PUTNEY—Next Stage Arts Project and Twilight Music present an evening of Celtic music by high-energy bagpipes/fiddle/guitar trio Cantrip with special guest Alasdair White plus Keith Murphy and Yann Falquet as part of the 2021 Next Stage Bandwagon Summer Series on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 5 p.m., at Scott Farm, 707 Kipling Rd.
From the strong base of its Celtic roots, Cantrip branches out into the music of other European cultures. With border pipes, fiddle, guitar, and three voices, Dan Houghton, Jon Bews, and Eric McDonald take audiences on a cultural journey, putting their own spin on each musical style.
As described in a news release, Cantrip is “known for [its] innovative arrangements, high-energy songs and tunes, and dry wit.” The group has toured throughout Scotland and the United States.
Cantrip sprang from a music session in Edinburgh, Scotland nearly 20 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,” according to the group’s publicity materials.
Houghton (bagpipes, flute, whistles, guitar, vocals) has won the Lowland and Border Pipers’ Society Open Borderpipes and New Composition events in Scotland, as well as the Maître de Cornemuse at Saint-Chartier.
McDonald (guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, vocals) found his way to traditional music through the rich music scene in Boston, and he studies with the late guitarist/mandolinist John McGann and cellist Eugene Friesen at Berklee College of Music.
Filling in for Bews on this tour, White is widely regarded as one of the leading exponents of Scottish fiddle music, touring, teaching, and performing with some of the best known names in Scottish, Irish, and Breton music on both sides of the Atlantic.
Falquet and Murphy are both masters of contemporary Celtic guitar, representing the textures, harmonies, and rhythms that the guitar has brought to traditional songs and instrumentals since the Celtic music revival in the 1970s.
As singers, they bring a rich blending of the Franco and Anglo song traditions. Falquet comes with a wealth of songs from the French Canadian tradition, and is best known for his work with the Québécois trio Genticorum.
Murphy is a highly respected traditional singer and brings a song repertoire from his native Newfoundland as well as Quebec and his current home, Vermont. He was a founding member of the trio Nightingale, and he is the artistic director of the Brattleboro Music Center’s Northern Roots Festival.