Perogies and Jam kicked off Season Three in fine style at the Vegreville Train Station on Saturday, October 20. The featured performers were “Wild at Heart”, a wonderfully entertaining seven piece variety band from east central Alberta. Many of the members of Wild at Heart have been playing together for more than 25 years and the diversity of musical interests was reflected in their two performance sets.
The stage came to life as Carmela McDonald started off the band with the Feist song “1234”, and then Karen Fawcett took the lead with “Under the Boardwalk”. The entire first set engaged the audience with toe tapping, hand clapping and arms waving to tunes such as Kathy Mattea’s “455 Rocket” and kept on rocking through to “Drift Away” well known to fans of Dobie Gray in the 1970’s. The 7 piece band has strong links to Lakeland College in Vermilion and ties to folks at Alberta Innovates in Vegreville. Most of the songs were led by the huge vocals of Karen and Carmela. Other band members included Rob Baron and Dennis Gerik who provided excellent electric guitar lead solos and vocals; Greg Plant was on keyboard, Reed Bergman was on bass guitar with harmony vocals, and the newest member to the band, Tim Donily did a terrific job on drums. Barry Sherwood on the sound system ensured the ensemble had a dynamic sound presence to match their invigorating performance. Their second set started with a saxophone duo of Carmela and Dennis with “Pick up the Pieces” made popular by the Average White Band in 1974, included a couple of Beatles songs “Get Back” and “Come Together” and finished off with “Rolling in the Deep”. The entire performance was amazing, rousing the audience to a standing ovation leading into an encore with the James Brown classic “I Feel Good!”
Ellen Dunn and Train Station staff provided a great buffet dinner earlier in the evening while local vocal instructor Debbie Fedoruk accompanied her students including Ava Fried, Barbara Rybchuk, Linden Stuart, Jessica Clough, Tami VanPeteghen, Faith Swedgan, Bailey Stefan, April Siggelkow, and daughter Carissa Fedoruk. This proved once again that Vegreville has a great crop of upcoming young and entertaining talent!
The Open Mic session kicked off about 9:30 pm and continued on until the midnight hour with local performers Lorne Fill, John Adams, Randy Kereliuk, Rod Werezuk, Rob Hughes, and Ralph Lange. Young Meghan Werezuk sang several songs to the delight of the audience members and several were dancing to the well-known country and blues songs.
Images courtesy of Rob Hughes