Jack Godwin, playing up a storm on his steel guitar with the Kettle Valley Brakemen. (Western News file photo)

Kettle Valley Brakemen featured in Penticton: A Short History

Book will be available Nov. 23 from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. in Cherry Lane

The Kettle Valley Brakemen are becoming a bit of history themselves — their story is part of the 83rd edition of the Okanagan Historical Society Report.

The band first performed for the public at the reopening of the Kettle Valley Steam Railway in Summerland 24 years ago, and have kept chugging along ever since, touring the Okanagan and rest of the province, showcasing their combination of bluegrass heritage music and the history and stories that go into the music.

“When we started out, we thought it would be a niche thing, but there’s such a broad reach,” said Jack Godwin, the leader of the Kettle Valley Brakemen. “If you’ve ever had a toy train when you were a kid, there’s just something about it that’s a part of our culture.”

Godwin put together the group for the Kettle Valley Railway Society. After the audition, in front of four of the KVR’s actual engineers, they earned themselves a contract for 10 shows in that first year.

READ ALSO: Brakemen pulling out all the stops for 2018

READ ALSO: Historian to speak about steam railway’s past

“I’ve written about 70 songs, and the best thing about writing in the winter is that when the spring touring season comes around, we can test out and see which ones work. If people like them, they stay, and we’ve done a lot of refining like that. Besides all the train wreck songs and construction songs, there are some on maybe not the nicest things.”

The performances combine historical anecdotes that preface the songs. Through the connections that Godwin established, first with the engineers and then with the other historical writers on the railway, his music and stories are as historically accurate as he can get.

The Kettle Valley Brakemen’s story is one of four featured in the upcoming Penticton: A Brief History by the Okanagan Historical Society. The Okanagan Historical Society puts together an annual history report, gathering stories from the seven branch groups in the region.

“The Okanagan Historical Review, it’s written by members of the Historical Society and it is much more than just a book. It captures the lives of groups and individuals who are important to the local area. Were just a regional group, not a national act, and we don’t want to be. Working with seniors, who remember the era best, it’s very rewarding. and if you believe it, they still buy CDs too.”

Penticton: A Brief History will be on sale Nov. 23 outside Save-On-Foods at Cherry Lane in Penticton. The sale runs from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: More infected passengers on planes flying to and from Okanagan and Kamloops airports

The BC Centre of Disease Control has identified numerous flights with COVID-19 cases

Land once belonged to Grand Chief Nicola

Summerland was once known as Nicola Prairie

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

WATCH: North Okanagan seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

Okanagan nordic centre loses out on 2021 nationals

Sovereign Lake near Vernon was to host 2020 Canadian championships, canceled due to COVID-19

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

COVID-19: North Okanagan spring leagues wiped out

Ladies softball, indoor and beach volleyball leagues shut down over pandemic

COVID-19: Interior Crisis Line calls increase

Calls directly related to pandemic up 25 per cent over final two weeks of March

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read