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Review: Leaf Rapids closes out EMCA's 50th Season!

Review by: George Gibson

Photo Credits: Derrek Owen


Leaf Rapids came to Pinawa last Saturday evening. This was the Eastern Manitoba Concert Association’s last concert of the season and Leaf Rapids is a Winnipeg based four-piece band. Another large crowd came out to experience the often mournful, somehow soothing, always comfortable, somehow forlorn sounds of this wonderful, folky foursome.


Keri Latimer is front-person, lead writer, lead vocalist, and plays acoustic guitar and theremin. The show is centred around Keri’s stories sung in her outstanding, often plaintive vocals. This is a tight foursome with a clean, clear sound anchored by Joanna Miller on drums and featuring Chris Dunn and Devin Latimer on lead and bass guitar. Joanna, Chris and Devin create a thick, full sound that Keri’s delicate vocals float securely upon.



Keri is also adept with the highly unusual theremin, a small box of electronics and antennae that can be made to produce some beautifully eerie and sometimes human-sounding musical tones. It made a superb accompaniment to her preferred vocal stylings and the crowd loved the combination.


Another unusual element in this show was Joanna’s astounding whistling which had the effect of closing a perfectly complementary triangle with Keri’s long-held vowels and the theremin tones. Joanna’s whistling was not some juvenile melodic ditty. This was serious and bold musicianship that was appreciated and acknowledged by the audience.


Before intermission we heard eight original pieces interspersed with Keri’s unselfconscious, often self-deprecating humour. These all told their own stories in Leaf Rapids’ unique voice. It is difficult to pick out a crowd favourite here as they were all well-received. The second set included a surprising cover of The Man Who Sold the World, the haunting theremin tones and vocals of which I’m sure David Bowie would have approved.


An uptempo piece Insomniac Show ended the scheduled set but the crowd was having none of that and called the group back. In the encore we were treated to a sensitive rendering of Patsy Cline’s If You Got Leaving On Your Mind and then a rocking, energetic, all-hands-on-deck original called Healing Feeling.



This was another great EMCA show that closed the 2023-2024 50th anniversary season. Enjoy the summer, and stay tuned for information on next year’s program which we are already diligently working on.

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