Concert goers thoroughly enjoyed the music, singing and stories presented by Saskia and Darrel of the Great Plains. With great feel for their audience, Saskia and Darrel played folk, traditional country and original songs. We all enjoyed their visual bantering, jokes and stories of their life on the prairies........we highly recommend Saskia and Darrel for your next event.
Thank You for the beautiful concert on Nov.25th in Swan River.We`ve heard nothing but great praise.Looking forward to seeing you folks in the future.Love & miss you, Bert & Mary
I received your CD "Holy Ground" and wanted you to know how much I enjoy listening to it. You are both very talented and I wish you all the best over the next year. Folks still talk about how much they enjoyed the concert you did in our church.
Fantastic concert last night - had so many great comments about your music and presentation!!
Saskia & Darrel,
A sunny hello from the Sunshine Valley in Grand Forks!
Wow, I have been asked to see if we can rebook you both for another concert next year.
Everyone here is still talking about it, still have big smiles and want to see you for another concert.
Many thanks for your CD, love it.
Safe journey, Gods blessings to you both,
We've hired GREAT PLAINS for our noon hour concert series for the past four years, and they've consistently provided our audiences with great shows.Saskia and Darrel are both highly talented musicians, and the music they provide, both covers and originals, is wonderful.
GREAT PLAINS is a vital part of our Canadian musical fabric.
Campbell River BC
Dear Saskia and Darrel,
Just a note to say thank you for the wonderful concert you put on. The feedback was terrific and everyone enjoyed it very much. Balgonie United Church.
I want to take a moment to share the pleasure of your amazing concert on Saturday night in Leduc. I am meeting people in the community sharing their joy of your music and voices. WOW! Both of you were absolutely in your element, the choice of pieces, silken voices and engagement with the audience was an absolute gift.
We wish to be included on your Christmas tour in 2017!
Hi Saskia and Darrel
Just want to say thanks again for such a wonderful concert on Friday night. Everyone is talking about it and wondering when you will come back again.
We're so glad that we hosted you in Wakaw. We've heard great comments from audience members. One man said that he could have sat and listened all evening if it hadn't been for the hard pews! Your songs and stories warmed our hearts.
Thanks so much!
November 21 2015
"We are so glad your “walking shoes” brought you to St. David’s Trinity United Church in Montgomery Place tonight. You connect so well with your audience through the words you write and sing. You sing of roads and journeys, trains and elevators, lands that shape us, and of gratitude, faith and love. Just like in your elevator song where the grain pours out like “liquid gold,” your songs pour out over the audience like “liquid gold.” You connect through music. Particularly in this church - which was built by veterans of the Second World War and their Canadian brides and war brides – your songs connected with us.
Until we meet again, we’ll “keep the porch light on.”
Lesley Newman. St.David Trinity United Church. Saskatoon.
Thanks for a wonderful concert last night. There was a great atmosphere and everyone clearly enjoyed it. And, I suspect, they went home feeling more joyful, hopeful and at peace with the world - I sure did. So, keep Elbow-Loreburn on your list!
Dear Darrel and Saskia,
What a great concert, and both of you are so very polished and professional.
We all agree.. that of our 10 concerts, yours was the best. Accolades from the Kootenays.
Love to you both, and keep on sharing your beautiful music.
I want to thank you for putting on such a great show.We enjoyed it so much and now I am enjoying all 6 of your cd's. What talent you both have. I had many people come in to the post office and tell me how much they enjoyed the concert. We hope we will be able to have you back one day.
Can hardly wait to see you again in March 2015 in Pilot Mound. Enjoyed you both so much the 3 times we saw you in 2014. Have not enjoyed music or live entertainment so much in years.
As an active community volunteer, I have always kept Darrel and Saskia at the "top of my list" for who to call to entertain at local community events. Their polished performance and sheer professionalism is always appreciated in addition to their willingness, when called upon, to give freely of their talents to help raise funds for local charitys like the Children's Child Development Telethon every year.
Comox Valley Regional District
Review by Susan Lowndes; Wadena News Saskatchewan.
The Great Plains comes to church
BY WADENA NEWS • SEPTEMBER 29, 2014
Saskia and Darrel Delaronde, a married duo performing Celtic, bluegrass and folk music under the name The Great Plains, played to thunderous applause from a full house at Kelvington United Church on Sept. 19. Brought in by the church board, this concert marks a trend toward hosting a wide range of musical events promoting arts and culture.
