Creative Current – Music in the great outdoors coming to an end

Nadine Davenport's bi-monthly column of arts and entertainment in the area.

Music In The Park Finale on Wednesday

Winding Rivers Arts and Performance Society presents another fabulous Ashcroft Music in the Park.

The Summer Season Finale is this week on Wednesday, Aug. 28 with two Australian boys who know how to rock: the Benny Walker Band and the Tom Richardson Project… plus a stellar line up of locals for an All-Star-Jam.  The music happens 7-9:30 pm under the Gazebo at Heritage Place Park on Railway Avenue. Pass the hat donations encouraged. Bring the whole family and get there early… the park fills up fast!

Indigenous performer Benny Walker is without doubt one of Australia’s most promising new talents. His sophomore album Sinners and Saints is a blend of blues, roots and acoustic folk. Walker’s intimate, eloquent song-writing is complemented by a rich, soulful voice which speaks of the trouble, strife and wonder of everyday life. It is this voice that recently earned him the Victorian Indigenous Performing Arts Award for Best New Talent 2012, the Arts Cultural Australia Day Murray Shire Council Award and a 2011 Deadly Award nomination for Most Promising New Talent in Music.

With so many talented artists vying for a spot on the world stage, it is becoming increasing more difficult to find somebody doing things a little differently… Tom Richardson is that artist. An adventurous yet humble nomad, in the past 18 months alone, Tom has performed in 14 different countries across the globe. Tom uses the latest in loop pedal technology to create a wall of sound, overdubbing four part vocal harmonies, complicated percussion grooves and lead and rhythm guitar parts, all live on stage. While live looping may not be a new phenomenon, rather than focusing on laying down one continuous groove, Tom dances around the stage, using his feet to create different song sections, starting, stopping and layering various instruments as he goes.

Local Dinner Theatre ‘Murder Mystery’ Auditions Aug 30

Winding Rivers Arts and Performance Society would like to extend an invitation to – you – to audition for their very first Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre! Acting spaces are limited, and this will be a “cold” read, from the script.

Auditions start at 5:30 pm on Aug. 30 at St. Albans Hall, 501 Brink St. in Ashcroft. If you have any more questions please either message Gareth Smart on Facebook, or call 250-457-0538, or email

This hilarious murder mystery comedy is easy to produce and perfect for either a stage production or dinner theatre. Rosemary Saint-John is a loud, annoying hypochondriac convinced she is allergic to water. Celebrating her birthday at a restaurant with her four kooky sisters – a hippie, a valley girl, a trucker and a banker – Rosemary makes enemies with everyone around her. When she disappears and is presumed murdered, the only objective witnesses in the restaurant are the audience members, who must cast their vote. Was it one of Rosemary’s sisters? The self-taught detective? The passionate French chef? The polite and proper mâitre d’? The sarcastic waiter? No one is above suspicion in this delightful dinner theatre murder mystery!

Barney Bentall in Clinton Aug 31

The Village of Clinton 150/50 Summer ‘Music in the Park’ Series wraps up on Saturday, Aug. 31 with Barney Bentall. Show time is at 7:30 pm at Reg Conn Centennial Park in downtown Clinton.

When his group, Legendary Hearts disbanded in 2000, Bentall moved to Clinton to operate a cattle ranch. After this change of perspective, 2007 brought the solo release of Gift Horse on True North Records. His newest album, Inside Passage, is Bentall’s seventh studio album: “I wanted to write a collection of songs that were loosely based on moving through life,” he said.

“During the past decade, Bentall has transformed personally and musically to emerge as one of Canada’s prolific folk/roots singer/songwriters. His sixth studio album, The Inside Passage, paints portions of a life’s journey.” Dave Ferguson – !earshot magazine.

Lytton River Fest coming up this weekend

Looking for something to do on  the last long weekend of the summer? This Labour Day weekend head to The Lytton River Festival. This is your invitation to become part of an event that celebrates the important role that these two great rivers have played in Lytton’s history and culture. Come for a day or stay for three; you’ll be glad you did.

The Lytton River Festival is a celebration of two great rivers-the Thompson and Fraser-and their historic and present role in the small community of Lytton. The Interior Salish First Nations people have lived along these magnificent rivers for over 10,000 years and are an integral part of the River Festival. Their rivers are integrated into their culture.

