Canadian trio is enjoying the ride

Courtesy of Mark Pucci Media

The Good Lovelies – Sue Passmore, Kerri Ough and Caroline Brooks.

By Ted Holteen
Arts & Entertainment Editor

We hear so much about how hard it is to be a working musician that it’s really nice to hear that some people are still just in it for the fun of it. Case in point: a Canadian trio, Good Lovelies.

The Toronto-area natives – Sue Passamore, Kerri Ough and Caroline Brooks – formed Good Lovelies about five years ago after an informal Christmas concert.

“Things clicked and fell into place, and we realized there was something really good, so we decided to roll with it, and we’re still rolling,” Passamore said from Salt Lake City before the band’s Monday night concert.

Wednesday’s show at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College will be the first in Colorado for the Good Lovelies, which is on a mileage-laden tour of the West that will end in British Colombia in a few weeks.

“We get to see a lot of the world, and that’s still a lot of fun for us – I hope we never lose that,” Passamore said.

On stage, the ladies have even more fun. Three-part harmony is their hook, and they’ve got the voices to back it up. They swap instruments as often as verses, and much of the show consists of their impromptu comedy and audience interaction.

“There’s so much that happens when we’re out touring, so it’s fun to share those stories. It also helps fill the pauses when we’re passing the instruments back and forth,” Passamore said.

Most of a Good Lovelies set list consists of original songs written by any one of the three musicians, who can play guitar, mandolin, banjo and any number of miscellaneous percussion instruments. For this tour, the band will be joined by bassist Paul Mathew.

The Good Lovelies will give a free songwriters’ workshop Wednesday afternoon before the concert.

The informal gatherings give the band a chance to meet some of the locals, and they end up getting as much from it as the invited guests.

“It gives us a chance to think about what we’re doing,” Passamore said. “We fit songwriting into the cracks in between touring and recording. Some songs take years, others are spontaneous, but it’s always there, and these workshops have been great for helping us in that process, too.”

Opening Wednesday’s show will be a local all-star outfit. Lisa Blue, a prolific and committed songwriter in her own right, will be accompanied by her regular trio member, Hal Lott, as well as one of the best flat-picking guitar players in the Southwest, if not the country, Gary Cook of the Bar D Wranglers. Blue has played opening sets at the Concert Hall for Ray Price and Marty Stuart.

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