Fiddler and songwriter April Verch, who galloped into the limelight with a fiddling, singing and step-dancing routine when she performed live at the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremonies in Vancouver, will soon be coming to the Upper Columbia Valley.
Verch will be performing with a trio at 7:30 p.m. at the Golden Civic Centre on Wednesday, March 9th.
“We have played for Kicking Horse Culture before, and we have booking agents that help book our tours so when we’re coming in a certain direction or a certain region, there are contacts that they reach out to so that’s how it came about,” she explained about the Golden show. “When it’s somewhere that we’ve been before and had a good time, we’re always really excited to get a chance to go back because it’s nice to have some return places that are a little bit familiar.”
She will be showcasing her 10th milestone album titled The Newpart to honour her childhood home in the Ottawa Valley while exhibiting timeless mid-century bluegrass and folk songs. The Newpart album was released on April 7th, 2015 with her producer Casey Driessen.
“When you really know and love the music, you want to go deeper to bring out new dimensions without straying too much into novelty,” said Verch about the unique sound of her music. “These songs don’t need to be revived. They are timeless (and) are still very much alive and relevant.”
Verch’s childhood home, which inspired the new album, was previously a one-room schoolhouse that her parents attended as children. However, there was an addition built on the home the year that Verch was born, which lovingly became known as the new part. It was a safe space for the Verch family to practise music for landmark family events that she fondly remembers, such as baptisms, funerals and weddings.
Verch went on to release two albums before she completed high school and was recognized as the first Canadian woman to win the top two fiddle competitions (the Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship and the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Competition) in the nation.
“I always had that drive because I knew from an early age that I would love to make a career of playing music, so I was always looking for opportunities and it never seemed like work because I was only doing what I liked,” she said. “My parents were also really great at helping me find opportunities and leading me in the right direction.”
One of her most memorable accomplishments occurred overseas when she was proud to have Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant attend her UK show as an audience member.
“I’m a fan of a lot of his stuff, especially the Raising Sand album that he did with Alison Krauss, and I was actually listening to it a lot at the time of our show there because it’s something that inspires me — he was a really normal, humble human being,” said Verch. “He wanted to buy a CD and was really respectful and humble.”
Tickets will cost $25 at the door, $20 in advance or for members of the Art Gallery of Golden, or $5 for students excluding the cost of tax.