Oh My Darling’s first Revelstoke experience was a fairly typical one. They were on their way to Canmore for a show last year when – naturally – the highway shut down. Not wanting to make the 10 hour detour, they pulled into town and started asking around about playing a show.
They wound up playing a last minute gig at the Last Drop. “We ended up having a great night and now we have all these connections in Revelstoke and we’re so happy to play not one, but two shows in Revelstoke,” said lead singer Vanessa Kuzina.
Oh My Darling is an all-female old-time country band from Winnipeg consisting of Kuzina on guitar, Allison de Groot on banjo, Rosalyn Dennett on fiddle and Marie-Josee Dandeneau on upright bass. They all sing.
The quartet formed four years during a cold January.
“Winnipeg January is traditionally a pretty harsh month but I think that’s a big part of what inspires the music community in Winnipeg to get together and be creative during that time,” said Kuzina.
De Groot came up with the idea for an all female old-time country band and she, Kuzina and Dandeneau started playing together. Eventually they recruited Dennett to play fiddle and the band was born.
All four members of Oh My Darling come from musical background. Kuzina said she listened to Canadian folk and classic country growing up; Dennett’s mother played fiddle and she started playing it as a little girl; de Groot’s step father played bluegrass guitar; and Dandenau’s family always had musical parties.
They describe their music as “Prairie roots mixed with bluegrass, Appalachian old time, southern twang, and Franco-folk.”
The bands self-titled 2009 debut EP won the Western Canadian Music Award for Best Roots Album. Their first full length, In Lonesome House, was released in 2010 and topped the national campus roots chart.
Last year they released their newest album Sweet Nostalgia, which they are currently touring through Western Canada. When I spoke to Kuzina last week, the band was in between Regina and Saskatoon on the first day of its tour.
“We’re on the first day of the tour right now and it feels like we’ve already been on the road for a while. We’re all set up quite comfortable,” she said, adding, “I just got faces from my bandmates.”
Oh My Darling spend a lot of time on the road. They’ve criss-crossed Canada and last they made their first trip to Europe, playing more than 50 shows in two months, ranging from small cafes to big folk festivals.
“There was a real pinnacle moment – on Canada Day we got to play in London, England, in Trafalgar Square,” said Kuzina.
This year, in addition to the current western Canada tour, the band will also be returning to Europe for 2.5 months and playing the Canadian folk festival circuit this summer.
“We find our second home is on the road,” said Kuzina.
Oh My Darling is playing at the day lodge at Revelstoke Mountain Resort at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 22.; and again at the Big Eddy Pub at 8 p.m. as part of the StokeFM Frostbite music series. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door.