The Western Star
STEPHENVILLE, N.L. – Sarah Rotchford feels its “super cool” to be doing the same type of work she was doing with the Stephenville Theatre Festival last year, but with two bonuses this summer.
One is that she’s gone from doing the work voluntarily and is now getting paid for it. The other is that her dad, Jamie Walsh, is also a member of the Stephenville Festival Band.
While the two aren’t playing together, as they are performing in different shows, it still gives them more time to spend together.
In fact, it’s their love of music that got the father-daughter team to start a duo, beginning with a home performance at Rick Walsh’s (Jamie’s father and Sarah’s grandfather) home at Christmas. It progressed from there to performing at Clancy’s Pub in Stephenville, where they perform on a regular basis.
The two are not stuck with any genre and play songs they enjoy and believe their audience will enjoy. In fact, they cover three songs by Conor Oberst that Sarah convinced her father to do and that he’s now enjoying. Rotchford said its reciprocal, as most artists her dad likes, she also enjoys.
At the festival, Walsh is playing second guitar in “Let it Be: The Life and Music of the Beatles” and in “American Idiot” which features the music of Green Day.
In the band, Rotchford will be playing baritone saxophone in “Bittergirl – The Musical.” She also has roles backstage in “American Idiot,” and is doing sound on “Alice in Wonderland.”
Walsh said he’s pretty sure The Beatles will be in his repertoire of music after this summer as he’s looking forward to learning their music for the show.
A smile comes to his face as he talks about playing music with his daughter.
“Anyone who hears Sarah sing is just blown away,” Walsh said, beaming with pride.
For her part, Rotchford said her dad’s experience with music has made her more comfortable performing and has resulted in a better stage presence.
Walsh had taken a break from music for about five years and is really pleased that Sarah’s interest in it ignited that flame to get back at it.
“I play music because I like it. You still got to play – you can’t stop,” he said. “I got this one (Sarah) to try and help out.”
The two are certainly not sorry for learning some songs to play at Rick’s house. The senior Walsh is also an accomplishment musician and has played keyboards in many bands throughout the years.