Oct 23, 2023 / by Folk Harbour / No Comments

VOLUME 21 #10

This edition of Folk Lines continues to shine the spotlight on our Weekends at the Opera House series and tells you how to get passes for the 2024 Festival.

Weekends at the Opera House: Fall 2023

This exciting and diverse series of concerts began with a weekend where we marked the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with Leonard Sumner, April Martell, and Morgan Toney, and continued with sweet and soulful sounds with Allen Snow and the Quorum, Sweet Alibi, and John Wort Hannam. Photos from these concerts can be found at the end of the newsletter.

Below, we provide biographies and video links for performers in our next two weekends. In the November edition of Folk Lines, more details will be given about the two Christmas concerts that will make up the final weekend in this series.

Weekend #3—Cape Breton Roots: Dave Sampson and Jodi Guthro (October 27) and Pretty Archie (October 28)

The next weekend on the schedule will feature musicians who celebrate their Cape Breton roots.

On Friday, October 27, Dave Sampson and Jodi Guthro will each deliver an individual set.

Dave Sampson writes heart-on-your-sleeve folk-pop songs that he delivers with a captivating and authentic voice. A Cape Breton native who now calls Halifax home, Dave’s high-energy shows are helping him amass fans across the country. With Nova Scotian hip-hop star, Classified, Dave co-wrote the 2017 ECMA Award-Winning Song of the Year, “No Pressure”. Dave’s most recent album is his 2019 EP, All Types of Ways, recorded in Nashville with fellow Cape Breton native, Gordie Sampson (although Dave and Gordie are not related, Dave attended Gordie’s Songwriter’s Camp for many years).

Here is Dave’s video for “Gets Me Through the Night”, co-written with Sam Ellis and Dylan Guthro.

Jodi Guthro is a singer-songwriter based in Halifax, NS. Growing up in a very musical household, Jodi has been surrounded by the process of songwriting and performing all her life. In recent years she has been travelling between Halifax and Nashville, writing songs for both her own projects and for other country and pop artists. Jodi has released several singles of her own work and has seen those streamed hundreds of thousands of times. An enormously talented musician in her own right, Jodi has also appeared as a trio with her late father, Bruce, and her brother, Dylan.

Here is Jodi performing her stunningly beautiful song, “Broken Wings”.

Tickets: $25 ($12.50 for those 25 years and under)

Pretty Archie is a band that blends folk, Americana, bluegrass, alt-country, and East Coast music. The group’s distinct sound appeals to audiences – Pretty Archie stormed onto the Folk Harbour scene at the 2019 Festival with their high-energy sets and their huge sense of fun. They returned for our 2020 Mini-Festival, and appeared again in 2022. Named for a street musician in Sydney, Pretty Archie consists of long-time friends Brian Cathcart (lead vocals and guitar), Matt McNeil (mandolin and guitar), Colin Gillis (harmonica, bass, and vocals), Redmond MacDougall (banjo, percussion, and vocals), and Scott MacLean (guitar and mandolin).

Recorded at the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay, NS here is their song, “Maritime”, an ode to their Cape Breton roots.

Tickets: $35 ($17.50 for those 25 years and under)

Weekend #4—The Story Told in Song: Ian Sherwood Trio (November 10) and Irish Mythen (November 11)

Armed with a guitar, saxophone, compelling songwriting, and a voice that won him a Canadian Folk Music Award for contemporary singer of the year (2013), Ian Sherwood shines on every stage he plays. A born story teller and a constant creator, his music dances the line between folk and pop. His discography dates back to his self-titled 2005 debut, and includes Everywhere to Go (2014) and Bring the Light (2017). Ian has appeared at the Folk Harbour Festival in 2014 and 2018 and in concerts series over the years. For this Weekends at the Opera House performance, Ian will be joined by Geoff Arsenault (drums) and Mike Farrington Jr. (bass).

In this video recorded at the Lunenburg Opera House, Ian shows what one man, a looping machine, and enormous talent can accomplish in his version of the traditional song, “Oh Mary, Don’t You Weep”.

Tickets: $25 ($12.50 for those 25 years and under)

Born in Ireland and now living on Prince Edward Island, Irish Mythen is steeped in the tradition of passing songs and stories down through generations. Irish has received accolades from Folk Alliance International, SOCAN, Australian Guitar, Rolling Stone and an array of other worldwide print and online media. She is on the “Must See” list of many reviewers, and is considered an artist whose performances are a thing of raw power and emotion that have to be seen to be believed. Lisa Schwartz of the Philadelphia Folk Festival says, “I’ve been blessed with seeing and hearing a lot of talented musicians in my life, but I have never experienced anyone quite like Irish Mythen. She is a force of nature and a gift from Almighty Herself.”

Here is Irish with Dave Gunning performing “Tullamore Blues”.

Tickets: $25 ($12.50 for those 25 years and under)

Weekend #5—’Tis the Season: Reeny’s Family Christmas (November 24) and Lennie Gallant and the Innkeeper’s Christmas (November 25)

With deep roots in the St. Thomas Baptist Church in North Preston, NS, Reeny Smith and family are the perfect performers to deliver soul-stirring and room-silencing renditions of seasonal favourites.

Tickets: $35 ($17.50 for those 25 years and under)

Lennie Gallant and the Innkeeper’s Christmas is quickly becoming a holiday standard, having been performed to sold-out houses throughout the Maritimes in recent years. Lennie will appear with his band: multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Patricia Richard, fiddle and bass player, Keelin Wedge, and keyboard player, Julien Robichaud.

Tickets: $45 ($22.50 for those 25 years and under)

Weekends at the Opera House, Fall 2023—more details

All shows take place at the Lunenburg Opera House, 290 Lincoln St., Lunenburg

Doors open at 6:45 pm, shows start at 7:30 pm

Seating is general admission

Ticket prices include taxes

All ticket sales are final

Tickets can be purchased in-person at the Folk Harbour office, 125 Montague St., Lunenburg, (902) 634-3180 or online through Ticketpro

Buy tickets for Weekends at the Opera House

The first four concerts in this series have been hugely entertaining. Thanks to Garry Woodcock for these photos.

Weekend #1
Top: Morgan Toney (with Keith Mullins and Ryan Roberts)
Bottom: April Martell (L), Leonard Sumner (R)

Weekend #2
Top: Allen Snow and the Quorum
Bottom: Sweet Alibi (L), John Wort Hannam (R)

Festival 2024: Passes are on sale now!

The 39th annual Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival will take place from August 8 to 11, 2024.

Early Bird passes are on sale now for $160 ($80 for those 25 years and under) including all taxes. This price will be in effect until April 15, 2024, but note that this year, there will be a limited number of Early Bird passes available. Buy early to avoid disappointment. Passes can be purchased online, by phone through Ticketpro (1-888-311-9090), or through the Folk Harbour office (902 634-3180, 125 Montague St., Lunenburg). From April 16, 2024 and after, full Festival passes will cost $190 (including taxes).

From marking the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to celebrating the holiday season and everything in between, Weekends at the Opera House, Fall 2023 gives audience members the chance to be both entertained and informed. Join us for these great shows this fall!

©2023 Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society | 125 Montague Street, PO Box 655, Lunenburg, NS B0J 2C0