Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Canadian traditional musicians to perform in Northborough

Direct from Prince Edward Island, Canada, to Northborough, will be the extraordinary talents of fiddler Roy Johnstone and singer/songwriter Steve Sharratt. Invited to perform in town by resident (and traditional music fan) Liam Kearney, the performers will appear on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. at the American Legion Hall on West Main Street.

While well-recognized in the field of traditional music - and the winners of multiple awards together and separately - organizers say the foot-stamping appeal of Roy & Steve can only be truly appreciated when you hear them live. In Northborough, they plan to perform the best of their Celtic and folk tunes along with original songs and some fine new gypsy tunes.

Johnstone and Sharratt come from the red cliff shores of Prince Edward Island, Canada's smallest province. As long-time performing partners and accomplished recording artists, they will bring their toe tapping kitchen party music to venues across New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine this month. The dynamic pair is known to lift an audience to their feet with musical energy and and engaging style. This current tour, dubbed "Fiddler in the House", will highlight traditions from their native country, as well as Irish, Scottish and Acadian tunes.

"The theme of 'fiddler in the house' is appropriate not only for the obvious reason of bringing our music into new places, but as it relates to PEI history as well. At the turn of the 20th century at least one house in every community on PEI had a fiddle. Often there were more, but the one fiddle would be shared by the father and several of his sons and the sons had to wait until their father left the house in order to try to play a tune on the prized instrument . As well, the fiddle was often associated with the work of the devil and was not an instrument to be taken up by the fair sex, although a few did," fiddler Johnstone said.

"You couldn't have a dance, a wedding or a funeral in the community without a fiddler. He was nearly as important as the preacher and the school teacher. Dancing and house parties were the main form of entertainment after a hard day working in the fields or cutting wood in the forests and the fiddler was key." added Sharratt.

From that romantic tradition comes this modern day line up of concerts in local halls and homes. This will be the pair's sixth annual tour of what Canadians call the "Boston States".

"We've met some great people on our visits and hope to see some familiar faces and look forward to meeting some new ones on this tour." says Sharratt.

They will be performing music from their recent live CD, "Live at Loon", recorded at the 2010 New Hampshire Highland Games as well as some new Celtic material from Johnstone's travels in Cuba .

The Northborough concert is open to the public, and all are welcome. Tickets ($18/each) can be reserved by calling 508.344.4932.

Canadian traditional musicians to perform in Northborough - Framingham, MA - The MetroWest Daily News

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