John Lent (left) and Neil Fraser

John Lent (left) and Neil Fraser

Popular trio heads in a new direction

Update: Lent Fraser have had to cancel their appearance at the Coldstream Coffee House Saturday....

Update: Lent Fraser have had to cancel their appearance at the Coldstream Coffee House Saturday, and are being replaced by Kelowna singer-songwriter Jane Eamon and musician Gord Bush.

Two parts of Vernon’s well-known Lent/Fraser/Wall Trio are the featured act at the Coldstream Coffee House on Saturday.

Guitarist Neil Fraser and vocalist John Lent are performing without their regular cohort Shelby Wall, who is away in Cuba this month. However, the popular musicians have planned to entertain audiences with both new and existing trio material, including some from their most current CD, Shadow Moon.

“We’re going to have a lot of fun at the Coldstream Coffee House,” said Lent. “Though we’ll miss Shelby, we want to give this whole idea of The Lent/Fraser/Wall Trio Project a solid start, and there’d be no better place to do that than in this great venue created in the Coldstream.”

Formed 17 years ago, the Lent/Fraser/Wall Trio has been lying low from public performances the past two years, taking time to reconsider its direction after the success of its 2005 release, Shadow Moon.

Currently reinventing itself as The Lent/Fraser/Wall Trio Project, the musicians have been implementing a larger and more variable performance experience.

This might include adding other musicians, or working as three musicians, or shrinking down to a duo or for single performances, said Lent.

“The concept of the project is that it creates a working and performing structure that allows the trio to experiment more widely, to explore the folk, roots, rhythm and blues and jazz backgrounds that brought us together in the first place,” he said, adding the project will also explore more experimental and improvised recording situations.

The trio also plans to continue to use its almost two-decade-long repertoire as its performance base, but will play with genre more boldly and loosely.

And all three musicians will continue to bring their extensive backgrounds to the forefront.

A singer, songwriter and literary writer, Lent moved with his partner, painter and writer Jude Clarke, to Vernon in the late ‘70s and taught literature and creative writing at Okanagan College for 33 years until he retired as the college’s regional dean in 2011.

Fraser grew up in Burnaby and moved to Vernon in the early ‘80s. A noted guitar teacher, Fraser has run his own school for guitarists, and has been a highly successful guitar teacher at the Vernon Community Music School for the past 15 years.

Wall was born in Saskatchewan and spent his formative years in Southern Alberta. He moved to the Vernon/Armstrong area in the late ‘70s. Coming from a background of rock and country-rock bands in the ‘80s, Wall became interested in jazz around 1988, and has since evolved into a highly-skilled acoustic rhythm player.

Eamon and Bush take the stage at the Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall Saturday. Those wishing to participate in the open mic portion of the coffee house can sign up at the door, which opens at 6:30 p.m. The show starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $5.