The ukulele brought them together as kids. A shared passion for music turned them into best friends. And now, more than 20 years later, Langley's Chris Parsons, Laura Warren, and Kendra Croft are still close.
In fact, beside socializing and jamming together weekly, the trio gets together every couple months to perform in public under the guise of Exit 58.
This acoustic group is performing in its hometown this Saturday, at Porter's Bistro Dinner with Music night.
While they have performed at weddings, restaurants, and private parties throughout the Lower Mainland since forming Exit 58 almost a decade ago, they've never performed a public show here, Croft said.
"This is our first open-to-the-public gig in the heart of Langley," she said, confirming the realization. "It's exciting. This will be the first time we've come back to the core of Langley to do a local show."
The three perform together as children with the Langley Ukulele Ensemble for about eight years.
Even after that, this trio, uke aficionado James Hills, and a few other ensemble alumni remained friends.
Despite post-secondary school, working to pay for their education, and focusing much of their efforts on developing careers, they kept coming together as friends, Croft explained.
Invariably, every one of those gatherings, however, would end up as a jam session.
It wasn't until the fall of 2002, however, that Warren, Parsons, and Croft formalized their musical union.
It came from a quest to do more than just jam, but to also perform again in public, Croft explained.
"So we sat down at a [Brookswood] coffee shop and that's where Exit 58 was born." The group performs mostly cover tunes, everything from the Beatles and Van Morrison to Adele and Aloe Blac.
"You'll hear everything from country to classical to rock," she said. "We take the songs that everyone knows and loves and twist them, weaving them into something they haven't heard."
More recently, they've also started writing a few of their own pieces, some of which will likely be performed Saturday night.
Through the years, each has married and become parents. Each also maintain full-time jobs - Croft as a teacher at Alice Brown Elementary, Warren as a lender at Coast Capital Savings, and Parsons as the accounts and operations manager for Elite Home Theater Seating.
Still, their love of music and performing bring them together for shows every couple months.
"We're all really busy in our own lives. And we're really happy at the level of performance we have now," Croft said.
"In fact, we're blessed to still be able to do it," she added, explaining that this weekend's show is going to be held at a coffee shop just around the corner from Parsons' home which happens to be one of the trio's favourite haunts.
The dinner night is $18 each and being held at the historic Porter's, located at Old Yale Road and 216th Street in Murrayville. The event starts at 7 p.m., but reservations are manadatory at 604-530-5297.
They're also expected to perform another dinner show at Porter's later this summer, and will be hosting their own concert this fall to celebrate their 10th anniversary.
In the meantime, in addition to Exit 58 performing at Porter's Coffee and Tea House this weekend, Langley doctor Shannon Lee will be back performing at Porter's again on July 21.
@ Copyright 2013