McDer­mott at Brockville Arts Cen­tre next Fri­day

The Recorder & Times (Brockville) - - NEWS - RONALD ZAJAC

It’s Christ­mas with a de­cid­edly Celtic twist, with some fresh voices added to the mix.

Scot­tish-born Cana­dian tenor John McDer­mott per­forms at the Brockville Arts Cen­tre next Fri­day, with spe­cial guests the award­win­ning duo Dala, in sup­port of McDer­mott’s lat­est Christ­mas al­bum, Maybe This Christ­mas.

“I think ev­ery five years I’ve been do­ing a Christ­mas al­bum,” McDer­mott said in a tele­phone in­ter­view Fri­day.

His lat­est Christ­mas of­fer­ing brings a Celtic sound to such clas­sics as O Come All Ye Faith­ful, Good King Wences­las and that most Cana­dian of car­ols, the Huron Carol.

This time, McDer­mott is per­form­ing with Juno nom­i­nees and win­ners of the 2010 Cana­dian Folk Mu­sic Award for Vo­cal Group of the Year, Dala, the duo of Amanda Walther and Sheila Cara­bine.

Two best friends who met in their high school mu­sic class in 2002, the women have since re­leased five al­bums and toured ex­ten­sively across North Amer­ica.

McDer­mott said he first dis­cov­ered the Dala duo dur­ing a Gor­don Light­foot ben­e­fit concert at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Stu­dios in Toronto in 2017.

Dala joined McDer­mott on his Christ­mas tour last year and McDer­mott got the idea to in­clude them in his lat­est Christ­mas al­bum.

“I thought, yeah, this is a per­fect fit,” he re­called. “It’s just a sound that is very unique to them.”

Since McDer­mott’s Christ­mas tour au­di­ence is fam­ily-based, the younger per­form­ers bring it a multi-gen­er­a­tional ap­peal.

“It’s just a nice kind of breath of fresh air,” he said.

The Dala singers bring that same en­ergy to the al­bum, with songs of their own and a par­tic­u­larly mov­ing con­tri­bu­tion to Silent Night.

McDer­mott, an in­ter­na­tional record­ing artist, gained fame with his first al­bum, Danny Boy, which sold well in Canada and the U.S. and reached num­ber one in New Zealand.

That suc­cess led to his par­tic­i­pa­tion in the PBS phe­nom­e­non The Ir­ish Tenors. He has gone on to record nu­mer­ous al­bums.

Speak­ing be­fore he headed to a per­for­mance in Chicago, McDer­mott said there is a uni­ver­sal­ity to Celtic mu­sic fans that tran­scends bor­ders.

“They all come from that same back­ground, that same walk of life.”

While McDer­mott is known for many stan­dards, this tour is all about the sea­son, he said, promis­ing “a real, in-your-face Christ­mas show.”

McDer­mott per­forms at 7 p.m. on Dec. 14. More in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at www.brockvil­learts­cen­tre.com.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Cana­dian tenor John McDer­mott brings his Christ­mas tour to Brockville next Fri­day.

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