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"And now for something completely different" - Another Eclectic PA Street Fair Come and Gone

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

by Scott Roos

photos by Scott Roos

Regina's The Hourhand kicked ass and took names. They essentially blew people's minds. It's a common reaction for the uninitiated who have never seen them play before.

This past Saturday, June 17th, on the dusty streets of downtown Prince Albert, the annual street fair took place and there was much rejoicing. To be perfectly honest, in the interest of full disclosure, there was a lot to do and see that I just... didn't get to do or see... Being a writer, photographer, musician, parent, teacher and also the spouse of musician is like a three ring circus with me sometimes feeling like a bit of a clown. Needless to say, I'm not very good at juggling. By all accounts, though, it looked like a wonderful event on the whole.

So... When I finally got to the 14th Street stage it was just before 3 pm. The weather was perfect and the group Ready or Not, made up of several local P.A. musicians, was just finishing up their set. Things were naturally a little behind schedule which was not surprising as events of this kind always seem to have this happen so there's no judgement here. I didn't take any photos of this group unfortunately as I was trying to figure out where my wife's 40 pound keyboard was going to be stored while we waited for Ray of Sunshine, a band she was playing with on this day, to take the stage. What I heard of Ready or Not sounded decent; an entertaining start to my time at the street fair for sure.


Weyburn based country crooner Justin LaBrash was up next. He was accompanied by bassist Parker Nabis. LaBrash's set was made up of the catchy pop country tunes that he's become known for. I'd stop short now of saying he's a "rising star" in the Saskatchewan country music scene because he's already essentially a bonafide star who's receiving heaping portions of accolades and praise from critics and audiences alike. Well deserved too I might add. He's also a really nice guy. He remembered me from when I caught his show in Christopher Lake last fall and was happy to see me out supporting him. All in all, I'm looking forward to seeing more and more of LaBrash as he continues to ascend the country music ladder, not just in this province but, Canada wide. The sky is definitely the limit for him.


In a "and now for something completely different" almost Monty Python-esque moment, Regina's The Hourhand, known for their inspired cocktail of heavy blues rock, powered onto the stage with their blazing set opener "Evil". It's been quite the ride for these guys as they continue to make inroads in areas where they haven't played before. I've seen this quite a bit in the year and change that I've known them. When they go someplace new, they always end up blowing people's minds. In P.A. it was no different. They delivered an incendiary set of the classic rock influenced original material that they're quickly becoming known for. Faces were melted.


Ending the day off was local jam band Ray of Sunshine. I've seen this group three or four times over the past few years. They take very obvious nods in the direction of old school bands like the Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers. The twin lead guitars of Jamie Lariviere and Alex Chisholm are a sight to behold. Abe Lancaster, who moved over to drums from keyboards, hits the skins with the ferocity needed to match the guitars whilst Tyler Gerstner lays down the bass lines to keep the bottom end in line. Keyboard player Deanna Roos, who joined the band for the street fair gig, filled everything in quite nicely and even took a few solo turns. The group's overall sound and vibe has definitely levelled up.


After the street fair came to a close, Ray of Sunshine went over to the Rock Trout Cafe to play an after party event. The crowd was modest but the band was in fine form - even better than their performance from earlier in the day. Abe Lancaster, playing electric guitar, alongside friend Shayne Lazarowich set the mood with a short set of intimate, folksy tunes.

So here's the thing, it's great to see top quality entertainment flourish in Prince Albert. There's stuff happening and events like the street fair continue to be essential as we all continue to make up for the lost time that COVID thrust upon us. So a huge shoutout to the organizers of the street fair for all their hard work and dedication to make this awesome event happen. This was great and I'll see you next year.

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