The Stampeders – guitarist Rich Dodson, drummer Kim Berly and bassist Ronnie King – are coming to the Port Theatre on April 16. (Photo courtesy the Stampeders)

Canadian classic rockers the Stampeders head to the Port Theatre

Group struck success early on with ’70s hit ‘Sweet City Woman’

Rich Dodson said he never expected he’d still be touring the country with the same group of guys he’s been recording music with since the early ’70s, but he says “every year the phone keeps ringing.”

“So there’s obviously a need for our services and we’re happy to provide as long as our health holds out,” said Dodson, guitarist for the Calgarian rock group the Stampeders.

The trio – Dodson, drummer Kim Berly and bassist Ronnie King – had immediate success with their first album, 1971’s Against the Grain, which earned them Juno Awards for Best Vocal Instrumental Group, Best Producer, Best Composer and Best Single for their biggest hit, Sweet City Woman. That decade the group earned four straight Group of the Year nominations. Dodson left the Stampeders 1977 but the band reformed 15 years later and recorded a new album together, Sure Beats Working, in 1998.

“We’re like brothers,” Dodson said.

“We enjoy being together. Maybe astrologically there’s something connecting us. Cancerians, Leos, that kind of thing … and I guess a respect for one another’s talent and abilities and we just have a good time together. It’s a lot of laughs.”

On April 16 the Stampeders perform at the Port Theatre. Dodson said it’s been years since the group has performed there and he looks forward to visiting “that end of the world.”

“We love getting together and … making it happen. Doing the songs like they should be done,” he said.

He said fans are bringing their children to shows (“Although the kids are getting older”) and at the meet and greets he hears stories about what the group’s music has meant to fans over the years.

“We’re the same band. We grew up and played too loud…” Dodson said, adding that their shows are time warps for the band and audience alike.

“I’m sure it’s going to bring back good memories for them and we all feel young again.”

WHAT’S ON … The Stampeders perform at the Port Theatre on Monday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. All seats are $62.50.

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