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"The importance is in breaking the stigmas" - Rock for Mental Health at P.A.'s Rock Trout raises $1200 for CMHA

words and photos by Scott Roos (Scotty the Rooster Photography)

Aiden Edwards and the East Side of 2nd played an energetic set at the Rock For Mental Health this past Friday night

This past Friday, May 31st, at Prince Albert’s posh, vibe-tastic, Rock Trout Cafe, Christopher and the Saints, Aiden Edwards and the East of 2nd and Wade and Chord took the stage for the “Rock for Mental Health” event. The evening was organized by Cupid’s Heart vocalist/guitarist Emma Jean and was emceed by The Sit Down Podcast hosts Joel Gaudet and Mark Poppen. Proceeds from this event were to be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). At press time, it has been announced that $1200 was raised for the CMHA. All in all, it was a great night for a very worthy cause. 

Starting things off, Prince Albert’s own Wade and Chord,  played a bluesy set to warm up the crowd for the evening. A father son duo made up of Wade Fehr on acoustic guitar/percussion/vocals and Chord Fehr on bass clarinet, the two played an eclectic set of tunes that included originals and covers. Throwing the bass clarinet may seem, on the surface a little odd but it works well and gives the two a unique slant with Chord covering the bottom end as if he was a bass guitar. The guys started doing this during the initial COVID lockdown in 2020 to keep their musical chops fresh and have continued into 2024 doing their thing. They even opened for the legendary Burton Cummings in June of 2023. Amazing. On this night, they presented a pretty chill vibe. A great start.

Next up was another local act: Aiden Edwards and the East Side of 2nd. A fairly new band, having just played their very first show in March at Jam Street Shared Arts Space, Edwards and crew, in general, present as a young and hungry, exuberant bunch of musicians. Youth is the key ingredient with these guys, as a matter of fact. Drummer Evan Ace is just 16. Logan Edwards on Harmonica/vocals is 17. Guitarist Kace Callaghan is 22 with bassist Blake Callaghan 20. Frontman Aiden is also 20. Charging out of the gate, then, with a reckless abandon befitting their ages, the quintet opened with a cover of Fountains of Wayne’s punk rock imbibed “Stacy’s Mom”. In general their set was a mixed bag of classic country like the Johnny Cash favourite “Ring of Fire” as well as other golden rock oldies like “Hound Dog”, “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Runaround Sue” and Buddy Holly stomper “Oh Boy!” paired with newer country fare like the Zach Bryan penned “Revival”. Collectively, these guys are still showing an overall lack of experience and need to work on getting tighter as an ensemble, but it’s still great to see another local P.A. up-and-coming group of talented individuals out there playing shows and entertaining the good folks in this neck of the woods (they had a lot of crowd support).

Finishing the event off was Saskatoon based folk/rock act Christopher and the Saints. Frontman Chris Vasseur, several times throughout the night, stressed the importance of there being a need for more mental health supports; in particular within the province of Saskatchewan. 

“For me the importance is breaking the stigmas (surrounding mental health issues).Getting people educated on it. It seems to be an epidemic of our time and not much is being done for people who need the support,” Vasseur told NSMZ in a brief statement via Facebook messenger after the show. 

Vasseur’s set included all original tunes. With a reinvigorated lineup that includes newest “Saint” Brent Stadnick on drums as well as guitarist Peter Abonyi, who has played with Vasseur the past two years and bassist Nicholas Chelsom McComick who has jammed with Vasseur for one year, the quartet was a tight unit, adequately supporting the songwriting artistry. Some of the set highlights were “Preacher Man”, “Good Things” and, of course, Vasseur’s newest single “Hey Hey” which went over very well with the crowd at the Rock Trout. The song was so well liked, in fact, that an encore was demanded so the band played one more chorus of it. 

The Rock Trout seems to be getting busy lately with lots of shows in the works at any given time. Next week, on Thursday, June 6th, the venue will play host to “Pride At the Rock Trout” which will feature LJ, Cupid’s Heart and Burning Pallets. Doors will open at 6 pm with music starting at 7. Tickets are just $15 and can be purchased HERE.

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