Vernon musicians Ginger and Rose add a little sugar and spice to new album

Jayme McKillop and Lowell Friesen combine talents to release debut album, Full Moon Sessions, in concert Saturday, Feb. 1 at Elks Hall.

Jayme McKillop

Jayme McKillop

They compare their pairing to that of a fine red wine and a plate of sharp cheese, or the perfect cup of coffee with just the right amount of cream,

Known for her marketing work with fruit and nut importers Rancho Vignola and her radio food show on Kiss FM, Jayme McKillop has teamed up with Lowell Friesen, spawn of Friesen’s Countrytyme Gardens, to cook up something outside the kitchen, which they call a unique and soulful musical banquet.

Both singer-songwriters, and food lovers, the Vernon-based duo, which calls itself Ginger and Rose, have just released a debut album entitled Full Moon Sessions that showcases their diverse styles.

Recorded in Kelowna at Music City Studios by Mike Pederson and mixed and mastered by Corwin Fox (Morlove) at Pleasantville on Vancouver Island, Full Moon Sessions will officially be released Saturday at the Vernon Elks Hall, with a show featuring Ginger and Rose and some special musical guests.

Full Moon Sessions is at once a culmination of the many years spent playing together and a starting point for new musical adventures,” said McKillop.

“The six-song EP covers a surprising amount of ground for its relatively short duration,” added Friesen.

The album hits on the pair’s folk and country roots and touches on bits of funk and alternative rock. Half of the songs were written by McKillop, who added her personal and political ingredients, writing edgy heartfelt lyrics hinting at inspiration from Joni Mitchell and Ani DiFranco. The other half was penned by Friesen, whose quieter country sensibility adds a folky, gospel and sometimes punk feel to the songs.

Together they blend the lovelorn with the hopeful, simmering the joy and the tragedy of life while celebrating the multiplicities of experience in song.

The two singer-songwriters met in the summer of 2002 and shortly thereafter began making music together.

Performing together in the early years of the Komasket Music Festival as Curbside Music Co., the duo says they found a common thread in their taste in music and desire to perform. They solidified as Ginger and Rose in the spring of 2013 after many years of divergent artistic pathways.

The two met again on a back porch with guitars in hand and dove into sharing each other’s work, adding harmonies and layered guitar parts to each other’s songs.

“Our musical compatibility stems from many years of jamming and best friend musical camaraderie,” said Friesen.

“We find strength and inspiration in each other’s writing and musicianship,” added McKillop.

After playing a handful of shows over the summer and sharing the stage with some of their favourite artists such as Shane Philips, Christa Couture and Jess Hill, the two trekked to the ArtsWells Festival in Wells, B.C., where their passion for each other’s music and the desire to play together as much as possible was stoked.

Saturday’s CD release at the Elks Hall will see the duo joined by some of the area’s finest musicians who loaned their sound to the recording. They include Rod MacDonald on bass, Bruce Collis on percussion, Erin Smith on accordion, and Anjuli Otter on violin. The duo will also share the stage with Lancen Harms and Peter McKillop, who will open the night.

Saturday’s show is 19-plus and doors open at 6:30 p.m. with music starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10, available in advance at the Bean Scene in Vernon and Friesen’s Countrytyme Gardens in Coldstream.