A&E » Music

Pedal to the metal

Guitarist Mike Weterings brings African slant to Whistler music scene



Who: Mike Weterings

When: Jan. 20-21

Where: Crystal Lounge

He’s the man famous for his rack – his foot pedal lineup that is.

Two-time West Coast Music Award nominee Mike Weterings puts the pedal to the metal in his solo shows, as you can see for yourself at performances Friday, Jan. 20 and Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Crystal Lounge.

Loop station, wah, whammy, he isn’t afraid to take risks after more than seven years of Western Canada tours and regular appearances on the Vancouver scene and at Whistler’s Crystal Lounge.

His world travels, spanning more than 60 countries in two years, resulted in Weterings’s signature cross-cultural rock stamp with a distinct African slant.

From jazz to soukous (Congolese dance music), his worldly approach to songwriting both opens doors and presents obstacles.

"Since my music crosses several music styles or categories, the challenge is to keep the sound consistent," he said. That’s especially true on his latest recording, which has been a two-year process so far.

"We’ve focused on keeping the rhythmic energy solid and creating parts that support the songs, but don’t overwhelm them."

Along with the recording studio, you’ll find the Vancouver boy at weekly live original music nights at The Backstage Lounge, The Pic and Coppertank Grill. You’ll also find him at the slots these days. Not playing them, but playing at Casino gigs – basically the one-man show of musician and guitar is focusing on "putting himself out there."

Anyone who witnessed Wetering’s jam sessions during the Pemberton Folk Festival’s songwriter workshops can see his passions extend beyond the stage and into the songwriting process itself – whether for himself or other aspiring artists.

"I keep busy with regular solo performances," he said. "Since I think of myself first as a songwriter, I am also always keeping my ear open to the muse and whenever possible developing a new musical/lyrical/song idea.

"I really enjoy being a part of the local songwriter/performer community and in supporting other writers and performers in the community."

A teacher by trade, the award-winning guitarist also teaches biomedical ethics at the University of B.C. schools of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy – but that is another story.

Most notable accolades for this year include placing in the top 10 finalists with not one but two compositions at the NSAI-CMT song writing contest, beating out 7,000 entrants.

Slip into his groove this Friday and Saturday at the tucked away local watering hole located off the Village Stroll.

Trending in the Alternative Press