Calgary country band PEAR got Stettler clapping and stomping at both of its shows on May 4.
The band’s performances mark the end of this season’s Stettler Variety Showcase performances, which saw drama, comedy, and different types of music offered to Stettler residents.
“I thought it was awesome,” Lynae Dufresne of the performing couple said. “The crowd was great. I thought it was lots of fun.”
The core of PEAR is husband and wife team Lynae and Denis Dufresne. They met in a fiddle group called Barrage right out of the high school, and now front their own group in between taking care of their son and teaching private violin lessons.
They performed two shows on Sunday, along with another bandmate sitting in on drums, banjo, and guitar.
Denis said that the band isn’t straight country; rather, it has a more “blue rodeo” sound. With the addition of mandolin and banjo, the show had a more bluegrass vibe.
“When we first got into country music, we hadn’t really listened to a lot – we were fans of country, but we were fans of everything,” Denis said. “We were pretty confused when our sound first kind of formed, because we listened to jazz, so our solos were a bit more jazzy, and we were both classically trained violinists, so there was elements of that there. Eventually, as we kept playing, year after year, we kind of found our sound.”
Both Dufresnes are obviously talented in a variety of instruments (Denis played mandolin and guitar, while Lynae sang), but it’s when they picked up their fiddles that both shone.
Denis and Lynae are classically trained in violin, starting at about four years old. They played two fiddle duets, one of which was the encore. They both said they got tired of playing traditional fiddle songs (such as Devil Went down to Georgia), and Denis acknowledged switching it up with his introduction to a Beatles instrumental with, “We’re going to play a song by one of the great fiddle bands…The Beatles.”
In between songs, they entertained the crowd with stories of going on tour, the story behind some of the songs, and some anecdotes about what happened when they started to get popular – including the story of their very first hate mail, which they laugh about now.
The 7:30 p.m. show was almost a full house, and while it took the audience a bit of time to warm up, soon they were clapping, cheering, and interacting with Denis and Lynae during the stage banter interludes. The band got a standing ovation and returned to play two more songs.
And after the show ended, one of the audience members said that it was the best show of this season’s Stettler Variety Showcase.
To connect with PEAR, visit their Facebook page or their Twitter @Pearband.