Jason Setnyk

Interview with Rich Dodson of 1970s hit band The Stampeders

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Cornwall Ontario – Cornwall music fans will be able to relive 1970s country rock nostalgia when The Stampeders come to town to play Aultsville Theatre.

The Stampeders, from Calgary Alberta, are a band that consists of Rich Dodson (guitar and vocals), Kim Berly (drums), and Ronnie King (bass and vocals).

The trio play Aultsville Theatre on November 11th – Remembrance Day is a special day for Rich Dodson because it reminds him of his father who was a veteran of World Wart Two.

“We are very thankful to the veterans. I think we should give a big thank you to all the veterans who served. I’m very proud to say that my father was a veteran. He served in the army (in World War Two). He joined at the beginning of the war, and he was a part of the artillery that went with the British to Africa. He went to Africa, Italy, and Holland during his service. He said to me when they first arrived in Africa the boat with their weapons had been sunk, so they had to use old German weapons or what ever else they could fine. We have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to our veterans,” said Rich Dodson.

On Remembrance Day the Cornwall audience will feel like they were transported back in time when they hear many of The Stampeders hits songs of times past – Many of these songs were smash hits on the radio.

The Stampeders have numerous hit songs including Carry Me, Devil You, Wild Eyes, Oh My Lady, Then Came The White Man, Minstrel Gypsy, Playing in the Band, Hit the Road Jack, New Orleans, Monday Morning Choo Choo, and Keep Me Running Wild. However Rich Dodson’s personal favourite song is the icon hit Sweet City Woman.

“Sweet City Woman has become a classic and a standard in the world of music, and it is one of the most recognizable songs of the 1970s. With the banjo in the introduction, it is so rememberable. I’m happy that we wrote that one,” said Rich Dodson.

In 1971 The Stampeders won Juno Awards in the categories of Best Group, Best Single, Best Producer and Best Composer for their platinum single of the song Sweet City Woman.

“It’s nice to get recognized from peers and industry. It feels good to get recognition for accomplishments. Of course my favourite part of the Awards was that it was a big party and lots of fun. I’m very grateful for the awards we won and proud of our achievements,” Rich Dodson reflected.

In the 1970s The Stampeders toured extensively and played concerts with the likes of Santana, The Beach Boys, The Eagles, Rush, Sonny & Cher, Joe Cocker, and Genesis just to name a few. The band also got to jam with Keith Moon of The Who at his birthday party.

“We did a few dates with Santana and meeting Carlos Santana was so amazing. We also got to meet Carl Wilson and the Beach Boys and hung out in London. Both bands got awards in Holland and we did an awards TV show with them. We also had a cool relationship with Keith Moon of The Who. We played his birthday party. We got to have a big jam session and he liked our drummers drum-set and got on it. It was a memorable night with all the stars like Harry Nilsson, and Brian from the Beaching Boys all jamming with us and playing the blues,” Rich Dodson recollected.

The Stampeders have a new album out titled “Live At The Mae Wilson” which features many of their hit songs. The band still writes new material, although their live concerts mainly consist of their hits from yesteryear.

“Our fans are curious about our new songs but they enjoy the hits. We add a few new songs to our playlist, but we play the songs that they really want to hear. We have fun with our audience and have a party with them,” Rich Dodson stated.

Both The Stampeders and Rich Dodson were inducted into the Socan Hall of Fame. Although the band has received many accolades, their biggest reward is playing in front of an audience and having a fun time. The current tour has been going well, and Rich Dodson and The Stampeders are looking forward to returning to Cornwall.

“There have been good turnouts so far. It looks like we have a few sold out shows coming up soon. We’re also looking forward to coming back to Cornwall. They were really receptive the last time and we wanted to go back there again,” Rich Dodson concluded.

Tickets for The Stampeders are $55.00 each and are available at the Cornwall Civic Complex Box Office. The concert on Friday November 11th, at Aultsville Theatre, starts at 7:30pm. The event, which is being promoted by Shantero Productions, is all ages.

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