Real Ponchos find shelter at Strand’s Old House

Alt country meets rock with Vancouver band Real Ponchos

The Real Ponchos bring their live act to Strand's Old House Restaurant in Invermere on Thursday

The Real Ponchos bring their live act to Strand's Old House Restaurant in Invermere on Thursday

The Real Ponchos are heading to Invermere, bringing their alt country-tinged-with-rock sound to Strand’s Old House restaurant on Thursday, June 13th.

The Vancouver band lists country, roots, folk and rock influences and likens their mixed sound to a pot of beans bubbling over a campfire on the open plains. Ben Arsenault and Emile Scott share frontline duties, both of them writing songs, playing guitar and singing. Acoustic bassist Michael Wagler and drummer Emlyn Scherk round out the group.

The band is a departure from Strand’s normal jazz bands.

“The music I love is country music, I grew up with it a bit, so it makes sense,” Arsenault told The Valley Echo, adding that country songwriting simply feels comfortable for him.

The Real Ponchos have been playing shows in Vancouver for about a year and a half, drawing warm reviews for the blend of Scott’s clear singing and bright, melodic guitar with Arsenault’s scratchy vocals.

Although the band is relatively new, the various members have been making music together for many years. Scott and Arsenault have played together on and off since they were in secondary school, and Arsenault and Scherk previously played together in Montreal based alt-country band Martyr and Pistol.

“We’ve just started to ramp thing up and get more serious recently,” said Arsenault. “We’re kind of finding our sound.”

The Real Ponchos recently released a self-titled debut album and are currently making their way around B.C. and Alberta on their Al Dente Gospel Tour.

“This is our first time on the road. It’s going great and we’re having a blast,” said Arsenault. “It’s been a great experience.”

Arsenault lived in Nelson last summer, but the show at Strand’s will be the band’s first time in the East Kootenay.

There will be no cover charge for the show, but the band will appreciate any contributions to help them cover their travel costs.