New Year’s last stand 

Who needs R&B when Whistler’s got R&G?

By Nicole Fitzgerald

What: R&G New Years

When: New Year’s

Where: Black’s Pub

Tickets: $40

Rob Funk and Gary Yoshida are like a peanut butter and jam sandwich — a little silly, sweet with substance and you can’t have one without the other.

But alas the two are parting, going their separate ways with new homes calling them out to the opposite ends of the cupboard. But the boys are jamming out one last New Year’s show with the best in R&G New Year’s Eve at Black’s Pub, with plenty of resolutions already underway for 2007.

“We bought a waterfront cabin at Tyaughton Lake, funny, same time Rob was purchasing his home in Nelson,” Yoshida said. “With Rob’s departure next fall, I will miss him dearly. He’s forcing me to work on fronting my own gig.”

Yoshida already had a quick taste of the mic when he made his singing debut at the Dubh Linn Gate when Rob was sick for four straight nights with the flu earlier this year.

Other 2006 highlights for Yoshida include his annual road trip to Sun Peaks with Pemberton’s Still Smokin’ band, St. Patrick’s Day with the Pickled Livers at Merlin’s, the Liftie Memorial with Downtown Jay Brown at Merlin’s and of course time with Funk at Andrew Mitchell’s wedding at Monk’s.

Funk adds to the 2006 muso musings with touring with Kostaman band for the first time and also making the Warped Tour semi finals. However, topping the list of 2006 highlights definitely was buying a house in Nelson, where his recording studio will be the biggest room in the house.

“Two-thousand-and-seven is definitely about working less and recording more,” Funk said.

Funk recently completed a full-length, self-titled album, producing the 13-track CD from his home recording studio — a room with a computer surrounded by instruments and microphones. Guitar, piano, drums, bass, mandolin, viola, Funk plays anything that makes noise.

Funk and Yoshida have played all temperatures, from -17 Celsius winter seasons to +39 Celsius summer patio days, and all heights from sea level to more than a mile high in the sky at Whistler’s Roundhouse barbecue.

An unlimited number of beverages have been hoisted high in the air over this musical duo who for the past four years have kept people singing, swinging and dancing in Sea to Sky country. R&G’s greatest strength comes from Funk’s solid rhythms and Yoshida’s melodic lead coming together over two-part vocal harmonies, with plenty of playful banter in between.

Both boast claims to fame as individuals. Yoshida opened for such acts as Colin James, Trooper, and Doug and the Slugs and Funk’s cat Mandarin “Mandy” Orange was Pet of the Month in February.

Join the duo for New Year’s. Tickets are $40.

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