Musician Rock Moran will take the plaza stage

Musician Rock Moran will take the plaza stage

Moran to rock the plaza July 10 at Harrison Fest

Rock was drawn to the mandolin and steel guitar early on, and then switched to electric guitar

Some of his earliest memories were hearing the sound of a steel guitar.

Musician Rock Moran will take the plaza stage, as part of Music on the Beach at Harrison, July 10 at 7 p.m.

Now based out of Shawnigan Lake, on Vancouver Island, Moran grew up in Chilliwack. He has five CDs to his credit, five indie movies, and has been entertaining crowds for three decades.

Rock was drawn to mandolin and steel guitar early on, and then switched to electric guitar by the time he played his first professional gig in 1968.

He later reinvented his guitar technique, switching to an open tuned style, mastering Keith pegs for a more haunting steel guitar sound. Lately his music has been described as ‘fusegrass,’ melding jazz, roots and blues.

Rock will take the plaza stage with the “two unrelated Webbers,” Greg Webber on percussion, and Fred Webber on bass.

Here’s the Q&A interview:

Do you get to come home often for gigs these days? I know you played The District recently.


I live at Shawnigan Lake but most of my work on the Island is out of Victoria. I try to get to the mainland four or five times a year and when I do, I try to get some dates in the Chilliwack area. It’s good to see friends and do some playing with band mates from years past. Plus my mother and sister still live in the Mt. Lehman area. But the Lower Mainland is always going to be a destination economically — unless the damn ferries price us right off the map!


Where were you born?


I was born in Mt. Lehman, as was my Father. We moved to Chilliwack in 1965, when he was assigned to Coqualeetza. I went to F.G. Leary and then to Chilliwack Junior. I spent a couple months at the Senior high school when it was obvious to the teachers, my parents and myself that it was a big waste of time. I played in some local bands until being hired by Mike Evans to go on the road back east.


Ever played the Harrison Festival of the Arts? Do you enjoy the beach side stage?


I’ve played the Harrison Fest twice before. This time I will be performing with Bass player Fred Webber. and Percussionist Greg Weber. The Unrelated Webbers. My first professional gig was with Fred in 1969, so we go way back. Playing outside is always fun if the weather cooperates. Most of time you don’t realize where you are. There’s a lot to think about, and then you get into ‘the space’ where it doesn’t matter if you’re in Harrison or on the moon. You’re just lost in the music and in a meditation, —and yes, I’m still clean and sober!


What is keeping you busy? What musical ideas interest you?


Right now the gardening takes up a lot of time. We’re damn near self-sufficiant this time of year as far a food goes. I try to get in an hour on the guitar everyday whether it’s going over old stuff or writing new material. I’m very intrigued and interested in what players such as Bela Fleck and Sam Bush are doing.  Chris Thuile and Yo Yo Ma are combining jazz, bluegrass and classical and coming up with very exciting stuff. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to music that excites me as the quality of musicianship in the mainstream is basically nil. But these players are at the top of the game.


Anything to add about it being the organizers Phyllis and Ed Stenson’s last festival?


We will miss Phyllis. She was very good to me when I first played the Harrison Fest. She went to bat for me and spread my name to other festival organizers. She always is eager to give me advice when I asked for it.

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