Entertainment on Friday night is a five piece band called Serious Dogs from 8-10 pm. They are a dance band that plays many different styles including Classic Rock, R&B, Reggae, Blues & Country Rock. The band features; Mark Petri on vocals, guitar, Jim Cochran on guitar, slide, mandolin, and vocals, Richard Allen on drums, vocals, Brenden Majerech on bass, vocals and Jimmy Johnston on keys, vocals. A bunch of guys who still love playing music together!!!

All day Saturday there are various events and five bands including The Royal Canadians; a Teen Band from 3-5 pm. The Royal Canadians are an indie/folk/rock band made up of teenagers in the Cowichan Valley of Vancouver Island. What once started as duo has now transformed into an intricate quintet consisting of folk instruments and a rock background. These 16-18 year old kids have a vision and won’t stop till they’ve exceeded it, and they hope you like the sound of that. Plus don’t miss, Carli & Julie Kennedy – a lively, fun and young – twin sisters act who are very talented. They perform  from 5-7 pm.

On Sunday make sure to check out the many Artisans and Artist Displays. This is a new feature for Sunday. Artisans, mostly First Nations, will show their skills and their crafts that include basket making, drum and rattle construction, painters and sculptors, arrowhead making, to name but a few items that will be demonstrated and for sale on Sunday to complement the Pow Wow that day.

Sunday’s all-day Pow-Wow celebrates the importance of the Thompson and the Fraser rivers to Lytton’s First Nations People for over 10,000 years. Dances celebrate the salmon, the great waters, and the spirit of these two enormous rivers: the Thompson azure and sparkling, and the Fraser brown and silty.

The Village of Lytton, Siska Indian Band, Nicomen Indian Band, Lytton First Nations, Lytton & District Chamber of Commerce, Royal Canadian Legion, and Kumsheen Rafting Resort are active partners in this river-oriented, fun-filled three-day river celebration.

Ashcroft Fall Fair just days away

This year’s Ashcroft Fall Fair is just two weeks away on Sunday, Sept. 8 from 10 am to 5 pm at Drylands Arena. Blue Jeans and Country Scenes is what you’ll see at this year’s Ashcroft Fall Fair. Come learn the history of denim and ways to repurpose those old jeans. Listen to country music, while you check out the variety of vendors and the homemade products on display. There will be children’s entertainment and lots of activities to keep them busy.

The headliners this year are a great band from Vancouver, called Backdoor Slam. You can enjoy some great country and western swing from Kat Wahamaa (guitar/vocals), Jennie Bice (fiddle/vocals), Tony Rees (guitar/vocals) and Joe Samorodin (upright bass/vocals). Collectively they’ve received rave reviews for their music all over the globe. Soaring vocals, strong harmonies, flying fiddle, swingin’ guitar, harmonica, bass, mandolin and washboard comprise their unmistakable sound.

Their name comes from a line in a 1946 version of the tune I’ll Get Mine Bye and Bye and you’d better believe they are all invested in “getting their own” brand of music out to the hungry ears of the listening public. The music they play? Country and Eastern, roots and branches, down in the dirt stuff including country, blues, bluegrass and Western Swing; traditional music of the British Isles; and even Finnish folk. They infuse these styles with elements of East Coast kitchen party, punk rock-a-billy and a penchant for swing and rhythm. They play with such exuberance and feeling you’ll want to get up, dance like Jed, join them with a comb and a piece of wax-paper or cry like a baby! Back Door Slam will be performing two afternoon sets at the Arena Stage and will no doubt be a very fun time.

Also entertaining throughout the Fall Fair is a clown named ‘Filetta The Fish’. The fabulously funny and surprisingly skilled, Sand Northrup and her One Woman Circus is a Canadian festival favourite who has delighted crowds from coast to coast since 1984. Better known to children as ‘Filetta Fish’ and famous in her own mind, Sandy is a clown, juggler and unicyclist who builds great rapport with family audiences using her flare for the fantastic.

Don’t miss Fall fair favourites, The Kamloops Old Time Fiddlers. The Kamloops chapter of Old Time Fiddlers was founded in 1982 as a group where people connected on the basis of a love of music and traditional dancing. They meet twice a month to practice and hold dances every second Saturday night.  It is a place of camaraderie, socializing and of course, old time fiddle music.

The group is comprised mainly of seniors and plays for retirement homes. In the past, they have also hosted fiddle competitions, attracting fiddlers from across the country and sometimes the United States. This group preserves a style of music that unfortunately seems to be slowly fading away.

Should be a great time for all! Don’t forget to enter all your wears for this year’s fair. Program books are around town and forms are online. See you there!

Nadine Davenport