Celtic music has proven its appeal – and its longevity – many times since the folk revival of the `60s made ‘traditional’ trendy again.
“It’s gone through waves,” said Michael Viens, vocalist, guitarist, bodhran and harmonica player of Vancouver-based Canadian Celtic folk band Blackthorn who
will bring the soulful melodies and infectious jig and reel rhythms to a dance at the Royal Canadian Legion Crescent Branch 240, Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m., presented under the aegis of the White Rock Irish Club.
“But there’s always been a love of that music – it resonates with a lot of people.”
Viens will be joined by fellow band members Rosie Carver (violin, vocals), Michelle Carlisle (flute, piccolo, pennywhistle, fife, vocals) and Tim Renaud (bass, bodhran, octave mandolin, vocals) for the show, which will highlight traditional music from Ireland, Scotland and English and French Canada.
Over the years since its inception in 1989 – at a time when Celtic music was comparitively rare in Vancouver – Blackthorn has built a reputation for what has been described as “luscious harmonies and complex instrumentation.”
“We’re a West Coast Canadian Celtic band,” Viens acknowledged. “None of us were actually born in Ireland or Scotland, but we’re playing the music we love and we throw in some English and French Canadian tunes as well.”
The band will feature a number of the pieces from its most recent CD, Open Skies, released last September, Viens said.
“But we tend to mix it up – we like to be guided by whatever is working well with each audience,” he said.
“We’ve found from visits in the past that the White Rock-South Surrey community is receptive – we feel that in a lot of smaller towns there are people who understand this kind of music and have fun with it, tapping their toes and dancing an singing along.
“That’s definitely our crowd.”
The Crescent Branch 240 is located at 2643 128 St.
Tickets are $20 per person; for reservations, call 604-535-8949 or 604-803-0773.