For 25 years, Gary Dalrymple has performed as part of The Spinney Brothers, a Nova Scotian bluegrass band with international recognition.
But after the band announced its retirement from the road last year, he decided to reunite with an old friend and hit the stage once again with a new act: Roxeen & Dalrymple.
“It’s sort of a throwback to the original sounds that were common in country music back then,” said Dalrymple on the new bluegrass duo.
“In the southern states, it’s was more common to have a duo than a full band back in the hillbilly music bluegrass era. We’re doing a lot of two-part singing, and will be covering a lot of classic music as well as some songs of our own.”
Using 2018 as a kick off point, Roxeen & Dalrymple are taking their new act on the road and will be performing at the Marigold Cultural Centre on Friday, Jan. 19.
Dalrymple and Roxeen Roberts, the other half of the new bluegrass duo, performed alongside each other as part of the original Spinney Brothers band 25 years ago, before Roberts left to pursue other opportunities.
“Although we hadn’t played on stage for some time together, we would often perform at the same venues or festivals,” said Dalrymple on the relationship between the two musicians.
“After the Spinney Brothers stopped touring full time, Roxeen and I started talking about putting something together. We got together with a musician or two, but it just didn’t feel right, so we decided to just break it down to what we were doing in the beginning – a duo.”
Roxeen & Dalrymple’s performances borrow heavily from early country and bluegrass sounds, featuring both originals and two-piece covers of classic bluegrass, country and gospel tunes.
“In a nutshell, our goal is to have a song selection that means something to us but brings something to the audience as well,” said Dalrymple.
“Even if it is new songs the audience hasn’t heard or original tunes by us, it still keeps with the traditional sounds of the old days of country. There will be some instrumental breaks in there as well with some mandolin- or fiddle-heavy tunes.”
After their performance at the Marigold, the duo is hitting the road, with a tour planned in British Columbia in February, as well as dates in Ontario and Quebec and a summer full of Maritime festivals.
“We have done some preliminary recording in the studio, but right now we are focusing on performing,” said Dalrymple.
“A full album is on the horizon, but we love what we are doing right now. We’re fortunate to be able to go out and play songs that mean something to us, so we’re taking that and running with it.”
If You Go
Roxeen & Dalrymple
Marigold Cultural Centre
Friday, Jan. 19 – 7:30 p.m.