April Verch’s Heartland Expedition
"It's a journey down the Appalachian trail, starting with the roots of this music in the south, then traveling along and picking up the other styles that evolved from it and around it... It's a true story and it's fantastic music, and what's so exciting is that we get to tell it with these musicians who are the real deal. None of these artists will make this into "a production", instead they will tell it from their hearts. It will remain real. And that is what is so touching about it. There will be variety and energy and unbridled passion - it's going to be amazing." -April Verch
A Tri National Supergroup Takes A Journey Through the Folk Music Heartland of North America
April Verch Riley Baugus Sammy Lind André Brunet
The earth seems to put its mark on what human beings create, whatever their rulers do and whatever borders they draw. The concept of ‘terroir’ is used byproducers and harvesters of some of life’s finer things- wine, truffles, mushrooms- to express what the geology, geography and climate contribute. It applies to music as well, something Canadian fiddling champ April Verch has long known and now develops in a new project. Having explored the musical soil of her native Ottawa Valley, April now has expanded her creative vision to embrace the Appalachians and Quebec with a group of stellar collaborators.
Ms. Verch is what can be described as a ‘quintuple threat’, being adept as an instrumentalist, singer, dancer, composer and songwriter. She has won just about any fiddle contest worth winning, recorded a whole bunch of CDs and authored a couple of books of fiddle tunes. A decade of tours has taken her to China, Australia, various European destinations and hundreds of North American locales. April’s new project is to take her touring band- a tidy trio of April on violin, voice and feet, Clay Ross on guitar and Cody Walters on bass and banjo- and double it into a sextet. The featured guests are Riley Baugus on vocals and banjo, and two fellow fiddlers- Stephen “Sammy” Lind and André Brunet. All three are players of the first rank.
“Sammy saws a fiddle tune that could beat the devil...” -Stuart Mason, Fiddle Freak
Hailing from North Carolina, Riley learned at the feet of legendary fiddler and banjo player, Tommy Jarrell. “Sammy” is a founder of the Oregon based Foghorn Stringband, who describe themselves as the purveyors of “ass kicking redneck string band music”. Monsieur Brunet is Quebecois from the Montérégie region- that part of Quebec, south of the Saint Lawrence River, between Montreal and the US border- and spent 10 years with La Bottine Souriante- the gold standard of Quebecois traditional music. He is presently in De Temps Antan. He and April were two of the six fiddlers selected to represent the Canadian fiddle tradition to billions of viewers at the Opening Ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. It seemed reasonable to continue their collaboration. It is not news that the Appalachian mountain range has left its mark on the music the inhabitants of its hills and valleys produce. April Verch ‘s native Ottawa Valley has a very similar history and aesthetic. So does Quebec, which has preserved the French fact with pride. The ongoing preservation of fiddle tunes, dances, traditional ballads as well as contemporary songwriting is a shared feature of all three regions. In fact, combine them and you have the richest vein of folk music and folk based popular music in North America. April has put together an ensemble to mine it for the hoard of rich musical possibilities it contains.
Steeped in the tradition and passionate creators, this sextet has come together to perform the music, songs and dances of Appalachia, Quebec and the Ottawa Valley. If you are ready to go on a sonic expedition through these ‘terroirs’, exploring the varied possibilities to be found, April Verch’s Heartland Expedition will take you there. Get on board!
Booking inquiries: Frank Hoorn - Email: Frank Hoorn/Near North Music Phone: (250) 847-5228