Harmony House Theatre is truly honoured to present this Juno Award Winner and Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame inductee and his musical comrades Darrel Delaronde and Saskia Overbeek for a special night of "Prairie Folk" music. Gary is probably most known around these parts for his writing of the popular song, "Islanders, Islanders, right to the bone, how could we wander so far from our home? With our true love beside us, we are kissed by the sea, Islanders we'll always be".
For more than thirty years Gary Fjellgaard has been making a living on the road with a guitar and a song. He delights his audiences throughout North America and Europe with his masterful acoustic guitar, gentle vocals, riveting yodeling, and tales of his life in the woods. Gary takes his music to the people with a rare sincerity.
Raised on the Canadian Prairies, this award winning singer/songwriter is a champion of vanishing values and the frontier spirit. Cattle drives, wagon treks, windswept prairies, rushing rivers and working folks with ties to the land have all been a source of inspiration for his songs. His western roots music has survived categorization, and a move to Canada's West Coast has brought a universal quality to his songwriting.
Gary and his wife, Lynne, make their home on Gabriola Island on Canada's west coast. His lifelong love for his wife, their four daughters, and their many grandchildren is lovingly illustrated in many of his songs.
Gary has played with some world class musicians over the years and still calls them on occasion to augment his sound. His shows range from the intimacy of the small theatre to the excitement of main stage appearances at Canada's top festivals. He looks back on a rewarding career and gratefully acknowledges the hundreds of towns and cities, and thousands of listeners who have been touched by his music.
Saskia & Darrel are veteran musicians/songwriters/performers who have joined forces to create a dazzling musical partnership that is wowing audiences young and old wherever they play. Coming together from widely diverse backgrounds, and musical influences, they have gave birth to a new adage "Music conquers All".
Darrel Delaronde was born in the northern forests of Saskatchewan, son of a farmer and saw-miller and grew up into hard labour in a harsh climate. " I left as soon as I looked old enough to hitch-hike," he jokes. Saskia was born in the city of Utrecht, the Netherlands. She immigrated with her family to northern BC. As soon as she had mastered her new environment and language, she embarked upon a full time career in music.
Darrel began his musical journey on the rough, wood stages of small country halls, playing guitar in any band that would have him; from old-time fiddle to rock and roll. He played in rock bands all through high school, then after moving to BC, was caught up in the country-rock craze of the early seventies. Saskia sang her way into the hearts of many performing in country bands and coffee houses, singing to any one who would listen, thus honing her vocal skills into the strong, vibrant instrument that it is today. Encouraged by her friends she took up the guitar and discovered a whole new world of the singer-songwriter.
Both musicians spent their lives on the road, performing at every possible venue, their love of music overshadowing the rigors of bar-rooms, truck-stops, and cheap hotels. The music business is actually a small world, and these two found themselves crossing paths more and more, until one day they decided to play a few jobs together. It took a while for the gears to mesh, but soon realized that together they had a unique style that spoke to everyone, a tapestry of sound that encompassed many genres, wrapped up in a high-energy performance that shoots sparks across the stage for all to see. Their rich vocals and harmonies, coupled with Darrel's outrageous guitar antics, and backed up by Saskia's steady bass and penny whistles, punch out a fullness never achieved by most four-piece bands, they give off an energy you can taste in the back of your throat, like ozone from a thunder storm.
Darrel's debut CD entitled "Family Tree" is a beautiful collection of stories about ordinary people, their lives, their jobs and their dreams. Saskia's CD's: "Lady Luck", a magical new-earth epic, a mosaic of European and Canadian folk and "Saskia" a country folk album with enriching stories and love songs, are perennial favourites on the airwaves in The US, Australia, Canada and Europe. Last but not least, their "Christmas Dream" album, recorded with Gary Fjellgaard, Valdy and Nathan Tinkham, with all proceeds going to Canadian Food Banks. Watch out for their next CD, "LAURA'S KITCHEN", currently in the making; it'll melt your IPOD!!