A star in the making
Amber LeMouel knocks 'em dead at annual country music week

by Janet Smellie
Northern News Services

NNSL (Sep 26/97) - It wasn't the easiest job, but she did it.

Being called up as the first of 40 acts to perform at Showcase '97 in front of a packed house during Country Music Week, wasn't the easiest, recalls Yellowknife's own rising star, Amber LeMouel, but the benefits look like they will pay off.

LeMouel, 19, travelled to Hamilton, Ont., to attend the week-long country-fest. She not only was able to perform six of the songs from her debut CD, Extra, Extra, but she also signed a four-year management deal with a leading Toronto Firm.

LeMouel signed a with Boake-Evans Entertainment and Productions, a major firm that promotes recording stars.

"They'll find me places to sing all over Canada. We're also working on putting out a four-song demo tape which will be sent to radio stations across North America," she says,

LeMouel's been singing since she was a young child, when she used to sneak into the Elk's Club to perform in front of the beer-drinking members. She been steadily gaining momentum since she released Extra, Extra last year.

Just being showcased at the music week is an honor, she says, despite the fact that it was only for 20 minutes.

"The experience helped me with exposure, something I'm not really used to. I had to do it, so I went out there and got to it," LeMouel says.

During the week, she also got a chance to speak with and meet some of Canada's most successful country singers, including Michelle Wright and Shania Twain.

The event was so laid back, she adds, that she even managed to fit in a game of pool with country star Jamie Warren.

"She got a lot of work ahead of her, but her voice is so dynamic we really see a future," says her manager, Paul Evans.

"We had her out to our ranch party the week before her show and she was able to work with some other artists on her stage presence.

"By the time she was showcased she did a wonderful job," Evans says, adding that "it's a tough, tough business to break into, but her voice has an edge, she's unique and she's a songwriter. Labels are looking for people who can sing and write songs."

Evans says that, even though they're excited about the upcoming launch of her yet-to-be recorded demo tape,

LeMouel still has a long haul ahead of her if she wants to

reach her goals.

"In this business it takes three or four launches to really get the impact out there. But she's got the focus needed, and I'm really excited about where she's going."

LeMouel, who currently works as a data-entry clerk for Stanton Regional Hospital, was planning to go to university to study dentistry.

But now that she's had this experience she's changed her mind and plans to focus on music.

"I used to think it would be important to have something to fall back on, but I've now realized that music is what I want to do full-time."

Along with recording her demo, with the possibility of a video, she also plans to attend the Harrison Institute of the Arts in Toronto next September to take courses in production and engineering.

In the meantime, LeMouel will continue to live in Yellowknife. She says she's hoping to find a local band she can jam with while she's here. "It would be great if there were some people who I could practise with, who will want to play my music," she says.

And if xxxCountry Music News' review of LeMouel is any indication, local musicians would be crazy not to get involved.

Larry Delaney wasted no time in his review when he wrote that "LeMouel could be the vocal find of the decade" in the September issue.

"The Yellowknife native has an intriguing vocal style that moves from silky and smooth to spunky and saucy, as the need demands. I'd say we're listening to a 'star in the making."