Celebrating Canada and Newfoundland: The Once
Andrew Dale, Geraldine Hollett, and Phil Churchill met as three actors working in Newfoundland in the far north of Atlantic Canada. They discovered they all liked to sing and make music, too. The result is their trio called The Once. Hollett’s compelling lead singing fits in with strong support from Dale and Churchill on backing vocals and acoustic instruments including guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and bouzouki
Their first album. called simply The Once (it’s a term that means immediately, imminently, right now in Newfoundland) showed a fine mix of traditional and contemporary material along with a strong, individual sound for the trio. Their second offering , called Row Upon Row of the People They Know, builds on this.
Songs include the well woven story of loss, change, memory and hope called Cradle Hill and the driving traditional story Jack the Sailor. The beat goes on in the traditional song with a couple of aspects you might not expect called My Husband’s Got No Courage in Him, and the quite different, reflective story of another sort of courage, that required to live in Newfoundland in times not so long past, in the song By the Glow of the Kerosene Light.
In the music they create and the music they choose to interpret, the the tree musicians of The Once go beyond the sea chanties and pub songs to a deeper place in the history and present day of this far northern province of Atlantic Canada. It is well worth traveling with them.
From the group’s first album, here is a piece that comes along with images to give you a flavour of Newfoundland landscapes
learn why Hollett’s singing is compelling as she takes on this song based on a true story from Canadian history
you may also wish to see
Le Vent du Nord, from Montreal, brings French Canadian heritage in to the mix with their new recording Tromper Le Temps
the Rockies and plains of Canada's west are the subject and substance of Ian Tyson’s recording Raven Singer
The Once will be appearing at the Celtic Colours Festival on Cape Breton in October, a festival not to be missed if you love the music of the Maritimes.