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Five-time Juno winner Serena Ryder taking the Imperial stage

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Troy Shantz

It’s no accident Serena Ryder’s latest album is available as a CD and a vinyl record.

The Juno-award winning singer-songwriter performing Friday at the Imperial Theatre says something has been lost musically in the age of digital download and streaming.

“I miss that from the early days of releasing records. I love that it’s coming back and people are starting to fall in love with vinyl again. I think it’s so important, she said, noting her new album, ‘Utopia,’ is also available with a colouring book of album art.

“I’m not the most up-to-date modern music listener but I love my vinyl collection,” she said.

Ryder, who lives in Toronto and Los Angeles but was born in Millbrook, Ont., just outside Peterborough, said she’s looking forward to playing the Imperial because she loves the crowd familiarity of a smaller community.

“It feels more like home for me because I grew up in a town of under 1,000 people,” she said.

“Whenever I play in a more a rural setting I definitely feel more at home. I’m more comfortable on stage, you’re kind of around people you feel are like your family.”

Ryder earned Canada’s top music prize in 2008 when she won a Juno for best new artist of the year and has collected four more since then. She’s seen stages across Canada and even played on the ocean floor for the CBC’s “Quietest Concert Ever on the Ocean Floor,” held during low tide at Fundy National Park in New Brunswick.

Sarnia is the first stop on the 34-year-old musician’s cross-Ontario tour promoting the new release.

It won’t be the first time she has performed in Sarnia, but she promises it will be new experience, and hinted a few sing-alongs may be in order.

“It’s super fun and by the end we’re just having a big old dance party,” she said.

“I really like it when the audience knows that I can see them looking at me, and we’re there together. It’s not a television show, so if anyone wants to yell out something or smile or wave, I’m going to interact with them.”

At press time, a limited number of tickets, $85, were still available for the 8 p.m. show.

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