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Prince Albert's 19th annual edition of the Street Fair a resounding success

Updated: Jun 16

Words and Photos by Scott Roos

This past Saturday, June 15th, on the revered grounds of Memorial Square, with the stoic statue of our very own legendary citizen John Diefenbaker keeping watch over the proceedings, the annual Prince Albert Street Fair presented a series of live performances of top talents from around the province of Saskatchewan. All in all, alongside the music there's great food, things for the little ones to do, and vendors galore lining downtown's Central Avenue. It's truly a highlight event and always a nice start to festival season.

Taking the stage at 1 pm, pop-country singer Karissa Hoffart delighted the crowd with expressive vocals and a charming stage presence. Backed by a first rate band, she performed some of her more familiar songs like "Country Girl Loves Rock n' Roll" and "She's Enough" alongside her most recently released single "What Happens in the Barn". Her tunes were catchy and memorable. In short, Hoffart was top shelf.

Following Hoffart, at 2 pm, were Justin LaBrash and True North. LaBrash is a critically acclaimed, award winning, country crooner; a stand and play kinda guy. Similar to Hoffart, his backing band was air tight. In fact, the two bands shared some of the musicians in common this day. At any rate, with LaBrash and co., you know you are always going to get a memorable performance. LaBrash is professional and dependable; a talented singer and guitarist, with a suitcase full of great tunes.


(Writer's note: At this point, I had to briefly leave the fair to drive my kids home. Unfortunately, I ended up missing Josh Stumpf's set as a result.)

At 4 pm, classic rock revivalists, The Hourhand took the stage to play a four on the floor set of predominantly heavy, blues imbibed tunes. Spearheaded by the face melting guitar theatrics of Cole Van Woert, the soaring vocals and harmonically interesting bass playing of Gray Farrow, and the groovy drumming of Dawson Dressler, The Hourhand always put on a captivating show and, on this day, there was no exceptions. The power trio kicked ass and took names but also, with Farrow briefly sitting down on keys, proved that they can bring things down a few notches. The Hourhand are arguably one of the top live acts in the province right now. They prove it every time they perform. They are a non stop thrill ride that gets the job done. Students of the game, they do everything with precision and style and it's always entertaining.

The final band of the day was another trio of musicians: Black Rain. Opening with a heavy rock cover of Johnny Cash standard "Folsom Prison Blues", these guys proved they know how to rock. Seamlessly mixing in a few of their original tunes, they were a nice final addition to the many quality live acts that took the stage on this day. Kudos to the organizers for another fantastic year.

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