The Rural Routes

It was a cold and snowy night………..

And then the doors opened at 6:00 pm and the music began to warm everyone up on this wintery evening! Emcee Don Harfield welcomed everyone to another local music event in Vegreville.

Perogies and Jam was pleased to have The Rural Routes perform at the Sunshine Club on Saturday, January 19 in the first month of 2019. The Rural Routes are an Alberta based married music duo who share an East Coast and Southern Alberta pedigree. Alesha and Brendon Bondy first met in the small town of Rexton, New Brunswick when as early teenagers their love of music developed into a love for each other. They are now living in Leduc and perform regularly in Sherwood Park, Edmonton and Calgary. As musicians and recording artists, they won the Country 106 Star Search contest at the Vegreville Country fair last August. Having already recorded their first CD, they plan to be back in the recording studio in Calgary in May courtesy of Country 106.

The music began with the Open Mic session at 6:45 pm. Local folksinger, Lorne Fill, was up first with songs: “Memories”, “Constantinople” and Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again”. Shirley Preuss then brought her harmonica and played Scottish classics “Loch Lomond”, “Highland Lassie” and the Irish favourite “O Danny Boy”. Country singer Darlene Thibault from Viking came on stage and performed “Coat of Many Colours” and “Blue Kentucky Girl”. Shirley on harmonica and Lorne on acoustic guitar returned to the stage to perform as a duo with “You are my Sunshine” and the Newfoundland standard “I’s the B’y”. Finishing off the Open Mic session in fine style was young local fiddler Shade Clark with two fiddle tunes “Claude Brown Reel” and “Willow Springs”.

The Rural Routes started their first set at 7:30 with Alesha on vocals and acoustic guitar and Brendon also on acoustic guitar with “Seven Bridges Road” followed by “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and the “Tennessee Waltz”. Picking up his Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, Brendon accompanied Alesha on “Small Town Girl” which was the song they performed to win the Star Search event followed by another album track song “Real Good Night”. They told the story of how Brendon was born in St. Albert and then moved with his family to New Brunswick at the age of 13. They met each other while attending middle school in Rexton, NB and Brendon explained how he was captivated with Alesha’s strong compelling voice coming from one of the school rooms down the hall.

Returning to their music, Brendon on his electric guitar, sang the Johnny Cash tune “Get Rhythm” with Alesha on acoustic guitar followed by Alesha singing a great rendition of the Ron Hines’ song “Sonny’s Dream”. She then sang the Linda Ronstadt song “When Will I Be Loved” followed by closing off their set with “Goin’ to Jackson”. Of note was Brendon’s ability to keep rhythm on the kick drum while playing guitar and back up vocals – very versatile!

During the break, audience folks went back to the kitchen for more Ukrainian food (including perogies with jam), plates of Turkey Caesar Salad and snacks served up by Dwayne, Bob and Pete in the Sunshine Club kitchen.

In their second set, The Rural Routes sang “Shine Up My Boots”, “When You Say Nothing at All” and “White Lightning”. Alesha then sang “Intentions” accompanied by Brendon on electric guitar. They finished off at 9:00 pm with their favourite song which they co-wrote for each other “You & Me”. The audience rose to their feet to show their appreciation at the end of their set.

We thank our volunteers this evening including sound technician Peter Thibault, photographer Rob Hughes, and our greeters Darlene Thibault and Carol Larrivee. And to our music fans, we thank you for coming out on this snowy blowy wintry evening to join us at this Perogies and Jam event!

Photo Gallery
Photography by Rob Hughes

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