She is a tall blond Dutch gal in contrast to his dark, good-looking Metis features; they made a handsome couple onstage. She was dressed all in black, wearing flat black boots, her fingers adorned with silver rings and and dangling silver bangles clipped to her ears. Her presence alone would have compensated for any musical deficiencies, but she had none. She sang in the upper registers, rounding her sound with no sharp edges, her voice a spooky melody that pulled listeners from safety into the unknown. She brought a gypsy flavour to the performance and was almost ethereal when she took the lead on songs such as Dust in the Wind. Saskia looked right at her audience when singing, a gaze that was hypnotic, and while her spoken word held little of her Dutch accent, it came out to her advantage when she sang.
Darrel redefined musical balance, either playing his guitar solo or accompanying Saskia. His confidence alongside Saskia’s singing (many times you had to look at him to know that he was weaving harmony into all the songs, so soft was his touch) took their music beyond the quality of most duo performances. When he took the lead, he showed the audience how a seasoned entertainer adds power and passion without increasing the volume a decibel. In the song Louis Riel, he delivered a melodic spoken voice, not big and booming but full and forceful.
His fingers on the acoustic guitar were magical, like those of a male Liona Boyd. His guitar-playing alone could have carried a concert. In Leave the Porch Light On, the instrument seemed to have a life of its own, possibly that of a rare six-string Stradivarius. Its sound seemed to creep up behind Darrel as he sang. Would it have played as well in anyone else’s hands⅜ If so, then Darrel is lucky to have found it, but it’s a sure bet that he’s spent a few hours plucking those strings. You felt the music in your blood!
They took turns leading the songs, Darrel smiling at Saskia, a shared secret bonding them below its surface. In Grateful, a Maritime-sounding tune, she played a whistle while a mandolin added a Roma flavour to the songs. Both commented on the great acoustics of the church, a sentiment that Kelvington local Wayne Clark has been known to espouse. They invited the audience to sing along with You Are My Sunshine and this church loves a hundred voices singing to the raftered ceiling.
It is obvious that the two pay a good deal of attention to each other, their balance while singing or playing (Saskia on bass) the result of humble natures and years of performances. Both were genuine and honestly appreciative of the people who came out to support live music. The duo has played with Gary Fjellgaard and Valdy; they’ve played one end of the country to the other. If you weren’t there last Friday, it was certainly one of those missed opportunities in your life.
Their encore song was sung in French, Saskia taking the lead, ending the evening as it began – the guitar, with fingers flying up and down it, wrapping the entertainers and the church in a spell. What a treat!
By Susan Lowndes
Bluebird Trail by Saskia & Darrel (The Great Plains). This recording is the fifth release by veteran folksters Saskia & Darrel not counting their 4 solo albums, and to date is the most roots oriented collection of all. The cd speaks volumes for the reason to purchase an entire recording over picking a couple of songs to crop onto your mp3 player.
Bluebird Trail is an anthology of mid-west Canadian stories, documenting our heritage and culture in a themed setting, from prairie elevators, a Hutterite girl in love with a 'townie' (Bluebird Trail), assorted gospel songs (Walking shoes, Sing Low, Orphan Girl), as well as motifed topics like patchwork quilts and the disappearing rural train lines.
All in all, an album such as this follows a train of thought as carefully as a college thesis, and to only hear one or two songs is the same as only reading a couple chapters of an Elmore Leonard book; you'll never get the full story!
Carefully crafted musicianship by Tiller's Folly's master craftsman Nolan Murray, and the Fretless' Trent Freeman carry the songs to high-def quality, skillfully produced in the secretive Richard's Trail studio of award winning recordist Zach Cohen and Woodshop Studios. Overall, the ethereal quality of Saskia's finely-tuned vocals and Darrel's intense guitar work are showcased very nicely by these innovative new tunes. You'll want to spin it way more than just once.
Brace yourselves. This is 'feel good' music at it's best - a combination of country/folk & whatever fits. Individually & blended together, their voices are exceptional. Combined with their musical skills and song writing ability, Saskia & Darrel have outstanding talent.
