Three-piece original rock group Val Halla, came together only 6 months ago to play their first show. Bringing together Neil Towers and Tayo Branston, the virtuosic rhythm section of the well known Vancouver group FIVE ALARM FUNK, and throwing them behind Saskatchewan-raised singer/songwriter Valerie McLeod, the band was an instant hit.
Just a few months later the band had a 27-date cross-canada tour booked, released their debut Self-titled album to a packed house, and a solid line of merchandise flying off the counter.
Unfortunately, the band suffered a big set back when a week into their tour, the owner of the tour bus (who happened to play in the band accompanying Val Halla on tour), declared he and his band had gone bankrupt and would be turning the bus around and heading back to Vancouver. The tour was being called a week in, and Val Halla would end up stranded in Winnipeg!
Not wanting to admitt defeat, Val Halla checked into the only hotel in downtown Winnipeg with a vacancy that night, and tried to regroup. Efforts to secure a rental vehicle proved impossible. A call was made to Valerie's father, who lived 6 hours away in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Val Halla would be rescued by Mr. McLeod and taken back to Regina to create a new plan of attack. The band was able to use Valerie's Grandfather's station wagon, and though most of the dates in Eastern Canada were now lost, Val Halla picked the tour up again playing shows in Saskatchewan and Manitoba until the tour dates caught up with them and they played the shows all the way back to Vancouver.
The tour ended up being a 17-date Western Canada stint, but proved the determination and strength of the band, not only to the band themselves, but to all who had observed their story.
What is next on the agenda for Val Halla? Pre-production is in the works for Val Halla's first music video, which is tentatively scheduled to be released early next year. Planning is also underway for a trip to Eastern Canada, to get the band to the cities unluckily missed out on last time out on the road.
Valerie will be going to Nashville for two weeks in the new year, to focus on songwriting and learn from and meet with as many expierenced players and writers as she can.
Expect to hear about this band from the mouth of a friend sometime in the near future. Or simply get into them now, and pass on the word!