Dakota Pearl breaks out of the valley 

Searchlights, Spotlights... all the lights seem to be on for Pemberton country band

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Pemberton Country Dakota Pearl is up for CBC's Music Searchlight and several other competitions. The band is also playing its first-ever Vancouver show.
  • Photo submitted
  • Pemberton Country Dakota Pearl is up for CBC's Music Searchlight and several other competitions. The band is also playing its first-ever Vancouver show.

Dakota Pearl is getting considerable notice these days.

The Pemberton country band is riding high on a series of competitions and shows, says lead singer Adam Leggett.

He says they currently hope to get through the first round in CBC Music's Searchlight competition — the annual online search for the best in new Canadian bands — with their song "Dirt Roads" (to vote, visit www.cbcmusicsearchlight.ca/entries/69183).

Votes close on Wednesday, April 20, for selecting the regional semi-finalists of Searchlight.

Then there is the Spotlight competition, run by the B.C. Country Music Association, in which Dakota Pearl made the Top 10 list. The winner gets to play at the Canadian Country Music Awards in September.

Finally, there is CFOX 99.3 FM's online #Willplayforbeer competition. Dakota Pearl has three songs entered, "Giving Em Hell," "Mix Tape" and "Sweet Morning Light" (www.cfox.com/contest/11665/gallery).

Leggett is quick to mention that Whistler band The Railtown Prophets is also on #Willplayforbeer.

The winner of this competition will perform on the CFOX mainstage at the VCBW Festival from June 3 to 5 at the PNE in Vancouver.

"The general feeling is that we're excited, it will be a great summer of playing music. We just want to blow people's doors off!" Leggett says.

Speaking of the music...

"We spent all winter writing and doing pre-production, basically recording songs before we go into the studio to do the real production," Leggett says.

Dakota Pearl is going to work with prominent country music producer Paul Shatto in May.

"We're super, super excited about that. We narrowed the songs down from basically 100 to around 11," Leggett says. "We're only going to record three to five songs. That will be for an EP and we will shop it around and try to get some radio play with some new songs."

The shortlist of his songs stood out for him because the storytelling was better.

"The emotions that people get out of the songs is important to me," says Leggett.

Formed in 2014, Dakota Pearl has played the last two Pemberton Music Festivals and Leggett says they hope to be back this summer.

It's time to push Dakota Pearl forward, says Leggett.

"Absolutely. We think the music is good enough now. We definitely have matured as a band. When we started, it was for shits and giggles and for fun, but it has turned into something completely different now," he says.

Dakota Pearl is also performing at its first Vancouver show at the Roxy Cabaret this coming Sunday, April 17.

"We're pretty stoked about that, especially playing the Roxy. It's an awesome venue, I've seen so many great bands there," Leggett says.

For more information, visit www.dakotapearl.com.


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