West Kelowna’s Dirt Road Opera built on friendship and love of music

West Kelowna’s Dirt Road Opera releases new album

Americana-folk band The Dirt Road Opera stands out of the crowd, not just for their catchy rhythms and awe-inspiring vocals, but for the 30 year-long friendship that led them to join musical forces five years ago.

“I haven’t been part of a band like this, where it’s friendship first,” said Jim Ryan, who’s on keyboard and vocals.

“The slogan of the band is the writer, the singer, the musician. Barry [Mathers] is the writer, Rachel [Matkin] is the singer, I am the musician, as it were. We don’t have to hold back in this band — that’s the joy.”

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The single off their newly released album, Nowheresville, titled Rattlin’ Bones, showcases their dynamic harmonies, perfected over their years together.

“We’ve spent a lot of time with these songs. They are kind of like your kids: you nurture them, feed them and then send them out into the world and hope for the best,” said Mathers, who’s on guitar and vocals.

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Regulars on line-ups through the valley, the band thrives in the unique music scene that the Okanagan boasts.

“There’s an insane amount of musicians in this town and musician support, it’s pretty crazy. I haven’t seen that anywhere else, it’s pretty special,” said Makin, on guitar, mandolin and vocals.

The Dirt Road Opera will perform at DunnEnzies Pizza Co. in the Lower Mission on April 18. To listen to their full album, visit