They came from far and wide on Saturday, April 21 for great country music and great food! There were over 100 in attendance for the Perogies and Jam season 8 finale featuring Darlene Thibault with the Off Ramp Boys and special guest Travis Dolter.
Emcee Don Harfield welcomed the eager audience to the Sunshine Club on a warm but drizzly spring evening. It was a great way to warm up and enjoy live music all evening long!
The Open Mic started at 6:45 pm with 16-year-old Denice Balid with her ukulele and accompanied by her father Denver Balid on cajon. She performed I Can’t Help Falling in love and You Are My Sunshine. Rod Sebastian came from Sherwood Park and performed two songs with his 6-string acoustic guitar the songs Big Steel Rail and Red Wing Blackbird. Local singer, Olga Gegolick accompanied by Darlene Thibault and the Off Ramp Boys sang two songs Pick Me Up on Your Way Down and Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. Mary Leonty concluded the Open Mic with reciting two of her original poems From the Hilltop and Great White Goose.
Travis Dolter was our special guest performer this evening. Travis comes from a musical family near Hay Lakes, Alberta and regularly performed with their Polka Ramblers band while growing up. He is now studying music at Augustana University in Camrose and is a budding showman! He performed a set of seven songs with his 6-string Taylor acoustic guitar including his original song Straight Out of a Country Song. Other songs included Oh Boy by Buddy Holly, Blue Suede Shoes by Elvis Presley and concluded with Red Neck Girl by the Bellamy Brothers. We hope to see more of Travis at future events in Vegreville.
Our featured performer this evening was Darlene Thibault backed up by Vegreville’s Off Ramp Boys. Darlene is a seasoned country music singer who performed 17 years with Smokey Rose in the Ottawa valley before moving to Viking a few years ago. Playing her favorite 6-string Ovation acoustic guitar, Darlene quickly warmed up the audience and encouraged folks to dance along to many of her songs. Darlene performed two sets with Randy Kereliuk on vocals and guitar, Ralph Lange on vocals, upright bass, fiddle and mandolin, and Rob Hughes on drums.
Starting her first set, Darlene sang One Smokey Rose and I Wonder Where You Are Tonight along with Dolly Parton’s hit Jolene. Ralph Lange sang Lonesome Blues and Randy Kereliuk sang Country Roads and The Older I Get. Darlene finished off her first set with Just Walk On By and The Teddy Bear Song.
To ease the hunger pangs, chef Dwayne Hlady along with his able assistants Bob Carter, Pete Homeniuk and young Faith Browning served up plates of perogies with Ukrainian sausage, lasagna and salad and smoky sausage on a bun. Faith is an aspiring singer and dancer and volunteered because of her love of music and dance.
After a short break, Darlene Thibault came on stage alone for two songs We’re in this Together and Peter’s Song. The Off Ramp Boys came to join her with several more songs including Coat of Many Colours and Oh Lonesome Me. They closed off the evening with Blue Kentucky Girl and I Have a Dream. Darlene endeared herself to Perogies and Jam fans and we were pleased to learn that there were many of her fans from Viking who came to see her perform.
Perogies and Jam appreciates the volunteers this evening including Peter Thibault controlling the soundboard, Rob Hughes and Don Harfield with photography, and Carol Larrivee and Anna Tomyn as greeters.
As this was our final scheduled event for this season, we thank the Sunshine Club, Country 106 FM, the Vegreville News Advertiser, Hiway 16 News, and of course our loyal fans for their terrific support and encouragement!
Photography by Rob Hughes and Don Harfield