Rollin’ Trainwreck, a Vancouver-based band, is a finalist in a nationwide CCMA contest. From left: Philip Puxley, Phil Bell and Jesse Burch. (Courtesy MyTone Records)

Vancouver’s Rollin’ Trainwreck keeps rolling to the top

Band representing B.C. in national contest after win at Cloverdale Rodeo

A Vancouver act who took to the Boots and Buckles Saloon stage at the Cloverdale Rodeo this year is representing B.C. in a nationwide country music contest.

Rollin’ Trainwreck, featuring guitar player Jesse Burch, banjo player Philip Puxley and upright bassist Phil Bell, won the BC Country Music Association (BCCMA) and Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) spotlight contest, which concluded on stage in a live perfomance at the Cloverdale Rodeo exhibition.

Rollin’ Trainwreck is now on track for the national portion of the contest. All nine provinces that have a country music association have put forth their finalist for the national competition – and if Rollin’ Trainwreck wins, they’ll have the opportunity to perform at Country Music Week in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan this September.

The winner of the national contest is decided by an online vote. Country music fans have until this Friday at 5 p.m. EST to check out videos of all the finalists and vote for their favourite act at www.surveymonkey.com/r/JVT83S7.

Rollin’ Trainwreck has seen a lot of success for an act that came together just over a year ago.

“We fell together really easy,” said guitarist Jesse Burch. “The three of us got together one day and it was an instant connection. We’ve been playing together now for over a year, and we’re currently in the studio finishing an album.”

Rollin’ Trainwreck’s sound is influenced by rock, country, blues and bluegrass. Their live performances stand apart because of the trio’s organic on-stage style, showcasing their skills on the banjo, acoustic guitar and upright bass.

“It comes across pretty unique,” said Burch.

Rollin’ Trainwreck is in the studio with MyTone Records recording their first album together, and although some of the tracks also feature a brass section, the fiddle and even a live orchestra, Burch said they’re staying true to their roots by focusing on giving energy-rich performances, which tend to be almost experimental.

“We’re recording old-school, as organically as we can,” said Burch.

“We want to be radio ready,” he said, “but we’re keeping it our own.”

Their first album is expected to be finished this July. Burch said they hope to release a single in the fall and afterwards he hopes they “keep the train wreck moving” with touring and more song writing.

“The name suits us,” he said, laughing. “We’re all train wrecks in our own way. We’re not perfect, but it works and we keep on going.”