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Stettler’s Renegade Station retires

Renegade Station announced in January that they are retiring. (Renegade Station photo)

It’s the end of the line for a Stettler-based band.

Renegade Station, which has been on the Alberta country music scene since the early 2000s, has decided to call it a career following countless performances, several Canadian Country Music Association nominations, and five Country Music Alberta wins.

“It’s bittersweet,” said band frontman Kent Nixon.

“We had more success than we figured we would.”

According to Nixon, the band started off as a typical wedding band, but things ended up heading in a direction that was “a lot more than what we expected.”

“We would play for free,” laughed Nixon.

“We would get paid to set up and tear down.”

The group was first formed by Nixon and long-time friends Russ and Luanne Carl and Scott McKnight around 2003. The group’s first name was “Damned if I know,” a moniker that they ran under for over a decade before eventually rebranding as “Domino.”

As Domino, the group picked up back-to-back wins for Horizon Group or Duo of the Year in 2015 and 2016. Domino also claimed fan’s choice in 2015.

The group rebranded again in 2017, to bring itself closer to its Stettler roots. This time, they chose Renegade Station in honour of the train’s remaining presence in the community.

As Renegade Station, the band found further success, this time with a pair of singles.

In 2018, the group’s single “Who’s Gonna Love Me Tonight” won the Horizon Single of the Year, a feat which was followed up in 2023 with the single “Every Now and Then.”

According to Nixon, now is the right time to call it quits for the group.

“Lou and Russ have a grandson now,” said Nixon.

“It’s tough to see them when you’re gone every weekend.”

While the group’s breakup is the end of the road for Renegade Station, it isn’t so for life-long musician Nixon.

Nixon, who picked up his first guitar at five years old and hasn’t looked back, says he has some solo gigs coming up and isn’t “ruling out doing a solo project.”

Nixon will be playing with his son’s group, Dust (formerly The Young Guns) at the Big Jack Classic banquet on Feb. 18.

“You always get the last-minute gigs,” said Nixon.

Nixon has also been the anthem singer for a couple of the Stettler Imperials’ home games, amongst other projects, and recently received a nomination for the Alberta Country Music Awards for Musician of the Year, though he didn’t make the final cut.

Still, he’s grateful he was nominated and happy for those who did make it as finalists.

“Everyone else who nominated are friends of mine,” said Nixon.

Renegade Station announced in a social media post at the beginning of January that the group would dissolve.

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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