The Fretless are playing at Merville Hall.

Fretless offers fearless new take on traditional tunes

The Fretless Friday, Feb. 6 Merville Hall

On Friday, Feb. 6, at the Big Yellow Merville Hall, get set for non-stop fun as Canada’s award-winning quartet, The Fretless, tour the West Coast with their first stop right here in the Comox Valley, hometown to one of the fiddlers, Trent Freeman.

The Fretless is a new approach to folk music that is quickly gaining high acclaim around the world.

This unique band is taking string music to fascinating places as it transforms fiddle tunes and folk melodies into intricate, beautiful, high-energy arrangements.

Album of the Year

The Fretless recently won Instrumental Album of the Year at the 2014 Western Canadian Music Awards and Ensemble of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards for their second album – both awards they also won in 2012 for their debut release Waterbound.

Having been together for only three years, The Fretless has already toured extensively across Canada, the United States, and Europe.

This tour hits many of the band’s favourite spots, including a hometown or two, but also ventures into brand new territory. The Fretless is very excited to perform for the first time in both Oregon and Washington.

Growing upon the success this unconventional quartet had with their debut album, The Fretless’s self-titled second album features a complex and refreshing take on traditional music. This new release includes an ethereal cover of Radiohead’s Airbag, sung by Juno Award-winning singer/songwriter Ruth Moody, and a haunting rendition of the traditional song Lonesome Scene of Winter, sung by Moody and Oliver Swain.

Hometown boy

Having grown up in the Valley, fiddler Trent Freeman is now based out of Toronto and Vancouver, but he loves bringing his musical bandmates back to his roots and the band loves it as well as some of their most enthusiastic fans reside here.

With The Fretless, Freeman is joined by Canadian fiddle champions Yvonne Hernandez and Karrnnel Sawitsky on violins, and Eric Wright on cello.  Those of you who witnessed the amazing music of fiddler Alasdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas last month are in for a double dose of their energy at this concert.

So, join this dynamic group on Friday, Feb. 6, at the Big Yellow Merville Hall as they blow away the fog and rain with their powerful playing.

Doors open 7 p.m., the show starts 7:30. Tickets $18 adult/$10 youth and will be on sale at The Music Plant in Campbell River, Blue Heron Books in Comox and Long & McQuade in Courtenay. At the door, $20 adult/$12 youth. This concert is aimed to raise awareness of the historic Stolen Church which now rests proudly on the Merville Hall grounds, awaiting restoration.  Call Craig, 250-339-4249, for more details.


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