A throwback to decades past blasts the new year in at Upstairs Lounge at Oak Bay rec centre Friday night.
“It lies in that same vein of the singer-songwriter concert of the ‘70s,” said Niels Petersen, who will wrap the evening alongside wife Connie Lebeau and Norm MacPherson. “It will be all my own songs, but also songs in the show include songwriters that inspired me to become a songwriter, which would be songwriters like Paul Simon, Jimmy Webb, Joni Mitchell.”
Petersen has shared the stage with such artists as Joan Armatrading, Tina Turner, Burton Cummings, Sir Cliff Richard, Trish Yearwood and Vince Gill. He has more than 100 songs in his catalogue including music for television documentaries and short films.
Lebeau has toured from coast to coast with Canadian troubadour legend Valdy and as a singer and bass and accordion player for Raffi. Lebeau has performed on Broadway in New York City’s Gershwin Theatre and Radio City Music Hall, as an opening act for Dolly Parton and was featured in Disney videos with family entertainer Norman Foote.
“This was a great opportunity to come out and play some original material in a concert setting,” Petersen said. “Connie and I have been away for six years travelling the world playing. Now we’re back in Victoria and it’s time to get established in the community again.”
The pair spent the past several years performing on a 200-guest cruise ship.
“We visited 50 countries and got to see the world and play together which was fantastic,” Petersen said, noting it was much-needed time of travel and performance after time spent running a Rock and Roll School for kids in Fairfield and Oak Bay. But he’s happy to be home.
“We got our fill. We had the opportunity to perform every day.”
MacPherson too is recently returned to his native Victoria from Windsor, Ont.
“Norm has a fantastic background,” Petersen said.
Macpherson is a Canadian guitar legend and honorary member of the Victoria Music Hall of Fame whose credits include the Skylark Band with founding member David Foster and backing Valdy at over 1,500 concerts worldwide.
The night features a double bill, with Terry Brennan and Roger Plant kicking off the first show of 2015 at Upstairs Lounge at Oak Bay rec Friday night. Brennan is a rhythm and roots singer/songwriter, with an original mix of folk, country, rockabilly and blues tunes. He has shared the stage with such artists as Phil Ochs, Erik Anderson, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Tom Rush and Buffy St. Marie.
The double bill starts at 7:30 p.m. (doors at 6) in Oak Bay Recreation’s Upstairs Lounge, 1975 Bee St. Tickets are $12 in advance at Ivy’s Bookshop and Oak Bay Recreation or at beaconridgeproductions.com online. Tickets are $15 at the door.