West Kelowna’s Dirt Road Opera steps onto the virtual stage dripping with history

The writer, the singer and the musician that make up West Kelowna’s Dirt Road Opera aren’t letting their passion for making music fade.

The trio is dripping in talent and musical history, Rachel Matkin, sung harmony for Barry Mathers when she was 13 years old for his then band, The Cruzeros.

“I met up with Barry in 1986 then all of the sudden we all knew each other and we have been tight ever since then,” said Jim Ryan, bass and keys.

They’ve since collaborated on many musical projects eventually forming their own, Dirt Road Opera six years ago. Now they are releasing the first of many virtual concerts they have planned where they tell the story behind their songs.

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“[The songs] They’re important to us,” said Mathers, vocals, guitar and songwriter.

“I think it’s nice for the audience to have a little insight into what we are singing about and what we are doing.”

Their on-stage performance of “Can’t Find A Way“, written by Mathers when he was in the Cruzeros with Ryan and Matkin on harmony, was a full-circle moment decades in the making.

“When we were about to record this we thought of the idea of having me sing it,” said Matkin, vocals, guitar and mandolin.

“I remember when I first heard it on his album I fell in love with it. I was pretty thrilled I got to sing it myself.”

Their online concert will be released to the public on May 15 on Dirt Road Opera’s YouTube page. To follow the band and listen to their music visit their website by clicking www.dirtroadopera.ca

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