The Dead South finds success on the road and on campus

By Costa Maragos Posted: December 11, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Members of The Dead South (l-r) Daniel Kenyon, Scott Pringle, Nate Hiltes and Colton Crawford.
Members of The Dead South (l-r) Daniel Kenyon, Scott Pringle, Nate Hiltes and Colton Crawford. Photo courtesy of The Dead South.

The Dead South is returning to the place it all started for them, the University of Regina.

Three of the four band members - Colton Crawford, Nate Hiltes and Scott Pringle - are graduates of the U of R, the very place where they got the idea for a band. The fourth member of the team is Daniel Kenyon, a U of S grad.

The Dead South brings its unique bluegrass/folk music to The Owl on December 11, to help raise money for Hope’s Home in Regina. The fundraiser is hosted by the U of R JDC West team, comprised of 50 students from the Hill School of Business.

“It feels greats to be back on campus. We play here every so often and it’s always a blast. A lot of great memories, including our CD release party last April,” says Hilts, who has a degree in French Education. Both Crawford and Pringle have degrees in Education from the U of R and Pringle earned a minor in music.

“We enjoy playing all types of fundraisers,” says Hilts. “Usually after coming off a month-long tour we take some time away from shows – but we had to jump on board with this one.”

That month long tour included shows in Europe, performing at venues in the Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic and stops along the way in Canada, including the legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto.

The band is picking up new fans along the way and is being noticed by the music industry.

On November 25, The Dead South received the Canadian Independent Music Association’s prestigious Road Gold Certification. The association’s president calls The Dead South “one of Canada’s most talented, hardest working touring bands in the country.”

But no matter how far The Deep South travels to play, it always seems to gravitate back to the U of R. Last April the release of its album Good Company was held at the Owl, not far from the U of R residences, where Hilts lived while taking classes.

“I had met Colton at my apartment when my roommates, who were members of the U of R wrestling team, brought over one of their teammates, Colton Crawford,” remembers Hilts.

“It was shortly after Colton walked in the door, meeting for the first time, that we decided to start a band. I was listening to a band called ‘Trampled by Turtles’ and we hit it off from there.”

And the band hasn’t stopped playing since.

“We had no idea what we were getting into. We sat down in my basement and wrote songs thinking ‘No one will ever listen to this stuff’ but we were having fun with it and kept going,” says Hilts. “Next thing you know we are playing around the world. In three years we have accomplished and seen more than we could ever imagined.”

“Our message to anyone in music is just to pursue your dreams, go for it and work hard at it.”

Event:      The Dead South
Date:        December 11
Time:        8 pm
Location:  The Owl – U of R Campus

Concert proceeds will go to Hope’s Home, a local daycare that provides services for medically fragile children. The fundraiser is hosted by the U of R JDC West team, which is currently preparing to compete at the annual business competition next month in Saskatoon. For more information on the team, please visit here.