Triple tra­di­tional treat

Fresh­wa­ter United Church Cen­tre host­ing trio of con­certs

The Compass - - OPINION - BY BILL BOW­MAN THE COM­PASS

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.

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