Langley siblings rustle up new fans at Cloverdale Rodeo

Growing up in farm country of rural Langley, Robyn and Ryleigh Gillespie are no strangers to the Cloverdale Rodeo or the cowboys and cowgirls this annual event attracts.

“It really is a great annual, local event that we’re proud to be a part of,” said Robyn, the big sister at 22.

“And we were so honoured to be asked to sing the Canadian and American anthems this year,” chimed in 19-year-old Ryleigh.

These sibling, simply known on stage as Robyn & Ryleigh, are an emerging country/pop duo that has been garnering a fair amount of attention since the release of their self-named debut album last year.

And while they’ve been travelling a fair amount of late, including a recent trip to Nashville, they’re excited to be performing in their own backyard during the May long weekend.

“We have been at the rodeo a few times but this will be the first time singing the Canadian and American Anthems there,” Robyn told the Langley Advance, noting they’ll also be singing a couple of the songs from their album.

They call themselves authentic country girls, “part mud, makeup, glamour and fun.”

So, hanging out at the Cloverdale Rodeo, and more specifically all those muscle-bound cowboys while performing to a built in audience of country music fans rodeo didn’t hurt, either, said Ryleigh.

The duo will be performing in between rodeo performances. In fact, they’re slated to perform in the Stetson Bowl, on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., then Sunday and Monday at 2:30 p.m.

While they are anxious to be part of the rodeo, they have a number of other “exciting” shows coming up this summer too, including a few in Alberta and one closer to home.

On May 25, they’re flying out to Calgary for the annual Lilac Festival.

“…can’t wait for that trip,” said Robyn.

Then, they’re are showcasing their talents for their hometown fans at the Denim & Diamonds Gala. that’s a fundraising event for the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation on June 9, where they’ll perform alongside fellow Langleyite Karen-Lee Batten.

“Proceeds from the gala will support the purchase of urgent, life-saving equipment for the hospital,” Ryleigh said. “Very excited to be a part of this one.”

They’re also slated to perform at the Hard Rock Casino “Country Nights” on June 12, and Robyn encouraged fans to stay tuned to their website – www.robynandryleigh.com – for more upcoming tour dates and locations.

While they’re looking forward to rustler themselves up a few new fans at the Cloverdale Rodeo this weekend, they’re spending this week in the studio this week laying down some of the songs they co-wrote while down in Nashville recently.

“We’re very excited to say that we are recording a few songs that were born in Nashville, and will be releasing one of them as a single sometime in June,” Robyn said.

Asked to elaborate on their trip to Music City – Nashville – the up-and-comers described it as “brilliant.”

“The Nashville trip was such a great experience. We met some wonderful people,” said Robyn.

“We co-wrote with some amazing writers and came home with a few new songs. We loved it! It was our first time there but definitely not our last,” said Ryleigh.

Rodeo runs the long weekend

The Cloverdale Rodeo and annual country fair – now in its 126th year – is being held the long weekend, from May 16 to 19, in and around the Cloverdale fairgrounds.

Gate admission is $12, parking is $10, rodeo performances are $20, and all-day ride passes are $40. Children 12 years and younger get in free.

For more information people can go online to: www.cloverdalerodeo.com.

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