Kelli Trottier: a musical love affair with the audience

Kelli Trottier

MORRISBURG – It may have been rainy and grey outside, June 17, but inside the hall at Stone Crop Acres Winery, the music was warm, lively and highly entertaining, and the big audience gathered to listen was thrilled to be there. Hall of Fame fiddler, Kelli Trottier, and her talented back up musicians and vocalists put on a Harmony concert that was sheer toe-tapping pleasure. In the course of the evening Kelli made a point of stressing the strength of her exceptional fellow performers. “The magic is in the artists who support me.”

Despite her extensive international musical honours, Kelli Trottier is easy-going and warm, and quickly established a strong connection with her listeners. She also has a sense of humour.

“When Jan Fox of Harmony Concerts asked me if I’d like to do a concert at the Winery in Morrisburg,” she laughed, “I said, ‘there’s a winery!’ Well, there is, and this is simply a beautiful spot with wonderful people. I’m thrilled to be here today.”

Kelli Trottier does not limit herself to any one style of music. Her program mixed traditional fiddle music with the unexpected, and she has a delightful singing voice. The program ranged from the beautiful, sentimental classic, ‘Loch Lomond,’ to jigs, Country style, and the bouncing, uproarious ‘Fiddle Biddle.’

One could enjoy her fiddling in the Habitant manner (“I play in French much better than I sing in French!”) and the next minute join the artist in the swing classic, ‘Sunny Side of the Street.’ She encouraged people to sing along with her (“An A+ performance from the audience!”) and even suggested that a little dancing would be just as welcome.

Certainly the crowd loved it when Kelli put on her tap shoes, and step danced to the fiddle music. Later, she performed ‘The Tennessee Waltz,’ and the crowd harmonized with her and the band. And everyone was laughing and singing to her very unique version of ‘I’m an Old Cow Hand.’

However, Kelli also demonstrated her deep emotional range during her Stone Crop concert, and her inherent feeling for the nature of music. One thoughtful and touching number was ‘Daddy’s Girl.’ And there was also a piece she wrote for her own dad, a farmer all his life, who had to eventually sell his stock, as many of our small family farms vanish: her song for him was nostalgic and truly moving. “He knew where he wanted to be/At home on the farm with his wife and family…But now the fields and hills lie empty/the grass is over grown…now he has only his memories…”

Saturday was a fun-filled concert full of good sprits and wonderful music. At one point, Kelli and her band performed a warm number called “Lucky Me!” celebrating “all the good things we have in life.”

After Saturday night’s show, most people would say, Lucky Us!, for getting to hear and see Kellie Trottier in performance in our own home town.

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