Country singer Michelle Wright performs during the VIEX country fair on Sunday (Aug. 21) at 3 p.m on the main stage.

Country singer Michelle Wright performs during the VIEX country fair on Sunday (Aug. 21) at 3 p.m on the main stage.

Vancouver Island Exhibition features Michelle Wright and Wide Mouth Mason

NANAIMO - The Vancouver Island Exhibition runs Friday (Aug. 19) to Sunday (Aug. 21) in Nanaimo at the Beban Park fair grounds.

Country singer Michelle Wright is asked by fans to sing their favourite songs over and over again.

But even though she sings them repeatedly she hasn’t fallen out of love with them.

“The reason I am able to keep singing the songs is because they were true to me when I recorded them. I loved them and I still love them today,” said Wright.

She said it would be like a prison if she had to sing songs that weren’t true to her heart.

There are a few songs over the years that haven’t resonated with the country music singer, but there aren’t many, she said. She doesn’t perform those anymore.

Wright said she has rigid rules about the songs she records.

“I really stood my ground,” said Wright. “It has to be a song I believe in, that has to be authentic to me,” she said.

Wright said music has been a part of her life since childhood.

She remembers Saturday-night barbecues at her house where people would sing and perform, attending legion hall shows and watching local musicians in the small town of Merlin, Ont. where she grew up.

“It represents fun to me, and at the core, the emotional connection to music really makes you feel things that are important,” she said. “Whether it is five people in a room or 50,000, I just love to play and sing. It’s a privilege,” said Wright.

Wright said long before it was acceptable to be the high-energy girl, she’s been rocking up-tempo songs onstage.

Since she signed with Arista Nashville in 1990, Wright has sold almost two million copies of her albums in Canada and the United States. She has garnered 25 top-10 radio hits in Canada and won five Canadian County Music Female Artist of the Year awards.

She performs during the Vancouver Island Exhibition on the main stage, Sunday (Aug. 21) at 3 p.m.

For more information about Wright please go to www.michelle-wright.com.

The VIEX runs from Friday (Aug. 19) to Aug. 21 and features a wide variety of entertainment, including Nanaimo’s Ian Perry, Wide Mouth Mason, Deep Sea Gypsies, Dark Horse and others.

Wide Mouth Mason’s lead singer Shaun Verreault said the band members keep the love alive for their songs by changing up parts of the melodies, especially if the song is blues-based.

“You got to keep it recognizable, but places in the solo or musical sections you can respond to the crowd or how you are feeling that day,” he said.

Wide Mouth MasonVerreault said with songs like Smile and Change the group keeps the melodies basically like the record, but songs like Why or Mary Mary allow for more improvisation.

Verreault also finds new meaning in lyrics. A song that meant one thing to him 20 years ago has a different personal meaning to him now, he said.

Wide Mouth Mason has been working on some new material.

“I have invented a new way of playing guitar,” said Verreault. “I play guitar lap steel on three slides, a couple fingers and a thumb. The style of the song lends to a very bluesy style,” said Verreault.

During the VIEX Wide Mouth Mason will perform some fan favourites and also unveil some new material.

Wide Mouth Mason performs on the main stage on Aug. 19 starting at 9:30 p.m.

For more information about Wide Mouth Mason please go to https://widemouthmason.wordpress.com.

Daily admission is $11 for adults, $8 for youth 13-18, $4 for seniors and children ages 7-12 and children six years and younger will be admitted free. A three-day pass is $22. All tickets are available at the VIEX entrance.

For more information please go to http://viex.ca.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com