Another of our favorites, April Verch, comes home.
The Ottawa Valley (Canada) fiddler, step-dancer, singer and all-around wonderful performer is back as part of a new dynamic trio. An unassuming delight in person, April’s talents are many, and she has gained worldwide renown. You might have seen her performing at 2010 the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Vancouveras part of a segment called “Fiddle Nation.” We are thrilled to have her back to conclude our 30th season and be the featured act after our 27th annual Performing Songwriter Competition.
April knows how relevant an old tune can be. She was raised surrounded by living, breathing roots music—her father’s country band rehearsing; the lively music at church and at community dances; the tunes she rocked out to win fiddle competitions. She thought every little girl learned to stepdance at the age of three and fiddle at the age of six. She knew nothing else and decided early on that she wanted to be a professional musician.
She took that leap, and for over two decades has been recording and captivating audiences worldwide, exploring new and nuanced places each step of the way. In 2017 she released The April Verch Anthology (Slab Town Records), an 18-track collection celebrating her life’s work. Hand-picked by Verch, the songs on this compilation offer an enchanting mix of regional Canadian, American old-time, bluegrass, country and Americana tracks.
The April Verch Anthology is a testament to the many chapters in Verch’s musical journey.
Moving from exuberant stepdancer to fiddle wunderkind and silver-voiced singer; from upstart prodigy to mature and reflective songwriter, interpreter, and storyteller. The compilation is an excursion through Verch’s 1998-2015 recordings, featuring tunes and songs dear to Verch as well as a healthy dose of fan favorites and two newly recorded tracks. “Through this anthology, I am reminded of the inspirations with which I began and of the hopes I hold for the future. I take a moment to reflect and to celebrate,” says Verch.
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.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.
Verch began her full time touring career in 2000 and has performed around the world.
including festival, theatre and performing arts centre appearances in Canada, USA, China, Australia, United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Spain, Czech Republic and the United Arab Emirates. She also presents workshops, master classes, and lectures as part of her tours and at selected music camps.
Verch won’t be the one to tell you about her championship titles, nominations, and awards, or the fact that she was one of 6 fiddlers who represented the Canadian fiddle tradition to the world at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, as part of a segment called “Fiddle Nation.” Instead, in speaking with her, you’ll hear about how passionate she is about sharing her music; in small gatherings in remote communities in Iqaluit, to large prestigious concert halls like Mozartsal in Vienna.
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.”
Welcome home to Mansfield, April!
A Tribute to Todd Rundgren, Gary Backstrom’s Road to Utopia, comes to the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA on Friday, June 7, at 8 pm. Tickets here.
Considered by many to be the “Ultimate Rock Cult Hero” Todd Rundgren has maintained a legion of fans through four decades. Todd’s searing guitar work reached a nationwide audience in his role as lead guitarist for the blues-psychedelic band Nazz. He wrote and arranged almost all of the work that went into the three albums the group produced.
His first big solo success was in 1971 with “We Gotta Get You a Woman” and in 1973 from the double album “Something/Anything?” He scored big on the charts with “I Saw the Light” and a revision of a Nazz song, “Hello, It’s Me.”
Rundgren has scored huge as a music producer, most notably on Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” opus. In the late 1970s and through the 1980s Todd formed the group Utopia, each member an accomplished musician and vocalist. He has also been called on by films and TV for his musical scores and sometimes tours with Ringo Starr as a member of his All-Star Band.
Gary is the founder and frontman of the acclaimed Jam Band “Jiggle The Handle.” The Gary Backstrom Band is a Boston-based Band that mixes Soul, R&B, Funk, Rock and Latin grooves blended into a unique sound. Their sound features exciting, unpredictable improvisation that can only be heard in the best live acts on the scene today. Gary is considered “one of the most underrated, fluid, and melodic players in the Northeast.”
Some of the proceeds from this concert will go to
The project brings personalized iPods to people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, helping them reconnect with the world through the music they love.
This will be a quite the night for a great cause.
The New Bedford Folk Festival
New Bedford Folk Festival brings together over 70 renowned and emerging performers and 90 plus juried arts and crafts vendors in New Bedford’s authentic historic district in July. In 2018, we celebrated the 23rd New Bedford Folk Festival on July 7 & 8. In 2019 the festival will be held on July 6 & 7.
The two-day family-oriented festival offers continuous folk music from 11 AM to 9 PM on seven sound stages in and around the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park ranging from the majestic 1200 seat Zeiterion Performing Arts Theater to the intimacy of the National Park Garden Stage.
The Artisans’ Marketplace showcases the handcrafted work of many local artists, as well as artisans from Maine to California and the International Bazaar, offers high-quality, imported handcrafts, many of them Fair Trade, from around the globe.
Food is also a great part of the festival. From street carts to the food court to the restaurants in and around the festival you can sample some of the tasty cuisines the area has to offer.
Presented by the Zeiterion Performing Arts Theater and hosted by the City of New Bedford, the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and the New Bedford Whaling Museum the New Bedford Folk Festival offers an exciting atmosphere with great music, beautiful arts and crafts and fun activities for the whole family.
Check out the crafts and commercial vendors
33rd Lowell Folk Festival
The Lowell Folk Festival continues to provide the finest in traditional music, craft, foodways and more in downtown Lowell. This annual celebration is the best in traditional folk music, artisan crafts and ethnic foods, and will be returning to downtown Lowell with a full lineup beginning with the traditional parade of nations from Lowell’s City Hall Plaza to Boarding House Park. The free festival offers something for people of all ages all within the heart of Lowell National Historical Park.