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Canadian bluegrass band to perform in NY Mills

Bluegrass sensation, April Verch (fiddler, singer, stepdancer), will be putting on a hot concert for a cold winter night at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center on Friday, Jan. 13 at 7:30 pm. She will be joined by her bandmates, Cody Walters on claw hammer banjo and upright bass, and Hayes Griffin on guitar. Together, they are the April Verch Trio

Critics say April Verch doesn't just perform music, she exudes it. The internationally renowned Canadian has a passion for performing; her goal is to touch the lives of those who are listening at any given moment.

"The world is this amazing puzzle that we can't fully understand, and music is the joy that pulls it all together and helps us make sense of it," says Verch.

Dirk Powell, a multi-instrumentalist who's worked with Jack White, Joan Baez, Riverdance and the film Cold Mountain, is awed by Verch's ability to play any kind of roots music as though it was her native tongue.

"She's so fluent in the language of music that she never needs to imitate," Powell says. "She hears the heart of it and lets that become part of her core. April's just got that, man; she's always speaking the language for real. She is a rare mix of all the technique and super-flashy things, along with the deep soul and tradition that comes from having grown up with the music."

On her eighth CD, "That's How We Run," Verch explores the southern mountain traditions known as old time music, but always brings her northern roots with her.

Verch was born to traditional music, in Canada's hard-working, hard-dancing Ottawa Valley. She was a local star at four, step dancing with her sister and winning awards at contests.

Verch became the first woman in history to win both of Canada's most prestigious fiddle championships, the Grand Masters and Canadian Open; and when Canada hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, she was asked to represent her country's music at the opening ceremonies.

Ottawa Valley music is a foot-stomping, open-minded fusion of Irish, Scottish, French, German, and Polish influences, sprinkled with tangy spices of American country music.

Admission is $15 advance sale and $18 at the door. Student admission is $8. Call 218-385-3339 to reserve a ticket.