VICKI ARNDT – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
The Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod has an all-Canadian line-up for its 2013-’14 Centre Stage Series.
The concert series features top talent from across the country featuring a mix of Canadian country, bluegrass, east coast celtic and contemporary folk and roots music.
The series includes Tim Hus and his Travellin’ Band, Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Sean Hogan, J.P. Cormier and Emily Dingwall, Connie Kaldor and David Francey.
Concert series subscriptions are on sale now at the Empress Theatre.
Tim Hus and His Travellin” Band opens the series with two shows Sept. 20-21.
Hus is said to “have a song list longer than a Saskatchewan fence line, a voice sweeter than a Husqvarna chainsaw and wit sharper than a rusty barbed wire fence.”
Hus, who toured extensively with the late Stompin’ Tom Conners and was a pallbearer at Conners funeral, releases his sixth album during the Centre Stage Concert Series.
Audience members will be delighted to see the Empress Theatre featured on the album’s artwork.
Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys will give two shows on Oct. 16-17.
The high-energy, award-winning “down east fiddlin'” group from Prince Edward Island was called the best discovery band by host of Deep Roots on CBC Tom Power.
The four-man group, together only since 2011, have already toured North America and the United Kingdom and received two Music PEI Awards along with several other prestigious nominations and awards.
The third performance in the series is Canadian Country Christmas with Sean Hogan and Special Guests on Dec. 6-7.
Hogan along with guest country music stars Duane Steele and Samantha King, will perform some of their own songs along with joyful Christmas music in the spirit of the holiday season.
Hogan, the recipient of several Canadian Country Music Awards and West Coast Music Awards, in 2011 released his latest album Phoenix, which produced the Top 10 hit Travel Plans.
J.P. Cormier and Emily Dingwall perform at the Empress Theatre on Feb. 20-21 in the fourth concert of the series.
Bluegrass, celtic and folk singer-songwriter Cormier will be joined by his new accompanist, bass player Emily Dingwall.
Hailing from Cape Breton, Cormier has experienced success in his 30-plus years as a touring musician with No. 1 hits on North American and European radio, more than 30 awards for fiddle, banjo, guitar and song-writing competitions, 12 East Coast Music Awards, and a Canadian Folk Music Award.
Cormier has 13 solo albums to date and has worked with many music legends including Waylon Jennings, Marty Stuart, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs and more while touring the North American festival circuit and performing at the Grand Ole Opry.
Three-time Juno Award-winner Connie Kaldor comes to Fort Macleod for two shows on April 3-4.
A member of the Order of Canada, Canadian folk singer-songwriter Kaldor established the independent record label Coyote Entertainment in 1981 and has since recorded 14 albums.
Kaldor’s music is said to bring forth the power and beauty of the Canadian prairies, she paints a picture with every song. The result is an ever-expanding fan base and a tour schedule that has brought her to as far away as India, China and Europe along with extensive touring in North America.
Another three-time Juno Award winner, David Francey, closes out the concert series with performances May 1-2
One of Canada’s most revered folk poets, it wasn’t until Francey was in his 40s — under the encouragement of his wife — that he shared his music with the world.
Francey’s success was instant, and he has released 10 albums resulting in numerous awards and nominations. The most recent album So Say We All was released internationally in April 30 2013. In support of his new album, Francey is touring Canada and the United States