How Celtic can Celtic be? Look no further than the Outside Track to find out. The band, made up of two Scots, two Irish, and one Cape Bretoner for good measure, is an up-and-coming “trad” unit—making waves across the country.
With Mairi Rankin of the Rankin family anchoring the Canadian influence, the group effortlessly blends upbeat East Coast fiddle with the sometimes-joyous, sometimes-reflective echoes of the ancient lands, courtesy of Cork-born Teresa Horgan, native Edinburghian Ailie Robertson, highlander Fiona Black and the only boy in the bunch, Cillian O’Dalaigh from Limerick. Touring in support of the group’s 2015 Light up the Dark release, the band is in the midst of an extensive pub and hall tour that brings them to 19 on the Park on March 10.
While the word ‘fusion’ has been used to describe the core Celtic sound that Outside Track serves up, it stays clear of the ‘cross-over’ rock and country sounds for which many East Coast bands are famous, opting for a traditional (trad) sound, with nary a drum set or electric guitar to be heard. But for lovers of the root Celtic sound, this show promises to be a cultural highlight of the calendar.
Later in the month, the ‘out east’ theme continues with the Fortunate Ones taking the stage March 23.
The Newfoundland folk duo of Andrew James O’Brien and Catherine Allan has been touring since their 2013 performance debut. With a bunch of honours already racked up, including a Juno nod and five East Coast Award nominations, big things appear to be on the horizon.
Described by no less that Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea as, “A rare gem. Two voices singing as one,” the duo has wowed many with their versatile songwriting and earnest style, featuring O’Brien’s percussion and rich acoustic guitar, ably strengthened by Allan’s emotive keyboards and voice.
While the Fortunate Ones have only been impressing together for a couple of years, both O’Brien and Allan come by their talent honestly, coming from musical homes with Allan being trained as a classical pianist before taking up the accordion and guitar. O’Brien had already released his own well-received solo album in 2011 – the rootsy, guitar-driven Songs for Searchers.
Tickets for both shows can be purchased from the 19 box office or online at www.nineteenonthepark.com. Tickets are $29 for Outside Track and $39 for the Fortunate Ones.