We have enjoyed a number of concerts, plus playing & replaying their CDs are a continual reminder of a great time. What a treat - excellent, clean, fun music by two darn nice folks. Can't get much better than that.
Saskia en Darrel Delaronde zijn een muzikaal echtpaar uit de Canadese provincie Brits-Columbia dat zich al sinds vele jaren actief bezig houdt met het brengen van folk en rootsmuziek die ze ook samen hebben gecomponeerd en op plaat hebben uitgebracht.
Eind 2011 kregen we bij ‘Rootstime’ voor het eerst een plaat van dit zingende duo in de bus, hoewel “Songbirds” toen al hun negende officiële album was. Op die plaat brachten ze twaalf eigen nummers en een cover van het liedje “Songbird” van ‘Fleedwood Mac’-pianiste en zangeres Christine McVie. Nu stuurden Saskia & Darrel ons hun tiende plaat “The Bluebird Trail” toe, een cd met daarop negen eigen composities van het echtpaar en één coverversie van het schitterende nummer “Orphan Girl” uit het repertoire van countryster Gillian Welch.
Zoals we in de recensie van hun vorige plaat al hebben meegedeeld heeft Saskia Nederlandse roots en komt Darrel uit de prairie die ‘Great Plains’ noemt in het Canadese Saskatchewan. In hun muziek sijpelen de invloeden uit de traditionele Keltische muziek door en voor de opname van de nieuwe cd hebben ze Nolan Murray en Trent Freeman, twee gerenommeerde Canadese folkmuzikanten, in de studio uitgenodigd voor een bijdrage op mandoline en/of fiddle, instrumenten die heel vaak in die Keltische muziekstijl worden gebruikt.
“The Bluebird Trail” bevat keurig verzorgde en vlot in het gehoor liggende nummers, zoals openingstrack “Bluebird Trail”, “Prairie Elevator” en het traditionele “Patchwork Quilt” waarin Saskia naast het verzorgen van de lead zang ook op penny whistle speelt. Voor hun kleinkinderen schreven ze het muzikale sprookje over “There’s A Bear” en u kunt daar zelf ook van genieten als u naar de video bij deze recensie zal gaan kijken.
We kunnen niet zeggen dat Saskia & Darrel ons echt verrassen met de liedjes op deze plaat, want het weerspiegelt volledig wat binnen onze verwachtingen van hun werk ligt. Maar ze doen het ook nu weer zeer professioneel en als echte experten in het gebrachte genre. “Sing Low”, “Walking Shoes”, Major Rogers”, “Cabin Fever” en “Everybody Loves A Train” zijn stuk voor stuk knappe folkliedjes.
Omdat het zo’n heerlijke liedje is blijft “Orphan Girl” van Gillian Welch ook in hun versie ijzersterk overeind. Saskia zingt dit nummer met het juiste inlevingsvermogen en met de gepaste emoties in de stem. We kunnen dus over dit album geen minder positieve kritieken geven en moeten derhalve opnieuw vaststellen dat ook de tiende cd van ‘Saskia & Darrel’ weer puik werk is van dit hard werkende Canadese echtpaar.
Great reviews for last night's program continue to echo around town. We loved the genuineness, connectedness, complimentary nature of your interactions with each other (and with audience) as well as the good music and tremendous variety in music and presentation. Thank you.
As a retired 45 (plus) year broadcaster I have listened to the musical growth of The Great Plains. The latest CD, The Blue Bird TraiL, is an excellent demonstration of the creative talents of Saskia and Darrel. It is a great listen. Enjoy. Gordon Pearcy; Retired President and GM Northern Broadcasting Corp. Ltd.
Gordon Pearcy - Grande Prairie
Your show tonight in Calgary was fantastic! We loved your stories and original music. Hope to see you again and thank you for sharing your wonderful gift!
Our sincere thanks for performing at Desert Gardens. I know everyone enjoyed the show immensely and we all hope you will come back again sometime.
Thank-you so much for the wonderful Sunday afternoon. You were such a boost to our long winter season. We heard nothing but praise for your music. Anytime you are looking for a place in this neck of the woods, we would be happy to welcome you.
Your music, personalities, talent and presence are unforgettable. You have music power and finally experiencing that power in person will always be one of the highlights of my moments in an audience!
Kudos to you both and this website is Awesome!!!
