NEW GLASGOW – BaKED café customers were given a taste of the sweet sounds coming to Pictou County during Music Shapes New Glasgow in March and April.
Kim Wempe and Ria Mae are just two of the acts headlining the fourth annual group of shows, and they offered a preview of their talent at the lineup announcement on Friday.
“We usually have a list of artists that we want to get and it’s a matter of making the puzzle work, getting the right artists together and the dates. There’s always somebody new that’s amazing that you really want to bring to New Glasgow,” organizer Carmel Mikol said.
The planning for the event happens year-round, Mikol said, but begins to ramp up in November during the Music Nova Scotia conference.
The co-ordinators wanted to branch out in the fourth year, and tried to include something for everyone.
They also wanted to take advantage of the two very different venues, the Celtic Circle and Glasgow Square.
“At the Celtic Circle, you have this natural, wooden, acoustic beautiful space so that’s really good for the kind of music we’re doing there – Celtic and bluegrass. (Glasgow Square) is a fully equipped theatre so you can do a full band. You can do anything there.”
Local fiddler and vocalist Fleur Mainville kicks off the series with a Celtic night on March 29.
Young traditional players Cassie & Maggie MacDonald, who have toured across Canada, the U.S., Europe, Bermuda, and the UK, join Mainville for this opening show.
ECMA and Music Nova Scotia award-winner Kim Wempe, fresh off her first tour of Australia, brings her huge voice and stellar band to Women’s Blues Night with local favourite Full Circle Blues Band for the second show.
Third performance of the series are Music Nova Scotia’s winner of Entertainers of the Year, Three Sheet, and ECMA winner Ria Mae.
Mae mixes pop singer/songwriter hooks with hip-hop beats and joins Three Sheet, a rock, funk, hip hop fusion boasting champion beat boxer EMC and a live instrument band, for a fun, high-energy night to appeal to youth and adults alike.
The series closes with a Bluegrass Night featuring impressive pickers, The Modern Grass, deemed “the Chieftains of bluegrass” by longtime CBC producer Glenn Meisner.
Alan Jeffries, who was named Atlantic Canada’s bluegrass and oldtime Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year, joins them.
“We have two outstanding venues to showcase these amazing talents and each performance is guaranteed to be a memorable one,” Carlton Munroe, New Glasgow’s program and events manager said.
In the past, much of the music has been folk-based, Mikol noted. This year allows more artists to get an opportunity to play in Pictou County.
“The point is to bring new stuff to New Glasgow that wouldn’t ordinarily come here,” she said.
Cindy MacKinnon, managing director of Destination Northumberland and Eastern Shores (DEANS) applauded the event’s ability to bring in tourism. “New Glasgow continues to create experiences for our visitors that offer a look into our region's dynamic musical talents. Offering events in the off-season provides opportunities for the tourism industry during what can be a slower time of year. These types of events create economic spinoffs that have a significant return for our region's tourism revenues.”
The event is supported by a number of local businesses and intitatives, including BaKED café, which will be offering free dessert to ticket holders on concert days.
All shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at either venue or any TicketPro outlet.
On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda
2014 Music Shapes New Glasgow
March 29: Celtic Night
Fleur Mainville and Cassie & Maggie MacDonald -The Celtic Circle
April 12: Women’s Blues Night
Kim Wempe Band and Full Circle Blues Band - Glasgow Square
April 19: Pop Hip Hop Night
Three Sheet and Ria Mae – Glasgow Square