The Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours

(Sydney, N.S.) “I get a lot of calls, from people all over the
world, asking me to recommend which concerts they should attend,” says
Dave Mahalik, Information Officer for the Celtic Colours International
Festival. “Of course, I tell these folks that every concert is a
winner, that each one features a top-notch lineup, and that it really
depends on who, and what, they are interested in seeing and hearing.
That’s kind of my standard answer,” says Mahalik who has been on the
front lines, answering the public’s questions about the Festival, five
of the last six years. This year, he’s added a post script that goes
something like, “But if you only get the chance to see one show, make
it the Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours.”

So what is this “Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours” all about?

“Well, it’s a Celtic ‘big band’,” explains Festival director Joella
Foulds. “Twenty-six folk musicians doing what they do best—playing
their hearts out. Only this time they get to play together.”

The Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours is a collaboration of the
Festival’s Artists in Residence—Corrina Hewat, David Milligan and
Gordie Sampson—based on an idea that Corrina and David started working
on ten years ago. Corrina and David’s vision of a folk orchestra comes
from the idea that traditional musicians play traditional style music,
and they don’t want that to change. What the Unusual Suspects concept
does is give the musicians a chance to play the music they love, in the
style they love, but within a big band situation.

“I first saw a version of the Unusual Suspects two years ago at the
Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow,” says Max MacDonald, Celtic
Colours International Festival director. “This was an all-Scottish
version and I found it enormously inspiring to see so much individual
traditional brilliance working together as a folk orchestra. It was, by
far, the highlight of the festival for me.”

The concert was hailed as the crowning glory of that year’s festival,
and in 2004 The Unusual Suspects made a triumphant return appearance at
Celtic Connections as a 32-piece ensemble. The 2004 festival concert
was followed by a UK tour as a 22-piece version of the band went on the
road, and played to critical acclaim and nightly standing ovations the
length of the country, from London to Inverness. And now the Unusual
Suspects are coming to Cape Breton Island for two concerts during
Celtic Colours International Festival.

“This project is a dream come true,” says an excited Foulds. “After
seeing the original version of the Unusual Suspects I couldn’t shake
the idea of making it international…putting Scottish musicians
together with other Celtic Colours musicians to create an even more
exciting sound. David and Corrina were willing to take it on and Gordie
was excited to get the collaboration started.”

The Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours is an international
collaboration featuring members of the Barra MacNeils, Harem Scarem,
Beòlach and Bachué along with Chris Norman, Daniel Lapp, Bruce MacPhee,
Martin Green, Rick Taylor, Jeff Goodspeed, Rick Waychesko, Mattie
Foulds, Gordie Sampson and Andy Thurston in a twenty-six piece folk
orchestra. This unique assembly of fiddles, pipes, whistles, accordions
and vocalists, complete with a seven-piece rhythm section and a
four-piece horn section, promises to be a Festival highlight for years
to come. You will never again see this group of outstanding artists
perform together. The Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours is truly a
twice in a lifetime event and both will happen this year at Celtic
Colours International Festival.

October 15 – Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours Premiere, 7:30pm at the Savoy Theatre, Glace Bay

October 16 – Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours Encore, 4pm at Strathspey Place, Mabou

Celtic Colours International Festival runs October 8-16, 2004. For
information phone 1-877-285-2321 toll free or 562-6700 locally. For
tickets phone 1-888-355-7744 toll free or 564-6668. Or visit for information or to buy tickets.

Call toll free for more information +1(877) 285-2321