Over the years, Kelly Waters has crafted a reputation for hosting an array of atmospheric, folk influenced musicians for intimate gatherings in her home slash performance venue, The Gog. The latest of these groups is Over the Moon, a folk roots duo from southern Alberta comprised of real life partners Suzanne Levesque and Craig Bignell, who will be coming to The Gog for the first time Saturday, Jan. 7.
This isn't the first time Bignell and Levesque have played in North Battleford, however. Earlier this year the musicians were part of Susan Aglukark's backing band for a performance at the Dekker Centre. It was after this concert that Dekker Centre general manager Moe McGuinty suggested they get in touch with Waters because, says Bignell, "[he] thought we'd fit there perfectly."
Having played with other musicians in various backing bands, Bignell and Levesque are used to large audiences, but it's the small venues they prefer, says Bignell.
"[Often] the venues are so large that the audience looks more like a carpet and you can’t see any faces. To make it worse, we use in-ear monitors, as well, [so] you can’t even hear how the audience is responding. After the show, we just go straight to the change rooms and then to the hotel."
Performance venues like The Gog are a welcome change of pace for the duo, and it influences their performance.
"Playing small venues is what we love. We meet so many new, interesting people," says Bignell. "During our shows people talk to us and ask questions about some of our songs [and] laugh along with our stories about life [as] a married couple living on a ranch and playing music."
Rather than a "big, scripted show," folks new to Over the Moon can expect a friends "playing in your living room" vibe. With a variety of acoustic instruments only, including banjo, guitar and bass, Bignell says the challenge comes from creating the sounds the audience hears, as opposed to "gizmos to make [them] sound bigger."
"To keep it interesting we each play a bunch of [instruments] and we use combinations of them so the sound never becomes the same. The most important thing to us is our vocal blend and we arrange all of our songs to feature that."
Doors for Over the Moon open at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7 at 1391 - 105th St. You can RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text at 306-481-3656. Cost is $20 and goes directly to the artist. There will be a donation jar for food and drinks.