Happy Thoughts your way Always and All Ways!
So much more than just entertainment. Saskia, I just want to thank Gary, you and Darrel again for entertaining us so spectacularly at the Brentwood Centre
on the 24th. I loved every moment of it. Your intro about Nederland and your song about spring and the tulips touched my heart and when you started singing
"Het Wilhelmus" I just about broke down. That personal touch, also with the song about the porchlight, made the whole performance so much
more than just entertainment. It touched every person in the audience on their own personal level, because most of us either have come from the prairies
or from Europe to eventually end up on this wonderful Island. Bless you all.
Formidable Vocal Dynamic; Darrel Delaronde and Saskia Overbeek have been quietly making prairie roots music for many years, frequently touring with Gary Fjellgaard while making their own mark from a Saskatchewan base.
Accompanied by Canadian instrumental icon Steve Dawson as well as Nolan Murray, Bill Hicks, and Thomas Kinzel, the duo have created a pleasant, literate offering of story- and experience-based songs that comfortably cross genre lines. Murray's fiddling, in particular, is quite appealing.
War Bride offers a perspective of post-war Canada; Summerside captures longing for a Prince Edward Island home; and Sam Kelley explores a Canadian connection to the wild-west through the story of the Big Muddy outlaw. Not everything is folk-heavy - Goin' to Town is a frivolous song for the working week and even Dundarave, a song of missing home, maintains a balance avoiding melancholy. Eleventh Hour is a welcome addition to the Remembrance Day canon. Delaronde's voice is most enjoyable as he shares tales while Saskia explores higher reaches; together, the pair establishes a formidable vocal dynamic.
Donald Teplyske is a local freelance writer who contributes a twice-monthly column on roots music; visit fervorcoulee.wordpress.com If you know a roots music event of which he should be aware, contact him at email@example.com
Great Singing & Musicianship!!!
Crowd Pleasers at the Vegreville Train Station. Songwriters Darrel Delaronde and Saskia delighted restaurant patrons and inspired local musicians at the Vegreville Train Station concert on Saturday evening. Saskia and Darrel were crowd pleasers with their original "prairie roots" style music resulting in a standing ovation at the end of the concert. It is wonderful for Vegreville to be attracting such great artists and the Train Station is at the forefront of becoming a popular venue for music entertainment.
Saskia and Darrel are a professional song writing and touring team often traveling and performing with Canadian music icon Gary Fjellgaard. This amazing duo delighted and connected with the audience throughout the evening with their repertoire of original Canadian folk music.
Of particular note were songs such as Laura's Kitchen, Prairie Town, Louis Riel, Summerside and a yodelling blues song. Finishing the evening performance in fine style was the love song Songbird. The appreciative audience responded with a standing ovation to which Saskia and Darrel provided a rollicking song Happy Together. Contributed by; Vegreville Folk Club; Perogies and Jam.
Doing what do they best. Last Saturday night I had the pleasure of seeing Juno Award-winner Gary Fjellgaard perform in concert on the main stage of the Prince George Legion Hall. After playing a couple of songs to get the show started, Gary invited my friends Saskia and Darrel, who tour with him as his backup band and "traveling companions," to perform a set of original material from their recent CDs "Laura's Kitchen" and "Sailing Saskatchewan." Although Gary was the star of the show, Saskia and Darrel were the players I had come to see, and they didn't disappoint. Their superb songwriting, storytelling, and playing were beautifully complemented by their energetic and fun stage presence. Although for many years they've kept a strenuous touring schedule on the road both in Canada and internationally, they approached every song in the evening's repertoire as if were the last song they would ever perform. Their smiles and enthusiasm were highly contagious, and, when Gary Fjellgaard returned to join them on the stage, their instrumental work and harmony vocals made him sound like a million bucks. This was the first time I'd ever seen Gary perform, and I left the show a convert to his artistry and style. But most of all, it was wonderful for me to see Saskia and Darrel-whom Gary treats not as "sidemen" but as musical peers and consummate fellow performers-there in the limelight doing what they do best and clearly loving it. If you ever have a chance to see them play-with or without Gary-don't even think of missing out. Kevin Hutchings. www.kevinhutchings.ca U.N.B.C. Canada Research Chair in Romantic Studies, Co-editor, Ashgate Series in Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Studies and Associate Professor, English.
