Cowboy hat crowd enjoys country beat of Jamie Warren

April 7, 2017

In the 1980s, country music started to become cool. It also started to borrow from other genres including Elvis rock and roll as well as pop that was considered rock when I was a teen and young adult in the 1970s.

I can tell you that country was not cool in the Jimi Hendrix-Janis Joplin- Crosby, Stills, Nash days.

By 2000, I still felt some trepidation and even a little disgust to attend a country concert even though, as a reporter, I got in free to concerts.

No matter. I have always been open to a challenge (read: fake it, till you make it) when given an assignment to write about.

Here is one of these challenges:

Gulf Islands Driftwood

July 26, 2000

Cowboy hat crowd enjoys country beat of Jamie Warren

by Tanya Lester

In this lifetime, I get to do everything at least once. Last Thursday, I was opened to the long, deep country guitar strokes of Jamie Warren at the Festival of the Arts.

It was not the dance-until-every-muscle-in-your-body-aches music of Ache Brasil. Neither was it the magical musical carpet ride of Musafir, who held the audience spell-bound earlier in the week.

Jamie Warren and his four-member band are all about being deep in the heart of North American culture.

It can be found anywhere from inside the cab of a pick-up truck riding through the wheatfields of southern Saskatchewan, to a bar stook in Selkirk, Manitoba (the beer drinking capital of Canada, to the Ontario border.

Warren came across the border, where he has gleaned an awful lot of music awards, to sing about the sun going down, the sea monkeys on the back of old comic books, and even the shaking hands around a coffee cup in a piece about domestic violence called The Secret.

The vocals and music were too loud, especially in the evening’s first half, to make out what I felt were probably well-thought-out lyrics.

But they played hard and they played well.

Audience members, sporting many a cowboy hat (including the one worn by Kelly Burke, the fine local country performer who opened for Warren) were bouncing in their seats.

The second half opened with Warren coming back on stage by himself to lead the sparse but spirited audience in King of the Road.

He pulled out a few jokes like a pick-up line he remembered from his single days in Memphis.

If a woman wanted a guy, she would say, “Come back to my place. I have air-conditioning.”

So big deal if he didn’t get it at first that Moby’s is named after the novel about the whale. No problem if he referred to the Driftwood as the Gulf Islands.

He mentioned his wife a lot, dedicated a song to a family friend in the audience as his mother had told him to do, and he played another song inspired by his daughter.

This guy could easily become Salt Spring family.

He talked about the mountains and the ocean and seeing a pod of whales coming over from Vancouver and knowing it was just a normal west coast day. Jordy Sharp, the sound man, and the Sea Breeze Inn’s owner deceived him into thinking there is no stress here.

Sometimes (or even more often than sometimes) it is easy to think we have got everything here. When I walked out of ArtSpring and saw Warren and a couple of band members smoking outside, I knew just a little bit of that solid country between the Alberta oil wells and the Quebec boundary had come calling.

Just for a little while, to make music and to share a little entertainment….


Tanya Lester has been a psychic for many years now, specializing in tea leaf reading, tarot and mediumship. She is also a reiki master and fulltime house sitter. For more on her and to access her services, go to her website at or her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google or Twitter. Her email address is and her cell phone number is 250-538-0086.

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Readers and Friends I Never Knew (both available from and sometimes from the author) and Dreams & Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes.

To read more posts on Tanya’s blog go to and



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