Spring sounds
Gumboots prepare their annual concert

by Janet Smellie
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 28/97) - How many Gumboots does it take to have a good time? Four, of course.

Instead of the five voices we all may be used to -- Baritone Bunge jumped ship for a gal last Fall -- the four remaining Gumboots will help us celebrate spring with their popular homespun Northern melodies April 11 and 12 at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre.

"We'll be performing a lot of the earlier songs from our first CD, plus some we're working on for the new album," says Chic Callas.

The four-piece group has been singing up a storm since the 1980s.

Callas says even though the group's been spending the last few months re-adjusting to the absence of John Bunge, who sang baritone, the Gumboots' third CD will come out this summer as scheduled.

Bunge moved to Calgary to wed Trilogy star Cathy Miller on May 17.

"I remember several years ago when we lost the first one, Peter Short," says Bob MacQuarrie, who notes that Callas has been doing a great job filling the baritone gap left by Bunge.

"He was a United Church minister who left in the early 1990s. Oh, boy, I thought. What will we do? But then along came Chris Philpotts and we got on with it. We miss John, but we just have to go on."

As in the past, the group will be bringing Yellowknifers a performer from the South.

Cindy Church, who's had a remarkable year attracting national recognition for her first album Love on the Range, will appear with lead guitarist Nathan Tinkham and bass player John Towill.

Church, who can't be pigeonholed as a "country" singer, is just as at home with a jazz ballad as she would be a pop tune, a gospel song or folk material.

Along with singing harmony for Ian Tyson, Church was also lead singer in the Great Western Orchestra, which had such hits as Ride On and The Train of Life.

"She's no stranger to Yellowknife," adds MacQuarrie, who writes most of the songs.

"After she finished singing for Ian Tyson, her and Nathan came here and lived outside of town for about six months. She then formed the Great Western Orchestra."

Tickets are available at Sam the Record Man or from your local Gumboot.