Prairies Indie Rock Comes Alive!

By Keith Sharp
Scenic Route To Alaska may sound like a National Geographic television special but it’s also the name of an Edmonton-based trio who are known equally as well in Europe as they are in Western Canada.
Consisting of lead vocalist/guitarist Trevor Mann, bassist Murray Wood and drummer Shea Connor, Scenic Route To Alaska launched in 2011 and have already created a positive impact with their first major album release `Long Walk Home’ and debut single “Love Keeps”.
On the phone from Edmonton, Mann explains the band members are all school friends saying he has known Wood since the age of five and Connor since they were 10 years old. “We’d get together after school and jam out to R&B classics, The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Elvi, stuff our parents brainwashed us with,” he laughed.
Those jam sessions eventually formulated a folk-rock sound which Mann now jokingly calls “Indie Prairie”. “Yes, we’ve created our own genre of music” he cracks, saying the trio moved in together, ditched their day jobs and have made a joint committment to pursue their music career.
So what’s with the band name? “About three hours west of Edmonton, there’s a Highway which is actually called The Scenic Highway To Alaska, Mann explained. “We’d drive by that sign on the way to our cabin and I always thought that would be a great name for an indie rock band. So we booked our first gig in Swift Current, we are about two hours away from the gig and we still haven’t come up with a name, so I said what about “Scenic Route To Alaska”? Some people at the gig thought it was strange but a lot of people thought it was cool, so it stuck.”

"Live" Photo by William Geier
“Live” Photo by William Geier

Building a reputation over the past five years with a six-track EP and two indie albums, SRTA, have gradually cultivated a strong Western following which has now culminated with two 2017 Western Canada Music Award nominations and seven Edmonton Music Awards nominations.
Yet their big break occured in 2014 when they met Marco Noni at the 2013 Break Out West music conference. Noni, a former German-based booking agent, who had just relocated to Vancouver with his Canadian-born wife, was looking for Canadian talent to book into European venues and was sufficiently impressed with SRTA.
“Marco (who is now our manager) was able to pick up the phone and book our first European tour, he has those kind of contacts,” Mann enthused. “It was a great experience for us, we didn’t lose too much money and was a great help in boosting our profile back in Canada.”
Scenic Route To Alaska will wind up a few Western dates by playing in Calgary Gateway on Thursday, Vancouver Cobalt on May 14th before enjoying two days at the Sunshine Ski Resort in Banff May 20-21 before flying out to start at an 11-date tour of Germany, Holland, Belgium and Luxemburg in Mainz, Germany May 23rd.
“Yeah it’s great, the organizers give us a chalet at the top of the mountain, we perform during the day and then we sit in a hot tub at night,” enthuses Mann. “Only problem is that we’ve only got two days to get to our first gig in Germany. It’s going to be a bit of a scramble to make our plane in time.”
As for the future, Scenic Route To Alaska will continue to promote their new release by appearing at the Mariposa Folk Festival, Orillia August 8th, have scheduled a few more summer festivals in Fernie BC and Swift Current Sk. and are working with their agency, Paquin Entertainment, to plan a Fall tour of Canada.






SRTA 2017 Tour Dates:

– Lethbridge, AB @ The Slice

    1. – Red Deer @ Bo’s
    2. – Rocky Mountain House @ The Music Shop
    3. – Calgary @ The Gateway, SAIT

05.14 – Vancouver @ The Cobalt

    1. – Banff @ Sunshine Village Ski & Snowboard Resort
    2. – Banff @ Sunshine Village Ski & Snowboard Resort

05.23 – Mainz, GER @ Schon Sch

05.24 – Haldern, GER @ Pop Bar

05.25 – Dordrecht, NL @ Lepeltje Lepeltje Festival

05.26 – Amersfoort, NL @ Boothill

05.27 – Cologne, GER @ Stereo Wonderland

05.30 – Hamburg, GER @ Gruener Jaeger

05.31 – Berlin, GER @ Privatclub

06.01 – Muenster, GER @ Rote Lola

06.02 – Appeldorn, NL @ Gigant /w Backgammon and Ivan & the Parazol

06.03 – Oldenburg, GER @ Cadillac

06.04 – Haut-Martelange, LUX @ Koll an Aktioun Festival

06.05 – Kortrijk, BE @ Bockor Rock Festival

06.10 – Ymir, BC @ Tiny Lights Festival

06.17 – Winnipeg, MB @ Winnipeg Jazz Fest

06.22 – Swift Current, SK @ Long Day’s Night Music Festival

07.08 – Orillia, ON @ Mariposa Folk Festival

08.11 – Fernie, BC @ Wapiti Music Festival

08.26 – Gibsons, BC @ Rogue Arts Festival

Related posts