It’ll be something of a meeting of young and experienced musicians in a charity concert at Gale Presbyterian later this month. The Larry Mercery Trio will be joined by special guest up-and-coming fiddler Leo Stock.
Mercey was a seven-time Juno Award winner during his time with his previous group, the Mercey Brothers. He founded the trio with George Lonsbury and Al Alderson in 2004. This will be their third time performing at the church in the last 10 years.
“It’d be mostly classic country music with a little bit of gospel,” Mercey said of what concert-goers can expect.
“We don’t use drums at all. We just feel that it is like us coming into the listeners living room, so that we’re not too loud – just like we’re just singing to them.”
At just 18 years of age, Stock has already won several awards, including being an Ontario Open Fiddle finalist, a Canadian Open Step Dance champion and a two-time Ontario Open Step Dance champion. While Stock has some natural talent, he has obviously worked hard to get to where he is. It is rare for someone that young to be among the top fiddlers, Mercey noted.
“To see young people at a concert like this, I’m an old guy, I’ve been at it for years and they enjoy seeing young people work at doing something they love. This is our first time working with Leo. To be as good as he is, he’s had to practice, he’s had to have worked at his trade.”
Stock originally started as a step dancer at just five years old. He was introduced to fiddle music through his dancing.
“When you do that because it’s the definitively Canadian style – you dance to Canadian fiddle music. I would go around to the contests and whatnot and dance to the music, and I was like, ‘man, this fiddle music thing is really cool.’ So I wanted to play the fiddle.
Stock started taking fiddle lessons at age nine, and since 2017 has been a member of the Scott Woods band, which on April 28 will start a months-long tour across Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Stock released his first album “What’s Next?” in 2019, however he is still trying to find his ideal sound for the next album, he explained.
“I’ve been kind of thinking about it because it has been a while since that first album was released, but at this time I’m not really sure what I would like to do,” the Stratford native added.
The upcoming show at Gale will be “fantastic,” Stock said.
“Larry Mercey’s got a really great crew behind him. Obviously, he’s a fantastic singer, and a great songwriter. And so when you listen to him sing, it very good. And he’s backed up by some really great players. When you put them all together, and they’ve been playing together for so many years, you end up with a really tight show, a really great show that just flows along really nicely. It’s really an honour to be playing with them.”
The concert at Gale is set for April 14 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by contacting 519-669-2852 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Proceeds will be going towards the purchase of equipment at Barnswallow Place Care Community and other locations.
Copies of Mercey’s autobiography “Have Mercey: My First 60 Years Making Music” will also be available for purchase.