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April Verch - CD- The Newpart - In Review
Canada's Eminent fiddler, singer, stepdancer and songwriter
By John Gavin, Thursday, February 12, 2015


April Verch is Canada's eminent fiddler, singer, stepdancer and songwriter and has grown up living and breathing roots music.

With her father's country band rehearsing in the beloved Verch family room (nicknamed the THE NEWPART), the lively music at church and at community dances and the tunes she rocked out to win her fiddle competitions. She soon became aware of how musical boundaries blur and artistic vision is stretched; that tradition does not stand still, and nor would she.

Having recorded 10 albums and extensive international touring under her belt, Verch has moved from upstart prodigy to mature and reflective songwriter, interpreter, and storyteller.

On her 10th album, The Newpart, with producer Casey Driessen, Verch in step with evolving tradition, digs deep into songs and tunes from the era before the often-mined mid-century heyday of bluegrass and folk, harkening back to vaudeville and beyond. Verch exclaims that these songs don't need to be revived, they are timeless. They are still much alive and relevant.

At the heart lie Verch's delicate voice, energetic footwork, and stunning playing, and a mix of talents she brings together simultaneously on stage and on THE NEWPART. Joining April with the music onthe CD are Cody Walters (upward bass and clawhammer banjo and Hayes Griffin on guitar and mandolin while April does the fiddling, voices and stepdancing.

Here are the 14 tracks on the CD:

Belle Election - If You Hadn't Gone Away - Bring Your Clothes Back Home - The Newpart - It Makes No Difference To Me - Cruel Willie - Gilchrist - Montana Call - Polska from Kumla - Midnight Wheeler - It Don't Do Nothing But Rain - I Heard the Bluebirds Sing - Dry Bones - This Melody

Her producer for this album, was pivotal in prodding April to expand on her virtuosic stepdancing. She not only offers up her first solo footwork piece, GILCHRIST (named for Ottawa stepdancing master Donnie Gilchrist) but The NEWPART also marks the first time she fiddles, sings and steps simultaneously on record and on stage, all to jaw-dropping effect.

Just a remarkable album, and Atlantic Seabreeze rates this CD high on its rating list. The album is a masterpiece, and April really shines throughout the album.

For more information regarding April annd her music, refer to her website, posted above.