NOVEMBER 6, 2010


April Verch Band


A.pril Verch is a dynamic Canadian fiddler, singer and stepdancer. With her band, she plays a traditional and original repertoire that is deeply rooted in the style she grew up with in the Ottawa Valley region of Ontario.

The freshly scrubbed beauty of April could be mistaken for a young television star versus an accomplished player and composer — who started stepdancing at age three and playing the fiddle at age six — who, by the age of ten, was winning fiddle contests and touring Canada, and releasing two solo albums before graduating from high school.

APRIL VERCHVerch, whose simultaneous fiddling and dancing as she leads her band has been selling out prestigious venues and festivals for years, is now giving notice that she is emerging to take the role of one of the top women in the roots genre with her recent release, Steal The Blue. Verch had previously relied on her supple and inventive playing to build a catalogue of albums that were mostly instrumental takes on originals and treasures of the past. Now she brings forth her confident and winsome voice to lead the April Verch Band through songs from familiar roots writers like Ron Block, Sarah Siskind and Larry Cordle — as well as finely detailed instrumentals infused with pure and joyous energy.

Born, raised and now living in Pembroke, Ontario (in the Ottawa Valley), where her family has lived for generations, April grew up in an area with a rich, distinctive musical and stepdancing tradition shaped by the diverse roots of the immigrants drawn to the region’s lumber camps. She began taking stepdancing lessons when she was three, but right from the start, she was drawn to the fiddle, too,— though her parents made her wait for three years before giving her a fiddle for her sixth birthday. “By the time I was ten,” April recalls, “that was it—I knew I wanted to play fiddle and dance for a living. I just wasn’t sure how I could do it.”

Her talents in both arenas quickly became evident, as she began winning fiddle and dance contests on her own. By the time she finished high school, she had recorded her first two self-released albums (Springtime in 1992, Fiddle Talk in 1995) and was touring full time, as well as teaching at fiddle camps, always integrating dance and fiddling into a seamless, dynamic whole. Offered a job with a leading fiddle ensemble after graduation, she opted instead to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where she was exposed to,— and quickly mastered,— an array of musical styles. At the same time, she capped her fiddle contest career with a pair of impressive wins, earning the titles of Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion and Canadian Open Fiddle Champion. By the time she reached her early 20s, she had matured into the self-assured, vibrant performer she is now.

APRIL VERCH BANDThe April Verch Band features world-class musicians Clay Ross on guitar and Cody Walters on upright-electric bass and banjo. Together, these three passionate musicians tour tirelessly across Canada, the United States, the U.K., Europe and Australia. They have established a reputation as consummate performers, winning over audiences not only with sheer virtuosity on their respective instruments, but also with charm, humor and boundless energy on stage.

We were delighted by the opportunity to hear these accomplished musicians live on our stage !!!

Praises by others for her performances:

  • "She sings, dances, plays the fiddle ... April Verch is no one-trick pony."
        — Courtney Devores, Charlotte Observer

  • "Comparisons to Alison Krauss are probably inevitable, but Krauss’s legions of fans would certainly appreciate April’s approach and selection of material. Verch’s touring band provide her with excellent support."
        — Mike Regenstreif, Sing Out!

  • "... the young Canadian’s ear for what makes a good song and her growing ability to inhabit its soul allows her individuality to emerge."
        — Bluegrass Unlimited

  • "Verch has blossomed from a Canadian fiddle champ and stepdancer into a triple threat entertainer."
        — Rick Foster, Sun Chronicle

  Link to April playing and step-dancing Tennessee Wagoner on YouTube

Visit her web site:   Steal The Blue CD

Visit April's MySpace page:  

  Opening tonight were our featured open mike performers:

Our open mike featured performances by:

  • Gary Schoenberger

  • Timothy Young

  • John Taylor

  • Tim Dillon

  • ...and Michael Kornfeld

  • If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of this century ...