By Stu Salkeld The Stettler Independent
One of the most successful Canadian and international country and western singer-songwriters will be rocking a local music festival Saturday, Sept. 9.
Michelle Wright, who has earned six number one hit songs in Canada along with 25 singles that made their mark on international charts, will be the Saturday night headline performer at the Ol’ MacDonalds Music Festival.
Wright, known for her strong songwriting ability and Canadian number one singles like “Take It Like a Man” and “One Time Around,”, has released numerous albums on multiple labels since the late 1980s, along with greatest hits compilations, a live album and Christmas album.
Contacted by The Stettler Independent Aug. 31, Wright said event though she’s a nationally and internationally successful star, she doesn’t prepare any differently for a venue like Ol’ MacDonalds that’s much cozier than big city stadiums.
She will also be bringing the full compliment of musical accompaniment with her. “My regular band,” she said through email. “My band leader Lee Warren who also plays lead guitar and slide guitar, Tyler Powers – lead guitar and harmonies, Sean Power – bass and harmonies and Matt Crouse – drums.”
She said music festivalgoers better be ready for a show that knocks their socks off. “We will be playing the hits and my band is fantastic so hopefully the audience will enjoy all of it,” said Wright.
“We love to play music and love to be with the audience no matter what size, having played for 50,000 at a time to 100. It’s not the size of the audience that counts, it just matters that we all have a good time.”
The number one charting singer-songwriter said the size of a venue or the number of people in an audience doesn’t matter. What matters is sharing her music with friends. “I don’t really differentiate from one audience size to the other although admittedly when the audience is smaller it’s easier for the people in the back row to feel more connected,” said Wright.
“But I love playing to any size audience and always feel a strong connection.”
She said the music festival will be a great chance to show her roots which extend deeper than bluegrass, and also try on some new material she has been laboring on.
“I am very grateful for all of the hits that the audience has given me through the years so we will be playing many of those as well as sharing a couple of new songs because I am in the studio working on the new music,” said Wright.
“My band and are also I guess what you would call a contemporary county, rock, R&B band in that I was not only influenced by Merle Haggard but I was also influenced by Marvin Gaye and the Rolling Stones and Anne Murray and Tina Turner so there is a real variety and energy to the show.
“We’re really looking forward to coming and doing a show for everyone. See you soon.”
The Ol’ MacDonalds Music Festival runs Sept. 8 to 10 at the campground north of Stettler. More information is available online at http://www.olmacdonalds.com/festival.html or by calling 403-742-6603.