Growing up, musicians Joe Newberry and April Verch absorbed traditions of home and hearth - in his Missouri Ozarks and her Ottawa Valley of Canada. The holidays have always been a special time for both, with traditions of home and family, festive decorations, gifts under the tree, and always…. music. So now, each year the duo sets out in a modern day sleigh (with four-wheel drive) to perform their eagerly anticipated holiday tour. Original songs join timeless hymns. Stories warm the heart and give a twinkle to the eye. Lively fiddle and banjo numbers combine with traditional dance steps to illustrate happy times when people made their own fun at holiday time, and all year long. Make your holiday concert list, and check it twice… Newberry and Verch are coming to town!
Joe Newberry grew up in a family full of singers and dancers. He took up the guitar and banjo as a teenager and learned fiddle tunes from great Missouri fiddlers. April Verch grew up listening to her Dad’s country band play for dances in the Ottawa Valley. She started step dancing at age three and fiddling at age six. Both Newberry & Verch became masters of their traditions and tour the world with their respective bands and projects. Yet they never forget the roots of their music, that connection to the people in the audience, on the dance floor, to the community sparked by a good song.
For these veteran performers who come from distinct traditions and parts of the world, their collaboration is fueled by their kindred passion for bringing people together to celebrate traditional music. Blues and ballads stem into Canadian regional styles and originals. Their voices blend in harmony, their tasteful instrumentals prove that these masters have nothing left to prove, and then their feet kick up the dust in perfect rhythm…and together, they make you remember why this music existed in the first place.