They did it right

They were ahead of their time.

Independent Progressive Rockers, the Karroll Brothers.  A Western Canadian band hailing from Alberta and eventually making their home in the Interior of BC, and then on the Coast.  A family affair, the Karroll Brothers were three brothers, John, Paul, and Peter along with Steven Balison (in their first line-up).

The group took care of business their way, and it was the right way!  Performing all across Western Canada during the seventies, they brought their Hard and Progressive Rock to numerous clubs and cabarets from Winnipeg to Vancouver. 

I recall seeing the boys at a college cabaret in the latter ‘70’s, and what an impressive sound!  They were serious, and had a very professional show, right down to the lighting and sound.  Releasing an independent album in 1978, the self-titled record was on their own label K.B. Records.  The music was ahead of their time, with guitar/keyboard interplay that would mesmerise.  The guys looked tough on stage with leather, armbands and shirtless. 

In concert, the energy of the Karroll Brothers broke the scale, and left their audiences breathless.  Like their self-titled debut, the group were Epic!  “Battlestar Dream” and Morning Light” stand out on the first….showcasing their song-writing abilities, and musicianship.  Very English sounding, but with a definite Canadian flavour.

During their touring time, they were a big draw in clubs all over Alberta and BC…especially in the interior of our province.  If memory serves, it was around 1980 the group released their second record, this time for Rio Records.  The sound on “Baby Get Down” was a little more ‘poppy’, again very English and somewhat punky, yet the Keyboard/Guitar signature was still there.  Again, the album was arranged and produced by Peter and Paul Karroll and showcased their visionary approach to the music. 

As we progress through “Baby Get Down”, the music gets heavier and more progressive, especially side two, I know! You have to flip the record! Archaic! Isn’t it?  The group’s second effort was a joyful romp through some great mid-tempo rockers, with great vocal harmonies and their signature sound a good listen was ensured each and every time.

The Karroll Brothers kept performing on and off throughout the 80’s and 90’s… however the brothers involved themselves in other musical projects, and along the way, forming a production company: publishing and management, all based out of Vancouver. 

Peter Karroll has been involved with many Canadian Artists, including Bif Naked.  All of the brothers have been involved in music and media in a significant way throughout the 2000’s and rumour has it that they will be performing again as the Karroll Brothers. 

One can only hope…as these guys were on the road to becoming Western Canada’s Premiere Progressive Rock group!

Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights

  • Vintner’s Poolside Grill at the Coast Capri presents: “Blue City” on Friday Dec. 3rd
  • Doc Willoughby’s Downtown Pub will be showcasing: “One Bad Son” Saturday Dec. 3rd
  • ”Karen-Lee Batten” Dec. 8th & 9th at the 97 Street Pub
  • Sunday Sessions are on again at: Grateful Fed Bar & Grill 9pm to 1am

Notable Concerts

A Wright Christmas with Michelle Wright Sunday Dec. 4th @ Kelowna Community Centre

Adventure Club Saturday January 14th @ Level Nite Club

Hanson @ Kelowna Community Theatre Jan. 24th

The Rankin Family Jan. 26th @ Kelowna Community Theatre

Classic Rock at its finest: Prism Jan. 27th @ Kamloops Convention Centre and Jan. 28th @ 97 Street Pub in Kelowna

Just Announced! B.B. King Saturday May 12th at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Tickets go on sale Saturday Dec. 3rd @ 10am…a great Christmas gift!!  You can order online: www.ValleyFirstTix.com

And in March, 2012, it’s Jeff Dunham at Prospera Place March 22nd!!

‘Notes & News’

Some great gift ideas:


No Regrets: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir”—the new book from Ace Frehley






Rush: Time Machine” Concert DVD  


Mott the Hoople-Ballad Of Mott The Hoople”—a documentary on the world’s biggest Glam Band -DVD










‘Box O’ Snakes: The Sunburst Years…a nine CD and single DVD box set  







Remember……if you would like me to write something, drop me a line at:  [email protected] and let’s celebrate Kelowna’s rich and varied music community together!!

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

We call him the Professor of Rock: With a career in music, television and media arts spanning 30 years, Atkinson knows music. He's traveled as a professional musician and he loves Rock 'N Roll. He is a music journalist who writes internationally for Frontier Records' Melodic Rock magazine and he owns FBA International a multifaceted management, consulting, promotional entity.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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