Doerksen’s engaging style keeps concert crowd warm

PHOTOS: Rain didn’t keep everyone away from the Fall Fairgrounds concert with the Juno winner.

As everyone knows, as soon as the calendar hit Sept. 1 this year, the seasons seemed to do an instant change and we had fall.

In addition, we started to get that rain that we needed all summer to help with the fires and the summer growth of those commercial and backyard gardens we all love so much in this area.

Sitting out in a fall evening snuggled up in warm clothing and blankets while listening to favorite tunes by wonderful artists sounds like a great way to spend an evening. Turn the temperature down a few extra degrees and add some sprinkling rain, however, changes the whole thing.

Or it could if the artists we might brave out to see were not as engaging as Brian Doerksen and his backup group, The Shiyr Poets.

While there were rumors of around 400 tickets being sold, probably half that number actually turned out for the Saturday evening show at the Bulkey Valley Fairgrounds. The wisest arrived well early and parked themselves in the grandstand seats that provided a bit of cover for the annoying precipitation. Others brought along a variety of umbrellas.

The music itself got underway a bit late but that did not seem to bother those in attendance. The music was easy on the ears and Juno award winner Doerksen showed why he is an award winner.

Perhaps the best part of the show was the light hearted nature of the performers and the explanations of how some of the songs had developed. In particular, the story of how Bruce Cockburn’s Wondering where the lions are came to be was fascinating. Other cover versions from well known artists such as Bob Dylan provided great entertainment.

It was easy to tell that members of the band are not only co-workers but are also friends. Drummer Calum Rees, guitarist Brian Thiessen and vocalist Teresa Trask all worked together in a relationship that showed the friendship they have for one another.

For a listener quite past the rap and hip-hip age, the music and lyrics that the show provided made for an evening of delight and certainly eased the discomfort that the weather was trying to provide.

Perhaps a warmer early fall evening might have provided all with even more of an entertaining presentation but those who were there enjoyed the atmosphere that Doerksen et al provided.

While the theme of much of Doerksen’s music was gospel-oriented, it was not like attending some kind of get together of the faithful. It was easy to listen to and the message was simple and appealing.


The weather was a bit uncomfortable for an outdoor concert but Brian Doerksen’s performance created a special event. Tom Best photo

Brian Thiessen’s explanation of Wondering where the lions are made the cover version of the Bruce Cockburn classic much more than just a time filler. Tom Best photo

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