Whether he’s playing for dozens or for thousands, Cree musician Ed Peekeekoot wants to make his concerts feel like they’re in a living room.
The multi-instrumentalist plans to do just that during his first concert in Parksville, to take place at the MAC on June 23.
From the Ahtahkakoop Cree First Nation in Saskatchewan, Peekeekoot (primarily a guitarist) brings country folk stylings harkening back to the finger picking of Chet Atkins, but with his own native influences.
From a musical family, he first learned to play guitar from a very early age, and travelled with his mother in Saskatchewan to play at dances alongside fiddles, banjoes and more.
Growing up, Peekeekoot said, he listened to a wide range of music — including rock and roll. He liked The Beatles like just about everyone, but that’s not where his music comes from, he said.
“I grew up listening to old-time fiddle, the old-time dances and stuff: fiddles and guitars, banjoes, mandolins,” he said, which are a better reflection of his own music.
For this upcoming show, Peekeekoot said he’ll be playing guitar, the Native American flute, the Native hand drum, and some fiddle, in addition to doing some storytelling.
His goal at concerts is to bring people into an intimate atmosphere and show that he’s having a good time.
“I like to play like I’m in a living room, you know?” he said. “I could be playing in a large place, but I try to make it small. More personal to the people, and I talk to them. That’s what I like to do.
“I think people are more relaxed that way, more receptive. They like to relax and just listen.”
Peekeekoot’s own brand of humour and philosophy sometimes makes it into his shows, though he said he’s not nearly as talkative when he’s offstage.
Peekeekoot said he’s excited for his first performance in Parksville, which takes place June 23 at 7 p.m. at the MAC. Tickets are $15, or $12 for OCAC members.
For more info, go to www.mcmillanartscentre.com/ed-peekeekoot-at-the-mac/.