Good folk from Saskatchewan at Heritage Ranch

Jazz and blues take over The Hub on Ross tonight as saxophonist Claude Godin, accompanied by a three-piece band, takes the stage with radio host and singer-songwriter David Ward opening. For tickets and information, call 403-340-4869.

Saskia and Darrel

Saskia and Darrel

Jazz and blues take over The Hub on Ross tonight as saxophonist Claude Godin, accompanied by a three-piece band, takes the stage with radio host and singer-songwriter David Ward opening. For tickets and information, call 403-340-4869.

Gary Fjellgaard returns for an evening of dinner and song at Heritage Ranch on Saturday. Joining him are frequent touring companions Saskia & Darrel, a Saskatchewan duo whose new album is reviewed below. Call 403-347-4977 for ticket information.

The Hideout features Sarah Burton and Tim Harwill on Oct. 13 and Carolyn Marks on Oct. 14. Leeroy Stagger & the Wildflowers visit The Vat on Oct. 20 while the rockin’ blues of The Dream Band takes over on Oct. 27; with Robbie Laws, Tim Williams, Steve Pineo, and others, this blues extravaganza should prove popular.

The Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society is pleased to bring to Red Deer’s Elks Lodge Nova Scotia’s popular The Spinney Brothers on Oct. 23. Tickets on sale at 53rd Street Music, Parkland Mall, The Key Hole, and Jackson’s Pharmasave in Innisfail. As this will be the final Waskasoo Bluegrass concert, bluegrass fans should be eager to attend this concert.

Blues-rock with the Johnny Winter Band at the Memorial Centre on Oct. 13; British Columbia’s David Gogo opens.

This week’s disc reviews:

Cam Penner

Gypsy Summer

During the past decade, Cam Penner has consistently written and released albums of depth and precision.

The characters Penner inhabits give voice to those who drive gravel roads crisscrossing the dark edges of one stoplight towns.

In Penner’s stark settings, obligation interferes with romance, late night driving serves as therapy, and the only thing keeping demons at bay is the threat of blue lights in the rearview mirror.

On his bright sounding fifth album’s lead track, Driftwood, Penner sings “And all we got to do, is keep diggin’ the dark until the sun shines through,” while concluding, “It’s goin’ to get worse, but it’s gonna get better.” This dichotomy of hopefulness strengthened by desperation, of frustration met by gentleness, may provide the album’s core theme.

Each of his song captures a bit of something impressive, a mixture of colourful words, apposite music, and instrumentation attuned to the nuances of the emotions and possibilities Penner explores.

For almost 45 minutes, Gypsy Summer allows listeners to be swept into a challenging and elaborately decorated community of roots music, one where Penner’s large, controlled voice serves as judge, jury, and accused.

Saskia and Darrel


Darrel Delaronde and Saskia Overbeek have been quietly making prairie roots music for many years, frequently touring with Gary Fjellgaard while making their own mark from a Saskatchewan base.

Accompanied by Canadian instrumental icon Steve Dawson as well as Nolan Murray, Bill Hicks, and Thomas Kinzel, the duo have created a pleasant, literate offering of story- and experience-based songs that comfortably cross genre lines. Murray’s fiddling, in particular, is quite appealing.

War Bride offers a perspective of post-war Canada; Summerside captures longing for a Prince Edward Island home; and Sam Kelley explores a Canadian connection to the wild-west through the story of the Big Muddy outlaw. Not everything is folk-heavy — Goin’ to Town is a frivolous song for the working week and even Dundarave, a song of missing home, maintains a balance avoiding melancholy. Eleventh Hour is a welcome addition to the Remembrance Day canon.

Delaronde’s voice is most enjoyable as he shares tales while Saskia explores higher reaches; together, the pair establishes a formidable vocal dynamic.

With Fjellgaard , the duo visits Red Deer on Saturday evening.

Donald Teplyske is a local freelance writer who contributes a twice-monthly column on roots music; visit for additional reviews. If you know a roots music event of which he should be aware, contact him at

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