By Carson Ellis
The Stettler Variety Showcase (SVS) presented a double bill on Sun, Feb. 26.
The first half of the show was performed by Maddie Storvold; the second half of the evening was the 1930’s inspired swing/jump-blues band Misery Mountain Boys.
Maddie Storvold took to the stage with accompanist Aline Deanne, who played fiddle on most of her songs. She opened the show with a song she had written about falling in love.
Between songs Storvold shared her light sense of humour with the audience in an almost conversational style. She explained the inspiration for many of her songs including one about her grandmother and another about friends she had in middle school who eventually got married, but didn’t invite her.
Storvold has had an interesting life, being born in Cold Lake, spending her early years in Dubai, attending university in Ontario, and living in BC. She also appeared on the television show The Launch, where she was partnered with celebrity mentor Bryan Adams. Storvold says she has worked with Adams since, and hopes to work with him again some time.
Despite her travels around the world, Storvold says she enjoys playing in small communities, enjoying the support she receives from them. The singer/songwriter notes that small towns seem more appreciative of live music.
The Misery Mountain Boys took the stage after the intermission, playing a mix of their own songs such as the Whyte Avenue Shuffle, and covers including No Diggity.
The four-person band is officially Edmonton-based, though their lead Steven Gevenich lives in Peace River. The group has been together ten years, and other than the occasional side-gigs, play together almost exclusively.
Their show opened with inviting anyone who felt the need, to come up to the sides of the stage and dance. The invitation was accepted by a young couple who danced to most of their set-list. Gevenich noted they enjoy it when people come up and dance, and it is one of the things they love about performing live.
The band’s look is as eclectic as their music. The three male members dress in slacks and suspenders, and their lone female member plucks her bass while wearing an old-style coonskin cap. Their own songs are written for the lively feel of their music, and their cover songs are modified to do the same, making the Dr. Dre cover have the same feel as their cover of the Tex Williams classic Smoke That Cigarette.
For those who missed out the Stettler show, both acts will be performing in Coronation on March 11.
SVS will be taking a break in March before returning April 30 when Jenn Beaupre and Lewis Frere come to town to close out the 2022-23 concert season.