visit old friends, family, look at photo albums, eat amazing food, go to a Jays game, do touristy stuff...and so on ....and so on...and so on...


Tuesday August 29th: ONE WEEK IN!! And we’re off to Ottawa to Allan and Marj’s place for a house concert! Again, super generosity comin’ our way, with beautiful bourbon, wine, great food, dancing, carousing, book exchanging, merch selling, visiting with family...all good things!


Wednesday August 30th: Can you say VINEYARD? That’s right folks! We played a show in the beautiful wine country of Ontario, Prince Edward County! But first - The Whiskey Jerks stopped by 99.3 County FM for an interview and live performance with Patrick Headley - we love doing live radio spots! Then onto the Half Moon Bay Winery where Brian hosted a lovely outdoor event - and again, we met so many amazing people, drank some of the great sparking wine that Half Moon Bay Winery was launching, and received many hugs all round. It was an absolute idyllic perfect setting for The Whiskey Jerks! And yes! Even more visiting with family and new friends! And we stayed at Jeff and Jodi’s in there beautiful home in the forest...literally, the forest...eleven acres of it! Needless to say, Peter slept outside...


Thursday August 31st: Back in Toronto! Again, a fabulous night with wonderful and sorely missed old friends, some great new friends and, of course, wonderful family! A great little bar, a super fabulous ex-patriot Saskatonian sound-gal, and a whole schwack of amazing Saskatoon folks - what a treat!! More dancing, more hugs, and a lot more whiskey was to be had!


Friday September 1st: First stop - CJRU 1280AM, home of Ryerson University’s campus radio! We hung out and played some tunes on Noah Sniderman’s show (thanks Noah!) before bidding Toronto a final farewell and heading to Georgian Bay to play a private party on an island in one of the most beautiful settings imaginable! We felt like we were inside of a Group of Seven painting, it was that stunning! Our hosts picked us up by boat and then pulled out ALL the stops and made sure that we had one of the most magical nights of the summer - and we did! Everyone was warm and enthusiastic, and so happy to have our band there playing on the rocks in front of breathtaking sunset. There was a lot more dancing and a lot more hugs AND they’ve promised to bring us back next year!! Yay!!


Saturday September 2nd: Driving...more driving....MORE driving...still more driving...aaaaand even more driving...driving...gruelling rain, fog...still driving...a Flying J parking lot...


Sunday September 3rd: STILL more driving...then....HALLELUJAH!! Hello Lake Winnipeg! And The Whiskey Jerks find themselves at their final show of the tour, and WHAT a show it was! Our gracious hosts Russ and Sarah set us up on their deck facing Lake Winnipeg, and then after an amazing meal and a couple of glasses of red wine and such, we played our two sets in front of a wonderful and generous crowd ranging in age from 7 to 70 - and everyone was dancing! The most memorable part of the night, however, was watching that beautiful moon reflect a path of light across the lake towards the beach in front of us; it truly was one of the most amazing distractions that we’ve ever had while playing. And afterwards there was a fire by the water, an open mic, and, of course, more dancing!!


WHAT AN UNBELIEVABLY FABULOUS TOUR! I guess the running theme of the entire two weeks was friends, family, generosity, graciousness, food and wine...and dancing, of course! We came back with hearts and bellies full - and even our purses were doing alright thanks to the gracious people that came out to support us and our music! THANK-YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE!! And a special thanks to Peter’s parents for renting us a second reliable vehicle to take us all the way to Ottawa and back safely! :)


See everyone at the next Whiskey Jerks show - you all ROCK!!

Hangin' out with the salmon...

Well here we are in Valemount BC after a tremendous stay in Jasper - busking and playing shows in front of the Athabasca River at the Pine Bungalows and at the Jasper Community Habitat for the arts. We met so many awesome people - the wonderful folks that call Jasper home, and the lovely sojourners from far away places...thank-you Jasper Alberta! Now we're in Valemount BC hangin' out with the spawning salmon, the bald eagles and some curious deer...what a gorgeous spot! A perfect place of tranquility to reboot :) We'll be playing an acoustic show later this evening at the Pavilion in the beautiful Yellowhead campground - but right now I'm in my tent just enjoying the sound of the rain. What a spectacular tour this has been so far!!

