Joe Pernice

Ironwood Stage & Grill, Calgary AB June 20

BY Andrea WarnerPublished Jun 21, 2012

The best part of music festivals like Sled Island: filling in long-standing gaps in one's musical vocabulary. For me, that's Joe Pernice, and now after seeing his set I'm like one of those born-again evangelists. Everyone needs to know his songs. The deadpan singer-songwriter admitted right away that he's an insomniac who hadn't slept in three days. But his songs are perfect for a voice cracking under the weight of exhaustion, and his between-tunes banter never suffered. It's rich with anecdotes from his decades in the business, formerly with Scud Mountain Boys and currently with the Pernice Brothers. He opened the set with the incredible, "The Loving Kind" and took the audience on a tour of his musical history (including "Amazing Glow," "Prince Valium" and a beautiful new song for his son "Telescope"), earning the evening's only encore. It's only the first night of Sled Island, but it's hard to imagine anything topping this. I'm excited for the festival to prove me wrong.

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