Feature Story Sunday July 15, 2012
Party for the Hardy
Mother Nature threw some weather at Party in the Park but the show must go on
AJ Woodworth and Matinée perform at Party in the Park on Friday.
t was billed as Tropical Night at Party in the Park Friday. Rightfully so, since there hadn't been any rain on the park parties for almost 4 years. That stellar weather record changed on Friday the 13th when the event was hit with a sudden downpour that cleared the streets and sent most at Central Community Park packing — lawn chairs in hand.
Despite the weather hiccup, and the clouds of hungry mosquitoes, the audience returned shortly after the torrent stopped and were rewarded with an excellent show.
Young Abbotsford solo artist, Cambree Lovesy was the first on stage and put on a memorable performance showing off a powerful set of pipes during her repertoire.
Next up were the singing siblings Robyn and Ryleigh Gillespie who put on an energetic, bouncy show featuring their own blend of country-pop.
Part way through their set, the show had to be stopped for a half hour due to a heavy downpour.
During the break, the Langley-based sisters told the Voice that they have been singing since they were young girls around campfires and at school, so stage fright isn't a problem for them. They were right at home and owned the stage.
The young women hit the "bigs" when they played BC Country Music Awards and Merrit Mountain Festival and plan to be in the lineup at Rockin' River Music Festival in August.
"We're singing after The Higgins," Robyn says.
My favourite is 'Country Girl' which is probably going to be coming out this summer," added Ryleigh.
Another one of their songs is called "Stutter".
"It's a really fun song," Ryleigh says. "Some of the lyrics are like 'you g-give me butterflies'.
Since hitting the A-circuit, they've been introduced to some of the big names in Country and Western.
"We got to meet Aaron Pritchett," said Ryleigh. "We hung out a couple of times
While chatting with the sisters, one of the organizers from the 9th Annual Back2Blues Music Festival in early August approached the women about performing there as well.
Country music sensation AJ Woodworth followed the Gillespie sisters and sang the title track called "Wildcard" from her debut CD from 604 Records.
Woodworth was chosen the 2011 British Columbia Country Music Awards’ Female Artist of the Year.
At one point during her performance, Woodworth shared an endearing moment dancing alongside a trio of fans with Down's Syndrome whom she invited on to the stage.
If you missed her show Friday, she'll be playing the Abbotsford Agrifair on August 4.
The final act of the night was the five-piece alt-country-rock band called "The Matinée" from Vancouver who got extra stage time as Woodworth's backup band.
They kicked their set off with a raucous foot-stomping song "Take Me As I Am" and proceeded to tear up the stage for the remainder of the evening.
Party in the Park happens Fridays from 5 .M. to 10 P.M. until August 24 at Central Community Park at the corner of Young Rd. and Victoria Ave. in Chilliwack.
According to event organizer Desmond Devnich, Lacey & Teila, Lisa Adrianne, and Laurell are some of the acts performing this Friday and says he'll be wearing his pirate gear.
The following week, Circus Night, will feature more up and coming artists.
"On July 27th we have comedian Wayne Dahl, and bands Poppy and the Pistols, Regdy Blackout and August 3rd brings us John Ellis, Brent Lee, and Kenny Hess," says Devnich.
See more photos below.
© Copyright (c) 2012 The Valley Voice
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