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April Verch + Annie Lou
October 23 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
While Verch is perhaps best known for playing traditional fiddle styles from her native Ottawa Valley, Canada, her performances extend into old-time American and Appalachian styles and far beyond, for a well-rounded tour-de-force of North Americana sounds. Verch and her fellow trio members pare down their arrangements, highlighting the simple pleasures of upright bass, guitar, clawhammer banjo, voices, fiddle, and stepping in intimate conversation. At the heart lie Verch’s delicate voice, energetic footwork, and stunning playing. Sometimes she sings, steps and fiddles all at once, with apparent ease and precision. Verch is – as they say – a triple threat in performance, her live show a beautiful companion to her music: versatile, robust, and masterfully executed.
Even as she plays with the tradition she inherited, Verch keeps the community-fired celebratory side of her music at the forefront, honing a keen awareness of how to engage contemporary listeners. It’s why Rolling Stone cited her “One of the 12 best things we saw at MerleFest in 2016.”
“Just as contemporary bluegrass has Alison Krauss as an ambassador, the Ottawa Valley has April Verch,” said NPR’s Marco Werman on “The World.” And Verch never forgets the roots of her music, that connection to the people out there in the audience, on the dance floor, to the community sparked by a good song. “It’s about joining together to celebrate everyday life, through music. We’re all in this together.”
Annie Lou is the stage name of Anne Louise Genest, a songwriter, composer, and performer with a deeply-felt connection to older folk music traditions. With guitar and banjo in hand, she has spent years chronicling the rural and urban lifepaths of Canada, writing songs to tell the tales of the hard-hit, hard-won victories of these everymen and women. This is new music that is relevant to a modern audience but rooted in the musical traditions that grew out of communities where there was little separation between performer and audience – where everyone played something, or danced – and where music was clearly connected to the everyday lives of the people who played it.