Published Jun 21, 2014Bry Webb faced the challenge of opening Sled Island's outdoor venue in the pouring rain, shortly after the announcement that headliner Neko Case would not be performing later that night. A sparse crowd of diehards gathered at the now-free show to listen to Webb and his band, the Providers, play understated, gorgeous songs, including a batch from the London, Ontario songwriter's recent solo album, Free Will.
Best known as the frontman for rock band the Constantines, Webb steered clear of his other band's catalogue, electing to focus on his softer solo material. Even the shouts and caterwauls of a couple of local drunks didn't phase Webb, who seemed bound and determined to play his songs his way without compromise. As one dude called out to him repeatedly, "You're my Blue Rodeo!" Webb just chuckled and accepted the compliment, saying, "I'll always remember you for that, Calgary."