Allison Lupton Band brings audience to its feet at Victoria Jubilee Hall

WALKERTON – Victoria Jubilee Hall claimed another triumph in its series performance by the Allison Lupton Band on Saturday, Feb. 25.

The audience seemed happily mesmerized by the band’s smooth and melodic instrumentals and vocals.

The music is hard to describe – folk, spiced with a bit of swing, a little bluegrass and more than a hint of Cape Breton – Irish and Celtic, but with a rural Ontario charm. It’s easy to see why the band as a whole, and individual members, have won a number of awards and accolades.

Lupton is a contemporary songwriter whose original works might be mistaken for traditional pieces, thanks to her knowledge of the genre and skilled use of her lovely voice.

Lupton began releasing music under her own name in 2001 with her debut album, My True Love. That album launched her solo career – she’s performed across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. She’s recorded CDs and has been featured on CBC and BBC. Lupton has been featured as a soloist with The International, Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge symphony orchestras.

Lupton has multiple CFMA nominations for Traditional Singer of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year, as well as being Folk Music Ontario’s “Songs From the Heart” grand prize winner for “One More Day.” Lupton has been described as being among Canadian folk music’s finest contributors.

As gifted as Lupton is, she surrounds herself with musicians who are just as skilled: mandolin maestro Andrew Collins; Shane Cook, Canadian and US National Fiddle Champion; Tony McManus, virtuoso guitarist; and bassist Joseph Phillips.

Lupton weaves a powerful spell, speaking about her background in rural Ontario – raised on a dairy farm, and more than a little familiar with the story of the Zorra championship tug-of-war team that took Chicago by storm, and the Embro Fair (yes, at least one audience member has been to it) – and setting it all to music in a way that seems as natural as breathing. She’s a musician, but also a story-teller in the best Celtic tradition.

The audience wasn’t disappointed – how could they be? The show was brilliant.

The next series performance is by Amanda Rheaume on Saturday, April 22 at 8 p.m.

There’ll be an independent performance by The Mudmen – their 25th anniversary concert – on Saturday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times