High-energy Celtic music with Cantrip

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PUTNEY — Next Stage Arts Project and Twilight Music present an evening of traditional and contemporary Celtic music featuring high energy bagpipes/fiddle/guitar trio Cantrip and folksinger/multi-instrumentalist Lindsay Straw at Next Stage on April 21, at 7:30 p.m. The concert celebrates Cantrip's 20th anniversary, with the band performing a mix of brand new music, as well as their entire 2001 album "Silver."

From the strong base of its Celtic roots, Cantrip branches out into the music of other European cultures. Weaving together songs and tunes, Dan Houghton, Jon Bews and Eric McDonald take an audience on a cultural journey, putting their own spin on each style. Known for their innovative arrangements, un-produced sound and dry wit, Cantrip has toured throughout Scotland and the United States, expanding the boundaries of Celtic music along the way.

Cantrip sprung from a local music session in Edinburgh, Scotland 16 years ago. The band name is an Old Scots word meaning a charm, magic spell or piece of mischief, and it aptly describes the unexpected twists and turns in the trio's musical arrangements as well as the compelling potency of their musicianship.

Houghton (bagpipes, flute, whistles, guitar, vocals) was born in Ghana, but was transported to Scotland shortly thereafter, where he was surrounded by the indigenous music. He has won the Scottish Lowland and Border Pipers' Society Open Borderpipes and New Composition events, as well as the Maitre de Cornemuse at St. Chartier.

Bews (fiddle, vocals) came to Scots music from a classical education by way of Goth rock. He has performed and recorded with such diverse artists as Malinky, James Yorkston, Mikel Urdangarin, Ranarim, Deaf Mutes and Samling.

As a U.S. native, McDonald (guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, vocals) found his way to traditional music through the rich local music scene in Boston, and studies with guitarist/mandolinist John McGann and cellist Eugene Friesen at Berklee College of Music.

The Orcadian wrote, "Cantrip must have one of the strongest group personalities on the folk circuit. Their presentation is all energy as they channel modern swoops and slides of sound into the traditional repertoire. Their music comes from wild landscapes and wild places of the spirit."

Ballads have been a source of inspiration for Straw since her childhood in Montana, but she truly grew into the art while studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. There she began to tie together the threads of the traditions she was most passionate about — English, Scottish, Irish and American song craft. Accompanying herself on guitar and bouzouki, Straw has toured throughout the United States, Ireland and England.

Next Stage is located at 15 Kimball Hill. Tickets are $20 in advance and $24 at the door. For information, call 802-387-0102. Advance tickets are available at nextstagearts.org. Next Stage will provide a beer and wine cash bar. For more information, visit nextstagearts.org.




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