Year five of Mile 0 Fest is kicking off, and we’ve got some new music you can catch live while hanging in Hemingway’s paradise of Key West. Back in year one, Cody and Shannon Canada’s boys, Dierks and Willy had just started to get their feet wet on the music stage. I saw Dierks play “Turn the Page” with his dad in a small theater on day one of the festival. He was still learning his cowboy chords, still trying to hit the changes. His younger brother, Willy, made an appearance behind the drum kit in the amphitheater later that week. Growing up immersed in this scene, I joked with Cody during our interview that year that I was on to their plan of hatching a Canada super group. Once the family decided to open a music school in their hometown of New Braunfels, it was only a matter of time.
The band Waves came to be a in 2019, with the group of five all being products of the Canada School of Rock franchise. Peyton Glasco (age 18-lead guitar), Elysha LeMaster (age 17-lead vocals), Luke Wilson (age16-bass), Willy Canada (age 13-drums) and Dierks Canada (age 16-lead guitar) have already played venues many up and comers could only dream of – Gruene Hall, John T. Floores, Cain’s Ballroom and even Mile 0 Fest.
They’re back in Key West again this time with their first EP, “Take It Or Leave It,” in tow. It’s not country, it’s not Americana, but it IS a testament that rock ‘n’ roll still has a chance with the next generation. It’s definitely on the Austin Meade end of our scene – guitar driven rock ‘n’ roll but less trippy. Punk energy, with a touch of pop to soften the edges. Any track on “Take It Or Leave It ” could have slid right into the soundtrack of the American Pie franchise. That said, Elysha LeMaster’s vocals and lyrics are devoid of any bratty anger or teen angst, instead there’s a maturity and suaveness to both the songs and her voice that transcends the notion that this is some teen garage band. They’ve got chops and are just getting started.
If you are on the island and need a respite from all the Americana, swing by one of their shows.
Wed, January 26th-12:20-1:20 PM at Sunset Green
Thurs, January 27th-12:20-1:20 PM at The Smokin’ Tuna Saloon
Fri, January 28th-11:00 AM-1:00 PM at the Lost Boy Creations-The Texas Voices Stage
If you’re not there, we’ve got it here, the EP drops on January 28th.
Even if alt-punk rock isn’t your thing, kudos to these kids for doing what they’re doing at such a young age. Putting out an EP of original song, coupled with the number of stamps already on their venue passport is pretty impressive. Do they have a dream support team to show them the ropes? Yeah, but mom and dad aren’t writing songs, singing melodies or playing licks. Props to Waves… and crank it.