Country duo brings songs of love and loss

Playing in a band for popular singers, it’s easy to avoid the spotlight.

That was the basis for the band name Ghostboy, a duo composed of critically acclaimed musicians Denis Dufresne and Aaron Young who will take to the stage in Humboldt later this month.

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Dufresne, an award-winning fiddler and mandolin player from Medicine Hat, Alta., and Aaron, a prolific guitar player from Prince Albert, first played together in world music band Barrage at the age of 20.

“We played on every PBS station and had toured the world by the time we were 25 or 26 years old,” said Dufresne.

“[Young] went off to the jazz world and I went off to the country world.”

Fast forward to three years ago when the pair moved about three blocks away from each other.

“We started playing music together again and that’s how this all started. ‘Ghostboy’ comes from the fact that basically our day jobs are playing music for relatively famous people, so when you’re on stage with a really well-known singer, quite often the band doesn’t really get recognized.”

That isn’t the case, though, when the pair tours through small Canadian towns with their brand of country music that is a throwback to 1970s country with a modern twist.

“Getting the music out there, getting to these small town communities, it’s kind of a different thing,” said Dufresne.

“When you put a show on in the big city, you put it on and then you leave. In a small town, you get invested in the people who come to your show. You get to go out in the audience after and meet people, and find out what their likes are and what they don’t like so much.”

When it comes to writing their own original songs, Dufresne said a lot of them are inspired by “your token country stuff.”

“There’s some leaving songs, there’s some love songs – a lot is based on our relationships,” said Dufresne.

Audiences can expect a high energy show with world class playing from Ghostboy. The duo will perform some of their own tunes as well as covers of songs by artists they have backed or been influenced by.

Ghostboy will take the stage at 7:30 pm on Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Humboldt and District Gallery. Later, they'll perform at the Community Legion Hall in Wadena at 2 pm on Sunday, Oct. 21.

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