Duo pays ode to big sky country

Saskia and Darrel perform Songs from the Prairies at the Schubert Centre in Vernon Aug. 31.

Darrel de la Ronde and Saskia Overbeek return to Vernon with Songs from the Prairies

Darrel de la Ronde and Saskia Overbeek return to Vernon with Songs from the Prairies

Saskia Overbeek and Darrel de la Ronde have lived most of their lives in beautiful B.C.

They’ve resided in Vernon as well as Revelstoke, but de la Ronde was born on the Great Plains, while Overbeek has Dutch farm blood in her veins.

It’s only when they decided to spend a few years living on the prairies as a writing experience, that they got way more than they bargained for.

“The music flowed out like No.2 Durham wheat from a grain auger, like a harvest moon dripping red rising ominously over the horizon, like the bitter January wind stripping the warmth out of the red willow thickets in the coulees,” said Overbeek, with a grin.

Saskia and Darrel give their former hometown of Vernon a taste of their newfound lives when they perform at the Schubert Centre Aug. 31 with Songs from the Prairies. Like their touring mentors, Gary Fjellgaard and Valdy, the duo continue to be troubadours of the Canadian west, performing songs about sailing an imaginary ship across a sea of grass, or riding with a wild rebel yell alongside Métis leader Gabriel Dumont.

Their western-centric music covers more topics such as hurtling through watery chasms in a York boat with cartographer David Thompson, and standing on Pier 21 as a Dutch war bride heading for Saskatchewan. All these songs and many more selected “Canadiana” cover tunes make up their act, which has been heard across B.C. and beyond to the prairies, and when they opened for Fjellgaard and Valdy on their respective tours.

Saskia and Darrel return to the Schubert Centre Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m. Partial proceeds from ticket sales will go to the centre, which offers seniors and community programs as well as a rental space.

Tickets are $15 each, with appetizers included, and can be purchased at  the Schubert Centre, 3505 – 30th Ave., or call 250-549-4201.