Westbank OPRYLIVE Okanagan Country Music


Westbank Country Opry Band


The Opry Band

The five members of the Westbank Opry Band bring years of varied experience to the Opry stage - and, most importantly, they love to have FUN!

All photography by CaddyAV


KEYBOARDS, ACCORDIAN, FIDDLE, GUITAR: Lavern Panich: Lavern has a professional career as a studio artist, stage musician, and music producer. He owns and opertates PANICH MUSIC STUDIO in West Kelowna, B.C. where he teaches, records, and produces music on a full time basis.

Originally from Alberta, Lavern has performed in many pro-circuit venues like The Country Music Awards, and shared the big screen and stage with some of the best, including Redd Volkaert, (Merle Haggards guitarist) and Crystal Gayle.

Lavern started the Westbank Country Opry (1995) and performs with many different bands, from Elvis (tribute) Tour bands, The Fugitives, Denim Country, Dale Seaman and Highway 97, to the most recent LP & The 45s where he leads the big band featuring the Royal Revival of Rock & Roll.

You can check out Lavern with Crystal Gayle from 1987 right here

GUITAR: Jack O'Connor's uncle back in Saskatchewan showed him three chords on the guitar and he still remembers two of them!

Jack's talent lies in making every tune a two-chord song and he's very smooth at it. He says that he also should be in Nashville, the walk would do him good. Jack "The Ripper" is still rippin'.

Check out Jack playing with Opry favourite Cadillac Bob in Salmon Arm here. And take a look and listen to a Merle Haggard classic here with the Opry band.

STEEL GUITAR: Ian Stewart is the newest member of the Opry band.

Ian has played guitar and steel for many years with many bands and musicians across Canada from coast to coast including the Northern Lights Blues Band and the Cedar Swamp Band. He has played pedal steel on centre stage at the 2012 Western Steel Guitar show in Caroline Alberta and peforms as part of a popular duo across BC and Alberta.

DRUMS: Linden Northcott: Linden's long and interesting biography will be uploaded shortly. We're waiting for the team of monks to complete the full twelve volume set of illuminated scrolls.

You can see Linden playing Solitary Man with the great Neil Diamond tribute Band Double Diamond by clicking here or Red Red Wine right here.


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