Voices at Valentine's
Acoustic showcase brings together four distinct singers
By: Anna Borowiecki
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 06:00 am
One of the main differences that sets St. Albert apart from other cities its size, is the strong live music scene that not only explores performance, but also the intricate making of music.
At LB’s Pub, the weekly Thursday night Songwriters Acoustic Showcase has morphed into a viable platform to test out new songs.
This Thursday night, as the showcase celebrates its second anniversary, co-hosts Kenny Skoreyko and Fred LaRose have organized a Valentine’s Day special featuring four songwriting sweethearts.
They are fusion-country mother-daughter singing sensation Joanne and Hayley Myrol, popular Edmonton Oilers anthem singer Samantha King and folk artist Dana Wylie.
“It’s like a ladies night out. It’s something the girls will want to see,” says Skoreyko.
In fact, when the acoustic showcase threw open its doors on Feb. 17, 2011, Joanne Myrol was the premiere singer-songwriter. The charismatic mother-daughter Myrol team has toured Europe five times, performed for royalty and had their original tunes spun on radio stations worldwide.
“Her (Joanne) song Small Town Big Truck was in Top 10 country charts for weeks,” Skoreyko notes.
Samantha King, on the other hand, just returned from a tour of northern Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon with Sean Hogan and friends.
King now has the city’s most enviable gig as the Oilers national anthem singer, a spot she nabbed after Paul Lorieau retired in 2011.
King has one of those flexible voices that can swing from country and roots to rock and pop. Although she gravitated towards country in the early years, lately she’s inched towards the blues.
“Any time I get a chance to sing the blues, I feel I’ve found my voice,” says King who was influenced by the greats such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton.
“I think Friday night will be a fly-by-the-seat of your pants night, but it will be a comfortable, casual evening.”
The final member of the quartet, Dana Wylie, is deeply passionate of traditional folk music from the British lexicon, tunes such as Black Jack Davey and Seven Yellow Gypsies.
“I like a nice combination of earthy and whimsical. I sing a combination of light-hearted and deep. There are funny folk songs and some deeply said. There’s just a gamut of emotion,” Wylie comments.
The Edmonton-based singer has three albums to her name: Almost There (2006), The Unruly One (2008) and Something is Going to Happen Here (2010).
The Dana Wylie Band live off the floor recording Almost There was more a marker of their progress than as distribution product.
The Unruly One mixed in more piano and guitar to create a jazzy-folk vibe and Something is Going to Happen Here was strictly folky guitar with just a hint of blues.
When you try to peg her influence, she points directly to the British folk rock of the ’60s, in particular Fairport Convention.
“They played traditional music. But they were shooting for outer space. They were having fun. They still treat tradition with respect but at the same time, they were having this great rock and roll rebellion.”
The acoustic singer-songwriter showcase’s eclectic lineup is a 90-minute one-of-a-kind with backup support from Skoreyko, La Rose and hired gun guitar picker Billy Ringo.
The showcase starts at 8:30 p.m. LB’s is at 23 Akins Dr. No cover.