A lot of people have a lot of reasons to love Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club. For some it's the unique atmosphere, with its colourful housecoats lounging on the walls, vintage music posters and artwork, megaphone intros, and warm lighting. For others, it's the personalities and the deep sense of community. For most, it's the music.
This weekend, the local venue celebrates a decade as a mainstay of the local music scene. The small club has been offering audiences some of the best in roots, blues, country, alt. country, rock, and more, building up an intensely loyal following along the way.
Times Change(d)'s staging area has been graced regularly by the likes of Juno-winning acts Nathan, Juno-nominated singer/songwriter Romi Mayes, blues rockers The Perpetrators, local blues legend Big Dave McLean, and bluegrass misfits D.Rangers. In addition to a strong contingent of local music, Times Change(d) has played to host to many top touring acts over the years.
John Scoles, who was once a patron of the little club at the corner of Main Street and St. Mary Avenue, took the spot over 10 year ago. Arguably, Scoles' personality has been a big part of what keeps the place going and keeps the die-hard patrons coming through the doors.
There have been tough times over the years, including a financial dispute with the landlord in 2004 that had Scoles vacating the club, which ran for a few months under different management while he held fundraising concerns for a new space. Music fans and artists alike turned out to help Scoles keep his vision alive before the club was eventually returned to Scoles' care.
"Being blessed with this level of good music and good people, there's really no way I could consider not finding ways to keep our little campfire burning," says Scoles, who knows his patrons and his music well. "I'd say it's that I've established a really strong sense of trust, a commitment to providing music that hits a high note and consistently stays there."
Times is celebrating its 10th birthday in stryle with a four-night party. The festivities kick off on January 20 with Times favourites, The Perpetrators, Andrina Turenne, and The Duhk's Sarah Dugas. Friday has the Empty Standards and Righteous Ike on the stage, and on Saturday, you can catch Del Barber, Chris Carmichael, and Damon Mitchell doing a reprise of the popular Neilfest show. Head down on Sunday for a special, and final, edition of the Whisky Awards with Big Dave McLean, Andrew Neville and the Poor Choices, and more special guests.
To help celebrate, we're featuring the Empty Standards' track, "Rollin," for you in The Loudspeaker this week as a little sonic birthday present. Download it for free at manitobamusic.com/loudspeaker.
The anniversary celebration is an extension of Scoles' philosophy - which is articulately shared with countless recipients of his regular email newsletters - and community-building. Scoles' motto pretty much sums it up: "We Gotta Lotta Livin' To Do. Let's Do It Together."