This husband-and-wife duo is a true partnership of kindred musical spirits, each a world-class musician in their own right. Combining their unique backgrounds from Verch’s native Ottawa Valley and Walters’ heartland roots in Kansas, their music showcases endless creativity and versatility—transitioning effortlessly from traditional Ottawa Valley step dancing and fiddle tunes, to old-time fiddle-banjo duets with tight-knit vocal harmonies, to innovative sandpaper foot percussion, all contrasted against Verch’s sweet soprano voice.
Verch and Walters began playing together in 2007 when Walters joined the April Verch Band as their bassist. Initially formed as a pickup band centered around Verch’s own fiddle and dance stylings in 2000, the band grew and blossomed into an established trio of world-class musicians, spanning several musical traditions and backgrounds, yet all united in their mission to share the music they love. Together they have traveled to four continents, performed in 14 countries, and played everywhere from tiny pubs and dusty festival workshops all the way to legendary stages such as the Kennedy Center and the Ryman Auditorium. In 2018—fittingly amidst their ever-busy tour schedule, April and Cody were married.
During the COVID lockdowns in 2020, the couple began performing as a duo out of necessity, and learned firsthand that sometimes art born of necessity can yield unexpectedly beautiful results. They developed new material, arrangements and a concert performance that hum with the ease and playfulness that can only be cultivated through deep understanding and trust—as musicians and as partners.
Verch’s delicate voice, energetic footwork, foot percussion and stunning playing (sometimes combined all at once) are jaw-dropping. Walters’ melodic banjo stylings, solid rhythm guitar accompaniment and tasteful vocal harmonies are at once understated and brilliant, dueting with Verch’s skills in harmony.
Even now, after more than two decades leading her own band and with 14 albums in her name (two of which were nominated for JUNO Awards, among other honors), there is nothing that fulfills Verch or gives her more joy than playing and sharing her music with the world. “It’s like the reward for everything else,” she said.
“April Verch was one of the GNWCA’s first shows to bring to our region a number of years ago and we’ve welcomed her back to the delight of our audience a number of times since,” said President Charlie Jordan of the GNWCA. “We are delighted to have April and Cody help kick off the our 2022 show season of headline performers at the Great North Woods Center for the Arts in Columbia.”
Tickets are $20 per person—with discounts for children–and available at gnwca.org until May 19, and at the door on the night of the show. For more information, call 603-246-8998.