Congrats James! Well deserved acclaim.
There are a bunch of videos online that show off their incredible talent and their socials are blowing up both sides of the pond. And who says an instrumental band can’t have a sing-a-long, check this.
Official video for Canadian Sunshine
And if you haven’t heard of arena trad, check this.
Fun. It is all about the joy of the music. This is what the members of Imar found when they sat down for the first time. With nine All-Ireland and eight All-Britain titles between them, these 5 highly-skilled instrumentalists come together in a no-frills, yet bombastic presentation of Celtic music.
The infectious joy they share with their audiences can be read in the comments of their social media pages, the most glowing coming from presenters who brought Imar to their audience. Of their live show, The Scotsman says “Combining five outstanding instrumentalists from Scotland, Ireland, England and the Isle of Man, each with early roots in Irish music, their sound centres on a brilliantly melodious frontline of uilleann pipes, fiddle and concertina… Genuinely jaw-dropping collective virtuosity supplied frills to burn”. Having released two widely-praised albums to date, Imar is at work on their third album which will surely add to their quick rise.
March 8-24 2024
James’ songwriting has often been cited for its keen sense of history. Songs like “Hillcrest Mine” and “Cold Missouri Waters” instantly come to mind. On SECOND-HAND James also takes on a number of topical issues of concern to us all “Walk On” about overcoming depression and “The Benefits of Surrender”– allowing oneself to be more open to life’s possibilities. These, coupled with a command of the language and delivered with an unmistakably rich baritone, and it’s not surprising that James has come to be considered one of Canada’s great singer songwriters.
SECOND-HAND finds James at the top of his game with ten new songs including co-writes with Catherine MacLellan, Lynn Miles, J.D. Edwards, Cara Luft and Dave Gunning. “I love co-writing,” he says, “it’s the spark that gets me motivated – the fresh approach to a lyric or a different way of forming a melody for a song is so stimulating. Besides, it’s also a great impetus to finish the damn song.”
Joining James in studio was long time musical pal David Woodhead-Bass, Bob Stagg-Keyboards, and guitarists Bob Cohen, Dave Clarke and Joe Grass. Harmony vocals were provided by Pharis & Jason Romero and Kelly Prescott. The album was produced in Montréal by Bill Garrett.
Energetic, talented and steeped in tradition, Heron Valley never fails to satisfy.
ABIGAIL PRYDE – FIDDLE/VOCALS
Abigail Pryde grew up in rural Argyll with music at the heart of her family and
local traditions. Fiddle was her first instrument, however, alongside this, she
learned guitar and vocal stylings at home with her father, Alan. Having played
with many local groups, she eventually joined Heron Valley in its infancy in
2014, playing local village hall dances and gatherings on guitar and vocals.
During this time she studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Junior
School and dedicated much of her time to classical violin. However, traditional
Scottish music was always at her heart, and when moving on to University at
RCS she pursued Scots Song under Fiona Hunter and Scots fiddle under
Alistair Mcculloch, alongside her Classical studies in Glasgow. Now touring
regularly with Heron Valley and having graduated from the Royal
Conservatoire of Scotland, she has begun work on her own record with Wee
KEITH MORRISON – KEYBOARDS
Keith Morrison is a proud islander from the most North Westerly point of
Scotland, the Outer Hebrides. Having come from a long line of traditional
musicians, Keith was brought up in a musical home on a quiet croft. Learning a
variety of instruments from Piano to Guitar to Double Bass, Keith could be
found playing at every ceilidh and in nearly every group (Face the West, The
Tumbling Souls, Ho-Ro and Heron Valley to name a few). After a short spell
working near London after studying in University, Keith decided to return
home and create a life being a full time Creative Musician. Keith started a
media business/recording studio called Wee Studio in 2008, working in the
studio between tours and weekend performances.
CALLUM CRONIN- DOUBLE BASS/BASS GUITAR/GUITAR
Having picked up the double bass whilst at high school in the Stirlingshire area
of Scotland, Callum was quick to explore a wide range of styles of music. In
2019, he graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland before furthering
his studies on the Master of Music programme at the Royal Northern College
of Music in Manchester, England. Callum enjoys a varied career as a freelance
double bassist, bass guitarist and tutor, performing as part orchestras,
contemporary music ensembles, experimental groups, musical theatre bands,
jazz bands and traditional music groups. Aside from his passion for teaching
and performing live, Callum runs Slàinte Sounds, a music agency providing
services to musicians and events.
Alastair hails from the beautiful gateway to the islands, Oban. As a youngster
he was tutored by the Scottish piping legend, Angus MacColl, and has played
with pipe bands across the globe, including the New York Tartan Day. Having
also joined the successful Scottish ceilidh band Ceol an Aire, Alastair has a
unique and vast knowledge of piping repertoire. Moving to Glasgow, he joined
the Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band and began his studies at the Royal
Conservatoire of Scotland and National Piping Centre, learning from piping
greats, Willie MacCallum, Ross Ainslie and Finlay McDonald. Alongside his
studies in piping, he has began his studies under flute player Anna Friel.
Tuesday Oct 18 8:00 (doors 7:00) Fernando Pinto Presents East Rock Concert Series
at Cafe Nine Tommy Sands/Liz McNicholl 250 State St. New Haven, CT
Thursday Oct 20 7:00 Folklife Concert at the Crandall Public Library, 251 Glen Street
Glens Falls, NY
Friday Oct 21 7:30 Folklife Concert On The Road at The Depot at Argyle Brewery, 6
Broad Street, Cambridge, NY
Saturday Oct 22 6:00 The annual fundraiser benefiting the venerable Mercy Center in
Bangkok, Thailand, with Donie Carroll and friends. at the New York Irish Center in
Sunday Oct. 23 3:00 Irish American Cultural Institute: A Sunday Afternoon with Tommy
Sands, at St. Catharine School, 301 2nd Avenue, Spring Lake, NJ
Wednesday Oct. 26 7:30 Frostburg State University’s Mountain City Traditional Arts 25
E. Main St. Frostburg, MD.
Thursday Oct 27 7:30 Green Willow at Blue Ball Barn 1914 West Park Drive, Alapocas
Run State Park, Wilmington, DE. w/special guest Lisa Gutkin
Friday Oct 28 6:30 Gaelic Roots concert at Connolly House, Andover Room, Boston
College, 300 Hammond Street, Chestnut Hill, MA w/special guest Lisa Gutkin
Saturday Oct 29 3:00 Music of Peace and Healing: A free concert at First Church,
1 Meetinghouse Green, Ipswich, MA w/special guest Lisa Gutkin
Sunday, Oct 30 3:30 (doors and food orders from 2:30) Brian O’Donovan Presents:
Tommy Sands at the Burren, 247 Elm St. Davis Sq. Somerville, MA. w/special guest
Can’t wait to sit in those rooms again. For now, grab a kleenex and watch this.
The Bloc discusses music, the shutdown and share some new material in a great podcast.
Check it out here:
And you can view a new video below.
If you miss it, you can still watch all the performances until the end of January on the APAP website.