March 5, 2005

The McDades

The McDades
A Band
Modern Celtic, Vocal Harmonies, Traditional French Canadian, ... and Jazz !


ake a band from Edmonton consisting of two brothers and a sister who grew up playing music together, add to the mix two very eclectic musicians from Montreal, and you have a truly Canadian band, the McDades!

e were told to expect to experience everything from modern bluegrass sounds reminiscent of Nickle Creek or Allison Krauss to Tuvan Throat singing! The McDades delivered on their promises and gave our audience a rollicking rolling evening of musical pleasures that covered a range of styles from traditional Celtic to classical Jazz with solo gigs on soprano sax or on a vintage bass with the eloquence of Charlie Haydn. The musical adventures and arrangements moved from bowed bass and violin parts that remind you of George Martin's Beatle Productions to Horn improvisations in the style of Oregon or the Paul Winter Consort. Percussion sounds range from frame drums to sounds more modern.

dd to the above an upright jazz bass player, a master violinist and a guitarist who's style has developed somewhere between modern Celtic, traditional French Canadian and jazz, and you begin to understand the McDades. With vocal harmonies that can only come from a family band and their obvious love for each other and their music, a McDades show has living room warmth with excellent musicianship. With a nice mixture of accessible instrumentals, vocal songs in both French and English and more adventurous pieces, each member of the band is showcased throughout the evening.

SHANNON JOHNSON hannon Johnson began studying violin at the age of three and has progressively gained a reputation as one of the finest fiddlers in the country. Shannon’s fiddle, vocal and production skills can be heard on great recordings by artists such as Bourne & Johnson, David Wilkie, Terry McDade, Captain Tractor, Luann Kowalek and Maria Dunn. While keeping a busy live performance and touring schedule, Shannon is also emerging as a leading composer & arranger and well on her way to becoming one of the top record producers in the country.

SOLON JOHNSON olon McDade has been performing professionally for most of his life. He began playing the cello at age 4 and by the time he was 9 he was playing the violin, double bass and doing shows with his family in the McDade Family Band on the washtub bass. By the age of sixteen he was already a veteran of the Canadian folk festival circuit and had performed in shows for many members of British Royalty. From smoky blues bars to international festival crowds Solon has wowed audiences with his musicality.

JEREMIAH McDADE eremiah McDade, Shannon & Solon’s younger brother, is a virtuosic multi-instrumentalist and composer, playing Whistles, Saxophones, Fiddle and Flute, to name a few. Performing at festivals, concerts and major events since he was five years old, Jeremiah has grown into a sought after studio musician. Due to his rich musical upbringing, Jeremiah flows freely between musical genres, equally at home with Celtic, World and Jazz stylings, while keeping his own original voice. Jeremiah recently graduated with High Distinction from the Jazz Performance program at McGill University in Montreal; he is also a busy composer and arranger.

FRANCOIS TAILLEFER rançois Taillefer is a highly trained percussionist with performance experience in a wide variety of musical styles; since 1988 he has been an active part of Montreal and Canada's vibrant music community. Through his studies, he has had the opportunity to explore Arabic, Cuban, Iranian, Brazilian, Haitian, African, Indian, Inuit and European percussion styles. In addition to playing with ancient music ensembles, he is also a member of a Brazilian percussion group and Fingerworks, a percussion trio.

YANN FALQUET ann Falquet, the fifth member of the band, is one of Canada’s most innovative and sought after young acoustic guitar players. Born into the Quebecois tradition, he has explored many other styles of music as well, including completing a Bachelors degree in Jazz at Concordia University.

thers have praised them with:

  • "... one of the most innovative Celtic-rooted bands I’ve heard lately — they’re both adventurous and mischievous as they play with tempos and experiment with unconventional — and very successful arrangements. "
        — Dirty Linen

  • "Cool tunes with a celtic root, but much wider inspiration ... Spot-on playing, keen band production and a spirit of adventure ... This Kicks!"
        — Folk Roots Magazine

  • "This is one family that works and plays together extremely well. On stage is where their intimate connections combine with immense talent to provide the audience with an incredible musical experience"
        — The Horses Mouth

  • "The McDades find their groove somewhere between a down-home kitchen party, a jazzy after-hours club and a folk festival ... blazing and soothing."
        — London Free Press

  • Link to their web site         Listen to music clips:    

    Opening for Bob tonight were our featured open mike performers:

  • Annie Mark
  • Steve Robinson
  • Samuel P. Lazow
  • Brooker & Bullen (Richard & Elena)
  • Claude Margouleff
  • Bob Mist
  • Alan Michaelson
  • Nick Ventresca
  • Kevin O'Donnell
  • Jim Caputo
  • Our host this evening was Jack Finkenberg. If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...