Fate of live album was ‘Hanging by a thread’ after loss of main sponsor

Despite the loss of their main sponsor and their $20,000 budget, Blake Berglund and the Vultures followed through with the production of their live album, Jasper, which released Sept. 30.

Initially, a local beer company was planning on sponsoring the album and would have packaged Jasper alongside cases of beer.

However, after the company backed out, the band made a decision to raise the funds to record and produce the album independently.

This decision was a successful one. After raising over $7000, Jasper was recorded live this past August during two performances at the Jasper Legion Branch 31. The album release took place at the Ironwood Stage in Calgary.

Berglund manhandles his guitar, adding a touch of physicality to his performance.

Photo by Jodi Brak

Though the loss of their sponsor might have been demoralizing at first, front man Blake Berglund said that it was still a good experience.

“The band practiced like mad to get ready for this,” said Berglund. “Doing this on our own really gave us something to work for, and the album totally captured the energy of our live show.”

Jasper is the band’s first live album, and the feel of a live performance compliments their alt-country style. The Vultures know how to create presence with their playing, and Berglund’s singing style ranges from a booming Johnny Cash throwback to a sarcastic take on a southern drawl.

Jasper contains 17 tracks in total, five of which have not been released on any of the band’s previous recordings. Berglund said Jasper is just the beginning of a long creative streak that he hopes will carry the band through 2015.

Starting with a short tour to Vancouver, the band will then head to the U.S. on a string of gigs that will eventually see them play Hard Rock Café in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Berglund (Left) sings alongside band mate J.R. Louis during the Jasper CD release at the Ironwood Stage and Grill.

Photo by Jodi BrakCoupled with these live shows, Berglund hopes to release two EP’s in the early months of 2015.

One will feature fellow band member J.R. Louis, and the other features Saskatchewan singer/songwriter Belle Plaine.

“I’m caught up in collaborations right now,” Berglund said. “It really keeps my buzz going.”

jbrak@cjournal.ca