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L.A. Beat

The Derina Harvey Band turn the Slice into a big kitchen party

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Edmonton’s merry band of transplanted Maritimers, the Derina Harvey Band made a long awaited return to the Slice, Friday, Sept. 24.

Derina Harvey and Jessica Blenis at the Slice, Sept. 24. Photo by Richard Amery

They play here every two years and always bring a kitchen party to the floors of the Slice to an enthusiastic audience.


 I bought the eighth ticket on Wednesday, and was concerned about the turnout, however, last minute Lethbridge came through again for this show.


I only caught one set, but should have stayed for the whole show.


 I arrived as they were tearing up a hot version of Steve Earle’s “Galway Girl,” which is also on their second CD “Rove and Go.” The band, featuring lead singer/rhythm guitarist Derina Harvey, drummer Steve Pinsent, lead guitarist Scott Greene, bassist Ed Smith and fiddle phenom Jessica Blenis, followed that up with a “sociable“ and tearing up “Whiskey in the Jar.” Everybody adding vocal harmonies making for a stunning experience.


 Most of their set came from that CD and it was mostly revved up versions of traditional Celtic favourites, most of them powered by  fine finger flying fiddle playing from Jessica Blenis.


 They slowed things  down, just a touch, for a pretty cover of  the Pogues’ “Dirty Old Town.” But they picked up the tempo quickly, with the audience enthusiastically  whopping and hollering and dancing up a storm.

 They had everybody singing and clapping along with Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers’ “Sarah” in between tasteful fiddle and guitar solos.


Jessica Blenis playing with the Derina Harvey band, Sept. 24. Photo by Richard amery

 They slowed things down again for the mournful “Fallen Man’s Daughter.”


 They picked up the tempo for a hot  version of “Excursion Around the Bay,” for which Harvey conducted the crowd in a rousing chorus of “Heys.”


They picked up  the frenetic pace on another crowd pleaser “Mari Mac,” which got faster with every verse and drew a lot of applause.


Blenis  seemed to be holding back, but let loose on a scorching version of bluegrass classic “Orange Blossom Special,” which I thought was the Dixie Chicks’ “Sin Wagon”  to begin with.


They ended the set on that highlight and I left for the next gig, but should have stayed, if only to hear their version of the Arrogant Worms’ “Last Saskatchewan Pirate.”

— By Richard Amery, LA. Beat editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 30 September 2021 15:33 )  
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