Winnipeg rockers invited to perform in Indigenous music showcase at iconic L.A. venue

The Bloodshots rock band is gearing up to perform at the Whisky A Go Go nightclub on the Sunset Strip. Singer and frontman CJ Loane says the band is ready to bring Winnipeg vibes to LA for an Indigenous music night. Joanne Roberts has the story.

When the call came in to play a “bucket list” gig, CJ Loane didn’t have to think twice.

“Obviously I didn’t bat an eye. Yep, we’re in!” said The Bloodshots frontman.

The Winnipeg band is taking the show on the road – more than 3,000 kilometres from Manitoba’s capital to sunny Los Angeles – for the biggest concert of their careers.

The Bloodshots are part of an Indigenous Music Industry Night in Hollywood and will perform at the iconic Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip.

The Bloodshots, featuring Keith Skazyk (left), Ben Hodges (centre) and CJ Loane (right). (Submitted by: CJ Loane)

“You got the classic venues like CBGB, which is not there anymore, so you gotta play the ones that are still going and The Whisky is definitely up there,” said lead singer Loane.

The opportunity to play in L.A. came from a connection made last year, when the band won a Native American Music Award for best rock video for the song “No Way Out.”

WATCH: The Bloodshots win best rock video at Native American Music Awards

On Jan. 25, The Bloodshots will play alongside other Indigenous rock greats like Shawn Michael Perry and B-Side Players. The Indigenous Music Industry Night is part of the NAMM Show, an annual event in the United States organized by the National Association of Music Merchants.

Bloodshots drummer Ben Hodges says he’s excited to be bringing Winnipeg’s unique energy to Hollywood.

“I think Winnipeg has a lot of culture that we like to share,” Hodges told CityNews. “I joined The Bloodshots maybe about a year ago. But I’ve been a fan of them for a long, long time and I’ve known CJ for quite a long time before then, but I love the energy that they bring.

“I think Winnipeg also has a lot of energy to bring. I think about the Bombers, the loudest fans in the CFL, you got the Jets fans and you got also a rich, Indigenous culture. I think we can bring a lot of those vibes, also, with us to L.A.”

The Bloodshots drummer Ben Hodges (left) and singer frontman CJ Loane. (Joanne Roberts, CityNews)

Loane says the three-piece band, which also features Keith Skazyk on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, is ready to prove to Hollywood audiences Winnipeg musicians can hold their own in Tinseltown.

“I think there’s a lot of talent in Winnipeg, especially in the arts,” Loane said. “You can go out any night on the weekend in Winnipeg and see live music and you’re gonna be surprised by the talent. It’s so good and I feel like right where we are, right in the middle of Canada we (are) … just forgotten about in the grand scheme of the arts.

“I think it’s important to wave that flag, ‘hey we’re here and we’re doing the same thing you’re doing.’”

Hodges says he never imagined he would ever perform in La-La Land.

“I’ve never played outside of Canada walls before so it’s very exciting for me,” Hodges said. “It seems like Hollywood is the place you want to get to right at the peak of your career. Hollywood is Hollywood. It’s where famous people go.

“It’s very, very exciting for me to get to go there. I never thought it’d be possible ever in my lifetime.”

Loane says he’s excited for the new connections the band will make in Los Angeles. He hopes the showcase brings them one step closer to being able to pursue music full time.

The Bloodshots are working on new music. “Gettin’ Around” will be released as a single next year.

The Bloodshots’ drum kit. (Joanne Roberts, CityNews)

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today