It was a gorgeous evening on Saturday, May 26, for the first concert of 2012 at the Serenity Performing Arts Centre. There was a good turnout for the first concert but it would be nice to see more people come out and support Shirley De Vooght in her attempt to bring culture to the valley.
First on stage was singer Devon Coyote from Kelowna. He played four different guitars and the harmonica. Coyote has performed as a one-man band and has been known as Devon Coyote for two years. Before that he played in an acoustic duo called Devon and Kevin for seven or eight years.
Coyote said Serenity was one of his favorite stages. He performed at Serenity last winter at a house concert and said that it was a lot different when there was snow all around.
On Saturday Coyote sang a song called The Ballad of the Mad Trapper, a song he wrote about the Mad Trapper of Rat River, a historical event from the 1930s that took place in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. He also sang a love song called Stop and Stare that his girlfriend asked him to sing. When he sat down to perform he used a lap guitar called a wissenborn. Coyote is a very talented musician.
Adrian Glynn, a Vancouver based singer, was up on stage next. The first instrument he played was a balalaika. It looked like a triangle with a neck and strings. It is “mandolinish” and Glynn called it an evil mandolin. He played the guitar next. He taught the audience to sing part of a song to sing so that they could take part.
Glynn has played in small parts in movies and television shows in Vancouver and has been a professional singer for six years. He plays in a band called Fugitives. The band is going on a tour of the United Kingdom and Glynn will be playing in the Robson Valley Music Festival in August.
Last on stage were guitarist Wil (ibreakstrings.com) and his drummer Kevin Haughton. They have played as a duo for two years now but Wil has played as a duo altogether for 15 years. He has toured with a lot of remarkable people such as Corb Lund and Feist. He has been a professional singer for 18 years. Wil was quite a comedian.
Wil said that he felt very much at home at Serenity as it reminded him of his property on Vancouver Island. He is known as ibreakstrings.com and it is easy to see why. He puts a lot of energy into his playing. While performing he used two different mikes. One mike, called a harp mike, changed the sound of his voice. Many of the audience were quite startled the first time he used it.
Drummer Haughton had previously been a pilot for 17 years and had helped put out the fires in the valley in 2003. He changed occupations because he now has a family and wants to get home safely.
All singers were well received by the audience and Wil was called out for an encore. They all had CDs for sale and Caroline – Wil’s wife – was selling jewellery that she makes by recycling Wil’s broken guitar strings.
All the performers asked for a round of applause for DeVooght for putting on the concert and for all who had helped her. Lizzie Cline was master of ceremonies and Krystle Moilliet and Robert Walling were in charge of sound and stage management.