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A snapshot of Princeton in the '50s

The fourth annual blues, country and rock 'n' roll concert is this weekend at the Riverside Theatre.
Allenby Road members (left to right) Mel Berg on guitar and vocals; Rick Law on bass and vocals; Duane Sininger on drums; and Larry Saidman on guitar and keyboard.

The fourth blues, country, and rock 'n' roll concert will take place at Riverside Theatre on Saturday afternoon March 10 at 2 p.m.

Organizer and artistic director Mel Berg is trying out a new idea.

“It’s a snapshot of Princeton in the ’50s”, claims Berg.

The concert will start out by having the audience visualize a Saturday night dance at the Orange Hall on Bridge street in the 1950s, attended by the loggers, miners, and ranchers who contributed so much to Princeton reaching the lofty status of village.

In the background you’ll hear the sounds of The Cactus Cats, a harmonica and keyboard duo of Dave McMou and Hugh Money, who have long been mainstays of the Princeton and Merritt dance scene.

After a brief introduction with slide show of some of the people you may run into at this dance, and some of the songs they expected to hear, the concert begins!

Allenby Road, Mel’s own band, which also includes Larry Saidman, Rick Law, and Dwayne Sininger, opens the show.

They’ll play some popular and not-so-popular, ’50s songs like Alabam—anyone remember Cowboy Copas? and a few later songs that reflect the realities of rodeos, ranching, and the neighbourhood conflicts that were all part of rural living.

Then you’ll notice Mel’s brother, Jim Berg, sneaking onto the stage and harmonizing with Mel, as only a brother can, on the Eddy Arnold hit of “Make the World Go Away”.  Jim has a few song surprises up his sleeve as well!

Rounding out the old tyme rural flavour is Sofia singing The Gal Who Invented Kissing and Nora Whelpton, with her great fiddle, guitar, and home-spun vocals  (and maybe even a bit of yodeling).

The ever evolving, always improving Blues and Soul band, Back Door Blues, led by the amazing blues guitarist and singer, Rick Freeman,  will close the show.

This seven-piece band includes three-horn players, as well as guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard.

Pay attention to tenor saxman, Don MacIntosh, and his version of Swingin’ Shepherd Blues., and Larry Saidman’s  heart- rendering rendition of Mickey Newbury’s “SweetMemories”, and Rick Freeman going wild with three drummers (count em - three) on Black Magic Woman.

Rick Law was such a hit at the last show, that you’ll certainly hear more of him!

What do you make of a title like She caught the Katy and Left Me A Mule to Ride?

The last concert brought in about 100 people… and this one could be bigger.  So advance tickets may be a good idea!  Only $10. You can buy them from any of the band members, Mel’s Barbershop or the Sunflower Gallery.