The Safety Meeting concert series held at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre continues to be a great addition to the cultural scene in Williams Lake.
On Friday and Saturday, local acts Lauren and the Yahoos and Pharis and Jason Romero offered a night of fantastic music to an appreciative sold-out crowd.
Lauren and the Yahoos, made up of Lauren Neufeld, Harry Tudor, Jin and Kevin Yang all attend Lake City Secondary and have been playing together since September.
They interchange playing various instruments and take turns being the lead singers.
“We’ve played at school and at the Medieval Fair, but this is our first official gig,” Jin smiled as he wiped his brow after they’d come off the stage.
As the young musicians gathered their collective breath and compared notes on how the songs had went, many people came up to congratulate them.
None of the songs were original, however, the guys — all in Grade 11 or 12 — have selected some great tunes that serve their abilities well to offer a nice blend of harmonies.
Judging from the choices, they’ve been researching the sounds and type of music they like, because they pulled it off beautifully.
The Romeros, fresh off touring in the UK, followed by a stint with CBC’s Vinyl Cafe, launched their newest CD A Wanderer I’ll Stay.
Several times Pharis paused to say how good it felt to be home.
“I have so much love right now for so many in this room I feel like I’m going to burst,” she said.
Pharis is a great story teller and generous with telling the audience about the things that inspire her songs.
The couple have a toddler and Pharis said she’s had to figure out how to write songs in her head while breastfeeding because there will be a time lag before she can grab a pen and paper to write them down.
When Jason grabbed the wrong banjo, and stopped to switch it, Pharis smiled.
“It’s so cool,” she told the audience. “We will be writing a new song and Jason will say he doesn’t have the right sounding banjo for that song. Then two weeks later he’ll come back from his shop with a new banjo he’s made with the right sound.”
As Jason led into singing Goodbye Old Paint, a track on the newest CD, the hair on the top of my head started to stand on its end.
At that very moment, concert series organizer Brandon Hoffman leaned toward me.
“He nails such high notes,” he whispered, to which I nodded a yes.
The Romeros, despite possessing so much talent, are very gracious.
When they received a standing ovation and a request for an encore, the two held hands and smiled.
Then stepping aside from the microphones, they sang a gorgeous song that originated from some funeral singers in the U.S.
Again, the chills were running up my spine.
If anyone’s into Easter gifts, A Wanderer I’ll Stay, would be a perfect choice.