Singer/songwriter Randi Boulton has been working for this moment for a long time – the day when she would be officially releasing her highly-anticipated latest CD.
Fans will have the chance to hear the new cuts and watch the extremely talented, engaging performer during the Sometimes Life CD Release Concert set for Oct. 20 at the Red Deer College Arts Centre. The show begins at 7 p.m.
Boulton is thrilled to be performing in a venue that she had dreams about singing in even as a child.
“This is the one I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little girl,” she says of the concert. “I’d be playing the piano and imagining myself onstage. I would picture myself on the Red Deer College stage – absolutely.
“I held onto that – it was precious to me and it drove me.”
It’s certainly been a season of dreams coming true. Boulton also had hopes of working one day with producer Russell Broom (known for his work with Jann Arden). That dream also came true, as the two connected with the onset of production for Sometimes Life.
Boulton is terrifically-gifted singer – and has been blessed with a charming, warm personality to match. She has a great sense of humour, and she’s a delight to watch on stage – not just for her vocal abilities but for how she connects with audiences.
The tunes from Sometimes Life are absolute gems that Boulton can be proud of, from the heartfelt title track, the engaging and catchy sensibilities of Walk Away to the reflective acoustic richness of Smile. And as the CD came to completion, she has been busy performing throughout Central Alberta with gigs in a host of venues.
Boulton got in touch with Broom a couple of years ago through her drummer, and the two clicked immediately. As an avid fan of Arden’s over the years, Boulton had a deep appreciation for Broom’s approach to production.
Looking back, Boulton was raised on a farm just outside of Big Valley, and she lived in Red Deer for awhile before settling in Lacombe. Music has always been a passion, and she’s essentially self-taught. Besides being a natural on the piano, her vocal strengths, which run the gamut from tender and sweet to strong and gritty, have always stood out and attracted a loyal legion of fans.
It’s hard to believe this gifted woman was at one time quite shy about her voice.
“I was a closet singer – I was shy and I wouldn’t sing in front of people,” she recalls. “So I had to really open up. I would sing the Disney movie theme songs at home by myself.”
But Boulton started garnering attention at 12 years of age, when she landed first prize in a talent show with her mom. She later won a songwriting contest at 14. That led into being selected to play for Showcase ‘98 in Edmonton. Gradually the confidence started to grow and it was apparent she had something special to share. Her abilities also started shining brighter as over the years she put a stop to the tendency to compare herself with others. “Once you do that, you just feel inadequate.”
These days, Boulton is comfortable in her own skin and that sense of authenticity is reflected in her music. It was also felt in her first project, Just Remember Who You Are, which was released about a decade ago.
Meanwhile, Boulton is looking straight ahead in terms of what’s next. She’s always been solidly committed to her music and sincere in her belief that a musical gift is to be shared.
Not that it’s all been an easy road. A sensitive person, she hasn’t been immune to negative comments that occasionally pop up over the years. “It’s a tough career – you have to really want it. There are a lot of sacrifices.”
An artist also has to be open-hearted – there’s an intrinsic vulnerability that comes from writing songs and presenting them to audiences. And as already pointed out, sometimes people can be hurtful and critical. But others are touched and blessed — and those are the people who fuel her inspiration and provide those priceless moments that are so meaningful.
Ultimately, Boulton wouldn’t have it any other way – music brings such an amazing sense of joy to her life. It’s clear to see when she’s performing – she has a fabulous time onstage and she wants her audience to be inspired and lifted up by what they hear. “I want to make that connection with people.”
She also has a single-minded commitment to her craft.
“I feel that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve made the sacrifices and put in the hard work,” she says with a smile and an obvious sense of gratitude and contentment. “So I’m ready for whatever is coming.”
Tickets for the concert are available at the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre by calling 403-755-6626 or by visiting www.blackknightinn.ca.