Colepaugh and his crew are coming home

CCCC_Press2_ThumbnailMoncton blues-rocker Chris Colepaugh and his band The Cosmic Crew have a few shows coming up in the province after what seems like a long layoff from playing shows on home turf.

The first show on the band’s schedule is a hometown gig at Moncton’s Manhattan Bar & Grill on Friday, September 18, followed by a show at The Capitol in Fredericton on the following evening. The band will also play a 5 p.m. acoustic gig at Wilsner’s on Sunday, September 19, also in Fredericton.

Even though promotional efforts on the group’s most recent studio record In Your Backyard (2007) have wound down, the band seems to be picking up momentum and gaining new fans with every studio release.

This most recent album saw the band have their song Caught Up To You featured in an episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation while radio airplay was rampant for their cover of the Neil Young classic After The Gold Rush.

The group also managed to score film placements for several of their tracks in a movie made in Ireland about extreme mountain biking called Break The Cycle and have kept themselves busy with shows in Western Canada as well on the East Coast this past summer.

All of the above excitement has factored into Colepaugh’s schedule when he isn’t busy backing Quebecois superstar Roch Voisine, an opportunity that came about via Cosmic Crew drummer Shawn Sasyniuk.

“Shawn received a call to play drums for Roch and they were still looking for musicians to fill out their show,” Colepaugh explains. “Shawn gave them my number and a couple of weeks later they called me for an audition. I originally went in expecting to audition for guitar but when they told me they were also looking for a pedal steel player, I auditioned for that instead.”

If there’s one thing that can be said for Colepaugh, it is that he isn’t afraid of a challenge. Having known him for over 20 years, I have witnessed him grow into a musician’s musician, mastering the drums before moving on to guitar and everything in between the two instruments.

To date, Colepaugh has played 15 shows with Voisine through countries like France, Belgium and Switzerland. And later this fall, he will embark on the most extensive tour that he has had the opportunity to undertake with Voisine, with shows starting in mid-October and returning the Moncton-born musician to his home just prior to the Christmas holidays.

“It’s going to be a tight tour with a lot of shows and little down time. I’m really looking forward to it, but it’s going to make Christmas shopping slightly difficult,” he laughs.

In the meantime, fans can look forward to the release of a digital-only album later this month, called Burning. It will feature 10 tracks recorded live at one of the band’s shows in Moncton.

“Performing live has always been one of our strong points; we have amassed so many recordings of performances over the last 10 years that this will most likely be the first of many live releases to come,” he says.

With such a hectic schedule on his plate, fans of Colepaugh are going to have to wait a little while longer for new studio material from the group.

“The new material is guitar driven “” it’s what I do after all. But I feel that my focus over the last couple of records has become more about creating a good song. The song is the most important piece of the puzzle; without it, you really have nothing.

“Over the last couple of years, I have been producing and working with other people and it has really opened my eyes to the fact that a good song is a good song no matter what style it’s in.”

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