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Matching Orange to kick off “Sunday Series at Skye”
SO. CARTHAGE -- New England Celtic Arts will present the Boston based trio “Matching Orange” at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center at 3 p.m. Sunday.
This is the launch of the popular Sunday Series at Skye for the 2011 season. The Series will include: The Abbott Hill Ramblers with The Franklin County Fiddlers and the Pineland Fiddlers; Teresa Doyle; Cadence, The Old Time Radio Gang; The Don Campbell Trio; Sebago-Longlake Festival String Orchestra; Dave Mallett; Ward MacDonald & Ellen MacPhee; to mention a few. There is a pre-show jam session 45 minutes prior to curtain.
Audience members are encouraged to bring their instruments and jam with the artists for a few minutes.
Wherever these three musicians travel, they are greeted with acclaim. Whether playing for the contra dances they cut their teeth on, jamming at a local pub, or bringing the house down at a formal concert, audiences are always excited to hear such a refreshing approach to traditional fiddle music. The band boasts an impressive repertoire of traditional and original material, both tunes and songs. Combine this with a brotherly stage prescence and you have the character of a Matching Orange performance. Featuring Eric McDonald (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Eric Eid-Reiner (piano), and Brendan Carey Block (fiddle), the band creates a swirling level of intensity, sometimes gritty, sometimes pure, and always engaging. Matching Orange players take full advantage of diverse musical backgrounds, with extensive training in folk, classical, jazz, and other traditions.
The band released their debut, self-titled CD in January of 2011.
Brendan Carey Block has been performing on the fiddle since he was 10 years old. For five summers he received scholarships from the New Hampshire Highland Games and the Saint Andrews Society of New Hampshire enabling him to travel to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to immerse himself in Cape Breton music. In 2001, he became the US National Junior Scottish Fiddle Champion, and he is a three time New England champion. He has been a member of the renowned Glengarry Bhoys and currently performs with the Boston based Annalivia and his own duo project with Flynn Cohen. In May of 2009, Brendan was selected by the New Hampshire Council of the Arts to represent the state at the Library of Congress and The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage in Washington DC. The concert series was put on by the American Folklife center. Brendan has performed with countless notable artists, including Natalie MacMaster, Jerry Holland, The Battlefield Band, John Whelan, Alasdair Fraser, Cherish the Ladies, Brenda Stubbert, Gaelic Storm and Jay Ungar.
Eric McDonald picked up the mandolin when he was 17, learning from Sean Staples and Joe Walsh. In Spring of 2009, he discovered the DADGAD guitar tuning, and has been cutting his teeth at sessions and camps ever since.
He was a founding member of Jaded Mandolin, a teen string band that became a local phenomenon in the Boston area. He plays regularly with Ari & Mia Friedman and tours with The Dave Rowe Trio. As a mandolin accompanist, Eric has performed with songwriters including Raymond Gonzalez, Chris O’Brien and Thea Hopkins. Currently, he is working on a new duo project guitarist Rebecca Wudarski. He can also be seen playing for contra dances with his band Scoot! and fiddler Edward Howe. For the past two years, he has instructed mandolin at Maine Fiddle Camp in Montville, alongside Glen Loper and David Surrette. In 2008, he served as music directorfor The Actors' Shakespeare Project’s production of "The Tempest." The Wall Street Journal said “Eric McDonald performs his incidental music in full view of the audience, rattling a thunder sheet and tootling on a slide whistle with the flair of an old-time radio sound-effects man.” He is currently a student at Berklee College of Music, where he studies with John McGann and Eugiene Friesen.
Eric Eid-Reiner began playing fiddle when he was very small, proceeding to win multiple youth fiddle contests. At seven, he discovered the piano and didn't look back. Now, he performs throughout New England with numerous groups, including the Reiner Family Band, and the Rachel Cole Band. He grew up listening to fiddle music and attending camps from Vermont to Cape Breton. In late 2007, Eric was invited to perform with Ashley Macisaac, Tony Demarco and John Doyle. Next, in early 2009, he appeared on Brian O’Donovan’s “Celtic Sojourn: A Boston Session,” where he performed with fiddler Oisin Mc Auley, The band The Hay Brigade and other performers. Eric has two CDs under his own name. His first CD, “Grand Tour: Traditional Music on Piano” received great praise from Dirty Linen Magazine and Celtic Beat, and his just-released CD marks a new frontier in creative growth.
Skye Theater is located three miles west of East Dixfield village at 2 Highland Dr. off Winter Hill Road and Rt. 2 in South Carthage. For reservations, call Skye Theatre at 562-4445. Tickets are $10.