Singers back for more

By: Tammy Rollie

  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 08:03 am

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Two voices familiar to Diamond Valley folk fans will fill the rafters once again.

Western Canadian singer/songwriters Darrel Delaronde and Saskia of the band The Great Plains are bringing their upbeat music to the Lewis Memorial United Church in Turner Valley May 25 at 2:30 p.m.

Saskia said the duo will get their audience laughing, clapping and singing along to their favourite and original folk, Celtic and bluegrass tunes.

“I hope everybody comes out,” she said last week. “We would love to see them. We are looking forward to a great time.”

Saskia is well known in Diamond Valley for her connections to such musicians as Amos Garrett, Cindy Church and Ian Tyson. Saskia and Delaronde perform in many capacities including as soloists, a duet and with area singers like Gary Fjellgaard.

The Great Plains is known for its stories about prairie culture and history from farming to Louis Riel.

While Delaronde is a Saskatchewan native, Saskia was born in Holland and grew up in Revelstoke, B.C. She now lives on Vancouver Island.

Saskia said she has always had a fondness for folk music.

“Growing up in Holland I listened to folk music,” she said. “When my friends were listening to rock-and-roll I was listening to folk music from Russia and Germany and everywhere.”

Saskia said her family was big on culture and she was influenced by the Celtic and folksy bluegrass music she heard in Canada.

“My grandmother egged me on when I was very little — she would go, ‘sing’,” she said. “My family was very musical, but I was the only professional performer in the family.”

Delaronde had a different musical background, starting with country and rock-and-roll before entering the folk scene, said Saskia.

Since coming together as musicians, Saskia and Delaronde are known for their folk tales of life in western Canadian.

“A lot of people know our original songs,” she said. “We can do something like Louis Riel and they are out there singing along. They’ve heard them for the last 12 years.”

Delaronde and Saskia’s performance in Turner Valley is part of a three-week western Canadian tour that starts on May 20. They hoped to release their newest album Cabin Fever for the tour, but expect it will be ready for their fall tour across Canada.

Some songs from the new album will be shared with their Diamond Valley audience this weekend with stories ranging from the significance of grain elevators to the prairie identity to quilting.

No performance by The Great Plains would be complete without Saskia’s yodeling. It’s a talent she calls silly and joyful that gets quite a reaction from the audience.

“When I look out and start the yodel songs, especially in a place I haven’t been yet, I get that look of disbelief,” she said. “They have a frown, then pretty soon they’re laughing and pretty soon they are clapping and howling at the end. I have always been able to yodel. For me it’s a natural thing.”

Tickets to see The Great Plains cost $15 each and are available at Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, Coyote Moon Cantina & Espresso Bar in Turner Valley or by calling 403-933-2167. To learn more about The Great Plains go to


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