This popular annual concert will again be hosted by the Great North Woods Center for the Arts at the Art Center in Columbia, starting at 7 p.m. “We are excited to see the return of one of our favorite Canadian group of musicians returning to our facility,” said GNWCA President Charlie Jordan, adding, “And this year, they will be joined by Margie Beaton, one of east coast Canada’s greatest fiddlers.”
Coig has appeared in several concerts in northern New Hampshire over the past several years. The band includes Darren McMullen on guitar, mandolin, mandola, banjo, bouzouki, whistles, flute, vocals; Rachel Davis on fiddle, viola, vocals; and Chrissy Crowley on fiddle. The band is also accompanied by guitarist Thierry Clouette of Montreal.
This year, Beaton will replace Crowley, who was not able to fit the tour into her busy schedule. Clouette joins the band again this year with his guitar and foot percussion. Beaton, who comes from a long line of Celtic musicians, started her musical career at the age of four, and learned step dance from her grandmother. By the time she was five years old, she were playing the Celtic violin along with her sister, Dawn. Coming from a family of fiddlers, dancers, and singers, learning step dancing and the violin at a young age was a logical development.
Fans will notice some changes in the playlist. “We’re singing a lot more on stage, and Rachel and I are a lot more comfortable behind the vocal mic,” confirms Darren McMullen, the group’s multi-instrumentalist in charge of guitars, mandolin, banjo, bouzouki, whistles and pretty much everything else. Coig’s music is a unique combination of influences that could only come from these players. It's traditional, but performed in a lot of non-traditional ways. “We all come from sort of a traditional background, but then we have different influences that we're interested in,” explains fiddler and singer Rachel Davis. “Chrissy likes to dive into a lot of world music, Darren comes from a kind of Irish theme from playing around. More of the traditional Cape Breton music is really what I love, plus all the folk songs, so it's an interesting mix.”
The Cape Breton Christmas concert also promises to be a memorable night. Plan to hear some holiday classics that will set you in a Christmas mood. The Christmas tour this year heads to Ontario, the Eastern United States and wraps up with some shows on the home front. “Very excited for another year of spreading Christmas cheer far and wide,” notes the band.
“We have only about 100 seats available, so if you want to be sure to be there, it is best to get your ticket early,” Jordan said. Tickets are $20 each and can be secured online at www.gnwca.org or at the door on the night of the show. The band also asks for donations for the local food pantry during the night of the concert—a box will be placed near the concessions stand for food or cash donations, which will be provided to the Colebrook area food pantry, managed by the North American Martyrs Parish in Colebrook.
For more information on this and other GNWCA offerings, call 603-246-8998 or visit www.gnwca.org.