Country Jukebox offers taste of Grand Ole Opry
News - April 18, 2012 Edition
Playhouse favourite Leisa Way and her fabulous Wayward Wind Band have wowed audiences with their live tributes to Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton. Their upcoming country concert, Country Jukebox, running May 2-13 at Upper Canada Playhouse, promises to give audiences more than their money’s worth by performing hit songs from no less than 25 famous country stars.
It will be like the Grand Ole Opry.
Way and her talented band of musicians and singers will perform the greatest hits from one of the biggest line-ups of country stars you’ll ever find in one show.
“I think this will be their best concert yet. There’s so much in it,” said artistic director Donnie Bowes. “Folks really liked the Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton shows, but this time the show is packed with fabulous music from everyone’s favourite singers. There’s such a variety of hit songs, that it’s hard to know where to start.”
Among others, the concert will feature renditions of famous duos and hits from the likes of Roy Orbison, k.d. lang, Shania Twain, Bryan White, Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Brooks & Dunn, Everly Brothers, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette and George Jones.
In addition to all these great classics, Leisa and the Band will perform the world premier of a new Ray Mercey song from the Mercey Brothers written just for this concert.
Star Leisa Way’s career has taken her to theatres across North America and in 50 other nations. She toured the Charlottetown Festival’s Anne of Green Gables as Anne, in performances which included the British Royal Family.Her Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton concerts have played in countless theatres since appearing here at Upper Canada Playhouse. She is an extraordinary talent.
Like Way, the members of her band are all stellar musicians and singers.
Musical director and pianist Bruce Ley, was with the Tommy Hunter and the Ronnie Prophet shows. He has worked with such greats as Don Everly, Chet Atkins and Brenda Lee. He is also the composer of music for television including Polka Dot Door and Sesame Street.
Drummer Dave Wilson has performed in some of Toronto’s biggest musicals, from Miss Saigon to Mama Mia, Les Mierables to Beauty and the Beast. He has also written music for Ellen DeGeneres and the Tyra Banks show.
Kim Ratcliffe, guitarist, has worked with artists like Colm Wilkinson, David Clayton Thomas and Sharon, Lois and Bram. He has also performed with top dance bands and in Dirty Dancing, Chicago and Hairspray.
Randall Kempf on bass, has a 30 year association with Sylvia Tyson, and has also performed with such greats as Buffy St. Marie, George Streit, Johnny Paycheck and Emmylou Harris. He’s worked in rock and roll, rhythm and blues, folk and country and is well known in radio and t.v.
Aaron Solomon, who played Johnny Cash in last year’s hit concert, Johnny and June, will also be joining Leisa Way for Country Jukebox. An accomplished fiddler, banjo and guitar player, Solomon has worked with such diverse artists as Shania Twain, Jeff Healy, George Hamilton IV and in over 300 recording sessions.
It’s safe to say that the Playhouse has something mighty special in store with this incredible line-up of talent coming to the stage May 2. “It’s amazing the combined total of experience and talent that’s represented in these concerts,” Bowes said. “Having these talented artists join us each May to kick off our summer season has been a real thrill.”
If you’re a country music fan or just a plain music fan, there will be something for everyone at this blockbuster run of Country Jukebox, starring Leisa Way.
Audiences are advised to book early at 613-543-3713, 1-877-550-3650 or uppercanadaplayhouse.com.
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