Craig Bakay | Mar 20, 2019
When you’re a young fiddler from Tichborne, you never know where you’re going to be playing.
Take 16-year-old Jessica Wedden for instance.
Last Thursday night, she was playing in her home-town pub, The Crossing, with Turpin’s Trail, a group of guys she’s known and played with for years. She opened the show with guitarist Jon McLurg, who has been her prime performance collaborator since she was 13.
Midway through Turpin’s Trail’s first set, Wedden and mom Valerie took off for Toronto, arriving about 12:30 a.m. as Jess was scheduled to be on Breakfast Television Toronto’s St. Patrick’s Day show with the RNT Irish Dance League.
“It was exciting,” she said. “We drove in at night and there were all the buildings and lights downtown.
“I didn’t sleep that much, maybe one or two hours but I wasn’t nervous — OK, maybe a little nervous when I got to the CITY TV studio at 7:15 a.m. — but it was a good nervous.
“Once I got playing, I was fine.”
The segment was for St. Patrick’s Day and despite only getting a little bit of rehearsal that day before the segment, Wedden was pleased with the way it went.
“I did a little bit of (the song) Pressed For Time and then a bridge I wrote that lead into the track the dancers had practised with,” she said. “I could be a little more flexible than they could because it’s just me.”
Wedden said she really didn’t know what to expect because this was her first time on TV in Toronto.
“I have had the pleasure of being interviewed twice on CKWS TV in Kingston,” she said. “But this was different.”
She said Duet Public Relations had found her on her website and booked her to do this show.
“A member of the company met us at the studio and brought us to the right place,” she said. “It was amazing.
“And they said they want me back next year.
“Everybody was super, super nice to me.”
This TV thing is getting to be a regular occurrence for Wedden. On April 8, she’ll be on Rogers Daytime TV in Ottawa at 1 p.m.