For The Morning Star
It’s always better to share.
When Shari Ulrich and Séan McCann, formerly of Great Big Sea, discovered they were performing at different venues on the same days, they decided to share their shows.
The result worked out beautifully for the Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society as it wraps up its second season with a sold-out show Saturday, June 25 at the Powerhouse Theatre.
Ulrich grew up in California in the ‘60s, listening to The Beatles, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. She “bolted” to Canada after the Kent State shootings of 1970.
A two-time Juno Award winner, Ulrich has played in renowned bands such as The Pied Pumkin (with Rick Scott and Joe Mock), UHF (with Bill Henderson and Roy Forbes), BTU (with Barney Bentall and Tom Taylor), The Hometown Band (with Valdy) and now The High Bar Gang.
She accompanies herself on piano, guitar and fiddle, but sees herself as primarily a songwriter.
“I write about what I know and what I’ve lived. Some of it is stuff people don’t like to talk about, but seem to be hungry to hear. I didn’t intend to be that kind of writer, it just comes out that way,” she said.
McCann grew up in Newfoundland immersed at a very young age in traditional Newfoundland folk music.
“Music was always a part of our house,” he said. “There were always storytellers. Music was a part of every social gathering and everyone knew a song. Everyone at a party had a turn and you knew your turn was coming.”
McCann was part of Great Big Sea before leaving the band a few years ago.
“Great Big Sea kind of became Canada’s party band,” he said. “After a while, the party lifestyle became too much for me. I chose to leave the band and I’ve now been in recovery for over five years. I’ve continued to write songs, which I feel are deeper and I think more meaningful.”
Both Ulrich and McCann are looking forward to performing a few songs together in what promises to be a very special evening to end the current season.
For those unable to get tickets for the Vernon concert, Ulrich and McCann also perform at the Mary Irwin Theatre in Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts, Sunday, June 26 at 2 p.m. As of press time, there were still tickets available for that show (call 250-717-5304 or visit rotarycentreforthearts.com/event/sean-mccann).
In addition, the Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society has released its concert schedule for the upcoming 2016/2017 season:
• Aug. 27 at Powerhouse Theatre, Danny “Texassippi Soul Man” Brooks plays southern soul with a mix of blues/soul/Americana/mountain and gospel.
• Sept. 30 at Powerhouse Theatre is gifted singer-songwriter Jacob Moon.
• Oct. 21 at the Vernon Atrium Hotel and Conference Centre, former lead singer with Prairie Oyster, Russell DeCarle and his trio play a mix of blues, jazz, and R&B-tinged western swing.
• Nov. 26, Spitfire Lounge at the Army Navy Airforce Club, Belle Plaine and Blake Berglund perform sultry, jazzy, country-swing.
• Jan. 14, 2017, Spitfire Lounge at the Army Navy Airforce Club, Pappa Dawg plays straight-ahead blues.
• Feb. 2017 (to be announced).
• March 18, (venue to be announced) is Martyn Joseph, a highly-acclaimed singer-songwriter from Wales.
• April 9, Vernon Atrium Hotel and Conference Centre, married duo Pharis and Jason Romero play traditional folk and roots on banjo/guitar, etc.
• May 6, Martin Harley (venue to be announced) is an acoustic roots and blues slide guitarist, singer-songwriter from the U.K.
• June, 2017 (to be announced).
Tickets for all shows are available through ticketseller.ca, vernonfolkroots.com, at the Bean Scene (two weeks prior to each show) or at the door. For more information about shows, memberships or the society, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit vernonfolkroots.com.