By Dan Walton
Local band Otters are looking to make a splash on radio, as the valley-based band is competing in the CBCs annual Searchlight Contest.
The East Kootenay region got great exposure from the contest last year, as Cranbrooks Good Ol Goats placed second in the nation-wide contest. This year, Otters are taking a swing, but first, they have to advance through the Kelowna (Radio West) region of CBC Radio one of 24 in Canada. So far, the band has qualified as one of the top 25 in the region, but more than 4,000 bands have entered the contest throughout the country, said lead singer and guitarist Al Fraser.
Weve been around for a long time not doing anything, and over the last few years really tried to start playing shows and get out there a little, he said.
Along with Al Fraser, the Otters are Andrew Turgeon on bass guitar, Ryan Stimming on drums and vocals, and Nick King on rhythm guitar and vocals.
The contests top prize awards the first-place finishers with $20,000 in music equipment, professional studio time, and an opening spot on a high-profile music showcase.
In its early days, the band was being led by former member Roger Waters (no relation to the Pink Floyd musician), who gave the group a fun name Roger Waters and the Freshwater Otters. But once the band had booked a legitimate show, they decided to list their name as Otters no the in front.
The band is currently in the studio to record their first full album. They were also in the studio late last year, adding a track to the Christmas in the Valley album, which was released last December.
The Searchlight Contest allows competing bands to upload one song for scrutiny in the competition. From what the band has recorded so far, they decided that their song Black Water should be featured on their CBC profile page. Defining their rock and roll style, Black Water almost sounds as though it was recorded in the 1970s, but with grunge-era distortion. And its meant to be listened to loud.
Were not exactly a Sunday afternoon matine kind of band, Al said.
The Searchlight Contest is won by receiving a large amount of votes in combination with earning positive acclaim from the CBC judges.
Fans of Otters can support their efforts online at music.cbc.ca/#/artists/otters . The voting deadline is 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 13th.
Otters will be performing live on Monday, April 21st at Panorama Mountain Village for the year-end party, and were recently booked to play the 2014 MusicFest at Pynelogs Cultural Centre in August.
More of their tracks can be heard for free at soundcloud.com/ottersmusic .