WHEN it comes to alternate Americana performers, Canadian-born and in part Virginia-raised, singer-songwriter Devon Sproule and support act banjo visionary North Carolina-based Baby Copperhead (Ben B. Lee) fit the bill perfectly.

Baby Copperhead was up first and with him joined by Sproule band member, bass clarinet player Chris Cundy an off the wall piece aided by off-the-wall electronic wizardry was served.

I don’t think I could have handled too much of it, but with Cundy despatched to the dressing room and Baby Copperhead performing an innovative mix of clawhammer banjo the audience with more eclectic programmed music a more even keel was obtained.

The show very much a family event, Sproule with her baby in her arms even joined him on vocals.

Copperhead’s cover of David Bowie’s Ashes To Ashes I must add was one of the highlights of the evening, such the creativeness of both his playing and all-round energy.

Sproule wasn’t the only ‘guest’ during BC’s segment since electric guitarist Rory Haye likewise got in on the act. All in all he opened the way for the hard working and innovative Sproule to place her own quirky stamp on the evening.

A huge favourite, Sproule and her ensemble that included Copperhead worked the audience superbly. There was a bunch of songs from her new album The Gold String coupled with her wonderful version of Leon Russell’s Superstar (The Carpenters), and with her plaintive lyrics that often of simple family life she could do no wrong.

Among the finest offerings pulled from her exciting new album came Drawing Circles and More Together to go with You Got Me Singing and You Can’t Help.

With not one but two encores the night closed on a high. Sproule performed an a cappella fashion (she snapped her fingers to keep rhythm) for the first, and then as a quartet they gave traditional song Willow Tree a welcome run out.

Maurice Hope