Country Music is Alive at Club Paradiso

black and white picture woman leaning on brick wall
Jacqueline loves the classics, but also presents lots of new material to keep her country fresh

For a lady who sings country music, Jacqueline Drew seems unusually cheerful. I mean, isn’t country music all about moms in prison and dogs being hit by trains?


As a North American folk music, it has tended to reflect the emotional highs and lows of people shedding the trappings of everyday life, and wrestling with the larger issues which we all battle. Birth, love, betrayal, struggles and victories of the heart and mind; they’re in the country music that lives longer than our passing fancies, and that’s the stuff that Jacquie likes to sing.

But she’s still a happy woman.

“It’s a wonderful outlet, and a neat growth experience, to be a performer . . . I own a marketing consulting business, and I’m a really creative person. I’ve always been involved with music, but I didn’t really want music to be something I would depend on, and make a living. I want to have fun doing it.”

After singing in a chorus for several years, Jacquie started playing banjo in a country cover band. Six or seven years of that gave her the chops to play with Tom Phillips’ band for a bit.

For two years now, she’s been running the musical show, and The Crew has been working with her for about a year and a half: “It’s hard to get the music really tight if you’re switching out who you’re playing with.” And Jacquie likes the band dynamic. “Sometimes I play with the guitarist’s band.”

For something she does for fun, music occupies a significant portion of her life: Jacquie also plays an easy jazz/blues piano regularly at the Delta Hotel.

“I try to get good quality venues. The band plays classic country with an element of class.” (She makes her drummer play with brushes instead of sticks.)

“Just because you get more mature, there’s no reason to not listen to new music. There’s wonderful fresh music out there, It’s really easy to listen to. Whatever is my newest composition is usually my favourite song to sing.”

So, you might hear ‘Harper Valley PTA’ or ‘I Believe In You’ pop out of the mix when Jacqueline Drew & the Crew are performing, but 80% of the time it’s original pieces like ‘Cowgirl That A Am’ (“on my new CD”) or ‘Yodel Little Mama’.

Check it out on her website, and then check it out at Club Paradiso, 8:00 – 11:00.

“If you are there by 7:00, I’ll come sing a song for you at your table,” Jacquie says. And she’s serious.

But not too serious.

Posted by Hannah Rutherford

Author: Carey Rutherford

Swallowed by the mutual loves of words and music (but far too chicken-shit to perform them with a band), Carey’s writing career started slowly as a freelance writer in 2003, starved him nearly to personal bankruptcy until 2008, and changed directions while writing for FastForward, Beacon Calgary, GayCalgary, and Examiner magazines. With the death of many old-school periodicals, and the explosion of musical diversity in Calgary, the modern approach to writing about live music performance in the Calgary region presented uncluttered landscapes for the focussed passion that Carey’s conversations with musicians, drag queens, festival producers and small animals has uncapped. He was moulded by the brilliance of paper-based periodicals old and new (Life, rolling Stone, Swerve! and Adbusters etc.), and sees the info-verse as needing creative, empathetic, but clear-eyed Agents to communicate these performances.