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Peninsula pianist takin’ care of business in the kitchen with Randy Bachman

Michael Kaeshammer kicks off fall tour with Salt Spring, Victoria shows

It wouldn’t be odd to find Juno nominee Michael Kaeshammer perusing the aisles of Victoria record stores.

“I could do it every day. I love going in and just browsing and finding stuff you might not have heard before – where you’re not going in with a certain idea,” he said.

The Peninsula pianist and singer is hard-pressed to find the time for casual browsing these days, spending the summer shooting a new television series and preparing for the coming tour that kicks off at home.

With the advent of streaming, people don’t tend to line up outside a shop awaiting the album drop, he said.

Releasing singles ahead is the new norm and his latest, called Turn It Up, teases the spring 2024 album of the same name.

It’s among four new songs released this year, including his take on Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Never Knew What Love Was and My Valentine.

Expect more before the album lands, but four is nearly half already, Kaeshammer said with a laugh.

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German-born Kaeshammer has earned seven Juno Award nominations, and has captivated audiences around the world, highlighted by nine tours of China and three appearances at Olympic Games. He spent much of this year on sold-out tours of Germany and returns to stages in Canada this fall before a winter tour of China.

After a quick trip to Ontario, he returns to tour the new album, happily starting with local shows on Salt Spring (ArtSpring) on Oct. 11 and in Victoria (McPherson) on Oct. 12.

“This is where I started out,” he said, recalling his earliest gigs in local pubs and bars. “Victoria’s the reason why I do this. I saw the opportunity to make a living playing music.”

The band is primarily from the east and will spend a few days in the area before heading on the road.

“We know we live in paradise, but then we have musicians and friends come and remind us – we are lucky,” Kaeshammer said.

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His summer endeavour – the television show Kaeshammer’s Kitchen – debuted this month.

A fondness for cooking comes from being on the road and often getting late-night food that’s not the best.

“It’s hard to find non-processed food or food that makes you feel good the next day,” he said. “That’s how the passion for it came … it’s similar to music – you’re putting ingredients together, you don’t have to stick to the recipe and it tastes good.”

You have to eat and it might as well be good, he figures. Inviting musicians he has met throughout his career, and inviting them into his kitchen opens conversations of a more personal nature than when you come across them recording or on the road. And it’s fun.

In the first episode, Kaeshammer and the legendary Randy Bachman of The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive, rock a recipe for ragu before performing an incredible rendition of Takin’ Care of Business together.

“The thing with Randy is he loves to tell stories. That’s why he had a radio show and storytelling concert … you always find out something new about him or about how he lives his life. At his age and what he’s accomplished, he just likes to move forward,” Kaeshammer said. “He still has that fire that kids have when they first start playing music … that’s very good to be around.”

This season, Kaeshammer gives audiences a taste of Sugar Sugar singer Andy Kim, JUNO winner Marc Jordan, singer and actor Jim Byrnes, Santana lead vocalist Curtis Salgado and BC Entertainment Hall of Fame member Dee Daniels.

“The response has been great. People love the show and for me, it was really fun to invite musicians I respect and admire to the house and basically do the two things I love doing the most.”

Kaeshammer’s Kitchen is broadcast nationwide Saturdays on Yes TV and CHEK.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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