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Lethbridge-based country star takes the stage April 9

Trevor Panczak bringing life-long love of music to Nancy Appleby Theatre
Trevor Panczak will bring his own brand of country to the Nancy Appleby Theatre April 8 for the third show in the Heartwood Folk Club Spring Season (Photo submitted by Panczak.)

ATHABASCA – Trevor Panczak’s musical career has taken him a lot of places — he’s opened for the Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban, and Tim McGraw, among others, while also being recognized for his volunteerism in Lethbridge and the surrounding area.

For the second time in his career, music will be taking him to a stage here in Athabasca on April 8 at the Nancy Appleby Theatre.

“I’m thankful every day that I get to do this no matter what the event size is,” said Panczak. “It’ll be good to be a part of things up that way again.”

Panczak is the third act in the Heartwood Folk Club’s spring season, which has so far seen acclaimed bluegrass act John Reischman and the Jaybirds, and Jack Garton and the Dream Band strut their stuff in the theatre.

He will be bringing his own style of country to the stage, which he said was nurtured by a love of music as a child; from Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard to ABBA, Panczak said he’s listened to and played all of it.

“For those that haven’t seen me before, I’m going to walk them through my musical journey; the very first song is a song my dad used to play, and that was my first musical influence in my life,” said Panczak. “We’ll play some of my original material, throw in some stories in there, and have a lot of fun. Two 45-minute sets go by like they’re 15 minutes, it’s just been so fun and so fast.”

COVID-19 slowed down life for the band — some members have come and gone but Panczak has played with steel guitar player Darren Sillito for 13 years — but things are quickly returning to normal. Their stop in Athabasca is part of a stint that will see the act play six shows in six days, including stops in Cold Lake and Leduc.

“I was just in Saskatchewan for 20 days in November, and this is another onslaught oncoming,” said Panczak. “I’ve got a recording project in May in Nashville so there’s lots going on.”

Panczak has seen some commercial success with his recordings in the past. His 2017 album Where I Go to Come Back had two top 50 hits, “Cheap Shades”, and “For a Girl.

“I love songs that are about real people, real situations, and real feelings,” said Panczak. “There are really only two kinds of music, good or bad. I like to write and interpret songs that the regular everyday person can identify with.”

Family History

Music has been a constant in Panczak’s life for as long as he can remember — despite an early push from his parents to learn to play the piano, an old guitar his dad owned kept calling out to the country musician. With some help from his family, Panczak was soon performing in Lethbridge, playing fundraisers and small shows all over the area.

“I’m just as happy in a crowd of 200 as I am in front of 20,000,” he said. “You get to connect more with your audience in a soft-seat theatre — they’re there for a show and we put on a show that we can take pride in.

“We’ve been asked back to a lot of small towns three, four-plus times, and that’s sort of our pat on the back that we’re doing a good job and that they want us back. We just love the connection we can maintain in that environment.”

Tickets for the show can be found at Value Drug Mart, Whispering Hills Fuel, or Athabasca Health Foods for $30, or tickets can be purchased at the door for $35. This season, admission for anyone 16 and under is free.

The last show of the season, Saskatchewan-based country trio Sister Grace, will be in town April 18.

Cole Brennan

About the Author: Cole Brennan

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