Darren McMullen is a highly sought after multi-instrumentalist based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. His list of on-stage instruments includes mandolin, bouzouki, tenor banjo, whistles, guitar and bass. Darren started young on piano and then guitar and played his way through the popular pub band scene until he landed a gig with J.P. Cormier in 2004 which took him throughout Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Since then he has released two solo albums and been busy touring and performing with a wide range of artists. In the Darren McMullen Band, he has teamed up with Zach Smith on percussion, Rachel Davis on fiddle and vocals, and Ben Furey on mandolin and vocals. Darren will also be performing with Sprag Session and Coìg.
Tag Archives | Banjo
A songwriter with impressive instrumental abilities, Décota McNamara is an up-and-coming artist whose roots range from traditional Irish, bluegrass, and French to contemporary pop and country. Moving effortlessly between acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, mandolin and dobro, his command of string instruments is as impressive as his rich vocals and clever songwriting. Overflowing with energy and charisma, Décota is a top-notch entertainer whether playing in kitchens, pubs or concert halls. His soul is deep, his fingers are fast, and his stories are captivating.
Chrissy Crowley, Rachel Davis, Colin Grant, Jason Roach and Darren McMullen got together in 2010 for a tour promoting Celtic Colours. The engaging line-up of well-known solo acts—featuring expertly-played fiddle, piano, guitar, mandolin, whistle and banjo—enjoyed playing together so much that they decided to perform as Còig (“Ko-ick” – Scottish Gaelic for “five”) whenever they can. And we’re happy they are together for the Festival this year. With busy solo schedules, these musicians do not get a lot of chances to play together as Còig. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to see them in action.
The four MacDonald siblings that make up the group Company Road were raised in a musical family in Port Hood, among seven brothers and sisters. Although traditional Cape Breton fiddle music and dance is undeniably in their blood, Country music had a strong influence on their musical sensibilities. Although brothers Brennan and Mitch are no strangers to the stage, Gordie and Kelly Jean have only recently been convinced to come out of the kitchen and bring their talents to the stage. Each brings their own style and voice to their music, from Kelly Jean’s amazing control and power, to Gordie’s incredible sense of harmony, Mitch’s soft indie-esque vibe and Brennan’s musical comfort and writing combined with family humour and personality. You’ll be in good company with this crowd. Kelly Jean, Mitch, Gordie and Brennan absolutely love singing and performing together and that is certainly evident when watching them.
Dry Bones is the perfect combination of contemporary songwriting highly influenced both by traditional music and by the great songwriters of earlier times. In some ways it’s like new wine in an old bottle, you can taste the freshness but the ghosts of time past weave their haunting melodic strands throughout the music. Nathan Rogers, Leonard Podolak (the Duhks) and J.D. Edwards are all very experienced players and composers who individually have cut their own wide swath within the folk world. Together they form an imposing musical troika not to be trifled with; they are the young giants who will lead others towards the future.
Matt was born in Cape Breton and started playing whistle and pipes when he was 10. He won the Argyllshire Gathering Silver Medal in Oban, Scotland 8 years later and at 19 started recording, playing and touring the US with celtic rock/fusion group Cuillin. Matt joined Natalie MacMaster’s band after Cuillin broke up, and played pipes, whistles, banjo, percussion and guitar, touring and appearing on several recordings. His own album, a stripped-bare solo recording of his main instrument, was released in 2005. After a stint with the Canadian Forces as a musician, Matt rejoined Natalie’s band earlier this year.
Roger Stone is an accomplished Cape Breton musician, born and raised in Richmond County. Currently a member of the long-established and much loved Nova Scotian band McGinty, Roger also enjoys a busy solo career and plays with a variety of other notable musicians. Known for his folk and traditional style of music, Roger has been a passionate teacher of banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass, percussion and voice for almost thirty years. He has been a contributing force and inspiration to the musical careers of well-known artists and his many students and his song writing skill is well known whether writing his own original material or in collaboration with others.
Riley Baugus represents the best of old time American banjo and song. His powerful singing voice and his expert musicianship place him squarely in the next generation of the quality American roots tradition. Raised in a household where recordings of old-time music were often played, the North Carolina native began singing and playing music at an early age, developing a love and appreciation for traditional, southern Appalachian music. Riley has played with numerous old-time stringbands. He taught banjo, guitar, and fiddle at music camps throughout the U.S., and toured in Europe with Dirk Powell and Tim O’Brien among others. Riley makes his home near Winston Salem, North Carolina, where he builds old-time, open-back banjos, and is part of a thriving musical community.