Fiddle show Friday to help church
Scott Woods returns to Barrie with a new show to help raise money for Westminster Presbyterian Church.
The concert is part of annual effort to help churches, charities and community service organizations across the country and it has raised more than $2 million over the years.
It is the one constant - the concerts change from year to year, but Woods always likes to bring back some favourites - such as trick fiddling.
He’s become known for his ability to do a front-running summersault, or walk on a barrel, and play the fiddle at the same time. He also likes to take people’s requests into consideration when planning shows.
“I listen to all the comments and take it to heart and I think about it when I put the next (tour) together,” Woods said. “I want everything to be positive.”
This year’s show will include a mix of traditional country, western swing, country gospel and oldtime fiddle tunes, played by a band of five musicians. It also includes step-dancing, some stories and some family fun.
The concert theme, Twin Fiddle Express, is named for duets with his sister Kendra Woods-Norris, who joined the band last year when she retired from teaching at an elementary school in Waterloo.
She is a multi-instrumentalist who has won the Canadian Duet Fiddle Championship title three times with her brother and they will be playing two fiddles in harmony for the show.
“She absolutely loves (being a full-time musician rather than an occasional one). She is the driving force for all of us and does all the admin stuff in the office,” said Woods, adding she also enjoys a bit of silly comedy on stage such as her Minnie Pearl routine. “We try and come up with some comedy stuff. Kendra dresses up and for the entertainment value, I tell the jokes, but I do with a straight face and she makes faces. People watch her.”
All five Woods siblings have played different instruments growing up with their classically trained parents. Their father would teach them old-time music, catchy tunes, to keep them interested and they played in a family band.
By the mid-1980s, his father started stepping back and booked shows under Scott’s name. The music changed to more fiddle tunes and country music and less Big Band. The group was also smaller the previous orchestra.
Scott, who is the youngest, started fiddling at the age of four. Since then, he’s won the Canadian Open Fiddle Contest twice, is a two-time winner of the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championship as well as fiddle entertainer of the year.
This year, he took over the task of booking all the shows and as a result, would up with the longest tour he’s ever been on. It started in Saskatchewan in mid-June and he is working his way across Canada to wind up in Germany by the end of September.
While he maintains he’s not a prolific songwriter, he has come up with some new tunes this year. Twin Fiddlin’ Express, which also has vocals, opens the show. He’s written one song in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, another swing tune for his mother, who occasionally contributes chord progressions, and Grayson’s Waltz was written for his youngest nephew.
When he’s not touring, he brings his airstream trailer to a fiddle contest in Tavistock where there a memorial trophy in honour of his father. Woods serves as a fiddle judge and also has an opportunity to catch up with some of his buddies.
The Twin Fiddle Express lands in Barrie on Friday at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 170 Steel St.
Doors open at 6 p.m., with the show starting at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for kids age six to 12, available at the Church Office, 705-728-0541 (open Wednesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to noon) as well as by calling 705733-9115.
Kendra Woods-Norris and Scott Woods will bring their Twin Fiddle Express to Westminster Prebyterian Church in Barrie on Friday.