Edmonton folk-rock group Scenic Route to Alaska is back in its native Alberta following its first ever intercontinental tour. While guitarist Trevor Mann, bassist Murray Wood and drummer Shea Connor have largely taken a break from performing, the trio is heading to Lloydminster on July 3 for a one-off concert at The Root: Community Emporium.
Scenic Route to Alaska started its international tour in Lloydminster back in March, and after a stop at Canadian Music Week in Toronto the group crossed the Atlantic Ocean for festival, club and cafÃ© dates in London and across Germany.
“We got to do the Toronto thing, and then go do the Germany thing and then finish with the U.K. thing. So it felt like our own mini-version of a world tour,” Mann said. “The entire experience was amazing.
“It exceeded our expectations.”
Despite the busy schedule, the bandmates did find time to be tourists. In London they took a picture of themselves traversing the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing, mimicking the Beatles album cover.
“I’m sure that local traffic must just absolutely hate it because there’s a lineup of tourists just waiting to walk across the crosswalk,” Mann said. “People would try to run into the middle of the street to get a good angle to take the photo and everyone’s got their shoes off because they’re trying to be Paul McCartney.”
The European tour left the band feeling inspired to create new music. Scenic Route to Alaska has been home for three weeks and work has already begun on the follow-up to the group’s 2014 album, Warrington.
“By the end (of the tour), the whole thing feels like a whirlwind,” Mann said. “But it was when I got home and sat for the last couple weeks that I’ve been writing a lot and I think it’s residual just from that experience.”
Mann says some of the new songs are influenced by older rhythm and blues music, while still retaining their folky sound. There are songs about relationships, but Mann says the album’s focal point is a message about enjoying life and living in the present.
“One of the new songs is about just (trying) not to take life too seriously,” he said. “Don’t try to grow up too quick and just enjoy what’s going on around you as much as you can instead of worrying about age or worrying about how things are passing you by.”
This summer, the group will continue focusing on writing, with a few occasional shows and festivals, including a performance at the Pan Am Games in Toronto at the end of July. Mann says fans in Lloydminster are in for a treat.
“We’re going to jam a couple more times before we come out, so maybe we can squeak out another (song) too just for a special sneak preview in Lloyd,” he said.