Festival faves return to Harrison

Vriend possesses natural knack for melody

Ann Vriend

The Harrison Festival Society is bringing back vocalist Ann Vriend and Jason Burnstick on Saturday, October 22 at 8 p.m. in the Harrison Memorial Hall.

Alberta singer/songwriter, Vriend has a worldwide reputation for her songwriting and theatrical style.  Burnstick is a highly regarded blues and roots guitarist based in Winnipeg.

Ann Vriend (pronounced Vreend) has headlined at festivals as far away from her hometown of Edmonton as Berlin and Australia and sold over 13,000 albums off the stage, independently.

Vriend’s songs possess a natural knack for melody, garnering her hits on both independent and commercial radio stations — including Gold rotation for her tune “Feelin’ Fine” — and have charted on college stations as far away as Germany and the Netherlands. Vriend has been commissioned to write songs for organizations such as the Canadian Tourism Corporation and the Commonwealth Games, and her music has been featured in a U.S. DVD release of “Party of Five.” As a balance between her intensely performed songs, “Vriend is fantastic in concert – a very, very, funny woman that tends to belt out her songs in between her most entertaining comedic intervals” (4 of 5 Stars, A n E Vibe Magazine).

Opening the show with a solo set will be 2007 Juno Nominee, CAMA Award Winning artist and 2009 Jessie Richardson Award Nominee (DORA Award), Jason Burnstick, a musician and composer who performs with his arsenal of weissenborns and lap slide guitars. Known for his ability to freely move from one style to the next, Jason attributes this freedom to his musical upbringing. Burnstick can be found performing his own mixture of blues and folk across the country, however, he also takes every opportunity to perform with good friends and peers Juno award winner Leela Gilday, blues rock styling’s of George Leach or R&B artist INEZ.

His tasteful musical presence compliments the mood of whatever setting he is placed whether it be a live performance, theatre, documentaries or in the opening musical themes for television series on APTN. For the past two years, Jason has been touring with cast and crew for Where the Blood Mixes by Kevin Loring performing the original score he composed to accompany the piece. One of Burnstick’s personal musical highlights was when his idol, Pura Fe, asked him to sit in as a musical guest at the Yale blues club in Vancouver in 2007 during her set. Now as he steps further into his blues roots he has armed himself with a very special gift from his musical hero, a double neck lap slide guitar.

Tickets are $22 and available by phone at 604-796-3664 or online at www.harrisonfestival.com.