Buffalo Narrows, Saskatchewan
Anyone who lives in the prairies and enjoys Aboriginal music should know the band New Horizon. The band, based out of Buffalo Narrows, Saskatchewan and surrounding areas, has been a fundamental music group at socials, weddings, graduations and concerts for well over ten years.
The group is made up of four members all of Métis heritage: Ken Pederson on vocals and guitar, Grant Kimbley on vocals and bass, Lee Bell on vocals and drums and Josh McCallum also on guitar and vocals.
Ken and Grant manage the band’s gig dates, often working around their own work schedule. Lee, owner of L.A.B. Soundworks runs his business out of Meadow Lake offering DJ services, music and recording lessons and is also the co-creator of the children’s production “To The Moon.” Josh, the youngest of the group who has been studying guitar since he was a teenager, makes his living as a full time musician.
The band’s popularity came about at gigs where they would belt out familiar tunes so many enjoy on mainstream radio. From rock to country to ballads, you can expect a savvy guitar riff or smooth bass, starting with a familiar chord to get the crowd going. Then, leading up to Ken’s signature vocals, they begin kicking it up a notch with harmonies accompanied by the solid sound of a kick drum or the build up of cymbals. The high energy is always felt throughout the room and spread from gig to gig, and to airwaves across Aboriginal radio.
New Horizons’ humble approach to the music industry has garnered them admiration and respect from their musical peers and fans. They still get a rush when an audience sings along to their songs, especially in communities where the band had underestimated their fan base. The group enjoys playing all venues and at times have played for crowds of 1000 or more. But the gigs that were smaller and packed with family and friends were always the most enjoyable to play.
“We had some trying times, playing for little or no pay,” Grant tells us, “struggling to get to our gigs because of undependable vehicles breaking down and speakers that have a mind of their own and only worked when they felt like it. We kept right on going because of our love of music. Our advice? If you’re playing for the fame and the fortune, it’s a long winding road. If you are playing for the love of the music, you are already there.”
The band has recorded albums of cover tunes since their success began, however, their last two albums consist of original music. All albums were produced and recorded by Lee at his studio.