Randi Boulton enjoyed an impromptu opportunity to sing with Jann Arden in Calgary last year. Boulton kicks of this year’s Music in the Park series on June 7. Photo submitted

Randi Boulton enjoyed an impromptu opportunity to sing with Jann Arden in Calgary last year. Boulton kicks of this year’s Music in the Park series on June 7. Photo submitted

Local singer Randi Boulton to kick off Lacombe’s Music in the Park

Local singer Randi Boulton can’t wait to kick off Lacombe’s Music in the Park series on June 7.

Performances in the series start at 6:30 p.m. at the Lacombe Memorial Centre’s Echo Stage.

“I feel so energized! This is my favourite time of year,” she said during a recent chat. “Everything is turning green and you feel like you are growing as well. I’m also really excited about Music in the Park – it’s one of my favourite shows to do. It has a special place in my heart also because Lacombe was my home for so many years.”

Boulton is a much-loved Central Alberta performer – regularly showcasing her award-winning talents to audiences across the region.

That includes Calgary, where last summer she was attending a show featuring Jann Arden and was called up on stage to sing Arden’s smash hit Insensitive.

The two had met over the years, but Boulton couldn’t believe her ears when Arden asked her to join her – it was an absolute dream come true, she said.

Not to mention the fact that Boulton has also landed an opening spot for one of Arden’s shows this August in Calgary.

“Last year I went to one of her shows – it was very intimate,” she said. “My friend said, ‘You need to come to this show – it’s going to be very intimate and I think you are going to love it’. So we went down to Calgary and got up close to the little stage on the patio. I was sitting in the audience just staring at Jann thinking this is so amazing!

“Out of nowhere, she said, ‘Everyone – this is Randi Boulton in the audience – a local singer/songwriter’. It totally blew my mind! So she gives me this amazing shout-out and I’m thinking this is incredible. And then she says, ‘Why don’t you come up and sing a song?’

Boulton couldn’t believe it.

But up she went and they started playing Insensitive.

“This is a dream I have had since I was a girl to sing with her. I know all of her songs – she’s been my teacher. I would listen to her music, I’d harmonize and learn to play the songs. She was a huge part of me getting through my teens.

“So this was really a surreal moment – something I have always dreamed of. It felt so beautiful. And I was singing her biggest hit! I didn’t even think of that until after,” she added with a laugh.

Arden even posted Boulton’s performance on her TikTok account.

It was a gem of a highlight in a year that has held some personal struggles, she noted.

But music has a way of brightening her days and giving her the strength to continually forge ahead.

“I’ve been writing some inspirational songs that have been about getting through challenges,” she explained, adding that the tough times also bring seasons of personal growth.

“And the one constant that I have is my career. I’ve always made it work – no matter what. Even if I had a broken heart, I still showed up. Music is healing,” she said.

“You see people (in the audience), you see them smile and it makes you happy. If you are doing something that you love, it will re-focus you and keep you strong.”

As mentioned, Boulton keeps busy – she recently opened for Gord Bamford in Thorsby as well.

And prior to the pandemic, she had visited Nashville several times to write tunes with Buddy Owens – who has written songs with Bamford and Blake Shelton.

From the start, Boulton has always written and sung with striking sincerity.

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 to being selected to play for Showcase ‘98 in Edmonton.

Ever since, she’s become increasingly recognized for her powerful voice and her authenticity as an artist.

Her latest CD, Randi With an ‘I’, truly showcased her gifts not just as an artist but as a powerful communicator as well.

Next up in the Music in the Park series, which is presented by the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre, is the Flat Iron Jazz Band on June 14.