Right at the time that the snow is starting to thaw, and the first signs of spring are appearing, Darlene Thibault and Friends warmed up the audience for another fun Perogies and Jam evening at the Vegreville Sunshine Club on Saturday, March 16. Emcee Don Harfield welcomed over 60 enthusiastic country music fans to the concert evening.
Darlene has been playing Country music most of her life. She played in a band in the Ottawa River Valley for 15 years before moving to Viking Alberta where she now is an Administrator in a Long-Term Care facility. She loves her work as well as her music! Her husband Peter Thibault often provides the sound system support for her music as he did this evening. Accompanying her on stage this evening was Ralph Lange on upright bass, mandolin and fiddle, Randy Kereliuk on rhythm guitar and vocals, and Rob Hughes on drums and vocals.
Doors opened at 6:00 pm and after a few set up delays, the Open Mic session started shortly after 7:00 pm. It was great to have Albert Stewart on fiddle, followed by Olga Gegolick singing a couple of songs. Connie Marcinkoski sang a couple of songs with Darlene as accompanying vocalist, followed by Vern Hafso. Concluding the Open Mic segment was our local poet Mary Leonty reciting one of her recent poems.
Starting off her first set, Darlene sang “One Smokey Rose” which was her signature song with her Ontario band. Darlene graciously endeared herself with the appreciative audience as her set continued with a blend of classic country songs and favourites. Her songs included “Coat of Many Colours”, “Are You Teasing Me?”, and others from her CD “Smokey Rose”. Several couples danced to her songs as the songs lured them to the dancing area. She concluded her set with Dolly Parton’s song “Jolene” and the Teddy Bear Song.
Returning after a short break, Darlene and Friends continued with audience pleasing classics including “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad”, “Harper Valley PTA” and Buck Owen’s (and performed by the Beatles’ Ringo Starr) “Act Naturally”. Concluding her second set, she sang “I Have a Dream” which had the audience rising to their feet calling for an encore. Darlene and Friends responded with “Still Miss Someone”.
Perogies and Jam thanks our volunteers this evening including sound technician Peter Thibault, our door greeters Carol Larrivee and Anna Tomyn, and the Sunshine Café foodies Dwayne Hlady, Bob Carter and Stacy Mynzak for the delicious food.