3 min

Sherrie Gold Trio goes Silver and Gold

Musical duo finds its place on the gay scene

ON THE RISE. A musical couple blessed with talent. Credit: Capital Xtra files

“I don’t think we’re your typical couple,” Sherrie Gold says thoughtfully.


Aside from being perhaps the most revered musical act in the Ottawa gay community, Gold and her guitar-playing husband Dan Goodsell are possibly up for the biggest understatement award of the year.

Anyone who has been to the Silhouette Lounge at Centretown Pub in the last two and a half years would be hard-pressed to disagree with Gold.

This famed Portland couple, who compare themselves to a musical vaudeville act, break the rules on so many levels it’s difficult to begin describing. Not only have they garnered fame among a crowd so unlike themselves, they’ve made a beautiful marriage and working relationship out of a passion for music and open-mindedness.

After only 10 minutes in their presence, their relationship is heartbreaking to watch, not for its sorrow, but for its sheer rarity. This musical couple is blessed with talent, love and Lady Luck’s hurrahs – almost as much as the lucky people who go watch them play every weekend.

“We’ve been working together for five years,” says Goodsell, as though he can’t remember life before then. “I couldn’t imagine not working with her or even playing with someone else. I admire every word that comes out of her mouth. I fall in love with her all over again, every night.” And just when we’re all ready to cry, he laughs and adds, “It’s almost disgusting.”

While most still know them as the Sherrie Gold Trio, they’ve changed their name to Silver and Gold, largely because they were lacking an appropriate name. But their sound is unmistakable, despite their wide range from R ‘n’ B, pop and rock, to show tunes, including New York, New York.

“We try to come up with three or four new tunes a week. It’s kinda like a typical East Coast kitchen party,” says Goodsell, a Quebec native who admits he’s never been to an East Coast party. “Or a Quebec Christmas party,” he shrugs and laughs.

Despite their efforts to expand their repertoire every week, the pair admits their audience leans toward favourites, time after time, including American Pie, What’s Up and I Will Survive. “But this gig has pushed us into a new style of music,” explains Gold. “This is a very receiving crowd. A very loving crowd. It’s a very positive place to be.”

Gold says that both she and Goodsell have expanded tremendously as artists in the past two years, and credit their audience entirely for their success.

“There’s never a shortage of applause. We’ve built up a regular crowd that come to see us no matter where we play.”

Silver and Gold have played Pride Week in the past, Hong Kong on New Year’s Eve, and this year, they’re planning to make an appearance at the Egale Canada gala on Apr 3. Their learning also continues at the direct urging of their fans and friends, who often push CDs into their hands and request that they learn songs – which they do.

But Goodsell has a secret that, until now, very few people knew. The band’s origins were as a five-piece country band, which eventually whittled away to two people. But Goodsell has hung on to his private love of country.

“We do twang, twang is a good word,” he says and admits that he’s been itching to play a song called “Cross Cut Saw” for a while. “It’ll be one of those tunes that we play once every three or four months. But I always feel shy to sing after Sherrie sings.”

Despite their enormous success with Ottawa’s gay crowd – it’s true, Goodsell’s looks make a good sell – the duo admit that they never expected the gig to be such a learning experience for them or their families.

“The hatred and the hate crimes, the AIDS,” begins Gold, getting misty-eyed. “That’s been a hard thing to accept.” Both Gold and Goodsell attended the vigil for the murdered Chris Raynsford.

“We don’t walk around as straight people and worry about being beaten up because we love each other.” She pauses and looks into Goodsell’s eyes the way soap opera stars do, but with meaning that’s almost too intense to witness. “That’s the stuff that really hits you.”

“Sherrie and I are the minorities here,” adds Goodsell. “We feel honoured to be accepted. We’ve trained one person at a time to understand.”

The couple is in the process of moving to Ottawa and expects to be around for quite a while. They play Fri and Sat nights at Centretown Pub and can be caught Sun nights at Le Pub in Gatineau. Their schedule is busy and their story unique, but Gold and Goodsell see things in a very honest and simple light.

“The bottom line is that people like Wayne and Ed [owners of Centretown Pub] have been incredibly good to us,” explains Goodsell.

“We don’t really think of this as a gay bar,” adds Gold. “To us it’s a place where our friends are, there’s good people and we have good fun.”