New Country Rehab – Tickets – World Cafe Live Philadelphia – Upstairs – Philadelphia, PA – April 15th, 2015

New Country Rehab

New Country Rehab

April Verch Band

Wed · April 15, 2015

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

World Cafe Live Philadelphia - Upstairs

This event is all ages

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New Country Rehab
New Country Rehab
New Country Rehab cuts through the clutter of watered-down musical imitations with a modern, high-voltage, alt-country sound. Combining sharp innovation and a deep respect and knowledge of timeless musical themes and motifs, New Country Rehab’s powerful music is full of love, loss, longing and joy. They are ”more Arcade Fire than Lady Antebellum…like Canada’s answer to the Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons” Nigel Williamson, UNCUT ( Jan. 2012)

Spearheaded by lead singer and fiddle player John Showman joined by Anthony da Costa on guitar, Ben Whiteley on double bass and Roman Tomé on drums and backing vocals, the Toronto based collective is ”poised to be the next big thing in Canadian music” Tom Power, CBC Radio. Growing audiences in Canada, the U.S. And Europe are responding to New Country Rehab’s infectious love and enthusiasm for the music they are playing. The band make it, ”super accessible, not only to fans of roots/folk/country, but even to the broader, less country inclined audience” (Josef Jensen, Indie Artist Podcast)

This artistic vision and original writing has earned the respect of many critics, ”a debut that demonstrates class” ( and welcome receptions of audiences, ”…even with the deep pool of technical talent here, the focus is on maintaining a mood over all else”( Maverick magazine’s Russell Hill describes the band’s sound as ”Successfully merging the old and new in a rambunctious way”and describes the band as having”their feet planted firmly on the ground, this Canadian band has the right intentions and there is to be no stopping them.” (March 2012)

Their 2011 debut, self-titled album was received with glowing and international praise by reviewers. The group blends lyrical sensibility and musical focus to produce exceptional original songs. From the first track, Angel of Death, ”…fiddle and [vocal] harmonies take us back to the past, but modern guitars and pedals still explode into huge choruses that jump-start the songs and help the band standout” (Bryan Acker, The haunting mood of Cameo, a contemplative tale of escape and redemption, provides a beautiful contrast to the gritty tale of a gambler’s endgame, The Last Hand, a rollicking interplay of fiddle and guitar riffs underpinned by driving bass and percussion that builds relentlessly to the violent climax and denouement of the story. Not afraid to show it’s influences, New Country Rehab takes the Hank Williams, Sr. classic Ramblin’ Man, chews it up and spits it out as an eerie, dub-drenched trip through a mournful latin groove. The group reinvents Bruce Springsteen’s seminal State Trooper with police sirens and jarring, distorted hooks to imbue it with ”…a menace even the original struggles to match”Andy Fyfe, Q Magazine Jan. 2012. Recorded by Roots and Indie-Rock producer, Chris Stringer (Obijou and Timber -Timbre) NEW COUNTRY REHAB highlights the group’s original compositions and deep musical palette.
April Verch Band
April Verch Band
Fiddler, singer, and stepdancer April Verch knows how relevant an old tune can
be. She grew up surrounded by living, breathing roots music—her father’s
country band rehearsing in the “Newpart,” the beloved Verch family room; the
lively music at church and at community dances; the tunes she rocked out to
win fiddle competitions—and decided early she wanted to be a professional
She took that leap, and has been quietly leaping into new, nuanced places for
more than two decades. Moving from exuberant stepdancer to fiddle
wunderkind and silver-voiced singer, Verch may still spend many a fond hour
rehearsing in the Newpart, when at home and not on tour, but like tradition
itself, she has never been content to stand still. “When you really know and love
this music,” Verch reflects, “you want to go deeper, to bring out new
dimensions, without straying too much into novelty.”
Now on her milestone 10th album The Newpart (release: April 7, 2015), with
producer Casey Driessen, Verch digs deep into songs and tunes from the era
before the often-mined mid-century heyday of bluegrass and folk. Harkening
back to vaudeville and beyond, Verch and her fellow trio members pare down
their arrangements, highlighting the simple pleasures of upright bass, guitar,
clawhammer banjo, mandolin, voices, fiddle, and stepping in intimate
conversation. At the heart lie Verch’s delicate voice, energetic footwork, and
stunning playing, a trifecta of talents she brings together simultaneously for the
first time on stage and on The Newpart. It all works to insist that, “these songs
don’t need to be revived,” Verch exclaims. “They are timeless. They are still very
much alive and relevant.”
The album’s title pays tribute to a special space in the Verch family home, where
old meets new. The house, a one-room schoolhouse her parents attended,
received a new addition the same year Verch was born. It was dubbed “The
Newpart." With the exception of the large collection of trophies April and her
sister won for their music and dancing, it hasn’t changed much over the years,
right down to the 70's shag carpet. To Verch, it’s the perfect symbol of family,
tradition, and music, the things she values most: “It’s the place we gather to
jam, to practice songs for family baptisms, funerals, and weddings. It’s where I
practiced countless hours and wrote many tunes, including the songs on this
album. It’s where we take family pictures, visit and entertain our guests. It’s the
most special place in the house, the scene of my most cherished memories.”
Many years ago, Verch was up on stage at the county fiddlers’ monthly dance
event in her native Ottawa Valley. She was a darling among the fiddlers there, a
cute kid who could play beautifully, and the more seasoned players encouraged
her. But April noticed something: “When I played a waltz, even though I had
decent tone and technique, the floor didn’t fill up. At the urging of my Dad, I
began to listen to the way elder fiddlers played, and watched how, even if they
were a little scratchy, they got people dancing.”Verch marked that lesson well, even as she plays with the tradition she
inherited. She keeps the community-fired celebratory side of her music at the
forefront, honing a keen awareness of how to engage contemporary listeners.
With ten albums and years of touring under her belt, Verch has moved from
upstart prodigy to mature and reflective songwriter, interpreter, and storyteller.
Verch’s inspiration often comes from unexpected quarters: the mix made by a
dedicated fan or regional music aficionado (how Verch discovered many of great
Old-Time American tunes in her repertoire), a field recording played in the tour
van that left Verch and her two trio-mates (guitarist Hayes Grifn and banjo/
bassist Cody Walters) dumbstruck. The rough blues gems, the ballads with
roosters crowing and dinner cooking in the background: Old recordings often
touch Verch, Grifn, and Walters profoundly.
Yet Verch never forgets the roots of her music, that connection to the people
out there in the audience, on the dance floor, to the community sparked by a
good song. It’s about doing less to engage more. “I’ve lived with these songs
and tunes, and my job is to get out of the way and let them hit the listener. To
let them shine on their own and to leave space for interpretation,” Verch muses.
“It’s all about touching people, about bringing them together in a community to
celebrate music. I’ve understood that better and better as time has passed: how
to take this music that is at the center of my life, and make it live and breathe
for other people.”
Venue Information:
World Cafe Live Philadelphia - Upstairs
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104