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Through their strong musical traditions of the Ozarks and Canada’s Ottawa Valley, Joe Newberry and April Verch take a little bit of home with them wherever they go. Now, through their new release Going Home, audiences can do the same. The duo’s debut release features 12 tracks recorded in November, 2016, at Good Luck Studios in Chapel Hill, N.C. The songs range from exciting fiddle and banjo duets, to tender love songs and original compositions from the two well-known musicians.
Verch, best known for two decades of international touring with The April Verch Band, and Newberry, well-known for his work with mandolin icon Mike Compton, as well as The Transatlantic Sessions and A Prairie Home Companion, say that this collaboration holds a special place in their hearts. They are looking forward to developing it alongside their other projects, which will continue.
“Joe and I had known of each other’s music for years, but had never met,” Verch said. “We had talked on the phone a few times and felt so confident that we would love playing together, that when some time opened up in each of our schedules, we decided to go ahead and book some shows. In our first face to face meeting, and that first rehearsal in August, 2016, we knew that we were right. This was going to be special!”
In October, 2016, the pair performed their first concerts, among which were multiple appearances at the Celtic Colours International Festival across Cape Breton, NS. “By the end of that run, we knew that we wanted to record an album,” Newberry said. “The music that we make inspires us and we wanted to capture some of that feeling that we were sharing on stage in the studio.”
The result is an album that sounds like two old friends who have been playing together for years. In the words of Barry Poss, founder of Sugar Hill Records “Oh, but this is a good one! Going Home is a simply gorgeous and intimate expression of musical multiculturalism. Joe and April each bring superb musicianship from their respective Ozark/Appalachian and Canadian Ottawa Valley roots and while they never lose sight of their own unique traditions, their work together also serves to craft an entirely new musical aesthetic, one with its own melting pot integrity.”