Kimberley’s Homegrown Music delights once again

Another fine evening of music and poetry at Centre 64

MC Sandra Roberts and producer Carol Fergus at Homegrown.

MC Sandra Roberts and producer Carol Fergus at Homegrown.

John Allen

Producer Carol Fergus, MC Sandra Roberts, seven very enjoyable acts, lighting man Rand Davis and sound technician Ray Gareau combined to produce another excellent evening of entertainment with another appreciative full house in the Theatre.

First up was Mac Ramsay. He’s been in Kimberley three years and is a self-taught guitar player with a variety of intricate and pleasant styles. He performed two cover songs, including The Only Exception (I’d never sing of love if it does not exist but darlin’ you are The Only Exception) plus two of his own soulful compositions.

Jay Robinson, who moved from Nova Scotia a year ago, sat with his three hand drums and provided several pieces of intricate beats with vocal sounds. His final piece was played on a novel oval, bright blue, steel tongue hand drum which, with intricate hand movements, produced full rich sounds and reverberations.

Marta Zeegers, accompanied by the versatile keyboard playing of Daniel Bailey (music director at the KUC), beautifully and amusingly sang A. A. Milne’s poem Vespers (Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed… Christopher Robin is saying his prayers). Then a lovely English song of a very fine evening. Kirsten Guest, also a soprano, joined her for a duet of the French song Parlez-mois; they blended well and filled the theatre with sound.

Jeff Pew added to the variety in reading his long, rambling and amusing poem ‘On Overcoming Sadness’, of the various memories of a child now grown. Difficult to follow, as dreamy memories are, but fascinating. He also read another free verse piece ‘At 50 everyone has the face he deserves’, building on a George Orwell quote. (I’m not sure where that leaves all the Kimberleyites who are older than 50.)

Goodies, beverages and a friendly conversation- filled intermission in the Gallery followed; a chance to see Jim Poch’s colorful exhibit, on show till March 25. Thanks to the volunteers!

The Selkirk School Jazz Choir and accompanists, directed by Sven Hyde, opened the second half with their beautiful blend of voices and excellent timing. First was Girl from Ipanema (Tall and tan and young and lovely. The girl from Ipanema goes walking and when she passes, each one she passes goes “ah”…) Next The Pink Panther and then their winning song from their recent trip to Moscow Idaho, George Gershwin’s (My Sweet) Embraceable You. The group has talent!

Next Emilio Regina (“I wish I didn’t have to follow that choir!”) played piano and sang with feeling three songs he has written. First was Yes We All Fall Down with an extended range using his very fine falsetto. Then an Ode to Bowie; “Many miles away forever”. He finished with I’m Tired of Waiting For my Sweet Lady, “about this schmuck waiting for his girl but she ain’t coming”.

The final act of the evening was a familiar crowd favorite – Tuck’s Troubadours – Larry Tuck, Doug Simpson, Dave Carlson and Bud Decosse. They started with a couple of pokes at Dave. Oldest? Smartest? Best lookin’? but Dave got his own back. Their first song was Everything’s a Waltz (when you fall in love), with some great guitar pickin’ by Bud. The Eagles’ Tequila Sunrise followed, with a beautiful blend of guitars and Dave singing. Bud then announced a bluegrass song Blue Virginia Blues (There ain’t no blue like blue Virginia blues”. They finished with Alan Jackson’s swinging country song Livin’ On Love (Without somebody nothin’ ain’t worth a dime). These folks sure can pick!

Carol Fergus came out to announce the Arts Council’s fund raising project – Give Us a Lift – for an elevator to provide disabled access to the theatre. The total amount needed is compelling, but the plan is to tackle it in steps. 24 to be exact, the number of steps now needed to get up to the theatre. Considering Kimberley’s many physically challenged residents, this is a very worthwhile and needed addition. With Kimberley’s record of donating to worthy causes, it is hoped people will support this appeal.

The next Homegrown, April 22nd will be a very special 35th anniversary evening. Tickets will be available at Centre 64 and the Snowdrift Café. No doubt many of the performers from many of those years will be performing, so don’t miss it!