Shred Kelly's Jordan Vlasschaert (bass)

Shred Kelly's Jordan Vlasschaert (bass)

Shredding the dance floor at Roots and Brews

Fernie's finest folksters Shred Kelly had Vernon's Roots and Brews attendees in the throes of a hoedown Saturday.

Fernie’s finest folksters Shred Kelly had Vernon’s Roots and Brews attendees in the throes of a hoedown Saturday.

Hosted by the Food Action Society of the North Okanagan, the third annual event welcomed the band as a top-off to a night that started with revellers imbibing on savoury appetizers and local and organic brews supplied by Sorrento’s Crannóg Ales, and cocktails by Vernon’s award winning distillery Okanagan Spirits.

Upstairs in the Best Western Vernon Lodge’s ballroom, a number of local organizations, including local growers and suppliers, and those concerned about food security and feeding the hungry, passed out information before mistresses of ceremonies, Jayme McKillop of Rancho Vignola and Rebecca Kneen of Crannóg Ales, called for everyone to take their seats.

While the waft of food drifted out from the kitchen, Food Action Society president Juris Vinters spoke on the many programs the society takes on, from supporting the development of the Community Garden Network to hosting the Good Food Box to providing a directory for local farmers and food producers that are using sustainable and organic methods.

The dancing came after a bit of digestion, which was a good thing as the sold-out crowd, including members of Shred Kelly, chowed down on a three-course, locally sourced meal prepared by some of the area’s top chefs, Dave Colombe of Salmon Arm’s Table 24, Heath Cates of BX Creek Bar & Grill, and Kyla MacAulay of Gum Tree Catering.

There was a salad of mixed greens, heirloom tomatoes and goats cheese topped with a balsamic reduction dressing, a main course of mouth watering pulled pork, carrots, baked beans, and corn on the cob, and a spiced cake topped with a fresh, local peach for dessert.

At last, Shred Kelly’s lead singer/multi-instrumentalist Tim Newton struck up the first few notes of his clawhammer banjo, and it didn’t take long for the hoedowners to start pounding their boots on the dance floor.

Adding to the mix were the sweet tones of co-singer/keyboardist Sage McBride, expert stick handling of drummer Ian Page Shiner, Jordan Vlasschaert holding down the rhythm on bass, with guest Ty West, of Nelson, B.C., filling in on guitar.

Fresh off a busy summer festival circuit that took them all the way to St. John’s, Nfld., the band proved why they were named the best live act at the 2013 Kootenay Music Awards. They had the folk stoked to Ghost Inside My Head and I Hate Work off their debut album, Goodbye July, as well as newer material (The BearCabin FeverNew Black) off their 2012 sophomore release, In the Hills.

It served as the perfect apéritif to a night all about food and community. More, please.