Antigonish musical artist Mary Beth Carty has joined forces with a couple of fellow artists and friends for Ceilidh Acadien; a performance project coming to Pomquet Saturday, March 23.
Eveline Menard (flute), Robert Deveaux (fiddle) and Mary Beth Carty (accordion, guitar) are coming together to create a cultural dialogue; mixing vocal and instrumental traditions. They are excited to share tunes and stories for an interactive performance,” a release notation about the event states.
“During a research voyage that begins on the ferry to the Madeleine Islands, the three musicians will dig into archives of tunes and songs, and blend traditions of various geographical locations.”
They will be performing at the Pomquet Fire Hall at 7 p.m., with all ages invited to attend and admission by donation.
Prior to that event, they will have played March 17 at the Café de Chez Nous on the Madelaine Islands and at the Old Triangle in Charlottetown on March 22. Following the Pomquet show, the tour will conclude with performances at the Mi-Carême Interpretive Centre in Chéticamp (Deveaux’s hometown) from March 25 to 30.
“My friend Eveline, who is a storyteller and musician, she was traveling around to schools in Nova Scotia,” Carty said of origins of the project. “We have this mutual friend in Chéticamp who is really interested in old songs and we said, we should do something together as a trio.”
She noted it was Menard who applied for the grants to finance the project and with success, the travelling project was born.
Coming off the successful album Les Bien-Nommés, Carty said selections for this tour will be more traditional than what she included on that recording.
“That album was more song-writing and a French-café style … maybe a little bit less traditional, more original music,” she said.
“But this will be, definitely, delving into old repertoire from the archives; and because I live in Cape Breton now, more Cape Breton tunes will be mixed in with the songs. And we’ll be doing a medley of instrumental music, because we all love instrumental music; we’re all instrumentalists as well as singers.”
Carty talked about the appeal of the traditional music; how it’s by its very nature – storytelling.
“I like the social aspect of using the music to understand the way culture was in the past … the way attitudes have changed,” she said. “I find a lot of these old Acadian songs just have incredible stories; a lot of times humour and even sexual innuendo, which can be entertaining.”
And on the Pomquet show, Carty said it’s part of their “trajectory.”
“We’re taking the ferry to the Madeleine Islands and, on the way back, we’re going to play at the Old Triangle in Charlottetown, and then we’re passing through my hometown, so I really wanted to have an event somewhere in the county and I thought of Pomquet,” she said. “It’s nice and small, Acadian, and I’ve been to the fire hall, it’s nice and cozy.”
She added there will be “special guest musicians and singers” from the community joining them on-stage as well.
Providing financial support for the project are Secrétariat du Québec of Canadian Relations and the Government of Nova Scotia, as well as organizations Les Grandes Marées des Îles-de-la-Madeleine, la Société Sainte-Croix, the Mi-Carême Interpretive Centre, the Conseil des arts de Chéticamp, Old Triangle Charlottetown and the FÉCANE.
For additional information, visit Carty’s website at marybethcarty.com.