by Scott Roos
photo by Melanie MacPherson
On Friday, December 1st, Saskatchewan country music diva Jess Moskaluke will play The Capitol Music Club as part of her “Winter Wonderland Tour”. Joining her in the opening slot will be Edmonton based country band The Prairie States as well as Saskatoon's Katelyn Lehner. Lehner, who was named “2022 Artist of the Year” by NSMZ, will play a short acoustic set backed up by guitarists Simon Jasieniuk and Adam Beitel. She’s looking forward to sharing the stage with Moskaluke once more having done so this past summer during a songwriters circle at Country Thunder in Craven.
“Jess (Moskaluke) is someone who I've looked up to for years even before I started my music career,” Lehner tells NSMZ, “ It was really cool to be singing my music on stage and be able to look over and see her a couple of chairs down and then get to listen to her songs as well. I was just as much a part of the audience as I was a performer that day.”
Lehner is coming off a few months of hard work in the studio having just released the Jasieniuk produced tracks “It Was Yesterday” and “City Cowboy” at his studio Beez Neez Recording. For the past three years, she’s worked at her songwriting craft and these latest tracks feature a more reflective, storytelling approach than her usual fare.
“I'm very visual when I write my music,” Lehner says as she describes “It was Yesterday”, “I just envisioned a bunch of girls with their arms around each other singing along and what they would want to hear. I've never written a song about friendships before so I kind of wanted to pay homage to my high school days being both at Carlton and St. Mary's in Prince Albert.”
“It Was Yesterday”, with its bold pop leanings captures Lehner in experimental mode. Since releasing the more bluesy “Red”, her music has been evolving with this song taking a decidedly pop stance. It was a risk that, in the end, Lehner felt was worth it in order to grow as an artist.
On the other hand, “City Cowboy”, her most recent single, has both feet proverbially planted within the country music genre. Its twangy vibe is something that has become a dependable aspect of her song toolkit. It’s a safer choice for her where she’s taking the risks with her word choice and not the music end of the spectrum. It captures Lehner telling her listeners of her life going back and forth from her home in the city to her family’s farm a few minutes outside of Prince Albert.
“When I was growing up people were confused as to whether or not I lived on a farm or lived in a city just because we'd be out at the farm quite a bit. It was just outside of Prince Albert. So we were able to zip out in the car and zip back. I have so many good memories of the farm growing up and that's probably what I would talk about so much at school…. But I grew up in Prince Albert and we just had the farm to go out to. It's pretty special to have had a childhood with kind of the best of both worlds on that side,” explains Lehner.
Doors for the show are at 8 pm. Tickets for the show featuring Lehner, The Prairie States and Jess Moskaluke at the Capitol Music Club can be purchased here.