"Hell or High Water" was a phrase that was bandied about social media in reference to the possibility that the Calgary Stampede might not go ahead because of flood damage. The phrase soon took off in Calgary and later adorned T-shirts for Stampede flood relief.
The catch phrase has now become a slogan for flood relief for the entire province, as Canadian musician Marc Martel and a group of local artists in Calgary have recorded a song with the same title.
"As a songwriter I'm honoured to be contributing to this year's Stampede in the best way I know how," says Nashville-based Martel, who is also a Juno award winner and performer at the 2013 TransAlta Grandstand Show at the Stampede.
“I think the people of southern Alberta are ready for a reason to celebrate in the aftermath of the flood. Personally, I think the Stampede is the perfect remedy. I hope people love the song and that it bolsters the spirit that the Stampede was built upon.”
David Pierce, an Emmy-Award-winner and producer of the upcoming Grandstand Show, was sent the song and arranged it in Calgary.
“When I first heard the song I was blown away,” Pierce said. “It was inspirational. It was like an anthem for the spirit of Calgary and southern Alberta.”
Pierce then recruited a studio band in Calgary and backup vocalists The Young Canadians, a changing group of students who are taught each year in singing and dancing at Stampede Park and who have been performing for more than 44 years at the Grandstand Show.
In the busy days of rehearsals leading up to the Stampede the group completed the entire song in just 48 hours.
The group has allowed it to be downloaded for free from the event's website.
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