The dog days of summer aren’t over just yet. This weekend may call for more rain, but there’s a plethora of local bluegrass/alt-country acts happening this weekend. Keith Urban may be rolling through town on Saturday, but if you’re not feeling the $109 ticket price, check out these options.Ten buckaroos will get you into the Country Rocks AfterParty at the Marquee, featuring Ryan Cook and Sunny Acres, The Strangeboys and Deerfield (Saturday, August 30 at the Marquee, 2037 Gottingen, $10). “I can guarantee that the afterparty is going to be waaaay better,” says Andrew Sneddon, rhythm guitarist and singer of The Moonshine Ramblers, playing this Sunday at Tribeca with Chris Martin & The Trouble Shooters and Jason MacIsaac. Sneddon, the Gallant brothers---Mark on lead guitar, Matt on percussion and Phil on lap steel---Adam Pye on double bass and Dan Latner on fiddle round out the local alt-country/old-tyme band, who are releasing a seven-song EP in November. Sneddon says the alt-country scene has exploded in Halifax in the last eight months, despite country being the butt of jokes. “On the list of music people don’t like, country is usually at the top,” says Mark Gallant. “But people might like alt-country after listening to us.” Sneddon and Gallant have an easy-going brotherly banter, describing the Ramblers’ sound as electrified old-tyme music, a combination of bluegrass, country, rock and blues. He and Mark trade lead singing duties. “It depends on who sounds better, which is usually me,” jokes Sneddon. So grab some corn, your favourite straw hat and homebrew and head down to these shows. If you still haven’t had enough, check out the Blues Matinee at Gus’ on Sunday with Lazy James Cody & Friends (Sunday, August 31 at Gus’ Pub, 2605 Agricola, 2-5pm).
Chris Martin & The Trouble Shooters w/The Moonshine Ramblers, Jason MacIsaac, Sunday, August 31 at Tribeca, 1588 Granville, 9:30pm, $5.