Yk teens highlight of festival
Annual South Slave Friendship Festival rocked

by Janet Smellie
Northern News Services

NNSL (Aug 20/97) - While some of the teen performers were bullied with shouts of "You suck!" from the somewhat drunken crowd inside one of the bars last weekend in Fort Smith, two teens from Yellowknife had no problem taking the festival by storm.

No stranger to the South Slave Friendship Festival's "Woodstock of the North," which is held every summer in the community, Jordan Murray and Jason Poitras, both 16, were back -- this time, with their own band and the confidence needed to give it their all.

"We want to thank you Fort Smith," Murray exclaimed after the band's final appearance at Connibear Park late Sunday. "This is one kick-ass festival."

Calling themselves Boozy -- the name comes from a character plastered on a Smurf T-shirt that Jason carried in his wardrobe -- the high school students have been writing songs for about four years.

Joining about 90 other musicians for the annual get-together, Murray and Jordan said they prefer this festival over all other ones simply because "they let us play everywhere," including local watering holes.

"I would starve to come to this festival. Last year we camped out on someone's front yard. This town is the greatest," said Murray midway through the festival.

While the pair are fans of No Doubt and other alternative bands on the airwaves, Murray and Poitras have already written dozens of their own songs.

And even though Murray admits he does "most of the conceptual work" and writing the lyrics, "it's really Jason, who pulls it all together."

Poitras, a Chipewyan born in Fort Smith, was brought up with music all around him. His father, Norbert, is an accomplished Yellowknife musician who not only performed with his own Honkin' Pontiacs during the festival, but helped work the sound board during Jason's performances.

"They're music is good. It's definitely not country, but it's definitely developing into something," Poitras's dad said.

"I don't mind going to watch country bands. That's what I was brought up around and that's what the friendship festival is all about," said Jason. "But to play it? No, I prefer the new music scene."

Judging by the girls who followed the pair around during the four-day festival, the new music scene is where this pair is going to stay.