BY TREENA MIELKE
From start to finish, this year’s lineup of Alberta’s Men & Women of Country Music showcased exceptionally talented artists.
The show, held May 10 at Hoadley Community Hall, offered the crowd a potpourri of country music, provided by great musicians, whose love of music was contagious and swept through the audience with a powerful boost of positive energy.
Debbie Bergeron from Rimbey performed for the first time at the show. She enjoyed her time on stage and also was pleased to have the opportunity to rub shoulders with the other musicians.
“It was great to meet some very, very talented artists. There is a lot of talent out here. I so enjoyed the show and the crowd was great.”
Shirley Hartman viewed this year’s show as an “outstanding success.”
“The talent was great and the crowd was enthusiastic, polite and respectful which made the whole event successful.”
Fourteen-year-old Jaime Kennedy from Sylvan Lake won the rising star award. The teen sang and played the guitar, performing songs of such well-known country artists as the late Hank Williams and Patsy Kline.
Hartman said Kennedy was well deserving of the award.
“I’ve had my eye on Jaime for four years,” she said. “She has a very powerful voice and it is nice to see young people accompanying themselves.”
The men’s lifetime achievement award went to Alfie Myhre, a fiddle player whose natural talent makes people want to get up and dance.
The women’s lifetime achievement award went to Mary Resek, a well-known country singer from Calgary.
Hartman said award winner selections are not only determined by talent, but by how well the performers interact with the audience. Although it is often a tough choice, she enjoys the opportunity.
“It is a great pleasure to do it,” she said.
Jessica St. Denis, Lou Paul, Allen Christie, Randy Smith, Shelly Dubois and popular country star Tim Hus rounded out the lineup.