Article by Sari Connell.
In anticipation of the Skydiggers show this Saturday, I spoke with Josh Finlayson this morning.
Josh is one of the original members of the band, along with Andy Maize. Josh and Andy grew up in the same neighbourhood in Toronto. They started the band over 30 years ago after bonding over a love of the traditional folk music sound. Some of their early influencers were Chet Atkins; Doc Watson; various songs and melodies from the United Kingdom; and British bands, including The Beatles, The Who, and The Rolling Stones. Gordon Lightfoot was a huge influence as well, referring to Lightfoot as “the songwriters, songwriter.” Josh also commented on The Band being “a quiet watermark and a Canadian icon with great recordings and great songs.”
Today, Skydiggers consists of seven band members; Josh and Andy, along with Jessy Bell Smith, Derrick Brady, Aaron Comeau, Noel Webb, and Micheal Johnston. They still enjoy playing their original hits, such as ‘I Will Give You Everything’, ‘Slow Burning Fire’, and 'A Penny More’.
The inception of the Christmas show was a number of years ago at the Horseshoe Tavern, after The Tragically Hip gave up playing every Boxing Day. This eventually evolved into a Christmas album and a full tour. Today, they begin their Christmas tour, and round it out with their last show being the weekend before Christmas at the Horseshoe.
The band enjoys playing in theatres such as The Meaford Hall, commenting on how “beautiful and very musical” it is to play in a real theatre. They are quite familiar with Grey Bruce Simcoe, having played in areas such as Meaford, Collingwood, Owen Sound, Goderich, and Kincardine. Josh has personally spent a lot of time in the Collingwood area as his parents once had a place here. Josh has seen the changes to the Collingwood area since he was a boy, just as many of us have. The growth and gentrification has attracted many to the once quiet Shipyard town. Alongside that growth comes opportunity to attract big names in the Canadian Arts and Culture scene, including musicians such as Skydiggers.
We are fortunate to have Skydiggers celebrate the holiday season with us this Saturday, December 1st at The Meaford Hall. Tickets are still available at http://www.meafordhall.ca
For more information on Skydiggers and upcoming shows, please visit https://skydiggers.com