Pemberton duo to play Sunday Night Sound Lounge 

Who: Greasy Jack & Julie

What: The Sunday Night Sound Lounge

Where: The Wild Seed (Mount Currie)

When: Sunday, March 21

February’s gala Cultural Cabaret event launching the Celebration 2010 Whistler Arts Showcase featured an all-star lineup of local actors, musicians, ex-Olympians, cultural performers and stars of the future. Impressive performance after impressive performance proceeded like a highlight reel of the local arts and cultural scene.

Smack dab in the middle of things however, a couple of good-natured Pembie folk – a grinning gal in a long fur coat and a cowboy hat and her guitar-toting male companion – came out and stole everyone’s hearts with a lilting version of Peter Paul & Mary’s Leaving on a Jet Plane .

They had the room on their hook after that one so they reeled it in with a raucous blues number about a redheaded woman that garnered uncharacteristically wild applause from the refined crowd in the soft seats at MY Place.

Unquestionably, Greasy Jack and Julie Ann Rigby were a highlight of the highlight reel.

The duo’s easy compatibility suggests years of association, yet Rigby, a Pemberton aesthetician, reveals they only started playing together last summer.

Rigby was coming off a successful, self-promoted performance at Pemberton’s Pony Espresso Cafe. Shortly afterwards, buoyed by the show, she was introduced to the man that goes by Greasy Jack, a seasoned performer who bowled her over with his guitar and songwriting skills.

Despite reservations about their voices and styles being very different, the two eventually got together to jam.

"We started singing together and harmonizing and I actually started crying. And that’s sort of what happened. It just totally clicked," says Rigby, who calls her partner a "creative genius."

Since then, the duo have popped up at the Crystal Lounge, the Pemberton Hotel, the Pony, the Amsterdam, the Whistler Museum’s opening of last fall’s Retro Ski-Wear exhibit, and at Tapley’s Farm last Halloween. They’re also the featured artists at this week’s Sunday Night Sound Lounge an eclectic live music night at Mount Currie restaurant The Wild Seed.

The duo’s repertoire runs from rockin’ tambourine-shakin’ foot stompin’ blues to sly purring grooves like Peggy Lee’s Fever , to heartfelt folksy rock like the Stones’ Ruby Tuesday . They’ve even stripped away the Top 40 R&B production and found a great song in the Christina Aguilera ballad Beautiful, adding Latin guitar licks and Rigby’s honest vocals.

With the eccentric Greasy Jack at the helm anything is possible.

"We’ll do a country-blues version of Stayin’ Alive ," says Rigby.

For more information on The Sunday Night Sound Lounge call 604-894-5567.

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