Wooden Horseman rides into Ladysmith

Steve Beddall's Wooden Horseman celebrates the release of its debut album Friday, April 25 at the Short Close Song Shelter.

Steve Beddall’s Wooden Horseman celebrates the release of its debut album Friday

Steve Beddall’s Wooden Horseman celebrates the release of its debut album Friday

The road is not an empty concept to Steven Beddall, a.k.a Wooden Horseman.

A decade has passed since the Ottawa musician left the Ottawa Valley in search of something else, which he quickly found — driving a truck over thousands of miles, through blazing summers and bitter winters, alone with his thoughts for hours on end, with plenty of time to think things over, and over again.

Raised on the roots of blues — Waters, King, Vaughan, Hooker, Johnson, Hendrix — Beddall would further hone his appreciation and love for the sound while working as a dishwasher at Tucson’s, the famed Ottawa blues institution. Along the way, he would tune into Leadbelly’s sound and later tap into Dylan. Combine that Hall of Fame musical education with a natural leaning toward the nomadic lifestyle, throw in some truck driving for good measure and let that ferment for a few years, and you get Beddall’s Wooden Horseman project.

The group, which features some of Vancouver’s finest in cellist Alex Hauka, singer Missy Cross, organist Owen Connell, pianist Peter Bowles and drummer Emlyn Sherk, released its self-titled debut album in February and will be celebrating that release Friday, April 25 in Ladysmith.

“Careful and minimal in its production (Mark Lawrence), restrained yet potent in its execution, Wooden Horseman paints a road-tested picture of an artist who has just begun to reveal himself,” states Wooden Horseman’s website.

Wooden Horseman performs Friday, April 25 at 8 p.m. at the Short Close Song Shelter in Ladysmith as part of its CD release tour. Tickets are $20 and are available at Uforik Computers.

For more information, call 250-245-4440.

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Also performing soon at the Short Close Song Shelter are Craig Cardiff, and Neil Osborne.

Cardiff, a Juno- and Canadian Folk Music Award-nominated folk/roots musician from Ontario who released a new double album late last year, performs Friday, April 4 at 8 p.m.

Osborne, the lead singer of 54-40 who will be touring as a solo act for the first time, is coming to Ladysmith Friday, May 2 at 8 p.m.