Castlegar’s Motes and Oats playing at Creston’s Snoring Sasquatch

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Shannon Moldenhauer (left) and Melissa McCready are Motes and Oats

Shannon Moldenhauer (left) and Melissa McCready are Motes and Oats

Motes and Oats, a Castlegar duo named the best folk-country act in this year’s Kootenay Music Awards, brings their powerful harmonies and feel good songs to Creston’s Snoring Sasquatch on July 19.

Melissa McCready and Shannon Moldenhauer co-write original songs inspired by their own lives. Over the last year, the duo has played around Western Canada in Nelson, Trail, Rossland, Grand Forks and Regina.

With help from the Columbia Basin Trust, Motes and Oats released their debut EP, Simple Things (2012), which has been played by CBC and community radio. In the summer of 2012, Motes and Oats appeared live on Kootenay Co-op Radio on The Times They Are A Changing with Bonnie Baker.

McCready (Motes) grew up in London, Ont., and was inspired by sing-a-longs that regularly took place at family gatherings. When she was six, she began begging for a guitar, and when she received one from her parents she taught herself to play.

At 10, McCready took the city bus to St. Mary Choir and Orchestra School where she learned proper singing technique and classical violin. After four years of training, she returned to her home school and formed a band with her brother called Karma. Upon graduating high school, McCready moved to Vancouver and recorded her first CD, The Paradox Project.

In 2009, McCready moved to the Kootenays to follow her dream of beginning a co-operative farm with friends. She continues to pursue this dream along with music, work and school.

Moldenhauer (Oats) originates from Regina, Sask., and was also surrounded by music at a young age. Although her father claims to be tone deaf, her mother was always interested in the arts and inspired Moldenhauer to explore her interests.

After hearing the renowned Regina Pride of the Lions Band for the first time when she was 10, she was instantly in love with the idea of playing flute. After spending nine years as a part of that band, along with various choirs, private flute lessons and the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra, Moldenhauer pursued a bachelor’s degree in music, majoring in education at the University of Victoria.

Teaching music in schools all across B.C., including Nelson, Prince Rupert, Nakusp, Trail and the Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre, Moldenhauer now resides and teaches music in Castlegar, British Columbia.

Tickets to the July 19 show are $12 in advance at Black Bear Books, Buffalo Trails Coffee House and Kingfisher Used Books, and $15 at the door, which opens at 7 p.m.; the show begins at 8.