Peace train sounding louder 

Before playing at Squamish's Blessed Coast Festival, U.S. musician Trevor Hall has a date with DNC destiny

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Hall's oats American singer-songwriter Trevor Hall is performing at the Blessed Coast festival.
  • PHOTO submitted
  • Hall's oats American singer-songwriter Trevor Hall is performing at the Blessed Coast festival.

Trevor Hall has taken his band's tour to Boulder, Colo., in order to take part in a little slice of American history.

He's part of a fundraising concert for the Up to Us caravan, a peace train travelling from Los Angeles to Philadelphia and due to arrive in time for the Democratic Party National Convention, which kicks off on July 25.

The money will go to support those people who have joined the caravan.

"It's sponsored by my dear friend (actor) Shailene Woodley. She had this idea of starting a caravan that goes to the East Coast to the DNC. We're not trying to have a political thing, but we just wanted to take the message to the media that love, hope and peace need to defeat fear and anger," Hall explains.

"Every day it stops in a different town or city and (they) talk to people about what is going on. We want to create a positive community and a positive message along the way.

"We saw that they were coming through Boulder and it was the only time we were free so I suggested we throw a concert... it will have a family-jam type of vibe."

Now 30, Hall's music has curved from acoustic rock, reggae and Sanskrit chanting for almost a decade.

His most recent album, Kala, came out in 2015.

"I wrote most of the songs in Hawaii — my wife and I lived there for the winter. The word 'kala' means 'time,'" Hall says.

"My grandmother is in one of the final chapters of her life and I was with her one day when she said to me, 'Isn't time such a wonderful gift?' For me it was kind of weird because I looked at time as a stress and (was) always trying to beat the clock; a pressure.

"It kept popping up in my brain and slowly my attitude to time changed. I began to look on time as more of a spirit. That's what Kala touches on."

He adds that it fits in with the type of music he has tried to write throughout his career.

"It was a culmination of that journey," he says.

An important time of personal development was when Hall spent seven years in a Californian Hindu ashram.

"Though I don't stick with one thing; you could say that I'm all over the board," he laughs.

"It influenced my music because I travelled to India so much. I was inspired by that philosophy, and different saints and teacher. It continued on; it's what I am into."

He says it influences both his writing and music.

"I love Indian music and I like to bring those influences into the recordings. It has been a lot of fun," Hall says.

"It's not what you'd expect for a guy from South Carolina!"

Hall is one of 35 musicians performing at the Blessed Coast Festival, which takes place at the Cheekye Ranch on the Squamish Valley Road north of Squamish, from July 22 to 24.

Others include The Boom Booms, Yaima, The Human Experience, Drumspyder, Adham Shaikh and The Will Ross Band.

Blessed Coast, now in its second year, is a three-day gathering of B.C. alternative living gurus, yoga teachers and lifestyle instructors, who will offer workshops and instruction.

The trip to Squamish will be the first time Hall has performed there.

"We have our band. We're not playing that many shows this year, so it will be nice to show what we've got. We have a lot of new songs; it should be a great show. We're excited," he says.

Tickets for Blessed Coast are $270 for full-weekend general admission with camping ($360 with meal plan), with single day and two-day passes also available. Children under 12 are free.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.blessedcoast.ca.

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