Local singer Randi Boulton can’t wait to hit the stage Aug. 3 for Lacombe’s Music in the Park.
Performances kick off at 6:30 p.m. at the Lacombe Memorial Centre’s Echo Stage.
After two years of virtually no gigs, it’s exhilarating for the award-winning vocalist to be performing again and exploring her artistic sensibilities.
Prior to the pandemic, she had visited Nashville several times to write tunes with Buddy Owens – who has written songs with Gord Bamford and Blake Shelton.
Then of course COVID hit and almost everything ground to a halt.
Reflecting on that season, Boulton explains that her passion was shifted to empower her for other challenges, like caring for her parents who were enduring some serious health challenges.
“I feel like I don’t have a purpose unless I’m doing things that help other people,” she explained. “And when it comes to my family, I’ll do anything.”
But there were some bright spots during those times, too, like purchasing her first home in Red Deer, getting a couple of puppies and becoming a stronger person overall.
“When you go through something difficult, it makes you grow. It really challenges you. You can say, ‘This is too much’ and just check out. Or you can say, ‘I’ve made it through, and this is what I’ve learned’. It gives you a lot more depth. I had to challenge myself and step up to the plate in things that I didn’t necessarily know that I could do,” she said.
“I’m stronger now. You don’t always realize how strong you are until you are forced to be strong.
“Because I wasn’t playing gigs, music wasn’t front and centre, but it was always with me,” she added. “Like I’d be out landscaping, and I’d have my headphones on listening. Number one – I’m still a fan of music before anything. And as soon as things opened up, it took me awhile to back into the groove again,” she added with a laugh.
“I was exhausted after a gig at first, but it’s getting better! But you don’t realize, when you step away from it, how much you do lose. But now that I’m back in it, I’m full on ‘back in it!’ I’m so, so grateful.”
Indeed. And her gratitude goes beyond the gift of music.
“Now, I have the best of both worlds – I have a home, my puppies, my family – everything is good to go. And I can pick up where I left off (musically) and it feels so good! I have so many song ideas in my head.”
From the start, Boulton has always written and sang with a striking sincerity. Her kindness, authenticity and accessibility as an artist and as a person always shine through. Her latest CD, Randi With an ‘I’, truly showcased her gifts not just as an artist but as a powerful communicator as well.
She started garnering serious attention at 12 years of age when she landed first prize in a talent show with her mom. Boulton later won a songwriting contest at 14.
That led into being selected to play for Showcase ‘98 in Edmonton. Ever since, she’s been finding her way – being increasingly recognized for her powerful voice and her authenticity as an artist.
“I read my audience, and (often) make up my song list as I go along,” she explained when asked about the upcoming Lacombe performance. It certainly keeps things fresh, injecting a sense of energy and excitement into her shows. “I go with the flow,” she said. “It’s a challenge for me, and I really like that as well.”
Next up in the Music in the Park series is the Overdue Blues Band on Aug. 10. Music in the Park is presented by the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre.