Amazing evening! This was the feedback from the Perogies and Jam audience on Saturday, January 21 at the Vegreville Railway Station.
Kicking off the event was the interactive story telling of Stripey Snake by Brenda Forbes and Guitar Gord. The very young children were captivated to learn that the fictional snake got loose somewhere in the restaurant. After a series of dramatic searches for the snake, Stripey was finally found and returned to the basket, and the kids sang enthusiastically with many a noisy drum.
The Fiddlin’ Kiddlins under the leadership of Heather Soldan and accompanied by Charlie Gargis on guitar, performed a very solid set of their fiddle tunes. With fiddlers aged 5 to 15 from Vegreville and nearby communities of Chipman, Holden and Two Hills, they played many well-known songs. They started with the lively tune of Cock o’ the North, performed a new song Curly Hair and surprised the audience with the comic line up playing each other’s fiddle on Boil Them Cabbage Down. Also included on this set, were the Martins’ family band. The Fiddlin’ Kiddlins closed their set with the goodnight waltz Ashokan Farewell.
For the main event, Cabin Fever burst onto the stage area with an amazing rendition of Foggy Mountain Breakdown displaying the fine musicianship of their band including Jeff Reiter on banjo and Don Lecky on the fiddle. Featured next was Michelle Guidera with a great performance of the song “That’s All Right Mama” made famous by Elvis Presley. A little later on in the set, Pat Guidera’s baritone voice resounded with Folsom Prison Blues. In the second set, Pat and Michelle sang a captivating song based on the striking context of a nature show with the song Praying Mantis Love Affair. Michelle’s extensive vocal range was a hit on many songs and duets during the evening including Jolene, which is well known to Dolly Parton fans. Consistent throughout the songs, Jeff’s banjo picking was superb, and Don’s mandolin and fiddle playing provided a rich texture to their distinctive style of bluegrass. The audience was engaged throughout their performance and enthusiastically rose to their feet with a standing ovation, resulting in an encore with Foggy Mountain Top.
For those die-hard musicians and fans who just wanted more great music, the Open Mic carried on late into the evening. The live music scene in Vegreville continues to grow.