Talented folk fusion band The Wheat in the Barley is coming back to Osoyoos by popular demand

By on February 26, 2014
The acclaimed Canadian folk fusion quartet The Wheat in the Barley will be making a return engagement in Osoyoos on March 13 at the Osoyoos Secondary School theatre. The group, which has performed at major festivals across Canada for many years, performed in Osoyoos several years ago and the leadership group with the Osoyoos Concert Series decided it was time to bring them back after they wowed audiences during their first visit to town. Tickets for the concert are now on sale at Imperial Office Pro on Main Street in Osoyoos and at Sundance Video in Oliver. (Photo supplied)

The acclaimed Canadian folk fusion quartet The Wheat in the Barley will be making a return engagement in Osoyoos on March 13 at the Osoyoos Secondary School theatre. The group, which has performed at major festivals across Canada for many years, performed in Osoyoos several years ago and the leadership group with the Osoyoos Concert Series decided it was time to bring them back after they wowed audiences during their first visit to town. Tickets for the concert are now on sale at Imperial Office Pro on Main Street in Osoyoos and at Sundance Video in Oliver. (Photo supplied)

They’re coming back to Osoyoos and they are better than ever.

The popular folk fusion quartet called The Wheat in the Barley played a concert in Osoyoos five years ago and put on such a terrific concert, administration with the Osoyoos Concert Series couldn’t say no and have booked a return engagement, said Pat Philpott, secretary with the Osoyoos Concert Series.

When the leadership with the Osoyoos Concert Series attended the Pacific Contact conference last spring and saw the The Wheat in the Barley were available, it didn’t take long to make the decision to bring them back to Osoyoos as quickly as possible, said Philpott.

“They were just fantastic the first time they played here several years ago and we had to have them back,” said Philpott. “They are a simply terrific band and we’re really looking forward to having them back.

“We don’t bring back a lot of bands that have already performed here, but we knew we had to bring these guys back.”

The Wheat in the Barley will wrap up the 2013-14 Osoyoos Concert Series with a performance on Thursday, March 13 at the Osoyoos Secondary School theatre.

The Wheat in the Barley play Canadian roots music that features top-notch songwriting, brilliant and warped arrangements and stunning instrumental solos that blend into an eclectic musical stew that appeals to a broad range of music fans, said Philpott.

The group pulls together a myriad of musical influences, including Celtic, Slavic, French Canadian, Yiddish and Cajun.

“The Wheat in the Barley are absolutely one of the very best groups I have heard in recent years,” said Denis McMaster, the president of the Rocky Mountain Folk Club. “They perform a great mixture of both original and traditional songs, plus outstanding instrumentals and they are all performed with great virtuosity on a huge range of wind, string and percussion instruments.

“They light a roaring fire under a multicultural cauldron of folk music, funky rhythms and fun for all.”

The Wheat in the Barley will appeal to anyone who enjoys rollicking acoustic and roots music, said Philpott.

They are also exceptionally professional and know how to entertain their audiences as they have played together for decades in settings that range from intimate acoustic venues to huge festival crowds, she said.

All four members are gifted musicians who combine their acoustic instruments to create a sound blending folk, funk, jazz and world music that ultimately gets many in the audience tapping their feet or dancing, she said.

“There are few bands that can move from a traditional Celtic tune to a Yiddish theatre game to a Blue Rodeo cover to more-than-solid originals,” said Gary Cristall, the longtime artistic director with the Vancouver Folk Festival. “These folks can.

“With one foot in the tradition and the other somewhere in the future, The Wheat in the Barley keeps getting better and better. This is music to make you exercise your feet and your brain.”

The members of this Canadian roots music powerhouse have decades of big stage experience behind them and have been fortunate enough to have shared the stage with internationally-renowned acts as The Chieftains, The Cottars, Valdy, The Paperboys and The Wailin’ Jennys.

The Wheat in the Barley have recorded four CDs and one concert DVD and are in the process of recording another CD set for release later this year.

“The Wheat in the Barley blend their many musical grains into a very hearty meal indeed,” says Steve Edge, the artistic director of The Rogue Folk Club in Vancouver.

“They bring the rural dance music of many cultures together and sprinkle them liberally with songs of working people and their pioneering exploits, stirring them up with excellent musicianship and creative arrangements.”

The last concert called Unforgettable: A tribute to Nat King Cole, featuring Vancouver’s Don Stewart performing a tribute to the life and music of the legendary American crooner in early February, was sold out and Philpott is hoping for another large crowd for The Wheat in the Barley.

As with all four concerts in this year’s series, transportation is being offered from your door to the theatre and back, said Philpott.

Anyone wanting transportation to the concert can contact Philpott at 250-495-5250.

Tickets for the concert are available at Imperial Office Pro on Main Street in Osoyoos or at Sundance Video in Oliver.

Tickets are $23 in advance or $25 at the door.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

 

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