Take a trip down Memory Lane


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January 27, 2015 9:08 AM

Celebrate the musical nostalgia of the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s with Memory Lane, the eight-piece tribute band fronted by Irish-born Stephen Maguire, who will be playing the Vic Juba Community Theatre on Jan. 28.

“We always say that grandparents can bring their grandkids. It’s a family show, it’s something for all of the family. We’re really looking forward to playing Lloydminster and so far, honestly, the tour has been phenomenal,” said Maguire.

The show features tunes from Dean Martin to Buddy Holly to Roy Orbison “running the gamut” of hits from those three decades.

The whole thing started with a conversation Maguire had with his musical director, pitching him the idea because he felt there was a “void” in the demographic for fans of those styles. After a successful first show they decided to keep going with it.

“So it all started off with myself and Roy Sydiaha, who’s the musical director, having a cup of coffee and I said to him, ‘I have an idea for a show, what do you think?’ And he said, ‘Absolutely.’ We put 20 orchestrations together and our first show had 500 people at it, and I was like, ‘I guess we should keep doing this then.’”

The lineup for Memory Lane often changes based on where they’re playing, as some musicians find themselves unavailable, but they always make sure to have the best musicians they can get. When playing in Alberta, they often have members from the Edmonton Symphony join them on stage, an example of how they ensure the musical quality of the show.

“Geographically, it depends where we are, but we just have the very best guys we can get and when we put these orchestrations together they have to be perfect because the songs are so famous we just have to execute them properly,” said Maguire.

“It wouldn’t be realistic to get the same people every time but we’ve all played with these people at one point or another or they play in symphonies, so we’re in good hands.”

Maguire moved to Canada in 2008 after meeting his future wife in Belfast, who happens to be a Yorkton, Sask. native, and said he enjoys the country, reminding him of Ireland but with a different accent.

As for the show at the Vic Juba community theatre, he just wants people to go out with the family and enjoy the music.

“I just encourage people to come out and have a good time. Just relax and reminisce about the old days and introduce their kids to the music they used dance to back in the day,” he said. “It’s just such a feel-good night and very friendly and family orientated and the band is phenomenal.”

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