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Corner Brook musician finds joy in playing with her East Valley Road friends

East Valley Special - comprised of Sarah White, Nick Hamlyn and Tom Brennan - will be performing two shows with Gros Morne Summer Music and one with the Gros Morne Theatre Festival this month.
East Valley Special - comprised of Sarah White, Nick Hamlyn and Tom Brennan - will be performing two shows with Gros Morne Summer Music and one with the Gros Morne Theatre Festival this month. - Contributed

Sarah White is looking forward to bringing a different flavour to Gros Morne Summer Music when she, Nick Hamlyn and Tom Brennan take to the stage in two folk shows later this month.

But more than that White is looking forward to finally hitting the stage with her buds in their band — East Valley Special — and having some fun.

“My joy in music is playing with my friends and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” she said

White grew up in Deer Lake and has called Corner Brook home for the past 10 years.

This summer she’s spending her fifth season in Cow Head where she’s the assistant production and company manager with the Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

The Grenfell theatre stagecraft grad started playing guitar at age 12 and is entirely self-taught.

It started with joining Allison Crowe’s band.

White had worked with the singer at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival and toured with her as stage/road manager. When Crowe’s guitarist was unable to make a tour, she asked White if she could step in. She agreed and has travelled to Europe, British Columbia and around Newfoundland with the band.

White met Brennan during her first year of university. Brennan came here from Ontario to take environmental studies. Over the years, Brennan got involved with playing in bands with Hamlyn and he introduced Hamlyn and White.

In the past couple of years it wouldn’t be uncommon to find the three friends sitting around the kitchen table playing songs.

At some point, White said, they came to the realization they sounded good together and thought why not do something with it.

“We all share a love for folk music and that kind of stuck. ... We live just a stone’s throw from one another up the road.”

That road is East Valley Road … so that’s how East Valley Special came to be.



They’ll play their first official show on July 16 at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival’s “Who’s Darkening Your Door” series.

That will be followed by two dates with Gros Morne Summer Music – July 25 at the Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook and July 26 at St. Pat’s in Woody Point.

The show will feature a variety of genres of music – from The Band to the Foo Fighters — all done in a folk style.

With different arrangements, instrumentations and musicians, White said there’s a million different ways to do a folk song.
But they’ll definitely be putting their own flavour on it.

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