Seven years ago, the country band Full Circle was formed by Creston Valley residents Bryan Ferguson (lead vocals, guitar), Karl Sommerfeld (fiddle), Dave Furlong (lead guitar, vocals), Ken Gerding (bass, accordion) and Keith Brookfield (drums). Full Circle played numerous dances and charitable events before releasing their first CD, Kootenay Pride, a well-received mix of original and cover songs. The CD quickly reached “Creston platinum” status, with over 300 copies sold.
In 2011, the band set out to produce their second CD — a one-year project that took three years to complete, thereby proving that life happens when you are planning something else. First, Sommerfeld left the group to pursue other artistic endeavours, then a string of family illnesses and deaths took two members away for extended periods and then, life-threatening illnesses left three band members at different times fighting for their own lives in hospital. In between, the band continued its busy engagement schedule (often with fill-in musicians). In the midst of a medical crisis, the band had even planned to call it quits — but they didn’t. Their new CD, Painter of Songs, with a cover designed by Warren Bruns, is now ready for release.
Ferguson, a semi-retired gasfitter and boiler tech by day, is a seasoned professional musician and a prolific writer of locally inspired songs. Painter of Songs includes 18 tracks, 13 of which are Ferguson originals. Son of the North Country, Soldier’s Wish and Medicine Line are songs that echo the beauty of our area and how lucky we all are to be able to live in this incredible part of the world. Songs such as I Shouldn’t Matter Anymore, Your Used to Be, Low Tide and How Long address the angst of building relationships and at times seeing them slip away. The final song, Down by the Sea, is a heartfelt tribute to Ferguson’s childhood home of Cape Breton — complete with a bagpipe intro and a men’s chorus ending.
“It has been a long road but we are proud of the results,” said Ferguson. “Each member has contributed their musical expertise with inspiring leads, great bass and accordion and solid percussion. The album has something for everyone — fast, slow, waltz, polka, easy listening, soft rock, ballads. Besides my sonags, we have added some of our favourite cover tunes from artists like Johnny Cash, John Prine and Rodney Crowell.”
All songs have been performed locally for appreciative audiences and will be performed again as part of a true celebration of life CD release party at 8 p.m. June 20 at the Snoring Sasquatch. The band appreciates the patience and never ending support of area residents, the Community of Creston Arts Council, the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance and Columbia Basin Trust.
Tickets are $12 in advance, available at Black Bear Books or Kingfisher Used Books, and $15 at the door, which opens at 7 p.m.