Right time for Velle – album release and concert

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Velle's album The Right Time

“I want my music to make people feel invigorated and happy and full of energy,” says Velle Huscroft Weitman, who prefers to be known by her mononym Velle.  “I want people to listen to my album while they clean the kitchen, or go for a run, or go for a drive with the windows down and the sun beaming in.”

Velle will be releasing her seven-track album entitled The Right Time on October 21st, as well as performing three concerts in the Kootenay region to celebrate the release.  “My music has been described as retro-roots-soul,” she says.  “The music of my childhood was definitely in the roots genre, but now I listen to a lot of soul music.  I’m trying to combine the two musical styles.”

Known as a fiddler for most of her musical career, Velle didn’t want to record a fiddling album but instead focus on writing original tunes with a musical base in jazz and soul.  “I wanted an album that was bold and imaginative, with influences that go back to the 1940s.  This is a natural extension of who I am.  And don’t worry,” she adds, “fiddling will always be a part of my shows.”

After performing at a music camp on Saltspring Island over a year ago and receiving a standing ovation, Velle reassessed the reality and direction of her life.  Though she was happy in her role as music teacher, wife and mother of three, she knew it was time to start realizing her dream of recording an album.  “I was a touring artist and played music festivals across BC, but I put that life on hold when I had my kids.  Life happily got in the way.  But now my kids are all in school and I can start to focus on myself again.  I just feel like the timing is ideal.  After three decades of playing music and honing my craft, the right musicians and the right producer fell into place.  I started recording an album ten years ago, but it didn’t work out.  I was determined to see this one to the end.  I’m dedicated to getting my music out there and getting back into the festival scene again.”

With some encouragement from friends and family, Velle took the first step by phoning multi-instrumentalist and producer Adrian Dolan, whose work with his band The Bills as well as with The Wailin’ Jennys and Ruth Moody have made him one of the most sought-after in the business.  “I phoned up Adrian and asked him if he would come to Creston.  He said he couldn’t start until December, but he was excited to begin.  Although he usually works in the folk genre, he’s always wanted to do a soul album and that pushed me to finalize the sound I wanted for my songs and to confirm all the musicians.”

After recording rhythm tracks at Prince Charles auditorium, and further recordings made at Jason Deatherage’s Fort Cosmos Studios, Velle sent her tracks to mixing master Wynn Gogol at One Ton Studios at the end of April.  With several calls and emails, not to mention photo shoots, graphics, linear notes and everything else involved in creating a successful album, it has been a long and hectic process.Throughout it all, it was important for Velle to have local talent involved.  “There is some amazing talent here in the Kootenays,” says Velle. “I’m a Kootenay girl and I really wanted to celebrate the area by working with local artists.  I left home, but I came back to raise my kids here.  This is where I grew up and it’s really a part of me.”

The name of the album holds special significance for Velle.  “I put my dream on hold to be take care of my kids.  Making this album and going back on tour is an act of self-care and self worth for me.  It’s the ‘right time’ for me, and it could be the ‘right time’ for anyone.”

Now that Velle’s vision has come to fruition, she is hoping to inspire others.  “I want to inspire others to follow their dreams.  I realized, at a certain point in my life, that I didn’t want to leave this any longer, and I know there are others out there teetering between wishing and actually doing it.  I want to let people know it’s worth it.  It’s worth it in so many ways.  It’s been a long process and it hasn’t always been a smooth ride, but I’m so proud of the tracks on this album.”

For Velle, the album is just the beginning.  “I want to keep going and create more.  I want to see this project to the end, and then start another one.  I feel connected and confident.  I feel so encouraged by my vision and passion and drive.  I think my music would be great for film and TV, and I look forward to what the future will hold.”

Backed by a ten-piece band, Velle is playing a three-night tour starting in Creston on October 21st, at the Prince Charles Theatre.  This is followed by concerts in Nelson on October 22nd and in Cranbrook on October 23rd.  “I want people to come to my show and forget about life for a while,” says Velle.  “I’ve done my job if the audience is transported to another time and place.  I’m so touched that people are willing to leave the comfort of their homes after work and come listen to live music and celebrate the release of the album.  I really want to put on a good show.  They could be watching Netflix, and I know how tempting that can be.”

Tickets for the October 21st concert in Creston are on sale at Creative Fix for $10 ($15 at the door).  The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.; doors open at 7:00 p.m.