Sunfest Country Music Festival has confirmed another performance for this year’s main stage, and organizers found a totally unique way make their announcement—through none other than Jonny Harris during his standup routine in Lake Cowichan on Saturday.
The Duncan-based Row of Crowz was caught by surprise when Harris made the reveal on stage, immediately drawing whoops and cheers from the audience.
“They totally surprised us,” said drummer Darrell Posehn.
Row of Crowz played at the Sunfest beer gardens last year and had really enjoyed themselves.
“[They were] really nice people to play for … People wanting encores and people wanting more, so we put our application in, hoping we could play again,” he said. “We’d been waiting and waiting, and we figured if it’s not our year it’s not our year.”
During the filming of Still Standing, the band played a free show at The Shaker Mill Restaurant which was recorded for the episode. They attended Harris’s standup performance, seated front row not far from Sunfest owner Greg Adams. Harris made several jokes about how badly the band would like to play at Sunfest this year.
“If only there was someone who could make that happen,” Harris said, looking directly at Adams from the stage. Posehn said he and his bandmates felt awkward as Harris laid on the pressure.
“We thought, ‘Oh gee, lay off, we want to get in on our own merits.’ Little did we know Greg and the whole crew was sandbagging us the whole time. They all knew we were going to play so they set this up while taping the show,” said Posehn. “On top of that, we’ll be playing main stage. I mean holy cow. So pressure’s on!”
Row of Crowz plays classic rock, with an emphasis of performing tunes by Canadian musicians. Posehn said the band counts artists like the Tragically Hip, 54-40, Harlequin and Trooper among its top Canadian influences.
“We’ve got a few original songs in the tank and I think we’re going to have a few more original songs to play for people instead just cover tunes,” said Posehn.
Row of Crowz has been making music for 25 years, and has strong ties to Lake Cowichan where guitarist Andy Mitchell was born and where lead singer Sandy Mckenzie lives today. The band will be headlining the upcoming Lake Days adult dance on June 11.
at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena, which Posehn said the group is focusing on right now.
The people of Lake Cowichan have been great at supporting us and coming out when we play. We appreciate the support, so keep coming out,” he said.