Global Rhythm Review / by Rob Weir, December 12, 2007
Ottawa, Canada’s cosmopolitan capital, doesn’t exactly evoke rural life in the average person’s mind, but April Verch hails from the upriver Ottawa Valley, a region of farms and timberlands, not retail and politics. When Verch sings sweet country-laced songs or fiddles serious hoedown tunes, it’s an authentic manifestation of tradition, not Gillian Welch-like affectation.
Take Me Back sounds like Alison Krauss with a little bit of Natalie MacMaster thrown in. Like Krauss, Verch made her initial mark as a fiddler, but now she also catches listeners’ attention with vulnerable vocals whose light tones can evoke utter sincerity, as on the title track, or break your heart on songs such as “I Still Cry.” Plus, while Krauss leaves most of the fancy instrumental work to hired hands these days, Verch evokes MacMaster with her high-energy bowing and step-dancing, which combine musical talent with an instinct for spectacle. This new mix of bluegrass, country, old-time melodies and original material might just catapult Verch to the same lofty heights as Krauss and MacMaster. But star or not, her talent is undeniable.
Fiddling at its finest… / by Emily Tuttle, October 13, 2007
April Verch’s love for the sound of the fiddle started when she was only 3 years old and taking step-dance lessons in the shadows of an older sister. Now at age 29, Verch is still step dancing. But she has since nurtured her love for fiddle into a repertoire of finely tuned sounds as versatile as her instrument and has claimed the spotlight for herself.
Fiddler Magazine (cover feature) / by Petra Jones, Spring 2007 Issue (Vol. 14 No. 1)
Award-winning fiddler, step dancing expert and vocalist April Verch brings new meaning to the word multi-tasking. A winner of both the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle and Open Fiddle Championships, April was already pleading with her parents for a fiddle of her own by the age of three. Today she is a consummate musician whose mastery of fiddle playing technique has left her free to fully explore the fiddle as a vehicle for self-expression. April’s critically-acclaimned current album Take Me Back (2006) sees her branching out into bluegrass (Tennessee Wagoner) and jazz (Monarch). But she remains true to her Ottawa Valley roots with locally-inspired pieces like “Grand Slaque” and manages to capture the magic of her live performances on tape to make her most satisfying album yet. (Full interview with April follows this introduction in the magazine issue.)
Inside World Music / by Matt Forss, April 2007
After reviewing and thoroughly enjoying Verchuosity a few years back, my interest was ignited in Canadian fiddle music. As soon as I heard the April Verch Band was coming to my university town of Marquette, Michigan, I clamored at the opportunity to witness the fiddle maestro in action. The venue for the concert was set for 7:30 PM on March 18, 2007 at the stately, Masonic Building in downtown Marquette. Upon arrival around 7 PM, I noticed a minivan with Ontario plates – and that’s when the anticipation began!