An Ultra Modern Email Message to the Heart. 'Saskia & Darrel' are surprising audiences everywhere with their infectious new sound. This is storytelling in the grand old style of 70's folk singers, yet packaged and delivered in an ultramodern 'email' message to the heart. In an age where digitally cold pop music reigns as the flavour of the moment, just sit back, close your eyes and this delectable duo will sweep you away to a time of warm analog vinyl records played in your parent's living room on a comfortable old Westinghouse stereo. Not old music, but that old-fashioned sense of identifying with the song, back when songs were written for love of music rather that love for money. Welcome to the future.
Their duets were exquisite.
Catch One's Breath. "Gary, Saskia & Darrel: What a fabulous show! Between hilarious stories and poignant song lyrics accented by extraordinary harmonies, there was hardly a moment to catch one's breath. It was an evening none of us will forget for a very long while! Thank you on behalf of the Anne Murray Centre for an outstanding performance." Susan Belliveau. Springhill, Nova Scotia. March 22/2010
One of the truly great songwriters in Canada "I have had the pleasure of working with Darrel Delaronde off and on for several years now and have come to realize that here is one of the truly great songwriters in Canada. He writes from the heart with a true instinct for the craft, on subjects that most shy away from. I believe his Metis background has given him an historical as well as a romantic touch to his well crafted songs. Sincerely, Gary Fjellgaard"
Een Engele Stem. "Voice of an Angel" CD Review by Gerrit Vermeij! Hun songs zijn regelmatig op de Canadese radiostations te horen. Inmiddels zijn er 7 cd's van het duo verschenen en dit voorjaar komt er een tweede Europese tournee, waarbij ze ook Nederland aandoen. Hun muziek wordt omschreven als 'prairieroots' , 'Canadiana' met een beetje 'Dutchgrass'. De uit Nederland afkomstige Saskia emigreerde naar Canada en nam haar passie voor muziek mee. Ze heeft een engelenstem, zingt in 5 talen en speelt gitaar, bas en pennywhistle. Mooie teksten en melodieen, liedjes met een verhaal. Geweldige zang begeleid door Darrel's akoestische gitaar en Saskia op de elektrische bas. Zowel vocaal als instrumentaal een juweeltje met heel goede arrangementen. Hun stemmen passen perfect bij elkaar. Gerrit Vermeij. Radio Beverwijk. February 2010.
A remarkable compliment to Stampede. "Darrel Delaronde and Saskia delighted Calgary Stampede audiences with their performances on the Window on the West Stage. This professional duo, exuded friendliness with their warm smiles and good-natured demeanor while on stage. Their music and harmonies were clear, crisp, fresh and exciting. Darrel is a guitar virtuoso and makes the instrument sing while Saskia's voice is rich and pure. Together they were amazing and were a remarkable complement to the line-up of Stampede entertainers. We would welcome them back! Richard Letourneau, Chair, Window on the West Stage Calgary Stampede, July 2009" All the best to you both! Richard
Exceptional Talent Graces the Centre in Dryden Gary, Darrel and Saskia took our stage at the Centre with their musical talents. I had not known any of these great performers until they graced our stage and what a delight!! Gary with his great voice and musical talent delighted us with his story telling. While listening to Saskia, I turned to the person next to me and told him: "she has the voice of an angel", I just love her vocals, stories and musical talent. Darrel has a powerful voice and makes his guitar sing and when combining the two of them it is an outstanding show. Full of stories, professionalism, exceptional harmonies, and just love of music, it was a great pleasure to watch them perform. John Carlucci, Dryden Regional Training and Cultural Centre - 2010
Standing Ovation in Switzerland.
See you on stage! "The first time I heard the song "Laura's Kitchen" I knew Darrel and Saskia had something special. The rest of the songs on this CD measure up to that standard. Heartfelt lyrics, friendly melodies, great vocals all supported by Darrel's intricate acoustic guitar. Saskia more than holds her own with sensitive electric bass. Their live performance matches the quality of the CD. With the stories around the songs, it all adds up to an enjoyable evening of entertainment. A very comfortable visit to "Laura's Kitchen". See you on stage." -- Gary Fjellgaard
Wonderful Show at the Vital Spark.
