Attending a Calgary Stampede Breakfast can sometimes mean long lines in order to eat a cold, puck-like pancake substance at a table full of strangers. This year however, Heritage Music and Poster Shop’s Psychedelic Stampede Breakfast had much more to offer: Cereal in a vinyl bowl, cupcakes, and a solo performance from Big Sugar/Grady’s Gordie Johnson!
Following an energetic opening performance by Calgary’s James Dangerous & the CIA, attendees at Saturday’s event were treated to an intimate old blues and country set performed inside a packed store. Taking to the stage shortly after 11:30am, Johnson was “willing to bet you this morning I’m the first man to sing blues while drinking orange juice.”
Fans looking for Big Sugar hits would need to wait for the Calgary Stampede performance later that evening. With the special 7-song set instead came songs from three bands of which Johnson is a member: Big Sugar’s fist song, “Groundhog Day”; “Standing Around Crying” from the album 500 Pounds; a closing song from Grady; and Sit Down Servant’s “Blackbird Bakie Pie,” which was performed on a cigar box with guitar strings that was homemade by a local student.
Although the performance was short, it highlighted Johnson’s amazing guitar skills and vocal talent and left the audience wanting more. He was also generous enough to stick around after the show to sign autographs for fans. Full bellies and outstanding music – now that’s what a Stampede breakfast should be like!