Jeffrey Straker, Jack Semple and Annette Campagne

Jeff Straker, Jack Semple, Annette Campagne performing in Moosomin Oct. 10

Three Sask artists on stage at once

October 2, 2019 8:31 am
Kara Kinna

On Thursday, Oct. 10, three Saskatchewan artists will be taking the stage at the Moosomin Community Theatre to perform together for the Moosomin and District Arts Council’s first show of the season on Oct. 10.

Jeffrey Straker, Regina’s Jack Semple, and Annette Campagne will all be performing that night—sometimes together, sometimes separately—as part of the “Jeffrey Straker and Friends” show.

Straker says this isn’t the first time the trio has hit the stage together. Three years ago, Straker started performing a Very Prairie Christmas Show at Casino Regina, and Jack Semple and Annette Campagne were his guests the first year.

“It’s myself performing as a trio—piano, bass and drums—and I invite the guests on intermittently through the show, so what it does is it creates a real dynamic spark to the show because there is a lot of change happening,” says Straker. “Not only are the artists changing but the three of us have really different styles, so the audience gets a real buffet of musical styles.

“I really wanted variety to be a principle of the show. Jack is very much a blues guitar player and singer, Annette is a francophone acoustic guitar playing folk singer, and I’m a roots pop singer pianist. So we’re all different. And so each of us doing our individual things will be different, but we actually will come together and do some stuff together too, so that provides and extra layer.

“When we did the Christmas show three years ago, the response was really great. It was a real wonderful surprise to see a standing ovation at the end of that show from 750 people.”

Straker, Semple and Campagne will be touring in small communities across Saskatchewan starting on Oct. 1. Their show was put together to help the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils (OSAC) celebrate 50 years of bringing the arts to Saskatchewan communities.

Straker says the three artists are looking forward to performing for rural audiences.

“I have done a lot of rural performing, and so have Jack and Annette, and we really do know what we are getting into and we all blissfully signed up for this,” he says. “Audiences in smaller rural centres are exactly the same as audiences in the urban centres, and typically touring shows across Canada don’t have the time or resources to get out to every little centre, so I find that when we do get out there on these tours, I find the audiences to be so appreciative.

“We’re happy to bring a really professional show to town, and we love the warmness. It’s pretty cool.

“When we talk about the warmth there is this small town hospitality that is just second to none. I grew up in a small town myself, in a little town called Punichy, and I really, really appreciate it (when we come to a small town). It’s kind of like being welcomed by the ladies auxiliary at the United Church Tea.”

Straker says he thinks audiences will enjoy the show, which will have some rural flavor to it.

“You’ll experience three of Saskatchewan’s well travelled singer songwriters coming together for this first and only tour they are ever going to do for a unique and great sounding night of music,” he says.

“Jack and Annette have recently released albums and I’m working on a new one and on Sept. 23rd the first single is launched and it’s a song about growing up in a small town and it’s called ‘One Foot on Main Street.’ And so this tour is the first time that I’m going to be performing this for audiences ever, and incidentally I’m performing this song about growing up in a small town in small towns.”

Jack Semple says he’s also looking forward to the show.

“I’ve done the OSAC tours before and I love them. I get to come to different communities around Saskatchewan which I love,” he says.

He says he’s looking forward to presenting some of his new songs from his new CD “Can’t Stop This Love.”

“I’ll also play some instrumental guitar,” he says. “I have a couple of instrumental CDs. One is a tribute to Gordon Lightfoot and the other one is called Qu’Appelle, which is all about Saskatchewan. Annette Campagne and myself and Jeffrey are going to sing a few tunes together as well. We are working that out. We had our first dress rehearsal the other night and it’s going to be beautiful. There will be lots of three-part harmonies.”

He encourages people to come out to the show.

“For one thing it’s supporting local musicians, but also there is a lot of talent to see,” he says. “Jeffrey Straker is a great songwriter and Annette Campagne is a fantastic songwriter and singer. It’s a happy place. There is a lot of stuff that happens on the news now adays and you come out to this show and you forget about all your problems for two hours. There’s some sing-a-long stuff that will be in the show, and it’s going to be fun!”