While Verch has performed for the GNWCA several times, this will be the first for Newberry.
Growing up, Joe Newberry and April Verch absorbed traditions of home and hearth–in his Missouri Ozarks and her Ottawa Valley of Canada. Although they are on the road much of the year, the two musicians are fond of saying that they are rarely homesick, because their music means they always have a bit of home with them wherever they go.
Joe Newberry comes from a family of singers and dancers. He took up the guitar and banjo as a boy and learned fiddle tunes from great Missouri fiddlers. April Verch grew up listening to her Dad’s country band play for dances in the Ottawa Valley. She started step dancing at age three and fiddling at age six. In a Newberry and Verch show, audiences see first-hand the roots of their music, their love of performing, and their strong musical connection. Lively fiddle and banjo numbers combine with traditional dance steps to illustrate happy times when people made their own fun.
Known around the world for his clawhammer banjo playing, Newberry is also a powerful guitarist, singer and songwriter. The Gibson Brothers’ version of his song “Singing As We Rise,” featuring guest vocalist Ricky Skaggs, won the 2012 IBMA “Gospel Recorded Performance” Award. With Eric Gibson, he shared the 2013 IBMA “Song of the Year” Award for “They Called It Music.” A longtime guest on "A Prairie Home Companion," he was a featured singer on the Transatlantic Sessions 2016 tour of the U.K., and at the Transatlantic Session’s debut at Merlefest in 2017.
Before launching her professional career, Verch was the first woman to win both the Canadian Grand Masters and Canadian Open Fiddling Championships. In 2000, she formed The April Verch Band, and together they have toured the world, performing in 18 different countries. She has released 14 solo recordings to date, receiving JUNO, Canadian Folk Music and Independent Music nominations and awards for several of those releases.
Ever since Newberry and Verch met, and discovered a musical spark that few can match, they have toured across North America, Europe, and the U.K., including Nova Scotia’s signature festival Celtic Colours International Festival, the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in New York state, and Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Scotland. Their CD, “Going Home,” was released to wide acclaim in 2018. In 2021 they released “On This Christmas Day,” an album to accompany their annual Holiday Cheer Tours.
Whether it is the power of two voices lifted in harmony or the sound of traditional tunes calling people to get up and move, these two masters of tradition put on an unforgettable show. And, when their feet kick up the dust in perfect rhythm and those two voices become one.
Advance tickets for this concert are on sale at gnwca.org or will be available at the door on the night of the show. This will be a GNWCA coffeehouse concert, with coffee, tea, hot apple cider, and snacks available as part of the admission price of $20. For more information, call 603-246-8998.