The Lion The Bear The Fox — from left

Three Island shows for The Lion The Bear The Fox before band gets immersed in Peak Performance Project

Ryan McMahon, Cory Woodward and Christopher Arruda play June 30 in Port Alberni and July 1 in Ladysmith and Nanaimo.

What is Ryan McMahon most excited about when it comes to his new musical project, The Lion The Bear The Fox?

The Ladysmith singer-songwriter says it’s the fact that he feels they haven’t even scratched the surface of their potential.

“We’re not a typical band that rehearses a ton, due to the fact that I’m on Vancouver Island and the other fellas are in the city,” he says of his new soulful folk/rock band with Vancouver-based Woodward and Christopher Arruda. “I think if we’re afforded more time together and really collaborate further, great things can happen to this project.”

Great things are already starting to happen for the three songwriters with the big voices.

Earlier this month, The Lion The Bear The Fox was named a Top 20 finalist in the Peak Performance Project. Four hundred artists from across B.C. applied for the program, which includes showcases, a music business boot camp and a chance to win up to $102,700.

McMahon says the first thought that went through his head when the band’s name was called was that things just got serious.

“But mostly, it was the return of the same butterflies I used to get when I first started at this racket,” he said. “It’s an exciting opportunity for all of the musicians involved, and it’s also a great chance to get our music in front of people who wouldn’t otherwise hear it. That’s a really cool thing.”

McMahon expects to learn a lot of new information that he’ll be able to apply to his solo career and to all things related to The Lion The Bear The Fox, and he is looking forward to meeting new artists.

“The Peak really is the cherry on top of what has been a rewarding year so far, and I’m just looking forward to any time the three of us get to spend together — it’s guaranteed good music and guaranteed good laughs along the way,” he says.

Amid all the Peak Performance Project excitement, the band is currently recording its debut EP and is planning a fall western Canadian tour.

Collectively, McMahon, Woodward and Arruda have three decades worth of experience as solo artists, releasing their own independent albums and touring the country countless times.

The Lion The Bear The Fox came together as a unit after McMahon, Woodward and Arruda did a month-long western Canadian tour together as three solo artists in May 2012.

“More than anything, this project came together in such an organic way and really demanded that we continue,” says Arruda. “I know I certainly had no interest in starting a band previous to going on the road with these two, but the events of the tour were something that couldn’t be ignored. At the tail end of the tour, we were offered an impromptu show at The Park Theatre in Winnipeg and there wasn’t enough time to each do a set, so we just decided to share the stage together. It was such a perfect moment that as soon as it was complete, I decided I would be open to any chance to do it again.”

All three artists are known for the passion they bring to their performances and for the honest songs they write.

“When we perform, people experience three powerful, honest and soulful voices that will take them on a roller coaster ride of dynamically pleasing songs,” says Woodward. “Each one’s a journey, and we welcome everyone with open arms to dance wild, scream and sing into the night and experience one of the greatest self-made gifts we can give ourselves – pure uninhibited joy!”

Before spending the summer immersed in the Peak Performance Project, The Lion The Bear The Fox will play three Vancouver Island shows, including Sunday, June 30 at 8 p.m. at Char’s Landing in Port Alberni and two shows Monday, July 1 — 3 p.m. at the Transfer Beach Amphitheatre, and 7 p.m. at the Dinghy Dock Pub in Nanaimo.

To learn more about the band, click here.