Brothers John and Tony Kastelic left their home in the dusty prairies of southern Alberta and set up operation in the salt and rain of Vancouver, BC, creating the world’s one-and-only stereo-viola folk rock band. Their music merges their classical background with fiddle folk, rock n’ roll, and a touch of disco for good measure.
Individually, John and Tony could each be a one man band. They hold down a rare groove with full baritone voices, shredding violas, and thunderous foot percussion. As a duo they are a force of nature.
About the Performance
We’re delighted to share this performance as part of Instrumental Measures. Seeing so many friends and colleagues perform previously on this series reminds us of the richness of our musical community in Vancouver. It causes us to look forward to the future when live performance is a part of our everyday lives again.
The act of pouring energy into a performance for a live audience and then receiving it back, reflected and magnified, is irreplaceable. For us, missing out on this experience has been one of the greatest losses during the past year of social restrictions. Thank goodness for virtual concerts, as they’re the next best thing right now. Recording at Knox was a real treat in that respect. We have performed at a real mix of venues in our time, from pubs to barns to backyards to moving trains, but this might be our first time performing this music in a church. Even though we didn’t have a live audience, the space itself seemed to cheer us on, with its warmth and reverberation.
To bring some upbeat energy, we chose six of our very favourite songs for this performance:
1- Sea Song was written by Tony and was completed in the past year with the support of Creative BC through their Showcase BC program. It strikes a mythic tone, drawing parallels between the growing of food and the writing of songs, and the weariness and self-doubt that can arise from either tasks.
2 – Move Together is an upbeat dance tune, written by John, about coming together to share our presence and take part in the cosmic dance. “I keep these models in mind: the sun, the moon, the atom/The rise and fall of the tide, the blood that pumps inside us/And if we’re moving in time, I know good things will happen.”
3 – Kids in the City is another dancey tune from Tony. Through an outrageous mashup of yodelling, rock n’ roll, and disco, it tells a story about the transience of inner peace, especially when you’re dancing with the kids in the city.
4 – Black Cloud is a sea shanty by John that challenges our politicians to protect our irreplaceable ecological treasures, to pay more than just lip service to indigenous rights and reconciliation, and to honour their word at all times. Sea shanties are meant to be sing-alongs, so feel free to do just that if you agree with anything in this song!
5 – Far Away Homeis an oldie of ours. It’s a song John wrote to remind himself to count his blessings and to remember that his ultimate destination is not some distant point, but rather each embodied moment as it passes.
6 –Who’s Gonna Help Me is a song John wrote a few years back during a really tough, long winter, which he spent living in a basement room without any windows. Sounds rough, eh? There’s some magic in this song though, because when everyone’s singing along at the end, John gets his answer to the question posed by the title.
Thank you, our dear audience, for reading and for listening! Also, many thanks to Tracy and the folks at Knox United Church for making this concert series possible – you’re doing great work. You can find and follow Salt Thief on Facebook, Instagram, or our website at www.saltthief.com. We look forward to chatting with you at the talk-back after the show, and we look forward to seeing you at a live concert in the not-so-distant future.
KnoxVan Events Presents Salt Thief
A Free Virtual Performance
Tuesday, April 13 2021 7:30PM – Video Release 8:00PM – Performer’s Talk-back