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Local musician playing Glasgow Square with dance band, Roxy and TUSS

Roxy and The Underground Soul Sound will be playing at Glasgow Square this Saturday.
Roxy and The Underground Soul Sound will be playing at Glasgow Square this Saturday.

Andrew MacKelvie, who plays in Halifax-based soul-funk group Roxy and The Underground Soul Sound, credits his musical success thus far to Pictou County teachers like Dave Pos, Al Sutherland and the Alcorns.

“…I wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t have those good teachers,” said MacKelvie, who is returning to his hometown this weekend for a show with Roxy and TUSS.

“…I wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t have those good teachers,” said MacKelvie, who is returning to his hometown this weekend for a show with Roxy and TUSS.

MacKelvie considers himself a bit of an outlier when it comes to his interest in music, noting he wasn’t surrounded by musicians while growing up, though music was always playing.

The Caribou-raised saxophonist fell in love with the instrument when listening to blues records his father would put on, later pursing clarinet and sax in the band program at school.

MacKelvie has been involved in many projects since moving to Halifax, after studying music at St. Francis Xavier University, where he met bassist Ian Bennett of Roxy and TUSS during a recording gig.

The sounds he has brought to New Glasgow in the past have been more in the realm of jazz and improvisation, he said, while Roxy and TUSS is a “real dance band.”

“It’s great. It’s something people can connect to.”

The eight-piece band will soon be doing some recording for CBC Radio, MacKelvie said, of Christmas tunes and their originals, as well as headlining a New Year’s Eve show in Halifax at Olympic Hall.

MacKelvie just returned from Toronto for endeavours outside Roxy and TUSS, playing a few shows with other musicians.

He’s also been working on a recording for xxvii, a saxophone duo of which he makes up one half, along with drummer and composer Jerry Granelli. MacKelvie studied with Granelli, who played on the score for A Charlie Brown Christmas and was nominated for a Juno for recording What I Hear Now, on which MacKelvie is featured.

MacKelvie last played in New Glasgow with Roxy and TUSS during the 2015 Jubilee, an experience he called daunting and fun. He’s looking forward to returning with the soul group and hopefully seeing lots of faces “so we can keep coming back.”

He said he lives in Halifax because he has to, but doesn’t want to see rural Nova Scotia disappear.

“It means a lot to me to be able to come out and be able to play; it means maybe I could come back to rural N.S.”

Roxy and the Underground Soul Sound will be at Glasgow Square for an afternoon pub dance on Saturday, starting at 4 p.m. with Pictou County ’80s rock group Hot Mess opening. Tickets are $18 at the door.

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