Country music gene kicked in; fingers danced across the keyboard

Debbie Bergeron was four years old and living in British Columbia when she belted out her first country song into a microphone set up

Pianist Brenda Fuss-Dutz from Sylvan Lake and Debbie Bergeron from Rimbey have combined their musical talents and will perform throughout Central Alberta this summer in such venues as Ponoka Stampede and Ivan Daines Country Picnic at Innisfail.

Pianist Brenda Fuss-Dutz from Sylvan Lake and Debbie Bergeron from Rimbey have combined their musical talents and will perform throughout Central Alberta this summer in such venues as Ponoka Stampede and Ivan Daines Country Picnic at Innisfail.

Debbie Bergeron was four years old and living in British Columbia when she belted out her first country song into a microphone set up in the family’s living room.

Needless to say, her song was a hit.

When Brenda Fuss-Dutz was about that age, she could listen to her dad whistle a tune and pick it up on the keyboard. By the time she was 12, Fuss-Dutz, who grew up on a farm near Wetaskiwin, was playing keyboard in a dance band called the Alley Cats.

The odds that the paths of these two women, who would both become talented musicians in their own right, would ever cross paths seemed highly unlikely, but as luck would have it, fate intervened. Years later, Bergeron, now living in Rimbey, and Fuss-Dutz, who lives in Sylvan Lake, have become a duo.

The results have been truly amazing.

The pair has their first gig together at the Ponoka Stampede and will play there from noon to 1 p.m. June 28 to July 1 at the Ag rec complex.

Bergeron will perform at the Calgary Stampede at Windows of the West July 14 at 1:30 p.m.

On Aug. 9 the pair will perform at the Ivan Daines Country Picnic at Innisfail in the afternoon.

“Working with Debbie is exciting and a challenge,” said Fuss-Dutz. “I listen to her CDs with full band and then try to adapt that to piano. She’s an amazing person and I love her style and her original music.”

Fuss-Dutz, whose gift of music encompasses all genres, is an accomplished pianist with a Grade 10 in Royal Conservatory of Music. For her, it’s more than reading notes from a song sheet.

“Music is in my DNA,” she said. “It’s who I am and what I’m meant to do …. perform, teach, accompany. I am currently teaching music for young children, which I very much enjoy.”

As well as playing keyboard with a worship band from her church, she plays a duelling piano gig every third Friday at the Sheraton Hotel Lounge in Red Deer.

“We do a bit of everything from ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. We do rock ‘n’ roll, pop, Beatles, Elvis, Bryan Adams, Lonestar.” She is also looking forward to performing a classical concert with a pianist from Bulgaria in Red Deer in July.

When Fuss-Dutz hooked up with Bergeron, her country music gene kicked in and her fingers danced across the keyboard in perfect rhythm with the country singer. It seems like it was truly meant to be.

“I cut my teeth on country music,” she said. “And I believe if God opens a door, He wants me to go through it.”

Bergeron, who moved to Rimbey last year, is a singer/songwriter/recording artist and producer.

Her debut CD, Makin A Connection, was recorded in Nashville in 1998 at the Gatlin Brothers Studio.

Her second CD, She Drives, produced by Mesh Studios in Burnaby, B.C. received rave reviews in Canada and European countries and was nominated for Album of the Year through the British Columbia Country Music association.

Bergeron has twice been the Country Gospel Performer of the Year with the British Columbia Country Music Association.

Her latest CD, which came out last Christmas, The Gift, featured 12 tracks, nine of which Bergeron wrote herself.

Bergeron says her music is truly a gift from God, adding it gives her great pleasure to share her talent with others knowing she has touched someone’s life in a positive way.

“It gives me joy,” she said.

Working with Fuss-Dutz has been most rewarding, she said.

“She is so much fun and a great asset to me as a singer. I am looking forward to lots of performances together.”