The Whiskey Jerks paired up with the Decemberists in the CBC Searchlight!!

Well, how cool is this!! The Whiskey Jerks were paired up with the Decemberists!! Make sure you check out all of the fabulous music across the country on this year's CBC Searchlight, the talent is overwhelming- and don't forget to vote for your favourites!)


Who the heck is Time Travelling Jesus?

Hello all you beautiful folks tuning into The Whiskey Jerks website! Since our upcoming shows won't be until the New Year, and with Christmas drawing nigh, I figured that I'd share with you some insight into our song Time Travelling Jesus - 'tis the season after all!

Who the heck is Time Travelling Jesus? Well I guess there's been some mysterious characters that just randomly show up in the Old Testament, you know, to bless the patriarchs and such. But who the heck are they? There are some Christians that make the claim that these characters are just one extra special guy - and that guy is Jesus, travelling through time and space just to hang out with some interesting mortals, because Jesus can do that apparently. Not unlike Dr. Who, but I digress...

Now I was thinking, if Jesus really could travel through time and space, who would the folks be that he'd actually like to hang with? I mean, Jesus was a pretty cool guy, and smart too, so he'd naturally only want to hang with the cool kids in history - like Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, St. Hildegard von Bingen, the Buddha, Dostoevsky, the Pharisees, Eva Cassidy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Nicola Tesla, Boethius and Charles Bukowski, just to name a few. So next question is, who are these folks, and what makes them so cool?

Tune into the next Whiskey Jerks Time Travelling Jesus installment to find out....

The Whiskey Jerks had a blast playing SWAG 2015!

What an amazing opportunity and a tremendous evening! Here's what The Whiskey Jerks' beautiful violinist Anna Bekolay had to say about the evening:

"I played with The Whiskey Jerks at the Saskatchewan Wearable Arts Gala (SWAG) on Saturday night, Nov 14th, 2015. What an honour to be involved in this Spectacular Night – I found it so very uplifting and so very well done!! SWAG was a feast for all the senses. Beautiful music accompanied dancers modelling the wearable art pieces – there were over 50 pieces in the show done by over 40 artists. 
The evening began with a short film about the building of the Jack Millikin Centre at Ness Creek – the fundraising goal of SWAG. We were then treated to a fashion show of Art Bras – the silent auction pieces in support of Free Flow Dance & the Rosebud Burlesque Club. Meghan Lofgren delighted us with her rendition of “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” during this portion of the show. Danny Papadatos mc’d the night with great flair – he also modeled one of the Art Bras. Danny did a fantastic job of getting the crowd’s energy up and of managing to keep energy moving when a “stall” was needed in the show.
Variety and Innovative Inspiration are the words that come to mind to describe the pieces involved in the show. There were incredibly beautiful pieces, strange and odd pieces, pieces that appeared to have come from another world, graceful pieces, and funny pieces too – all in 3 categories: Headpiece, Corset and/or Cod Piece, and Open. The Wearable Art Pieces and the Music Selections from the night are still inhabiting my mind and will accompany me through my daily life for a while yet – wonderful music that suited the art pieces so well! The music and the way in which the dancer-models modeled the pieces brought every piece to life.
We were treated to Flamenco music and dance as well as to some fun modern dance during the show.
I did a bit of violin improvisation over the instrumental version of an Imogen Heap song while some of the art pieces were being danced across the stage. The Whiskey Jerks opened the 2nd half of the show and there was an extra special treat when Celedonio Garrido & Kari Alba did some Flamenco singing and dance to my tune Café Paris!!
At the end of the show, when all the winners were to be announced, Kevin Buzinskishowed his perfect and dramatic sense of timing by adding drum rolls and fills to the announcements.
All in all, the evening was a great success!
Thank you to everyone involved in the show: artists, volunteers, dancers, organizers, tech crew, jurors, donors & supporters, Graham Mckelvie – artistic director: brimming with encouraging enthusiasm, and to Arnfinn Prugger & his wife Lindsay Embree for coming up with the concept in the first place and then making it a reality – not once, but twice – looking forward to next time!
An extra shout out to Graham for his work on this show – beyond the artistic directorship, you create true community with your work: thank you for giving the dance community and The Whiskey Jerks, and Saskatoon such a wonderful opportunity to truly shine."

