Bringing again the music of ‘true artist’ Aylie Sparkes


It has been 15 years since Whitehorse musician Aylie Sparkes died of most cancers, however reminiscences of his frenetic slide guitar work stay on.

Yukoner Gordie Tentrees stated Sparkes was “the primary actual musician who ever performed with me.”

The 2 toured collectively, and Tentrees stated Sparkes would give him classes in music, and the music enterprise, whereas they drove to the following gig.

“I used to be actually fortunate I had somebody who confirmed me that is the best way you do it,” Tentrees stated.

Sparkes lit up the Yukon music scene, however was sick by the point his debut report, Stunning and Deranged, was launched. It was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award in 2004, however Sparkes could not hit the highway to tour and help the report, and it is by no means been launched digitally.

Till now, that’s. Tentrees and others have made the report available online, and it is bringing again a whole lot of reminiscences for Yukon music followers.

The quilt of Sparkes’s album, ‘Stunning and Deranged.’ (Bandcamp)

Lonnie Powell of Whitehorse first noticed Sparkes enjoying in entrance of a market in Nelson, B.C. He was impressed together with his expertise and the 2 wound up in the identical band. Sparkes was referred to as Peter Thiessen then, and Powell stated he was searching for a brand new dwelling.

“He got here as much as go to me round ’99 simply to verify issues out,” stated Powell. “Nelson, though it had the identical inhabitants because the Yukon, it did not have practically the identical quantity of alternatives and gigs.”

Sparkes moved to the territory for good in 2001 and had a direct influence on the native scene. He performed tons of of exhibits yearly, from festivals to common home gigs at locations reminiscent of The Pit in Dawson Metropolis.

‘He simply introduced this fireplace’

Sparkes’s capability to sit down in and make anybody sound higher made him a preferred sideman for artists reminiscent of Yellowknife’s Pat Braden.

“He simply introduced this fireplace and I described it that manner on the time,” stated Braden. “I believe anyone would describe it that manner when he turned up the amount and went for a solo.”

Sparkes’s sound could have been aided by a few of his distinctive devices, home made guitars put collectively from bits and items he had collected and modified over time.

Sparkes and one his home made guitars on stage on the Alsek Music Competition. ‘At any time when I consider Aylie I consider a real artist and a real human being,’ stated his good friend, musician Lonnie Powell. (Gordie Tentrees)

It might even have one thing to do with Sparkes’s distinctive persona. Individuals nonetheless speak about his capability to get together with anybody, and diffuse a scenario when it was late at evening and the gig was getting rowdy.

“He was an actual artist in so some ways,” stated Powell. “He related with everybody. I by no means discovered him very judgmental, he by no means thought he was too good, or too afraid to leap into any scenario.

“At any time when I consider Aylie I consider a real artist and a real human being who wasn’t apologetic about who he was. One of many issues I bear in mind most was him reinventing himself and turning into Aylie Sparkes. Once I met him he was Peter, and he shed his pores and skin and have become the particular person we all know within the Yukon.”

Tentrees stated Sparkes’s persona is one motive his associates are working to see that his songs are out there once more. One more reason is the music is sweet and must be heard. 

“Essentially the most thrilling half about this entire factor is his youngsters are going to get some cash from some individuals who love their dad’s music,” Tentrees stated.

“And likewise individuals are going to get to listen to it for the very first time and perceive why we lined up across the block on the Taku to listen to him play.”

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