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10 pictures of Prairie Oyster, not one of Lindsay Pugh

"Did you get lots of pictures of that pedal steel player?" asked Lindsay Pugh at last night's Prairie Oyster show, "Will you come take pictures of me playing pedal steel?" From the moment the lights dimmed and Prairie Oyster emerged on stage for the
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"Did you get lots of pictures of that pedal steel player?" asked Lindsay Pugh at last night's Prairie Oyster show, "Will you come take pictures of me playing pedal steel?"

From the moment the lights dimmed and Prairie Oyster emerged on stage for the Algoma Fall Festival at the Best Western, the audience was transfixed.

Rightly so.

As the band played to a surprisingly diverse turn out, their brilliant blend of carefree, soaring melodies, freight-train steady rhythms and sweet, comforting harmonies, it proved that its six-year recording hiatus has in no way diminished its appeal or ability to entertain.

"They're so seasoned," said Brien Proulx, "Like good wine. Can I say 'Hi' to my mom?"

This current tour to promote their latest album One Kiss has taken Prairie Oyster from one end of the country to the other, bringing them once again to the forefront of the Canadian roots music scene and earning praise from both critics and fans alike.

Their live show covered every aspect of the country music genre from bluegrass to swing and everything in between, including a dazzling cover of Nat King Cole's Mona Lisa that would make Willie Nelson green with envy.

Joining Keith Glass (guitar), Russell deCarle (bass and vocals), Joan Besen (keyboards), John P. Allen (fiddle) and Dennis Delorme (pedal steel) was Frank Barth on guitar and trombone.

Songs like Heaven or Bust with its sleepy mellow melody featuring Barth on trombone, added a novel sound to Prairie Oyster's traditional style.

Barth's contribution to the mix added a toe-tapping country swing element that had everyone in the room bopping and dancing in the aisles, on their chairs and anywhere there was a free spot.

From the new album, Too Bad For Me showcased the unmistakable abilities of Dennis Delorme on pedal steel as listeners rolled along a dusty road in what Lindsay Pugh describes as a Bakersfield Country style.

Giving in to the hoots, hollers and a well-deserved standing ovation, Prairie Oyster delivered an encore that no one wanted to end.

Following the show, the members of the band made themselves available for autographs, pictures and conversation, leaving their fans content but hoping they return soon.






Donna Hopper

About the Author: Donna Hopper

Donna Hopper has been a photojournalist with SooToday since 2007, and her passion for music motivates her to focus on area arts, entertainment and community events.
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