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© 2014 Crossings at Carnegie
April 6, 2014
$20 in advance/ $22 at the door
Canada’s Ottawa Valley meets Old-Time Appalachia: crack fiddling, electric step dancing, sweet singing. JUNO Award nominee April Verch and her band will deliver it all in this return performance at Crossings.
Verch has never sounded more comfortable in her skin than she does now, in the second decade of her career as an internationally touring fiddler, step dancer, singer, and songwriter. She’s a woman who’s fleshed out her identity and is in full command of her gifts, a woman who’s grown from a prodigy into an enduring artist—one of music’s most unforgiving public transitions—with grace and grit to spare.
The story of how Verch came to be a brilliant interpreter of tradition is just as striking as the results. She’s of a generation far more likely to have spent its formative years taking in MTV than taking part in any sort of traditional music scene, and yet practically from birth she was immersed in folk music and dance from her native Ottawa Valley, a melting pot of Franco-Celtic flavors brought by the hard-working loggers who settled the area.
But Verch reaches across geographic idioms and pulls in sounds from the Appalachia mountains and the Deep South, as well. She’s so fluent in folk traditions—the Canadian ones she was born into and the American ones she later found her way to—that old fiddle tunes like those featured in the Canadian medley “Dusty Miller,” “Fiddle Fingers” and “Grizzly Bear” and the Appalachian medley “Edward in the Treetop,” “Yellow Jacket” and “Quit That Ticking Me” sound positively reinvigorated. Originals like her instrumental waltz “Morris & Boris” and country courting number “The Only One” are clearly made to last.