Slim Sandy (Peter Sandmark) and his wife

Victoria trio launches European tour

Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers have launched their new five song EP on iTunes and will begin touring Europe in April.

Music has been a part of Slim Sandy’s (Peter Sandmark) life for more than 30 years, and he’s been a figure on Victoria’s performance scene for the past decade. But his trio’s latest venture promises to be one of the most exciting of his career.

The group, Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers, have just launched their new five song EP (extended play), on iTunes and will perform those songs at a special release party at the Duke Saloon, on March 18. The EP is entitled Sweet Rockin Mama and the trio has laid down tunes that stay true to their eclectic mixture of Western swing, classic rockabilly, and country blues with a rocking edge.

“The first rock ‘n’ roll music I heard was the Beatles, and I loved it. But then I started wondering what the roots of that music was and that started me on a journey of discovery that mined the music of the ‘30s through to the ‘50s,” said Sandmark.

“We try to capture the sound of that time, just as acoustic was fading and electric was coming onto the scene.”

Sandmark is joined by his wife Willa Mae on washtub bass and harmony vocals, and German Ebert on drums. Sandmark takes the lead vocals and plays harmonica and a swinging guitar.

The Victoria release of the EP will mark the beginning of an exciting 2016 European Tour for the Victoria trio. They leave on April 20 to perform in France at the Good Rockin Tonight rockabilly festival (April 24) before moving on to England, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.

“We’ve got an invitation to do some recording in Europe, as well,” said Sandmark. “There’s a huge rockabilly sub-culture there. In Europe, the old rock ‘n’ roll never really died out the way it did in North America. But even here, there’s a revival of that sound growing as people re-discover the sound. It’s an exciting time to be playing the music we love.”

The title track of the EP,  Sweet Rockin Mama is also on the band’s recently released 45 vinyl single, with I’m Ready. The single is available at Ditch Records and Gordie’s Music in Victoria.

Upon their return from Europe, the trio will be touring music festivals in Ontario, Vancouver Island and down the American Pacific Northwest.

Tickets for the EP launch are available at the Duke Saloon (502 Discovery St.) Doors open at 8 p.m.

More information can be found at slimsandy.com.