Lots of music happening
KitchenFest continues for a few more days
There has been music galore over these past few weeks and that trend will continue. After all, it is summer!
On June 20 I checked out the Frolic & Folk Pub, a new venture located in the Iona Heights Inn (the former Highland Heights in Iona). The new owners, Jill & Dan Franklin, have done major renovations to bring the facility back to current standards. Beside the pub and new look on all the rooms, the Inn hosts the local NSLC outlet and the new home for Jill’s Chocolates.
That afternoon fiddler Wendy MacIsaac was providing the music, backed up Patrick Gillis on guitar, with a guest appearances by fiddler Kyle Gillis (Patrick’s brother) and a number of dancers as well. Needless to say, the music was great as Wendy poured out tune after tune to an appreciative audience that contained familiar faces and folks from as far away as Halifax.
As well as the 4-7 p.m. Saturday sessions, the pub will be featuring music several nights a week on a regular basis. It’s a convenient spot to head to for some tunes, not far from the industrial area, with a good food menu and a panoramic view that makes the trip worthwhile.
On June 21 I was at the Highland Arts Theatre for a well-attended show that featured Stan Carew (the host of CBC Radio’s Weekend Mornings) and Sydney’s own John Campbelljohn. Stan and John play together a lot and worked well off each other’s musical and vocal skills. They have also written together, usually with Stan providing the words and John adding the music.
They were joined by England’s Breeze and Wilson, a duo who become popular in the Maritimes because of airplay on Weekend Mornings. This is their ninth year on tour over here, not a bad feat considering Toby Wilson still works full time as a fireman.
Graham Breeze provides the lead vocal and does much of the writing while Toby is a powerful guitarist with a gift for vocal harmonies. Together they create a wonderfully musical sound, at times simplistic but often with deeper, more insightful meanings. All four combined to present a delightful and entertaining show.
The following afternoon I ventured to the Celtic Music Centre in Judique for the launch of the 2015 Celtic Colours Festival lineup. Besides some video presentations and a few short speeches, the two-hour event was primarily musical and featured local performers who will be part of this year’s Festival including Lucy MacNeil (one of this year’s Artists In Residence).
This year’s lineup is interesting and varied, from old friends like piper Fred Morrison to the first representative from the Isle of Man. Several artists stood out: Loreena McKennitt (who headlines the opening) and Ricky Skaggs ( featured in the closing). Both have deep roots in the Celtic Culture but with widely different stage presentations. By the way, ticket sales for October’s Festival go on sale on Monday.
This past Saturday I hit Governor’s for the tail end of the afternoon session that included Chrissy Crowley, Adam Young, Mike Barron and Doug MacPhee. I stayed in my seat (and enjoyed a lovely meal) and caught my first KitchenFest show of the year that featured fiddler Marc Boudreau and pianist Joel Chiasson along with fiddler Gabrielle MacLellan and guitarist Tom Daniels. They finished with all four musicians going at it full blast. What a great way to start off !
On Sunday evening I caught Còig (and Seth Peters) at the Baddeck Legion. It was a wonderful night of music before a large, loud and lively audience. The show also included several Gaelic numbers from Melissa Nicholson, squares sets and a slew of solo dancers.
On Monday found me at Sydney’s Old Triangle where Shelly Campbell, Troy MacGillivray, Allan Dewar, Cyril MacPhee and Colin MacDonald provided the entertainment. Lots of great tunes, dancing and songs, in Gaelic and English.
The music continues all around the island until Saturday when they wrap up with an Outdoor Concert at The Gaelic College starting at 3 p.m., followed by a Pub Night and CD Release at 9 p.m.
Makin’ Waves Concert Series, Wentworth Park Bandshell, Sydney
Today - Slowcoaster with Tony McQuaid & The Yeti.
Thursday, July 9 - Ron Hynes with Carmen Townsend.
July 3 to 5 - Stan Rogers Festival
Bell National Historic Site, Baddeck
July 3-August 2 - The Bells of Baddeck: The story of Alexander Graham and Mabel Bell
Savoy Theatre, Glace Bay
July 7-8, 13, 20-21, 27-28 - The Reunion: 1970 - 1979 (Dinner Theatre)
July 10-11 - Lyrics & Laughter
Highland Arts Theatre, Sydney
Every Thursday in July - Heart of Steel Every Friday in July - Mature Young Adults Every Saturday in July - No Great Mischief Every Sunday in July - The True Meaning of Cape Breton
Shelly Campbell, Troy MacGillivray and Allan Dewar at the Old Triangle.