April Verch – Steal The Blue

April Verch - Steal The BlueSteal The Blue, the seventh recording from Canadian fiddler/vocalist April Verch, was released independently on January 20.

Verch has been known for some time for her fiery fiddle playing – winning her multiple championships – and her energetic live performances, which showcase her precision step-dancing as a regular feature. Over the years, the focus has been shifting to her lovely soprano voice, and this new CD puts her singing front and center.

Steal The Blue is another success for Stephen Mougin, who co-produced with Jon Weisberger. Mougin’s name is showing up quite frequently these days in CD credits, and without fail, these projects have offered thoughtful songs, impeccable tone, and production that eschews “cleverness” in favor of letting the songs shine.

Verch and Mougin understand just how crucial it is start with great songs, and here, the songs are terrific. Other than two fine instrumental tracks – one traditional, the other original – this CD is comprised of top notch songs by some of today’s finest writers. Tim Stafford, Steve Gulley, Larry Cordle, Sarah Siskind, Ron Block, Mark Simos and Jon Weisberger are among the writers whose songs are featured.

We asked April to share her thoughts about two of the tracks, which are presented here as audio samples.

You Hurt Me All Over AgainListen now:     [http://media.libsyn.com/media/thegrasscast/hurt_me_all_over_again.mp3]

“This is one of two Tim Stafford co-writes on Steal The Blue (he wrote this one with Steve Gulley). I’m a huge fan of Tim as a musician and a composer, and I feel really fortunate to have had an opportunity to record two songs of his on this CD that hadn’t previously been cut. This is one of those classic heart-break/moving on songs that most of us can relate to in one way or another…

The harmony vocalists on this track are Melonie Cannon & Stephen Mougin, you can’t go wrong there!”

He’s Holding Onto MeListen now:     [http://media.libsyn.com/media/thegrasscast/holding_on_to_me.mp3]

“I’d like to say this one was a blast to record…but that wouldn’t be completely honest of me. As much fun as it was, part of me was so nervous I could barely play! Steal The Blue was recorded with my touring band, with the exception of this Ron Block song, which features co-producers Stephen Mougin and Jon Weisberger on guitar and bass respectively, Travis Book and Patty Mitchell on harmony vocals, Scott Vestal on banjo, and Sam Bush on mandolin!

I’ve loved this song since I first heard it on Ron’s recording and it was a thrill to try a version of my own with this all-star cast. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!”

Members of her road band include Cody Walters on bass, Clay Ross on guitar and Marc Bru on Percussion.

You can hear more audio from Steal The Blue on CD Baby and on April’s MySpace page.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.