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Sprag Session launches a new venture at Skye
SO. CARTHAGE -- New England Celtic Arts in conjunction with Saltwater Celtic Festival will present Sprag Session (formerly Colin Grant Band) with special guests Chrissy Crowley and Darren McMullen at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center on Wednesday.
Curtain at Deertrees is 7 p.m. at Skye Theatre. A pre-show jam session starts at Skye one hour prior to curtain.
Skye Theatre teams up with Deertrees Theatre and Saltwater Celtic Festival to bring three of Nova Scotia's premier exporting Celtic acts back to Maine and New Hampshire, following up on successful appearances at the 2010 American Folk Fest and annual summer tours in the region. Celtic Roots/Fusion band Sprag Session (formerly Colin Grant Band), Cape Breton fiddler Chrissy Crowley, and multi-instrumentalist Darren McMullen will be touring as a triple-bill from July 5-22.
Sprag Session fuses traditional Cape Breton style fiddle with, rock, funk, and world influences to create a dynamic and thoughtful mingling of instrumental tunes, finding an open ear in everyone from indie scene-sters to blue-haired bingo stampers. They released their debut album on April 3, 2012, and have since received reviews for their "winningly inventive Canadian folk-rock dynamism" The Scotsman, Shetland Folk Festival review. "I have seen the future, and it's called Sprag Session" Max MacDonald, Celtic Heart of North America.
Chrissy Crowley, fresh from performances at the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention in Ireland, is back to visit Maine for the first time since August 2010, when she joined the Taste of Celtic Colours tour, which included a stop at the American Folk Fest. Her fiery and mischievous stage presence compliments her traditional solo fiddle work, blending old and new tunes with contemporary arrangements, incorporating Latin, Middle Eastern, and Cape Breton influences. Both her albums have been nominated for East Coast Music Awards, and she is anticipating her third album's release in September. She will perform with guitarist Darren McMullen and pianist Jason Roach.
Darren McMullen's second album "Shoes For Molly" was released in October 2011 to critical acclaim, and showcased the his singing and songwriting skills for the first time. The Hardwood Lands, Nova Scotia native has made a name for himself as a "multi-instrumental sideman" on national and international stages with The Rankins, David Francey, Matt Andersen, J.P. Cormier, and Sprag Session. His weapons of choice are (but are not limited to) acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass, and whistles.
These three talented hard-working acts show no sign of slowing down this summer, with upcoming performances at Festival Interceltique de Lorient in France, the World of Music, Arts & Dance Festival in England, and the world's largest Celtic festival, Milwaukee Irish Fest.
"We're looking forward to seeing our friends in Maine and New Hampshire again!" says Sprag Session member Colin Grant. "Our host Phill McIntyre from New England Celtic Arts has been very good to us over the years and helped us build a small but mighty following." He goes on to describe the triple-bill shows as a collaborative effort, which will equally showcase all three acts over the course of their two-hour show, "with a few surprises thrown in to keep listeners on their toes." The groups will be featured at the Saltwater Celtic Festival in Brunswick on Saturday July 14 and these two concerts are part of the Saltwater Satellite events leading up to the Festival. They will also be featured at Skye affiliated venues in New Hampshire and Vermont.
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. Ticket price is $15 at the door. For reservations at Skye Theatre, call 562-4445. Reservations are strongly suggested.