The Harrison Festival Society is ready to bring another year of fantastic music to Harrison and the first performance of 2018 is from the Lonesome Ace Stringband, which brings Appalachian folk songs and fiddle/banjo tunes to the Harrison Memorial Hall.
According to a press release from the Festival Society, this incredible band brings “grit, skill and abandon” to traditional folk and banjo tunes.
“These are songs and tunes for life and all of its occasions: festivals, dances, wars, parties and funerals. The music comes from a tradition that has inspired and brought together generations of people. Its themes – love, loss, hard work and hardship, faith, and everyday life – speak to everyone,” said the Festival Society.
Members are Chris Coole on banjo, John Showman on fiddle and Max Heineman on bass. The three musicians “bring a deep respect for the roots of the music, a keen sense of innovation to the performance and material, and a passion for the sound that transcends both. This is old-time music for today’s old soul.”
According to the Festival Society, these three musicians are best in the country at what they do. “Old Time music is not bluegrass, but it is closely related,” says Harrison Festival Society artistic director Andy Hillhouse. “Old time is the mountain music that influenced Bill Monroe and others when they came up with what we now call bluegrass. Fiddle and banjo are the core instruments in Old Time, played with an intense groove that brings together from African and European origins.”
Lonesome Ace Stringband’s first album, Old Time, was recorded in 2014 and received critical acclaim from the folk, old-time and bluegrass community. Since 2008, the Lonesome Ace Stringband has logged hundreds of playing hours and has held a weekly residency at Toronto’s legendary Dakota Tavern.
For frequent Harrison Festival attendees, the band members will seem familiar. John Showman has appeared here in the past with his band New Country Rehab, and Chris Coole has performed with several artists here including, most recently, David Francey. Lonesome Ace shares membership with the Foggy Hogtown Boys and the Creaking Tree String Quartet, both bands that have appeared at the now defunct Chilliwack Bluegrass Festival.
When the string band went back into the studio in 2016, their goal was to capture the “feel, energy and narrative of their live playing.”
Now, experience it for yourself at the Memorial Hall Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at harrisonfestival.com, by phone at (604) 796-3664 or at the Shoppers Drug Mart in Agassiz, the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison.