Edmonton/Alberta – making new friends in a vibrant music scene out in the West

Due to our dog’s surgery and the need for recuperation, we stayed in Edmonton for nearly a month and against all what we’ve heard about the city (business city, oil capital) – we found the atmosphere of the city extremely nice. Especially for dog owners the city is a paradise, because there’s a green valley along the Saskatchewan River that goes through the whole city. The difference with this green belt and that of other cities, is that they keep it wild and natural. Even you’re in the middle of city life, you can walk through beautiful thick nature, with little rivers, big forests and tons of trails. I have actually never seen this kind of “wilderness” in a big city before and I guess it’s pretty unique worldwide. I found it amazing!


Nevertheless, summer in Edmonton is short, so all the construction work takes place in the short period of summer time and wherever you go or drive you’ll find construction sites along the avenues. Edmontonians joke about that: “In winter we have the snow, in summer the construction sites that are blocking the streets”.


For nightlife and all kind of entertaining stuff you can wander around Whyte Avenue or Jasper Avenue in Downtown. Little bars and live music venues have a lot to offer here and the atmosphere is pretty relaxed in the whole city. Three places that we discovered and really recommend for Blues & Rock Live Music or just meet some nice people from Edmonton are the Black Dog, the Empress at Whyte Ave and the Starlite Room in Downtown.


We’ve seen the Canadian bands Bison and Black Thunder at the Starlite Room – real good handmade Rock Music. Bison BC is from Vancouver and they are pretty famous in the underground Rock Scene in British Columbia and they’ve toured Europe and played at the Wacken Festival several times.


The Blues, Country and Rock scene seems comparatively small in Edmonton. Everyone knows each other and that creates a wonderful cozy atmosphere. We were introduced to so many people and bands and we felt so welcomed by all of them.


Live in the “Hartley Castle”, that’s how one friend uses to call the house, was really treating us so well.

Apart from that our dog needed a rest after her surgery, we realized that this time here was good for us to rest and calm down after all the hustle of the last months as well:  Tobi gave up his job in Germany, I just came back from India, we moved out of our little house, flew over to Canada, worked in Toronto and had a 4000km long road trip across half the country. So, good time to stay in a cozy, nice place for a while.


Our friend Chris really likes to have people at his house and when he’s around there’s always something going on: People coming for a campfire in the garden or just to hang out to have some beers and listen to records. We had so many fun evenings with playing music, having good food and enjoying life together. We miss Mike, our room mate who’s a wonderful musician, skateboard passionate and talented carpenter and Dustin, probably the funniest enthymologist on earth.  We hung out a looooot and had some really nice music sessions at Mike’s and Eylas’ studio.

Further down you find music videos of the bands of Mike and Eyla.

It was hard for us to leave the city. We made wonderful friends, were surrounded by musicians and creative people and we would have had the opportunity to stay, play music and work there and actually were really thinking about staying...anyways the road was calling us again. Next Stop: Rockie Mountains.


PS: Further down you can find music videos of our friends Mike and Ayla. Check it out :) 

mike "Bombchan"

ayla Brooks

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Canada, eh?