Anyone who’s ever shared a beer or a stage with Greg Rekus knows that his passion for music and whirlwind of a live show is unstoppable. If you’re still waiting to check off one of these boxes, you’re in for a treat – Rekus is putting together his own dream team of musicians for what could easily be a once-in-a-Winnipeg-lifetime show.
As a solo performer, Rekus has been travelling the country—an entire 300 shows since 2011, by his count—with his guitar, stompbox, and road-worn gravelly vocals, instigating a one-man folk-punk maelstrom. Since releasing his debut solo album The Dude Abides in December 2010, he decided that rather than try to replicate his stripped-down live show, he would build a different, complementary experience with a fuller band.
“[The live show is] very interactive [ . . . ] you have so much more to work with when the people are in front of you and you can adjust the show accordingly,” says Rekus. “When you have the CD, it’s just like, ‘There it is!’”
Along for the ride are his buddies and longtime friends Mikey Erg (a multi-instrumentalist from New Jersey, best known for the Ergs!, Star Fucking Hipsters, and the Dopamines) and Nick Kouremenos (who hails from Edmonton, and has played with the Johnsons, This is a Standoff, and Change Methodical). Although they’ve all shared the stage before, they have never actually played in a band together.
“It’s three guys that get along, that are just gonna get locked in a room for a week and write a record.”
While the album is fully formed in Rekus’s mind, he’s hoping that Erg and Kouremenos will contribute their talents and “tear into these songs.”
And so, with his friends in town playing together every day and preparing to write a record, Rekus thought they ought to play a show while they’re all in one spot.
“It’s gonna be a pretty fun week. We’re going to wake up every day, jam, go to sleep, party, jam, then we’re going to do this show, then hit the studio.”
While he loves touring and playing live, he has not had an easy ride playing music and touring six months of the year.
“The hardest thing you’re ever going to do in your life is to try to make a career of it,” says Rekus.
Regardless, he feels right at home on an eight-hour drive, listening to music and getting to spend time with his girlfriend, music blogger Lyndsay Penner, who has come on almost every tour with him.
Above all, he knows whom he’s playing for and why.
“With this act, I’ve come to terms with the musician I am, and I’m not necessarily the material that’s going to be on gigantic stages headlining festivals, but I’ve made so many great friends and I love doing what I do.”
Check out www.gregrekus.com for a taste of what Greg Rekus has in store for Sept. 21 at Ozzy’s (160 Osborne Street), alongside Gold Mountain, Union Stockyards, the Reverend Rambler, and M & M Meats. Check out Lyndsay Penner’s blog at www.lphoolpa.org.