Triple traditional treat
Freshwater United Church Centre hosting trio of concerts
Traditional music lovers in Conception and Trinity Bays are in for some rare treats this summer.
The Freshwater United Church Community Centre, already reputed for its popular monthly coffee houses organized by the U.C. Men’s Service Club, is hosting a trio of concerts featuring some of the cream of the crop of traditional singers and musicians from Newfoundland and Labrador and Ireland.
The concert series kicks off Tuesday, July 31 with The Raw Bar Collective, an Irish group, who are taking time out from their first visit to the province to play a couple of folk festivals in St. John’s to take a dart around the bay for the Freshwater appearance.
Meanwhile, Pamela Morgan and Anita Best, two of this province’s best known singers, will be at the Freshwater U.C. Centre Wednesday, Aug. 8.
The concert series winds up Friday, Aug. 24, with The Dardanelles, a group of young minstrels and singers whose respect for and treatment of traditional music and song will help ensure those traditions are kept alive and well for future generations.
Gerry Strong, one of the organizers of the concert series, told The Compass he is looking forward to having all three groups in Freshwater.
While he hasn’t seen The Raw Bar Collective as a group, Strong said he has their CD and is impressed with their sound.
Strong, who is himself a well-
I’m looking forward to having all three groups in Freshwater this summer. — Gerry Strong, concerts’ organizer
known flute and tin whistle player around the province and beyond, said he has jammed with their flute player, Conal O’Grada a few times and has CDs of Danu (Benny McCarthy’s band) and De Dannan (Colm Murphy’s ex band). “So I am familiar with them as well.”
The Raw Bar Collective
With a refreshingly uncluttered approach to playing, the Raw Bar Collective present a vibrant and earthy style of Irish traditional music. The group has been described as “a fluid gathering of Irish musicians, each of them an acknowledged standard bearer within the tradition.”
They are anchored by Conal Ó Gráda ( flute), Benny McCarthy (accordion) and Dave Sheridan ( fiddle), all recognized as among the top instrumentalists in Ireland.
On their first visit to Newfoundland, they are joined by guests Nell Ní Chróinín, commonly acknowledged as “the most exciting traditional singing talent of her generation)” and Colm Murphy, bodhrán (Irish drum) widely recognized as “one of the top traditional music percussionists of all time.”
Their music is presented with warmth, wit, passion and respect. Their live recording, ‘Millhouse Measures,’ reflects these values and crackles with the energy generated by such a genuine connection with the listener. Their live shows do likewise.
No advance tickets
Meanwhile, pointing out the U.C. Community Centre seats 200, and there will be no advance tickets for the opening concert, Gerry Strong encourages anyone interested in seeing the group to get there early.
All three concerts start at 8 p.m. and admission to each is $15 single.
The U.C. Women will be serving refreshments at all three events, Strong noted.
The Dardanelles include, from left: Matthew Byrne, Tom Power, Aaron Collis, Emilia Bartellas, and Richard Klaas. They will be in Freshwater, Conception Bay, Friday, Aug. 24 for a performance at the United Church Community Centre.