Those who have attended the Louisiana Hayride tribute performances that have been travelling through Western Canada the past few years should recognize William Brookfield.
The Enderby-based multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer is known for his fiery rendition of Jerry Lee Lewis’ Great Balls of Fire, among other tributes to the original Hayride performers.
With the Hayride about to break after a busy season of Christmas shows, including this past Thursday in Vernon, Brookfield is taking centre stage for his next visit to town.
He presents a lively Christmas concert at the Schubert Centre Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. with half of the profits going to the Vernon food bank.
Brookfield has been a professional musician since high school (1974) and spends much of his time performing with the Louisiana Hayride, which is based on the radio program of the same name from the 1950s.
He performs on a musical feet-and-hands system of his own invention that allows him to play drums and keyboards at the same time, filling the shoes of two live musicians at once. Included in Brookfield’s system is a harmony machine that adds a second or third vocal part to his voice.
Brookfield started developing and practicing aspects of his system in 1992 and began testing these while performing as a soloist at lounges and clubs throughout the Lower Mainland in the ‘90s.
He also works as a sound designer, using state-of-the art keyboard synthesis to build the old-time fiddles, pianos, trumpets, strings, drums and organs necessary for the Louisiana Hayride shows, including the classic Christmas sounds and setups for all of this season’s shows.
Brookfield’s Schubert Centre concert will include many Christmas classic pop favourites. Caroling books will be provided for the sing-along numbers.
Admission is a suggested $10. Tea, coffee and goodies are included.