Feature Story                                                                                                           Friday, July 19, 2013


A Little Bit of Country

Party in the Park No. 2 features western music

Staff/Voice photos


he woman standing next to the stage quickly scribbled something down on a pad of paper.


"Oh, You're deaf," I said.


She motioned no and wrote she'd had a stroke and lost her speech. There was nothing wrong with her hearing and she just loved country and western singers Robyn and Ryleigh Gillespie.


She held the pad up again.


"They're angels with wings."


The Gillespie sisters have been earning new fans wherever they go. Last year, they played Party in the Park and the audience loved them.


Last Friday was Pirate Night at the Coast Capital Party in the Park. The event, hosted by the Business Improvement Association, was the second of eight shows slated to run through August 23, takes place at Central Community Park at Young Rd. and Victoria Ave.

Their perky style of singing and energetic stage presence, coupled with an repertoire of fresh new songs, make their show a dynamic one—even to someone who doesn't know a lot about country and western music.

"It's been crazy. It's so full: events, our shows, interviews, getting ready for our album release on July 17th," said Ryleigh.

According to the country and western charmers, Party in the Park is one of their favourite gigs.

Their self-titled CD, called Robyn & Ryleigh, will be available soon in stores, itunes and their website.

"I'm really excited about the album release," said Robyn, adding "We just released a new single called Another Sundown."

The Langley women have been getting plenty of airtime and they're going to be showcasing their talent at the Canadian Country Music Awards.

"Then right after that, we're going to take our album to Nashville, we're going to go there for a couple of weeks," said Ryleigh.

Langley guitarist Doug Towle got the show going. He can be best described as a cross between Jose Feliciano and Santana.

He put on a stunning show with some blistering riffs and there wasn't one part of the guitar he didn't utilize. The man is sizzling hot on the git box and a must-see.

One of the songs included in Towle's repertoire was a Spanish rendition of Here Comes the Sun.

The Voice had a chance to speak briefly with Towle after his set.

Towle says was born and raised in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland and now lives in Langley. He also loves to travel.

"I'm a traveling minstrel. I've gone all over the world," he said.

With luck, you might see him playing in town in the near future.

"I'm looking at doing a couple of gigs in Chilliwack but I've got nothing booked yet."

Up until last week, Towle hadn't played at the park events and says he had an idea of what to expect because he came out last year to watch a friend of his play.

"It's fantastic and unbelievable that so many people come out and have a great time. I had a blast just hanging out here last year," he said, adding that he found the crowd responsive to play for.

"The crowd's great," he said. "Very receptive, very energetic as well."

Abbotsford's Cambree Lovesy was also featured on the bill and has been described as "the little lady with the big voice."

It's always a treat to see this young lady perform.

Lovesy last sang in Chilliwack during intermission at the Senior Star competitions.

She's been travelling the province singing and performing in talent contests since she was ten.

Promoter Darcy D has worked hard to bring in some top acts both local and from around the Lower Mainland. This week he's brought in Paul Filek, sisters Carli and Julie Kennedy, plus a local Chilliwack band Haley Chase and the Fever.

The show is from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and includes a food fair on Mill Street and other activities on Wellington Ave.

See more photos below.








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