Her­bert’s Steeple­jack Fes­ti­val fea­tures out­stand­ing tal­ent

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - NEWS - Con­trib­uted

There’s a South Wind mu­si­cal fore­cast for Steeple­jack’s Avail­able Tal­ent Cabaret in Her­bert on Satur­day Aug. 10.

Steeple­jack Fes­ti­val’s 2019 Avail­able Tal­ent Cabaret at St. Pat’s Church in Her­bert, Sask. will fea­ture a newly formed mu­si­cal group called South Wind. Brought to­gether by singer Lau­reen Kress and song­writer­mu­si­cian Mark Penner, the group in­cludes bassist Ed Doyle and Gord Nodge, on banjo and man­dolin.

The rest of the lineup will de­pend on who’s avail­able and ready to per­form that night. Ad­mis­sion to the cabaret is a $10 do­na­tion or a song (or poem or story).

Coun­try singer and award-win­ning bar­rel racer Lau­reen Kress sold her racing horses a few years ago and re­placed them with three mules.

She in­sists her mules aren’t stub­born, just cau­tious.

“They take care of them­selves,” she said, “and that’s why they take care of you.”

Kress, who grew up in the far south of Saskatchew­an, near a lit­tle town called Bracken, close to the Mon­tana bor­der. But she spent most of her adult life in the Saskatoon area and has re­cently moved to an acreage near Waldeck, Sask, with her hus­band, Joe, and their mules.

Since then she has been get­ting ac­quainted with the lo­cal mu­sic scene. And now she has co-founded a group called South Wind.

Kress comes from a large, mu­si­clov­ing fam­ily, she said, and first ap­peared on stage in a Christ­mas con­cert, at the age of 4, with her sis­ter. She has three sis­ters, four broth­ers.

Now a grand­mother of seven, Kress is de­ter­mined to get her mu­si­cal ca­reer on track. Thus far, she only has one CD, self-pro­duced for her fam­ily.

When she ap­peared at the Lyric Theatre Open Stage about a year and a half ago, three lo­cal mu­si­cians pro­vided the back up: Mark Penner, Gord Nodge and Ed Doyle.

“They didn’t know me from a hole in the ground then,” she said. “But we just kept get­ting to­gether.”

Thus far, their most high-pro­file gig was per­form­ing in the 2019 Saskatchew­an Telemir­a­cle broad­cast singing the heart-wrench­ing If I Needed You by Townes Van Zandt fa­mously recorded by Don Wil­liams and Em­my­lou Har­ris.

At the time they called them­selves Lau­reen Kress and Friends. But she wasn’t happy with that, so she came up with South Wind. Her gen­res are Old Coun­try and blue­grass. Penner, a singer/song­writer with six al­bums to his credit, leans more to­ward folk/roots and the blues.

Kress has be­gun writ­ing her own songs and hopes to launch a new al­bum, with the help of Penner who runs his own record­ing stu­dio in Her­bert. He has helped many fel­low singers and song­writ­ers, of­fer­ing backup in one way or an­other.

With free ad­mis­sion for per­form­ers, sur­prises are par for the course at the Avail­able Tal­ent Cabaret. (Lo­cal ac­tor and Her­bert Town Coun­cil­lor Iian Dun­bar has al­ready signed on.). There are door prizes, too.

*Steeple­jack presents The Avail­able Tal­ent Cabaret with South Wind, Satur­day Aug. 10 at St. Pat’s Church in Her­bert Sask. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. For reser­va­tions or to sign up to per­form call 306-784-2689 or email [email protected]

Photo con­trib­uted

Her­bert Steeple­jack fes­ti­val will fea­ture coun­try singer and award-win­ning bar­rel racer Lau­reen Kress.

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