Occurs on Friday September 6 2019

Approximate running time: 2 hours


The Loft
201 Division St
Cobourg ON K9A 3P6

Performance Notes

× Ken Prue presents Friends of Fiddlers Green What? Again? 2019 Friday, Sept 6 at 7:30 PM Tickets $30 + sc

The Friends of Fiddlers Green Once again, it's time for the annual Ontario tour of this now far-flung but still legendary musical ensemble. The once Toronto-based "Friends" boasts versatile musicians, fine singers, songwriters, joke tellers, a fiery dragon, an Order of Canada, a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal and one of the longest track records in Canadian Folk Music. This totally uncategorizable collective has been together, with a few personnel changes, since their inauguration at Toronto's Fiddler's Green coffeehouse in 1971. Nobody, not even the Friends themselves, can predict what might happen during one of their concerts, but it always includes humour, powerful vocal harmony, great musicianship, social commentary and an irresistible urge to dance. The Friends were recipients of the 2003 Estelle Klein Award, given by the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals for service to folk music in Ontario.

The Friends: Alistair Brown From Paisley, Scotland, for many years a resident of London, Ontario, and now back in the UK. Sings Scottish and English songs, is the man behind the booming bass harmonies, plays melodeon, concertina, mouth organ and Jew's harp, and tells incapacitating jokes. Former artistic director of London's Home County Folk Festival and a high school teacher in previous life, Alistair has three solo recordings on his own Prospect label. Grit Laskin Ontarian by birth ("we only bring him along so we can apply for grants..."), Grit is an internationally-known guitar maker and inlay artist in real life. He plays a bewildering assortment of instruments and has some notoriety as a writer of wicked parodies and songs on subjects as diverse as dieting and apartheid. Grit has two solo recordings on the Fogarty's Cove label, one on Borealis, and has played on more records than he can remember, including those of the late, great Canadian songwriter, Stan Rogers. In recent years he has been a major player in the development of Borealis Records into Canada's premier folk label, and in the emergence of the Canadian Folk Music Awards. In 1997, He received Canada’s prestigious Saidye Bronfman Award For Excellence, the first and only instrument maker to be so honoured. He is a recipient of the Estelle Klein Award, from the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals, this individual award adding to his share in the previous honour given to the Friends. Most recently, Grit was honoured with the Order of Canada for services to Canada's folk music community. The Friends, of course, do their best to keep him humble... Jeff McClintock Originally from SW Ontario, Jeff has recently returned to the band after a long globe-trotting absence, including a short spell in a Saudi Arabian jail (don't ask). Now living a mostly respectable life in Ottawa, his piano playing adds a wonderfully playful character to The Friends' tunes and songs. He also plays with Ottawa's great D'Arcy McGee band. Ian Robb An Englishman, now living in Ottawa, Ian's singing is well-known among afficionados of British music this side of the pond. His occasional spasms of songwriting have produced some gems which have far out-travelled their author. Of course, he doesn't travel that much... Ian is a member of the much-lauded harmony vocal trio Finest Kind and has recorded about a dozen albums over the years with various bands, and as a soloist. He was awarded "Best Singer - Traditional" at the 2003 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Laurence Stevenson Good fiddle players with a sense of humour are hard to find, so when Glasgow-born Laurence turned up at Fiddlers' Green, the band had no hesitation in slipping him the Queen's shilling, and signing him on for life. Besides, as an ex-CBC producer and sound guy, he is the only member of the band capable of meaningful conversation with sound engineers. These days, oscillates between Cobourg (Madman's Window) and Ste. Augustine, Fla. (David Watt Besley Band). Ian Bell Ian is the most recent addition to the band, having replaced Ian Clark in 2006. He lives in Paris, Ontario, and until recently was the creative eminence behind the Port Dover Harbour Museum, on the Lake Erie coast of Ontario. He is also celebrated in these parts as the writer of many wonderful songs about rural Ontario and its characters. An alumnus of such great bands as Muddy York and the Dawnbreakers, Ian plays mostly guitar and mandolin with the Friends but is also an honourary member of the Gary Larson band from hell, one of those masochistic enough to excel on both bagpipes and accordion. Ian was a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Norfolk County culture and lore.

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