By Eraina Hooyer
Popular western band Hey Romeo will be ripping up the stage at the Longscore Saloon at the Ponoka Stampede for a three night performance on June 26, 29 and 30.
Singer Stacie Roper, keyboardist Rob Shapiro and guitarist Darren Gusnowsky are the talented members of Hey Romeo and the band is very excited to be performing at the Stampede.
“I love the atmosphere of this rodeo. Sometimes when you play larger stages you feel so separated from the audience and it’s hard to bring the people into the show, not here. We play on a small stage outside, right on the rodeo grounds with people dancing right in front of us all night, singing along to all the songs and having a great time,” said Roper. “It’s hard not to get consumed by the energy. I also really love getting to know everyone at this rodeo. People from in and around the community along with people from all over Canada bring their trailers and tents just to be here for those five or six days. It is a huge party.”
The band has opened shows for such diverse acts as Sugarland, Chely Wright, the Corb Lund Band, Emerson Drive, the Road Hammers, The Trews and Blue Rodeo.
Hey Romeo will be performing a lot of songs from their debut CD such as ‘Second Hand News’ and ‘Weathered Names’ as well as some other popular songs.
The band will also be backing up the local talent show and Roper is looking forward to helping out the singers and she, herself, began her singing career at this show.
“Fans want to hear and support people that are from their community and this gives them the greatest venue to do just that,” said Roper. Darren, Rob and I are very honoured every year to back up these fine singers. You never know when we’ll be able to say, “Hey, I know that person, we were their back up band before they were famous!” Actually we have said that a few times already, so I really hope people stay and take in this show after the chuckwagon races.”
Hey Romeo has built up a substantial fan base in western Canada and has taken the stage at events such as The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, The Big Valley Jamboree, The Canadian Finals Rodeo, as well as several other major events.
Roper encourages everyone to come out and enjoy themselves during the talent show and their performances.
“You can stay until the wee hours of the morning and socialize in the beer gardens while dancing to the music of our band Hey Romeo,” she said. “I guarantee a fabulous night and some great original music.”