Wakami Wailers - A Canadian National Treasure



“We’re about to change your life.” Whenever someone makes a statement like this, I pay attention. Wouldn’t you? This is clearly going to be VERY important, and if true to word, life changing. So as I mentally prepared for what was to come, I couldn’t have expected what would come next. “Are you familiar with Canadian Lumberjack Folk Music, in particular The Wakami Wailers.” I know you’re thinking what I thought. Canadian Lumberjack music, someone is clearly messing with me. So imagine my shock when I found out they weren’t. The image that came to my mind next was a group of hipsters wearing flannel and beards, who decided to cash in on “pop culture’s idea” for what New York Times magazine called the Urban Woodsman, or more commonly the Lumbersexual. You know the description, they work at craft breweries, use beard wax, and wear a man bun, but most know as much about lumber as me, which is very, very little. 


My mental image of the band. 


So here’s the thing, this band is actually pretty legitimate. They sound like a mix between blue grass, and Celtic folk music, and have a sound that is just fun. 

Here’s a few more fun facts:

  • They have been around since 1981. Which is older than most of the men who we would identify as a Lumbersexual today. Because we couldn’t find any meme’s attached to their name and sought to change that. 


  • They all worked together at Wakami Lake Provincial Park.  On a side note: the park looks beautiful! Ryan, what do you think about a company trip? That way Nash, wouldn’t have to have everyone come to Asheville again? Just a thought. Maybe I just get a list of local craft breweries to help do the convincing (I'll make a note of that). Any suggestions for good Ontario Craft breweries, let us know. 
  • They were hired by the Government of Ontario to tell the story of Ontario’s white pine lumber industry.
  • They have amazing lyrics like: "I see that you are a logger, and not just a common bum, 'Cause nobody but a logger stirs his coffee with his thumb.”  Or  “ Home of the beaverWhere still the mighty mooseWanders at will” Seriously, who doesn’t want to listen to lyrics like this? I’ve always said the world needs more songs with references to moose (that’s right the plural form is not meese, as some of you might now be questioning in your mind. How do I know this… you might ask, because I looked it up on Wikipedia, and as everyone knows, it’s always correct.) 

Ryan Martz and Ryan Lanzel (two BGIE men) posed with the band at Logger's Days.

  • Ryan Martz and Ryan Lanzel, of BGIE, traveled further to see them play than any other fan, ever. This is a completely unsubstantiated fact, but how many people do you think have gone from South Carolina to Ontario to see them play. If we had a say, this would be changing very soon.
  • Ryan Lanzel is their biggest fan anywhere, having played their music at his wedding.



I don’t think enough people know about this band that should be considered a Canadian National Treasure. When you lookup the hashtag #wakamiWailers on instagram, three pictures show up. Well four, only because I posted a picture of the team here at BGIE wearing their flannel. So here’s my challenge. Post pictures of you in your best flannel and tag #BGIE, #letterart, and #wakamiwailers. Let's get this little known band some love. I also know you're wondering how to listen to them, so here you go. Spotify also has their music if you want to try, before you buy, but you will definitely want to add this to your collection. 




 I did not ask them to dress like this. They just show up and make my job easy! It should also be mentioned that Sandi would be in the picture if she had been here today. She also alerted the office that Walmart has flannels for $8-9. 



Ryan Lanzel has created the three t-shirts you see them wearing in the pictures with the band and below. 

Which one is your favorite?