Great Lake Swimmers to perform on Bluestem Stage


Courtesy of Bluestem Stage

The Great Lake Swimmers will perform its first concert in Ames on Monday at Zeke’s.

Leah Landrum

The Great Lake Swimmers will perform on the Bluestem Stage at Zeke’s Building on Monday, June 22. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show. The Weather Station will open for the band.

Tickets cost $18 (with a $1.98 service fee) for adults, $12 for students (with a $1.82 service fee), and can be purchased at

This concert will mark the first time in six years that the band has performed in Iowa and its first concert held in Ames.

The Canadian folk band is about to kick off its fall European tour to promote its sixth album, “A Forest of Arms.” The album, which was released this past April, promotes a feeling of beauty within the natural world, something consistent with its previous albums.

Lead vocalist, Tony Dekker, said environmental issues are important to the band and they want to encourage conservation. He said the album sends a message of spirituality in the natural world.

Dekker’s experiences working with the “World Wildlife Fund” have inspired some of the songs. “The Great Bear” is one of these, and the title of the album comes from this song.

The title also draws from the growing families of the band’s members and the community surrounding them.

While there are many similarities between all of their albums, Dekker said their new material is a little bit more upbeat and a little more lively.

He said their song writing, rhythm and sound have developed and while “A Forest of Arms” is a continuation of their previous albums, they are breaking new ground with their new album.

The five-member band consists of Tony Dekker, lead vocalist, acoustic guitarist and harmonica player; Erik Arnesen on banjo, electric guitar and harmonium; Joshua Van Tassel on drums; Bret Higgins on upright bass and Miranda Mulholland, backup vocalist and violinist.

Each album constructed by the band has been recorded in various locations, including the Tyendinaga Cavern and Caves in Ontario, the Chalet Studio outside of Toronto and the Heliconian Club of Toronto.

The band has been featured in soundtracks for “Weeds”, “Silver Road”, “Numb3rs”, “Personal Effects” and others.

“Lost Channels,” the band’s fourth album, was nominated for a Juno award and a Canadian Folk Music Award. It was also shortlisted for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize.

Apart from the band’s six studio albums, Dekker has also recorded solo material. In 2013, he released “Prayer of the Woods” and in 2014 he released a tribute album to Zunior, a Canadian digital music site, for its 10th anniversary.

For more information on the band, visit For more information on the venue, visit