Scott Woods and his band will be bringing some Christmas cheer to Red Deer’s Sunnybrook United Church in the coming weeks.
“We’ve actually been at Sunnybrook United Church every year in the spring since 2006, so this is the first time we’ve had a Christmas show since about 2003 or 2004,” said Scott Woods.
He added that he and the band always do a Christmas show in their home base of Ontario.
“It’s always been an issue of I don’t know whether I can trust the weather. It’s a little bit of a gamble,” he said.
Weather and the long drive ahead hasn’t stopped the group this year, as they have booked 34 shows in 34 days in five different provinces.
Although the Old Time Christmas CD already came out a few years ago, the band wanted to hit the road, spreading some Christmas spirit.
“We actually did just do a new album, but it’s a gospel album. It’s called Sunday Strings and it’s an instrumental album of country gospel songs,” said Woods, adding they will perform one cut from that CD.
The two-hour show will feature the sweet harmonies of traditional Christmas music, traditional country, western swing, country gospel and more. There will also be some wholesome family humour along with Woods’ famous trick fiddling with somersaults and walking on a barrel, all while playing his fiddle.
“It’s a novelty thing and it’s fun to do,” he said.
Woods said when putting together a Christmas show, it can be tough as there’s only two or three dozen songs people are attached to that sentimentally takes them back to their childhood.
“It’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane, and if you deviate too far from those tunes with some of the more contemporary, modern Christmas music, they like it, but our show is all about nostalgia and sentimental feelings. It’s all about taking you back in time in memories.”
Woods’ journey into music began many generations before him.
“On my mom’s side there’s five or six generations of old time fiddling, and my mom’s grandfather was quite a well known accomplished fiddler, and so my mom grew up studying classical piano and playing accompaniment for her grandfather so she learned how to chord to fiddle tunes from him,” said Woods.
In the meantime his dad formed a band when he was just 12-years-old and played old time dances, concerts and socials.
At one point his dad needed a new piano player for his orchestra, and found a young teenage girl whose grandfather was a fiddler, so she was hired to play the piano in his band. Five years later they got married and had four kids, Woods being one of them.
“So we all joined the family band as we were old enough. I’m the youngest of four and I think I was four-years-old when I started violin lessons and we all took violin and piano lessons, and we joined mom and dad and the rest of the family and started performing dances and concerts.”
In about the mid to late 80s they started a transition from the Woods Family to the Scott Woods Band, as Woods’ dad pushed him to front the band.
His dad stayed on as sound man and manager up until he died in 2003, and his mom stayed on with the band playing piano. Although she just retired from touring a few years ago, she still goes out to play some shows.
Woods’ sister Kendra Woods Norris is now retired from teaching school, and has come full time with the band playing a range of instruments along with singing.
Forming the rest of the band is Steve Piticco, Peter Sisk, Bill Carruthers, and new this year, 13-year-old step dancer Leo Stock.
The band will head to Red Deer Nov. 22nd. Tickets can be purchased at Sunnybrook United Church Office by calling 403-347-6073.