Fiddling trio steps up for season opener
Music: Belle Starr to perform for Beneath the Arch Concert Series Sept. 14
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 09:03 am
Foothills residents need not fear Belle Starr’s arrival in Turner Valley this weekend.
It’s not the notorious American outlaw who will steal the show, but fiddlers Miranda Mulholland, Kendel Carson and Stephanie Cadman performing an evening of foot-stomping fiddling at the Flare ‘n’ Derrick Community Hall on Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
The Beneath the Arch Concert Series is bringing the trio to Turner Valley to liven the music scene for concertgoers in its first performance of the season, according to selection committee chairperson Suzanne Searle.
“They are really hot-shot fiddle players,” she said. “They’ve been in the business quite a long time. They are very talented.”
Searle had most of the year’s performers booked by March, but was unsure who to have open the season. That’s when an idea struck her.
“I thought, I’m going to look for something that is female dominated because the season was a bit man heavy and there are so many talented women in Canada,” she said. “I looked at my short list and there they were.”
Not having watched Belle Starr live, Searle said she was impressed with the trio’s videos and was confident they would bring a unique dynamic to the season opener.
“At Beneath the Arch we are always looking for balance and a varied presentation for the audience with different kinds of music,” she said. “When you’ve got fiddlers a lot of it is going to be up-tempo.”
These multi-talented ladies are not just known as Belle Starr. All three perform with other musicians in various groups and each has 15 years of professional music experience.
Carson is well known in the Americana world, in part from her work with “Wild Thing” songwriter Chip Taylor; Mulholland is a member of the Great Lake Swimmers; and Cadman is a prize-winning fiddler.
Mulholland said the audience will hear a mix of original and cover songs from Belle Starr’s self-titled album released last spring.
The trio also has a secret weapon – their own champion step-dancer in Cadman.
“We use her rhythm and build songs around that,” said Mulholland. “Every once in a while she can really let loose some old style step-dancing.”
The ladies not only write their own songs, they perform covers by such legends as Bruce Springsteen and Dolly Parton. Mulholland said her favourite song on the album is Justin Rutledge’s “Be a Man.”
“There is a real vulnerability and a real strength to that song,” she said.
When putting the album together, Mulholland said they each selected their favourite songs and it all came together nicely.
“When we looked back we notice a lot of songs were written by men but we changed the perspective for a woman,” she said. “We hadn’t noticed that theme until we looked back. A lot of the ones we had done had that exact theme.”
She said the songs on the record also passed the campfire test.
“We can do them with just the guitar and singing them,” she said.
The trio was at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards in Edmonton earlier this week so they aren’t a far drive from Turner Valley. Mulholland said the foothills is an area all three love visiting.
“It’s just inspiring to be so close to the mountains,” she said. “I just played in the Canmore Folk Festival with another band I play in, The Great Lake Swimmers, and we were performing on the stage surrounded by the mountains. It was inspiring and so gorgeous.”
Just two years ago, Belle Starr was at The Scott Ranch near Longview filming Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” for one of their videos.
“It’s so beautiful there,” she said of the foothills. “You guys live in such a beautiful part of the world. We are looking forward to cruising around and seeing the mountains and horses.”
Tickets to see Belle Starr are available at Coyote Moon Cantina & Espresso Bar in Turner Valley, Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, the Millarville General Store and the Bluerock Café in Okotoks. They cost $25 for adults and $10 for children ages six to 10. Season tickets are still available at www.beneaththearch.ca