Sokyrka Matchbox show a reunion of local talent

Performing with Theresa Sokyrka will be like a reunion for Red Deer musicians Ryan Marchant and Curtis Phagoo.

Theresa Sokyrka’s roots music features jazzy and traditional Ukrainian elements.

Theresa Sokyrka’s roots music features jazzy and traditional Ukrainian elements.

Performing with Theresa Sokyrka will be like a reunion for Red Deer musicians Ryan Marchant and Curtis Phagoo.

Not only did the two attend Red Deer College’s music program with Sokyrka, they also toured across Canada as part of her backup band after she came in second in season two of Canadian Idol.

With a decade-long friendship that stretches back to their student days, Marchant and Phagoo didn’t hesitate when Sokyrka asked if they’d consider doing the Wednesday concert with her at The Matchbox.

“We were talking to Theresa about doing a gig together the next time she came through town and thought that would be fun,” said Marchant.

“This is exactly the kind of show we like to do,” said Phagoo, who likes performing at the intimate venue because, unlike playing at bars, it allows the audience’s focus to be on the music.

The three friends each plan to do solo sets with acoustic guitars. They might even play together — “we haven’t decided yet,” said Phagoo, who predicted their original songs will be coloured by their individual experiences but will share a rootsy feel.

“I think the show will have a lot of differences in style, but our music will all be along the same path,” added Phagoo, who teaches at Red Deer College as well as 53rd Street Music.

His own tunes contain rock ’n’ roll, country and folk influences and the lyrics are often drawn from his rocky romantic life.

The song Picture in My Wallet, for instance, is about an old relationship that can’t quite fade into the past. “My friends told me if the song wasn’t so quirky and funny, it would be about a stalker,” said a laughing Phagoo, who intended the song to be nostalgic.

Phagoo has also written several “trucker songs” that essentially say “it’s been a long time until I get home to you. I’m racing to get back home.” Although he’s never been a trucker, it’s a situation that a touring musician can easily relate to.

Marchant, who also teaches at 53rd Street Music and plays with Phagoo in the local rock band The KlamDaggers, has written some introspective solo material he intends to perform at the concert, including the song McLevin Cres. about the Morrisroe street he grew up on.

“It basically describes my childhood and affords me a personal way to tell more stories,” said Marchant.

S.I.P is a song about a musician who wakes up by the side of the road with no sense of identity.

“He goes about trying to find out who he was,” added Marchant, whose music incorporates some soft rock and folk sensibilities.

Sokyrka’s roots music often features jazzy and traditional Ukrainian elements. The Saskatoon native, who is now based in Montreal, is working on a follow-up album for her successful debut Something is Expected and is touring across Canada this summer.

Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. concert are $20 from The Matchbox, 403-341-6500. Doors open at 7 p.m.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com