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Rocking The Prairies

Understanding that captivating the audience is part of moving forward in their industry, the music group Left of Centre did just that at Rockin the Fields Minnedosa (RFM) last year by winning the Rockoff competition.

With their music relationship coming together five years ago, members began to pump out music to let loose and have some fun. Today, while they enjoy the freedom of performing live, they also live up to the motto all for one one for all, knowing what they accomplish will be the result of all four working hard as a group.

Left of Centre is a rock band made up of three members from Hamiota Cory Badger, Ben Hodges, Travis Woloshen, and one from Deloraine Alex Hammond.

Since the four came together in the spring of 2008, Left of Centre has played approximately 50 live shows, but nothing compares to the scale of RFM that not only brings in big-name acts but also supports and promotes homegrown musical talent.

As the winner of the 2010 event, the small-town Prairie boys not only got to perform in front of headliners Bif Naked and Wide Mouth Mason, but also received a large prize package consisting of everything from paid future gigs to a professional photo shoot. But for the group, being judged the best and gaining additional stage exposure meant more.

It felt really good to come out on top at an event of that calibre, said Badger. Every show we play together just seems to get better and better, and that is its own reward if you can step back and look at what we have accomplished as a band but sometimes being rewarded for your hard work helps you to realize it.

Having played smaller outdoor festivals in the past such as Ridgefest and Faderfest in Brandon, Border fest in Waskada, and Cranfest locally along with numerous city clubs and small-town bars, Left of Centre has drawn quite a large fan base across Manitoba which is now being extended into Saskatchewan. Also, with activities and promotion on their official website they have touched others across the world.

Badger said the group officially released Pushover, recorded at Studio 11 in Winnipeg a year and a half ago. One of the songs on it has been included on an American compilation disc which will be distributed to many American campus radio stations this month.

Badger says they are planning to hit the studio next summer/ fall and record a full album of original material. They credit some of their success to being involved with school band. We may have very well played different instruments back then, but the Hamiota school band provided much of the musical knowledge that we use today, said Badger. Definitely, I think it was the kick-start to our dreams, to our goals.

Darrell Nesbitt writes from Shoal Lake, Manitoba

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