Canadian fiddler, singer and step dancer April Verch and her band will be featured at the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek on Wednesday, February 26. Tickets for the 8 pm concert are $25 per person.
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 beyond, for a well-rounded tour-de-force of Americana. Verch tours with world-class musicians as a trio, featuring acoustic guitar, bass and clawhammer banjo in addition to Verch’s vocals, fiddle and foot percussion.
One might suspect that a performer with as many talents as Verch would pause to take a breath, or compartmentalize her skills during a live performance. But on-stage, Verch is almost superhuman, flawlessly intertwining and overlapping different performative elements. She step dances while fiddling. She sings while step dancing. 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 center appearances in Canada, USA, China, Australia, United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Spain, the Czech Republic and United Arab Emirates. She also presents workshops, master classes, and lectures as part of her tours and at selected music camps
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. Rolling Stone Magazine 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.” Verch never forgets the roots of her music, her connection to the audience, on the dance floor, and to a community sparked by a good song. “It’s about joining together to celebrate everyday life through music. We’re all in this together,” she has said. Verch’s ability to preserve the authentic folk traditions of the past and reintroduce them into the musical landscape of the present is a true testament to her masterful musicianship.
An optional pre-concert fixed price dinner will be served at 6 pm. The menu consists of Coq au Vin served over mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, a salad of winter greens with fennel with classic French green salad dressing, and steamed chocolate pudding for dessert.
Tickets and more information on the concert and the dinner can be obtained by calling the White Gull Inn at (920) 868-3517 or accessing the inn’s website, www.whitegullinn.com. If still available, concert tickets can be purchased at the door, although many concerts sell out, so advance ticket purchase and reservations for the pre-concert dinners are recommended.