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Turner Valley concerts return with acclaimed string quartet

The Flare n’ Derrick stage is set to light up Sept. 24 for the Beneath the Arch concert series with Juno award-winning string quartet The Fretless.
SCENE-BTA Fretless
Acclaimed string quartet The Fretless brings an array of folk and contemporary, with vocal accompaniments to pop hits.

Turner Valley’s beloved Beneath the Arch series is back.

Kicking off the concert season at the Flare n' Derrick on Saturday, Sept. 24 is The Fretless, a Juno award-winning string quartet with roots in folk, but one that branches several genres.

“We have all spent a lot of time playing traditional styles,” said band frontman Trent Freeman. “Originally those were the ones that were available with communities in Canada.

“The strong traditional sounds are still very available in Canada, but then the sound of the band came from four players that were searching in other genres.

“So we’ve been experimenting with the violin outside of these traditional styles.

That sound has changed and grown, from their 2012 debut album Waterbound to 2016’s Bird’s Nest to Open House, the latter being a collection of tunes crafted from tie-ins with other artists such as a string cover of Troubled Mind with Dan Mangan on vocals and a cover of Feist hit My Moon, My Man, feat. Rachel Sermanni on vocals.

Joining The Fretless in Turner Valley to deliver the vocal accompaniments is Winnipeg’s Madeleine Roger.

“It is interesting looking back over the sound of the band and how it’s changed, and also levels it stayed the same,” Freeman said.

“I think one of the differences with our band is we’ve really worked on a cohesive sound as a unit, so the strings all work together trying to create a single voice, that is a single supportive sound that’s backing up one person playing a fiddle tune melody or all of us backing up a singer.

“Just having this unified, cohesive, recognizable sound has always been important, but then how we do that has changed over a decade of being a band."

While having not been to Turner Valley, the band has played around Alberta and has roots in the province.

“Ben, one of our members, grew up in Calgary, he has a connection to the Calgary fiddlers, and we grew up listening to some spin-off groups,” Freeman said. "So we’re kind of familiar with the fiddle community around the area so it’s nice to tap into that.”

Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

More info can be found at

Brent Calver

About the Author: Brent Calver

Award-winning photojournalist for the Okotoks Western Wheel and
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