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Master fiddler to play at Skye
REGION -- New England Celtic Arts will present legendary Maine fiddler Frank Ferrel with Janine Muise Randall at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in South Carthage on Wednesday, October 26, and at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts in Unity on Thursday, October 27.
Curtain at Skye is 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Unity. Pre-show jam sessions at Skye and Unity start one hour prior to curtain.
Widely regarded as a composer - the classic Cape Breton jig, Spin-N-Glo, is one of his compositions. Frank Ferrel is considered to be one of the leading North American fiddlers performing today.
Frank began his fiddling at age eight, influenced first by his grandfather, a traditional musician and native of Ohio and West Virginia. His father's family originally came from the Longford area of Ireland via Maritime Canada. Frank rekindled his interest in traditional fiddling under the influence of local Irish, French-Acadian, and Canadian Maritimes fiddlers while stationed at the old Charlestown Navel Shipyard in Boston in the 1960's.
Those were the days when Kerry fiddler Paddy Cronin held forth at the old Greenville Tap in Dudley Square, while up and down Dudley Street, Cape Breton Irish and French Acadian maritime music drifted out of dancehall windows at such legendary places as the Rose Croix, O'Connell Hall and the Hibernian. There you could dance to the fiddling of Winston Scotty Fitzgerald, Bill Lamey, Tommy Doucet, and Angus Chisholm, just to mention a few. And if it wasn't the dances, there was always the old
Hillbilly Ranch on Washington Street down in the Combat Zone, a good place to listen and sit in with the likes of Bill Keith, Tex Logan, and the Lilly Brothers.
Over the years, Frank has appeared on the nationally broadcast popular American radio series, A Prairie Home Companion, and is included on their anthology recording, "PHC Tourists." He has performed on numerous occasions with the legendary Celtic group, The Boys of the Lough, both as guest artist on their Scottish Highlands and Islands tours, as well as in concert performances in North America. The Library of Congress chose his major label CD release, Yankee Dreams, for inclusion in their Select List of 25 Recordings of American Folk Music. Most recently, he's been performing with the legendary Irish-American accordion player, Joe Derrane, and is music director of the National Public Radio series, Says You.
Frank has published two collections of fiddle music for the international music publisher, MelBay, and is currently putting the finishing touches on a third collection. He has also produced recordings of traditional music for such major folk labels as Rounder Records, Voyager, and Flying Fish Records. In addition, he has made a number of recordings, both as a solo artist, and as a studio musician.
Joining Frank on stage will be Maritime keyboard style piano player Janine Muise Randall. Janine is the founder of the Ceilidh Trail School of Celtic Music in Cape Breton and is well known as one of the leading proponents of Cape Breton style piano in America. She resides in the Boston area where her family home was a central gathering place for Maritime Kitchen Parties.
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. UCCPA is at 42 Depot St. in Unity. Ticket price is $15 at the door. For reservations, call Skye Theatre at 562-4445 or UCCPA at 948-7469. Reservations are strongly suggested at both venues.