Monday, Feb 5, 2018
Stepping it Up
Wood and Belsher set to entertain Feb 17
By Bryan Cutler, Harrison Fest.
Richard Wood and Gordon Belsher will get the audience tapping their feet at Harrison Memorial Hall, Saturday, February 17.
n the 1990s, a wave of Celtic music, particularly from Canada’s east coast, started to hit the airwaves across the country. Music and dance traditions that had been localized to regions of the country for hundreds of years suddenly got national exposure. One of the finest young fiddlers to emerge from that “Celtic wave”, Richard Wood, will be hitting the stage at the Harrison Memorial Hall on February 17 with his musical partner, guitarist and singer Gordon Belsher.
Richard Wood hails from Prince Edward Island, a province rich with fiddle and step dance traditions. According to Harrison Festival artistic director Andy Hillhouse, Woods’ style of playing is an amalgam of different influences. “PEI fiddlers have long been exposed to recordings of Cape Breton fiddlers, and there is definitely the influence of Cape Breton music in Richard’s playing – that driving, energetic style that is totally designed for dances,” states Hillhouse. “But you can also hear the classic, so called ‘down home’ style that Don Messer made famous, and even shades of the PEI Acadian style. It’s all in there – pure bow-driven energy.”
Wood is also a step dancer, who manages to move his feet furiously while bowing away on reels and jigs. A child prodigy in the 1980s, he developed a following in the 1990s with a kind of rock and roll flair to his showmanship that he combined with his legitimate trad roots. He ultimately transcended the folk circuit, touring as a member of Shania Twain’s band, appearing with Irish legends The Chieftains at Carnegie Hall, and entertaining Canadian troops in Bosnia and Afghanistan.
For the past twenty-plus years, Wood has toured with Belsher, who not only backs him up on rhythm guitar, but sings an array of songs, ranging from original compositions to traditional songs and his own versions of pop and rock covers. A 40 year veteran of concerts, ceilidhs, conventions, and pubs, his engaging personality, charming voice, and versatility on a variety of instruments are a recipe for a memorable evening.
The Concert will begin at 8:00pm on Saturday, February 17 inside the Harrison Memorial Hall. Doors will open at 7:30pm. Tickets are available at harrisonfestival.com, by calling 604-796-3554, or at the Agassiz Shoppers Drug Mart.
About the Harrison Festival Society
Known worldwide for its professional artistry and small town hospitality, the Harrison Festival Society has long been a beacon for growing acceptance of diversity and purpose fuelled programming. Each July for more than 35 years the Society has produced the internationally acclaimed Harrison Festival of the Arts, a 9 day, cross disciplinary, multicultural art event set amidst the small town atmosphere and breathtaking scenery of Harrison Hot Springs, BC. A charitable non-profit, grass-roots organization, the Society also presents an annual Season of the Performing Arts from September to May and works closely with a number of Fraser Valley partners in continuing to bring high quality, inclusive and accessible performing arts into the area.
www.harrisonfestival.com │ 604.796.3664 │ firstname.lastname@example.org
Box 399, 98 Rockwell Dr, Harrison Hot Springs, BC V0M 1K0