Paul Black Band and Jeff Pike close season at Serenity

Sept. 8 was the last of the 2011/12 season’s concerts at the Serenity Performing Arts Centre near Birch Island

Members of the Paul Black Band perform a blues number at Serenity. Pictured are (l-r) Karl Oystensen

Members of the Paul Black Band perform a blues number at Serenity. Pictured are (l-r) Karl Oystensen

Saturday, Sept. 8 was the last of the 2011/12 season’s concerts at the Serenity Performing Arts Centre near Birch Island. It began at 7:00 p.m. and starred the Paul Black Band and Windborn. It was a beautiful evening with a star-studded sky. Shirley De Vooght has been graced with wonderful weather for all of the concerts this year.

A thank you went out to De Vooght for bringing this music to the North Thompson Valley, to all of her helpers and sponsors, to the performers, and to the audience. Then Windborn, a one-man band starring Jeff Pike, came onto the stage. Pike, who is from Kelowna, has now been to Jeff PikeSerenity four times. He played the guitar, a kick drum, used a loop sampler, and used a vocal pedal to get harmony. He usually has a cellist with him but the fellow is in Scotland at this time.

Pike loves coming to Serenity, “… because you’re some of the best people I’ve found.”

He will be touring in 1 1/2 months through northern B.C. and out to Alberta. He writes all his own songs. A song Pike sang that night was one he wrote by request of Kelowna’s CBC Alya Ramadan about racism. It is titled Same Sun and is an excellent song. For more information on Windborn go to windborn.ca. Pike will have a new album out in one month.

The Paul Black Band performed next. There are four members: Paul Black who played the guitar, wa-wa pedal, the harmonica, and is lead singer; Karl Oystensen who played the keyboard; Chris Mead who played the bass guitar; and drummer Lowry Rucc. They are all excellent musicians, played together as a group very well, and were enjoying themselves. Oystensen, Black, and Rucc had solos in some songs.

Half the band lives in Victoria and the other half in Vancouver. Black makes up the song/music, sends it to the others, and they practice that way. The band has been together for 10 years, except for Oystensen who joined just three years ago.

Black said, “ This is definitely the most beautiful place I’ve played this year.”

He often made comments about a member of the audience Arden Dunfield. She was up dancing from the start of the concert and continued straight throughout. A very graceful dancer, she included a flag for some of the songs. She managed to get others up and join in the fun. For information on Paul Black go to wwww.paulblack.ca or paulblackmusic@gmail.com

Tickets for next season’s concerts are now on sale.

If interested phone De Vooght at 250-676-9456.