Shelburne Free Press
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Export date: Tue Nov 13 16:58:48 2018 / +0000 GMT

Musician Bruce Ley talks about his band at Trinity Church




By Marni Walsh

The first of two music concerts led by musician Bruce Ley was held on the beautiful sanctuary stage at Trinity United Church on October 20th. The ‘group of seven' performed all together for the first time Friday night to a very lucky audience of Country music fans for the benefit of the church and community.


“For me, a good Country band is like a luxury liner,” says Bruce. “It's big, smooth, rich sounding, and never harsh. Because of the economics of music these days, it's hard to find a band large enough to really play the music properly. It was a joy to all the musicians, and I think to the audience, to experience the music at the level it was played last Friday night.”


The second concert “Country Classics,” sponsored by Primrose United Church, will be held at Grace Tipling Hall at 7 pm on Friday, November 24th. Tickets for this concert are $15 and are available from Holmes Music and Appliances, Caravaggio IDA, or members of Primrose United Church. As well, Trinity's Annual Roast Beef Dinner will be held November 3rd from 4:30 pm to 7pm at the church on Owen Sound Street - tickets are $17 each.


Friday night's Country Band included local musician and songwriter Gary Heaslip on vocals and bass; Kristin Scott on vocals and acoustic guitar; Ian Leith on fiddle; Scott Bruyea on drums; Fred Smith on electric and acoustic guitar; Ollie Strong on pedal steel guitar; and Bruce Ley on the piano.


“The concert was wonderful,” says Reverend Candice Bist Trinity's interim minister and Bruce Ley's wife. “The professional band that backed up Gary and Kristin love playing, and loved playing together. I have a feeling we will be re-assembling that same back up band for future endeavours.”


“Both Ollie Strong and I played on the Tommy Hunter show, although at different times,” says Bruce. “Ollie played on Gordon Lightfoot's first recording done in Nashville. We have both worked with legendary Country artists, and although we have similar backgrounds and have seen each other in airports, we had never worked together before. It was a real treat for me to have him in the band.”


Ian Leith is a five times Canadian Open Fiddle Champion.  And, once again, although Bruce was aware of Ian, he had never played with him, or even met him.  On Friday evening, happy to be together on stage, Bruce says they “did a lot of grinning at each other.”


In the last couple of years, Bruce has spent a lot of hours touring with Fred Smith, and says they have built a very comfortable relationship. “Fred is a very fine guitar player who has played with a ton of rock and roll and country artists - from Chuck Berry to Vince Gill,” says Bruce.


Bruce only wishes he could play more live dates with his favourite drummer to record with, Scott Bruyea, who joined him on stage at the concert. Unfortunately, schedules get in the way. “It is always a treat when Scott is taking charge of the groove,” says Bruce.


Another incredibly talented musician from the area, Kristin Scott, led the vocals Friday night.  “Kristen comes from the royal line of Country music in Canada,” says Bruce. Her parents are Country singers Audie and Gordon Henry. “Kristin has her mother's gifted vocals, and you just can't beat that,” says Rev. Bist. “I've heard about her family for decades,” says Bruce. “Kristin is a real country singer. When she gets into a song, it kind of tears my heart out. It's hard to describe, but anyone who was in the audience on Friday, will know what I mean,” he says.


“Everyone knows Gary Heaslip,” says Bruce, and pretty much everyone loves him too, or at least that is the reaction from the audience. He is funny. He is smart. He is kind. He is also a fabulous singer, I can't really think of a more authentic country bass player,” says Bruce. “He is a truly gifted musician.”


For Bruce, whose over 50 year career is filled with musical achievements…he was just “really happy to be part of it.” He says, “It will be a personal highlight for a long time.”


The Country Concerts support Trinity and Primrose United Churches which bring substantial, local ministries under their umbrella including Partera Peacebuilders International, First Line for Syria, and Souphaus. For more information on the concerts or Roast Beef Dinner call Trinity Church at 519-925-2233 or 519-925-2397 for Primrose United Church.

Post date: 2017-10-27 13:33:40
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