"Wild response from the audience"
Smooth Sounds along the banks of the Mighty Peace River.
A Class Act
Beautiful harmonies. "I just got home from a wonderful concert. It was both relaxing and entertaining with beautiful harmonies and wonderful stories. Every concert society should book this group: Gary Fjellgaard with his guests Darrel delaRonde and Saskia. We hope to have them back!"Lake of the Woods Concert Group, Kenora, Ontario, October 23/2008
"Treasured Memories of a Dream Concert"
"Concert was a blast!"
What do the fans say.....................
Groupie. I was up in Barriere tonight to take in a concert with Gary Fjellgaard , Darrel de La Ronde and Saskia. I hear they are in Logan Lake tomorrow night. This was a great show in fact one of the best I have ever seen. If any of your listeners want a real treat and some great entertainment tell then about it. All around brilliant talent. The girl in his band (Saskia) has a voice like an angel. I would go to Logan Lake to see them again however I don't want to get called a groupie or worse yet a stocker. lol. Mike
I can't stop listening to........I came across a newspaper item recently which referred to your background and current status as an entertainer.... a story which led me to check out Youtube and other avenues to hear just what the "fuss" was about. I found out in no time flat...................Girl..you can flat-out sing!!!!!!!!!! I don't mean to suggest Gary and Darrel are not very talented individuals also, but your voice is marvelous...I can't stop listening to "Blue Canadian Rockies", "Inside Out" and others available on the internet. I wish you success and success in spades.....your voice "just don't quit"..................................Bob. M.
Made for eachother. Darrel!! You and Saskia can't quit the road, you and Saskia and your voices are made for each other!! Everytime I go to one of your concerts, I just hate when it comes to the end!!! Been playing your last CD ever since I got it!!! Just love it!!! Thelma Bazley. September 13
Joy filled music. "Hi Saskia and Darrel... What a pleasure it was spending time with you both at Jam at the Dam! I loved hearing your superb music and collaboration with Gary. Just got finished listening to Laura's Kitchen... what joy-filled music that sure brings out the sunny side of your life together as true Canadian troubadours! July 7, 2008 -- Reg C. White. (Jam at the Dam. Hudson's Hope)
We were at your show in Nipawin last night and it was spectacular! We knew Gary Fjellgaard was the best, but Darrel Delaronde and Saskia are right up there
with you. The three of you together were beyond great. Thank you all.
"Purveyors of eclectic "Prairie Folk" and fine country music, Darrel and Saskia combine rich vocal harmonies and virtuoso finger-style guitar work. Upbeat original ballads like "Louis Riel" and "Adeline" get the blood pumping vigorously; gorgeously crafted love songs like "Inside Out" tug on the heart strings and send shivers up the spine; down-and-dirty blues numbers like "Road Less Travelled" make one want to dance and sing along. When you hear their sounds, you will understand why Darrel and Saskia have been nominated for two prestigious SCMA awards, and why two of Saskia's songs have reached the EMI charts in Europe" -- Kevin Hutchings. www.kevinhutchings.ca U.N.B.C. Canada Research Chair in Romantic Studies, Co-editor, Ashgate Series in Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Studies and Associate Professor, English.
"Dear Saskia and Darrel... Your music lifted my spirit and will be enjoyed for days to come on the 4 Cds that my daughter and I bought between the two of us! The blending of your melodic voice Saskia along with the amazing guitar playing of you Darrel was such a treat ...a feast for the ears! The energy that you portrayed and your delight in each other with humour thrown in made your performance so very enjoyable..one can see how much you enjoy "making music" together!" Thank-you..thank-you for touching my heart. -- Blessings, Annette
"In the tradition of Gordon Lightfoot and Stompin' Tom, their music and lyrics cannot be mistaken for anything but Canadian ......in our accent ... singing us home." -- Ruth Calder, Courtenay, BC
"Get ready for a full course meal when you listen to Laura's Kitchen ... Darrel and Saskia serve up a rich and heart-warming blend of deliciously original tunes that will nourish your spirit and energize your soul. From the wholesome Canadian rhythm of 'Prairie Town' to the sweet gospel harmonies of 'Jerusalem', you will be treated to a truly fine and varied feast that is sure to keep you satisfied long after the show is over. " -- Karen Segee, Courtenay, BC
Everybody loves a train.