Eight-piece family band the Merry McKentys will be performing for an autumn barn dance at Char’s Landing. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Family band brings foot-stomping folk music to Char’s Landing in Port Alberni

The Merry McKentys will be holding an autumn barn dance on Nov. 1

Eight-piece family band the Merry McKentys will be performing for an autumn barn dance at Char’s Landing on Friday, Nov 1.

Sometimes described as “Leahy of the West,” the Merry McKentys’ multi-part sibling harmonies, thoughtful lyrics and foot-stomping Canadian and Irish fiddle tunes have been enchanting audiences throughout Canada and the U.S.

The band is made up of two parents and six adult siblings who have been making music since they grew up together. They’ve performed and toured extensively since the release of their first studio album in 2013, often sailing up and down the coast in their wooden sailboat and performing at folk clubs, community dances and music festivals on the Gulf and Discovery Islands.

Instrumentation is an ever-changing medley as fiddles, guitars, banjo, cello, accordion and bass are swapped between musicians to accompany their diverse set of original songs, traditional Canadian and Irish fiddle tunes and contemporary and old-time folk covers.

The Merry McKentys have been looking forward to performing in Port Alberni ever since a fortuitous chance meeting with local arts ambassador Charlene Patterson on a trip through town several summers ago. Immanuel McKenty, the band’s tour manager and booking agent, said he and his father ran into Char while exploring Port Alberni on a Vancouver Island camping trip.

“Char and I have been corresponding by email for almost a year now, and are excited to have finally pinned down a date that works with everyone’s schedules,” he said.

The performance on Nov. 1 will also be a dance, with waltzes, polkas, contra dancing and even square dancing as called by McKenty’s mother.

“I think people can expect very upbeat, very west coast-style folk music,” said McKenty. “And good dancing, as well.”

To reserve tickets for the dance, contact Charlene Patterson at info@charslanding.com or 778-421-2427. Tickets are also available at the Rollin Art Centre and Gayle’s Fashions (cash only).

The show starts at 8 p.m. and doors open at 7 p.m.


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