Steady Belt laugh­ter

Buddy Wa­sis­name and the Other Fellers com­ing to Sheila NaGeira The­atre

The Compass - - SPORTS -

Af­ter 27 years on the road, nei­ther Buddy Wa­sis­name nor The Other Fellers need any in­tro­duc­tion.

They cer­tainly don’t need one in Car­bon­ear, just up the shore from Lower Is­land Cove, where Ray John­son hangs his hat when he’s not on the road.

The men­tion of their name is enough to sell out the Sheila NaGeira The­atre ev­ery time they play there.

The­atre Ad­min­is­tra­tor Linda Gal­lant says they are one of the two most pop­u­lar acts that play the venue on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Ris­ing Tide The­atre’s an­nual Re­vue is the only other show that can sell out the the­atre for as many nights.

The dy­namic mu­si­cal trio will be at the the­atre for a five-night run be­gin­ning Sept. 28. With two of those nights al­ready sold out, Gal­lant ex­pects all the shows to be sold out be­fore open­ing night.

Dur­ing a visit to The Com­pass last week, Ray John­son re­called they started out with one show at the NaGeira The­atre, which opened in 1998, and their run in Car­bon­ear has evolved into five nights to meet the grow­ing de­mand for seats.

Ev­ery year and a half the group pro­duces a brand new show and takes it on the road.

Steady Belt is the ti­tle of their lat­est themed show, which they will bring to the Sheila NaGeira stage later this month.

De­scrib­ing the show as a mix­ture of new ma­te­rial along with some old favourites, John­son prom­ises that au­di­ences are in for a treat.

He said Buddy (Kevin Black­more) will present some comedic pieces about New­found­lan­ders strik­ing it rich in Al­berta and com­ing home in a Cal-ga-ary cow­boy hat for a re­al­ity check.

Wayne Chaulk, ar­guably the most se­ri­ous mem­ber of the group, will de­liver some old favourites in­clud­ing Salt Wa­ter Joys, along with some new ma­te­rial.

John­son noted Salt Wa­ter Joys and Sara are two of their most re­quested songs.

John­son him­self will take au­di­ences back to his roots on the North Shore of Con­cep­tion Bay with some recita­tions. He will also take peo­ple back to the old com­mu­nity hall dances by play­ing parts of seven dif­fer­ent tunes that were tra­di­tion­ally played for square dances. Promis­ing not to play the full tunes, John­son says he plans to take five to seven min­utes to run through parts of all the tunes, which would nor­mally take about 25 min­utes to play out.

John­son told The Com­pass band mem­bers spend 60-70 per cent of their time on the road tour­ing. “ The rest is fam­ily time along with record­ing and writ­ing,” he said.

Con­sid­er­ing the amount of time they spend trav­el­ling around the prov­ince and across Canada, one might think they would get tired of the road. When asked if he ever gets sick of it, John­son re­sponds al­most be­fore the ques­tion is out. “ No, never,” he replies, adding they are al­ways find­ing in­spi­ra­tion for new ma­te­rial and look for­ward to ev­ery show.

Ray John­son, Kevin Black­more and Wayne Chaulk, col­lec­tively known as Buddy Wa­sis­name and The Other Fellers will be at the Sheila NaGeira The­atre in Car­bon­ear later this month for a five-night run.

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