Well done everyone!!


Shows #2 and #3 on The Whiskey Jerks mini Alberta tour just kept getting better and better!!

WOW!!! What a tremendous time we're having - we've met SO many amazing people and have had the absolute best audiences for all three of our shows! Now we're just cruisin' on back to Saskatoon....Whoa!....flat tire! Seriously...it happened while I was writing this...no worries though! Dr.  Hulk Kevin, our super hero drummer is on it...

Excellent...we're back on the road! 

So ya! Continuing on...

After Lloyd we headed to Edmonton to play the Blue Chair - what a beautuful beautiful venue, and much thanks to Harold for booking a bunch of unknown rag tag Saskatchewanians and making us feel so very welcome :) And all the good folks that came to our show - thank-you!! You made the entire evening such a warm and memorable one - we love Alberta!

From the Blue Chair we headed to the Jasper Folk Music Festival , where again, we received a warm welcome from everyone we met, and not only had a wonderful receptive audience, but got the chance to see and listen to some great music - Jasper Folk Festival so rocks! Thanks Matt for inviting us - YAY!!! I can't seem to say that enough :)

So, good folks, I have to say that the inaugural Whiskey Jerks Alberta tour was an absolute success - new friends, new fans, great music - who could ask for more? We love Alberta! Did I say that already?

Stay tuned for the next entry as we head back into the studio to begin recording the Jerks' second album...but what to call it? Straight Up? Rocks? The Happy Hangover?

Waddya think?


Show #1 on The Whiskey Jerks mini tour was a blast!!

The Root in Llodminster is a spectacular venue - wonderful staff, warm and eclectic atmosphere (and oh how The Jerks love eclectic!) and tremendous folks that come out to support live music! We had copious amounts of fun, and tried out  Baba Was a Bootlegger (a brand spankin' new song) on the good and unsuspecting folks of Lloydminster :) Special thanks to Amanda for running such a great community driven establishment - a little haven for touring and local musicians, and also for local visual artists whose works adorn the root's walls (our violinist and drummer (Anna and Kevin) will happily be adorning her own home with a beautiful piece that they bought there!). Special thanks as well to Josef Jacobson, the local journalist who came out to take photos :)

Now we're off to Edmonton to play The Blue Chair and hang out with good friends - yay!!

Cheers everyone! I raise a glass to you...

Yours in the Saskatchewan prairies, 

Gillian of The Whiskey Jerks


The Whiskey Jerks Venture into Alberta!

Hey Lovely Folks!

The Whiskey Jerks are finally venturing out of Saskatchewan to play our neighbouring  province to the west and we can't wait! We have yet to be introduced to the good people of Alberta live, but we have been fortunate to have friends like Baba and Grant at CKUA , and Chris at CBC Alberta that are lending a hand and getting us on the Alberta airwaves :)

It's also kinda fun to get our drummer Kevin (formerly of the band The Drowned) out of his basement and on the road again - much to his chagrin, mind you, but dammit it's good for him! And his wife Anna, our illustrious violin player, agrees! Regardless, all of the Jerks - myself included of course - are super excited about our little Alberta tour and can't wait to meet everyone :) Our shows are...have you got a pen?

September 10th in Lloydminster @ the root www.therootce.ca 

September 11th in Edmonton @ The Blue Chair www.bluechair.ca

September 12th in Jasper @ The Jasper Folk Music Festival www.jasperfolkmusicfestival.ca

We'll see you soon!!


The Whiskey Jerks - Neat

They've arrived!! Yay!! The Whiskey Jerks are proud to announce that the shipment of their debut cd 'Neat' has arrived hot off the press and ready to make their way into your cd player! Our cd release is coming up next month - February 26th - at the Bassment here in Saskatoon, but you can get a sneak preview at the Spadina Freehouse this Friday, January 16th...show starts at 10!!