A classic country music fundraiser concert sponsored by Westlake Community Society held in Rimbey recently was well attended and proved to be a real crowd pleaser.
Mel Fisher, secretary of the society said the performance by the Alberta Country Legends and the Rodeo Wind Band held at Rimbey Community Centre went over really well.
“We had over 200 people there and the comments we got were very positive.”
The musicians provided an entertaining mix of traditional country music, and kept the crowd laughing between sets with humorous antidotes and jokes.
The musicians, themselves, seem to be having a good time, and their down home type of music was toe tapping and lively.
George Myren, who is originally from Viking, but now lives in Edmonton founded the Association of Canadian Country Music Legends, and is now the band leader and its bass guitar player.
He started the band as a millennium project in 2000.
“At that time it seemed there was a void for the 40 and over crowd,” he said.
Myren is a versatile musician who not only plays several instruments; he makes and repairs them in his spare time.
A multi-talented cowboy, Myren was inducted into the Canadian Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in October 2004.
Gary Okrainec, one of Edmonton’s foremost steel guitar players and a veteran of the music scene in Canada, proved to be a crowd favorite.
Alfie Myhre got the crowd clapping with his amazing fiddle playing, also plays the banjo.
During the last 50 years, Myhre has toured in Japan, Hong Kong, London, Berlin and the USA and is a two-time winner of the Grand North American Fiddle Championship. In 1987 he received an achievement award of excellence from the Province of Alberta. He is also a recipient of the Bev Munro Award.
Singer/songwriter Pete Hicks has been with CFCW for 30 years and is the band’s base player, soundman and part time master of ceremonies.
His talent as a musician and his stories provided great entertainment.
Lead guitarist Richard Chernesky’s exceptional talent and efforts in the preservation and promotion of traditional country music won him the coveted Bev Munro Award in the spring of 2005.
Randy Hollar, a country and gospel singer, has always been a great fan of Wilf Carter’s and has been singing and yodeling Wilf’s songs for many years.
Joyce Smith, who is married to Myren is one of the first few Canadian country music artists to have a record sell well in excess of 100,000 copies in the U.S. with her hit ‘Leavin On Your Mind’ a year before Patsy Cline recorded it.
The musical talent of Tim Lent on drums and Bev Munro, who has recorded for Capital Records rounded out the talented musicians.
The concert was held to assist the Society in raising funds for a planned community centre on an 11-acre lot west of Parkland Beach.
Westlake Community Society was formed in August 2008 as a non-profit society to evaluate the need and to plan for future construction of a community/recreation complex that would serve the residents of all subdivisions in Ponoka and Lacombe counties.