An impressively large crowd turned out for the latest Stage North show at the Legacy Centre on Dec. 3, to see Trevor Panczak and his band. Some may have been there to catch the opening act as well, Slave Lake’s own ‘The Jackpines.’ They might have been curious to find out what exactly ‘boreal blues’ is. Perhaps it’s a new genre of music entirely. The Jackpines squeezed six original songs into their 20-minute set, whose most distinctive factor was the wailing harmonica of Tyler Thompson. He also shared singing duties with guitarist Eric McWilliams, with Craig MacIsaac on bass and Tanner Mouallem on drums.
As for Panczak and crew, they had a polished act, demonstrating great skill on their instruments and plenty of warmth and humour from their front man. Panczak was as smooth and affable as can be, drawing the audience in and making them feel like they were part of the proceedings. As indeed they were.
Nicola Ramsey of Stage North says about 250 tickets were sold for the show, which is not the biggest crowd ever, but about 100 more than the average. The biggest turnout was for Ballet Kelowna, earlier this year.
“It is great to have an outing to look forward to,” Ramsey says she heard from one person. “Nice that kids can be exposed to live music.”
Next up in the Stage North Concert Series is Victoria B.C. blues guitarist Jesse Roper, on Jan. 20. On Feb. 18 the Christopher Hall Comic Quartet will be playing. Then on March 22 is Black Umfolosi, a song and dance group from Zimbabwe in Africa. Closing out the 2017/18 season is Union Duke, the ‘foot-stomping folk’ quintet from Toronto, on Apr. 14
The common touch
Trevor Panczak, the Lethbridge-based country singer, got things started by inviting kids in the audience on stage for a little singalong and then posed for a photo.
The Jackpines opened things up with their set of what they call ‘boreal blues.’ Left to right are Tyler Thompson, Eric McWilliams, Tanner Mouallem (mostly hidden) and Craig MacIsaac.