Duo charms audience at Home Routes concert

Jason Kerr
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It’s been a whirlwind two weeks for Andy and Tania Elizabeth Stack.

Husband-and-wife duo Tania Elizabeth Stack (left) and Andy Stack (right) perform at the Mann Art Gallery on Saturday. 

The musical due spent the last two weeks touring the province as part of the Home Routes concert circuit.  The second last stop on their tour came Saturday night at the Mann Art Gallery.

“Every show has had its highlight moments,” Tania said.  “I really have enjoyed meeting people and going to towns that we normally would never go to just because they’re kind of out of the way.”

As a husband-and-wife duo, Andy and Tania make their home in the United States.  Andy originally comes from Buffalo, N.Y., while Tania grew up in numerous cities around Canada, including Regina.  They say they enjoyed their trip through the province, despite spending most of their careers playing in larger centres.

“It was great,” Andy said of his first trip to the province.  “People are really nice.”

The Stacks have a wide array of styles in their music.  They sing plenty of original songs, sprinkled in with a few cover tunes.   Their style is hard to nail down, as they smoothly transition between gospel, blues, jazz and celtic styles.

“Andy and I both make our living accompanying other (singers) in whatever it is that they do, whether it is jazz or country or blues or whatever,” Tania said.  “Our job is to be super versatile, so both of us are super versatile.  The first time we sat down to jam we just jumped all over the place.”

That versatility has served them well.  Andy was recently asked by to be a back-up vocalist and guitar player on the TV series America’s Got Talent, while Tania is set to tour with another band called The Avett Brothers.

“That’s one of the things that was so exciting,” Tania said.  “Usually people are kind of stuck in one genre, but neither one of us are.”

It’s also the second last concert of the year for the Prince Albert Home Routes group, and the organizers were pleased with the performance.

“We had good music, a nice size crowd and a really interested crowd,” Home Routes co-host Reg Beardsworth said.  “The audience usually really enjoys the musicians and the musicians seem to enjoy the venue.”

Beardsworth hosts the Home Routes events with his wife Lorraine.  As hosts they look after the musicians, providing them with a meal and a place to stay if needed.

“It’s easy for (the musicians) because they’re not travelling all across the country to get from one gig to another,” he says.  “It’s usually short drives.”

Tania says they’re happy to be a part of Home Routes as well, especially since recent laws have made it more difficult for musicians like her husband to play in Canada.

“Unless you’re a big star, you can’t really play in Canada in a venue that serves alcohol,” she said.  “You’re stuck with churches and home concerts and things of that nature, which are kind of few and far between, so it really is a huge handicap for independent artists.”

She also agrees with Beardsworth, that joining the Home Routes tour makes organizing things a little easier, especially since they’re not signed under a label.

 “When you’re independent you don’t have people working for you, so every step along the way you have to do every single piece of work including calling everybody up and organizing things.”

The last Home Routes concert is scheduled for April 11, when multi-talented musician Dave Newland comes to Prince Albert.  There will also be a final bonus concert available for people who came to the entire Home Routes concert series.

 

Organizations: Prince Albert, Mann Art Gallery, The Avett Brothers

Geographic location: Canada, United States, Buffalo, N.Y.

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