The Stagecoach Songwriters Series, presented by Katavállo Entertainment, is an intimate evening of stories and songs, featuring some of the finest singer/songwriters that Alberta has to offer, including performances on June 13 by Kent Nixon and Luanne Carl of Stettler’s Renegade Station, and Airdrie’s own Brandon Lorenzo.
Doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7 p.m. at Century Downs Racetrack & Casino in Balzac in The Homestretch Room overlooking the racetrack.
“With seating for up to 140 guests, it’s cozy enough to create the perfect setting for a listening room and an up-close experience with your favorite artist,” says Cheryl Barkhouse, who runs Katavállo with her daughter K-Leigh Schofield.
Named after an unsolved crime and a little piece of the area’s history – the only Stagecoach Robbery in Alberta’s history actually occurred in 1886 in the Sharp Hill area when two masked men stole $435 (the equivalent of about $10,000 today) and were never caught – the Stagecoach Songwriters Series was launched in February 2023, featuring two artists every second month. The evening consists of two 45-minute sets, with the artists telling the audience about their songs prior to performing acoustic versions of them.
So what’s got Cheryl and K-Leigh extra excited about this year’s concert series?
“For the first time ever,” says Cheryl, “we are making the Stagecoach Songwriters Series American Sign Language (ASL) Assessable.
“A few years ago, I worked with a young lady who is deaf and loved music. It would break my heart to see how much she loved something, and she couldn’t fully enjoy it. But that never stopped her from enjoying. I would crank the music in my car, and she would put her hands on the dash and speakers all with a big smile and a belly laugh.
“In April, I had our sound tech approach me with an idea and I was immediately interested! Now here we are ready to go! Katavállo Entertainment will be the first to add this element to any music showcasing or songwriters’ series. We are all so excited to see how it is going to be received by our deaf community!”
The Stagecoach Songwriters Series will be taking a break after the June 13 show, returning on a monthly basis in the Fall of 2023.
Beginning July 1st, Katavállo will be taking submissions from artists who would like to take part in the Stagecoach Songwriters Series as part of the upcoming fall schedule. There are some criteria that have to be met before doing so, says Cheryl, such as you must be a singer/songwriter that is working your craft, have a social media following and actively be working your social media to connect with your audience. You can submit your name at Katavalloentertainment.com
“We are currently primarily focusing on the Country Genre,” says Cheryl, “but will be incorporating other genres as we move forward. We want to be able to reach out and have everyone come out and enjoy their favorite artists.”
The dynamic mother and daughter duo come by their passion for all kinds of music – but especially country – naturally.
“People keep asking how long we’ve been involved in the music business,” says Cheryl. “Well, there is a short and a long answer to that. It all started when my daughter, K-Leigh Schofield, started was the editor of her school paper and did an article on what she loved – Country Music.
“K-Leigh would set up interviews with artists and, as a supportive parent, I would drive her and also do the photography and video the interview for her. She created a website called K-Leigh’s Korner, where everything was posted. From there, the artists got to know both of us and would reach out asking for support on projects, etc. We started attending seminars and became members of CCMA, CMAB, AB Music, to name a few, and increased our knowledge and presence in the industry.
“Around 2008, we started to put on house concerts here in Airdrie, out of my living room and backyard. We had artists of all levels move through the house concerts, such as Tennile Townes, Chad Brownlee, Aaron Goodvin, Adam Gregory, Duane Steele and Jamie Warren to name just a few.”
In 2012-13, Cheryl moved into a management role as well as offering mentorship, consulting, and other services to fledgling artists. That eventually led to Katavállo Entertainment being born in 2017 and they haven’t looked back since.
In fact, 2023 has seen Katavállo Entertainment receive its first two industry nominations: Talent Buyer of the Year at the CMAB Awards and Personal Artist Management at the Josie Awards in Nashville, Tennessee.
Tickets for the June 13 show are available via Eventbrite for $15 plus applicable service charges.
For news on upcoming performances, visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/StagecoachSongwritersSeries/