Sib­lings bond over mu­sic

Tra­di­tional duo from White­way re­lease de­but al­bum

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

When ei­ther Dil­lon or Shana Brown play a note of mu­sic at their White­way home, it’s only nat­u­ral for the other to pick up an in­stru­ment and play along.

They do it nat­u­rally and, usu­ally, are com­pletely in tune with the song the other is play­ing. It is some­thing they’ve been do­ing for years and have be­come quite pro­fi­cient at.

Mu­sic plays a big part in the lives of the sib­lings, aged nine (Shana) and 11 years old (Dil­lon). Now, they’ve taken a big step in their ca­reers.

“We en­joy play­ing live. The energy makes you want to go faster.”

Shana Brown

On July 23, the pair cel­e­brated the re­lease of their de­but al­bum “Tra­di­tions” with a party at Brown’s Res­tau­rant in White­way. It was recorded with the help of lo­cal sound engi­neer Jason Reid via Rock Is­land Stu­dio and funded through CBDC Trin­ity Conception.

They started with 100 copies of the disc. Those dis­ap­peared quickly and the pair have some 10 left over and are wait­ing on a sec­ond ship­ment.

“It’s pretty cool to hold your own CD,” said Dil­lon. “It’s a joy for us to see them.”

Their de­but of­fer­ing is filled with tra­di­tional and folk dit­ties. From Foster and Allen’s clas­sic “Sweet For­get Me Not” to “Jack Was Ev­ery Inch A Sailor,” Shillon has plenty of mu­sic to keep lis­ten­ers com­ing back to the record­ing.

The duo have some of their own ar­range­ments for the tunes, giv­ing it that per­sonal feel that many artists crave when cov­er­ing a song.

There’s even a gospel tune — “Amaz­ing Grace.” It is a song fre­quently re­quested when they hit the stage at Browns Res­tau­rant in White­way, the East­port Ac­cor­dian Fes­ti­val and most re­cently the NL Folk Fes­ti­val.

They be­came so fa­mil­iar with it they de­cided to in­clude it on the record.

“That’s there for the nans and the pops,” said Shana.

Mu­si­cians will of­ten tell you hear­ing them­selves on a record is right up there with per­form­ing in front of a live au­di­ence.

There is some­thing about be­ing able to pop in a com­pact disc and lis­ten to your­self in the car, at the cabin or with your friends.

“It’s that you know all of the songs (on the al­bum),” said Shana. “And, that at any time, you can pick up the in­stru­ments and play along with it. It’s like a dou­ble ver­sion of your­self.”

It wasn’t easy, how­ever. Record­ing mu­sic can “some­times be stress­ful,” ac­cord­ing to Dil­lon.

“It was fun in the stu­dio,” he said. “If you made a mis­take in a long song, you’d have to do it over again. “

Lis­ten­ing to your­self

The name

The Brown’s spent months try­ing to come up with a name for the young duo. They moved from one Celtic-in­flu­enced moniker to the next in search of the one that fit.

They set­tled on Shillon af­ter set­ting up a make-be­lieve shop in their base­ment. Last Easter when their grand­par­ents were vis­it­ing, the chil­dren en­cour­aged them to shop down­stairs. Dil­lon got a piece of card­board and wrote “Shillon’s Va­ri­ety Su­per­mar­ket” on it.

The name struck a chord with their mother Leila.

“I told them that would be a good name for their band,” she said. “I like the fact that they came up with it.”

Both de­cided it was a good idea and a band was born. Co­in­ci­den­tally, it turns out Shillon is a com­bi­na­tion of their names.

The sound

While still in their early years, Shana and Dil­lon’s mu­si­cal land­scape is steeped in tra­di­tion.

The pair play an as­sort­ment of in­stru­ments, in­clud­ing the guitar, fid­dle, ac­cor­dion and tin whis­tle, amongst oth­ers. Through years of train­ing, the Browns are as adept at rat­tling off an im­pres­sive ver- sion of any num­ber of reels as they are slow­ing it down with a heart­felt num­ber.

“We wanted the record to re­flect that,” said Leila.

While school sup­plies are scat­tered around the Brown house­hold with a re­turn to stud­ies just around the cor­ner, there is still some roads to be trav­elled in the name of mu­sic for Shillon be­fore get­ting back to classes at Wood­land Ele­men­tary.

Dil­lon and Shana have per­for­mances lined up for White­way Days amongst other op­por­tu­ni­ties to hit the stage around the province.

“We en­joy play­ing live,” said Shana. “The energy makes you want to go faster.”

PHOTO BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER/THE COM­PASS

Sib­lings Dil­lon (left) and Shana Brown re­cently re­leased their de­but record un­der the band name Shillon. Aptly ti­tled “Tra­di­tions,” the record is a rous­ing romp through tra­di­tional New­found­land mu­sic.

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