Larry Krause is a well-recognized name in Rosthern and if one is a fan of the traditional western country music or took a ride on the Wheatland Express last year then his name and vocals should be recognizable to those outside of the Rosthern area as well. Larry grew up in Rosthern attending the Eigenheim Mennonite Church, where he says, “It was in that community, in fellowship with so many people both past and present, that my love of music, concern for my fellow man, and my faith in God began.” On the release of his debut compact disc, “True Blue” in 2005, Larry Delaney wrote in Country Music News, “Christopher Lake, SK singer/songwriter Larry Krause is obviously a devotee of the music of Ian Tyson. This debut collection of tunes from Krause features a solid rendition of one of Tyson’s classics.” When Krause performed Own Heart’s Delight August 31st at the Rosthern Senior’s Centre, one could hear Tyson’s unique ‘twang’ in Larry’s voice.
Larry has released a few CD’s since True Blue, namely the Gate is Open, Northern Range, Let Your Spirit Grow, and Who is This. His most recent CD release Warm Breeze features some other recognizable names such as Dean Bernier from St. Louis, Sk on fiddle and Jake Vaadeland on banjo. He also hosts the “Timberline Music Show” on Shaw Spotlight.
For the approximately 55 people to who came out to hear Krause perform in Rosthern, it was an hour and a half of music and storytelling. Larry is one of a number of musicians dedicated to preserving Canada’s country music roots and his performance brings back memories of days gone by and the music that streamed from radios in kitchens across this province. While he may have a nostalgic style, Krause does not limit his performances to covers of music produced in another era, he regularly writes songs that speak to everyday circumstances that his listeners can identify with.
A ballad is defined as “a narrative song that tells a story. It often recounts a tale of some tragedy or sadness and can be either romantic or heroic. Typically, the lyrics are rhymed and have repetition within them as well as melodic tunes to help musicians easily learn how to play the songs.” While traditional country and western music is often ‘pigeon-holed’ being solely about loss and heartbreak, those who are appreciative of the genre can testify that it can be quirky and funny like Jimmy Arthur Ordge’s Herschel’s Hemi Half-ton, or Vince Gill’s One More Last Chance. Krause’s voice and style lends itself nicely to any of those themes and the versatility of his voice to produce the quick shift from normal voice to falsetto as needed for yodeling is impressive to say the least.
Larry currently lives at Paddockwood, SK with Gail, his wife of 25 years. Paddockwood is approximately 48 km north of Prince Albert, but that location has little if any impact on Larry’s booked performances. From Rosthern on August 31st he travelled to Pelican Lake, BC for a performance on September 3 and from there the road takes him to High River, AB for the ACPA Trails End Gathering and the Trails End Cowboy Festival before returning to Wakaw, SK for a gig with the Wheatland Express Excursion Train’s Prairie Train Heist on September 17.
Next month’s entertainment at the Rosthern Senior Centre is “The Penners” on September 21st.
Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder