New England Celtic Arts will play host to Cape Breton's Celtic Colours International Celtic Festival and present “Roots to the Future” in a four venues in Maine. The artists will play at at Phillips Area Community Hall in Phillips, on Tuesday Sept. 11; at Skye Theatre in Carthage on Wednesday, Sept. 12; and at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts in Unity on Thursday, Sept. 13 and at The Portland Stage Company on Friday, Sept.14. Curtain at Phillips, & Skye is 7 p.m. and at UCCPA and Portland Stage curtain is at 7:30 p.m.
In 2010, Cape Breton songwriter Carmel Mikol brought forward the idea of pairing young songwriters with young tune-makers to see how our traditional music influences their contemporary work. The resulting concert was so much more than the sum of its parts that they decided to do it again. This year Celtic Colours is revisiting the concept with some new faces and some new approaches to creation. Mikol will be touring in Maine with participants Rachel Davis and Darren McMullen, who have made a name for themselves in Maine over the past two years.
After triple East Coast Music Award nominations for her debut "In My Bones," Carmel Mikol released her followup album "Creature" with a unique companion book/ebook titled "Creature of Habit." Since its 2011 release on Sound of Pop/Fontana North, the "Creature" album and book has received rave reviews from both sides of the Canada-U.S. border, cementing Carmel's reputation as one of our brightest up-and-coming songwriters.
Rachel Davis is a fiddler from Baddeck, Cape Breton. She picked up the fiddle when she was 12, first taking lessons from her grandfather, Clarence Long. She continued to learn from Karen Beaton, and also from Stan Chapman and Kyle MacNeil through her studies at Cape Breton University, where she is a recent graduate. Davis has performed at ceilidhs, concerts and festivals throughout Cape Breton, mainland Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and the Eastern U.S. During the 2007 Celtic Colours International Festival, she was presented with the Tic Butler Memorial Award, for outstanding contribution to Cape Breton culture.
Darren McMullen is a highly sought after multi-instrumentalist based out of Halifax, N.S. His list of instruments includes mandolin, bouzouki, tenor banjo, whistles, guitar and bass. Darren started young on piano and then guitar and played his way through the popular pub band scene until he landed a gig with J.P. Cormier in 2004 which took him throughout Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Since then he has released three solo albums and been busy touring and performing with a wide range of bands including the Rankins, Pogey, Dave Gunning, Matt Andersen, Bruce Guthro, Matt Minglewood, David Francey, Gillian Boucher, Troy MacGillivray, Andrea Beaton, Rachel Davis, Anna Ludlow and Chrissy Crowley. He also is a regular member of the popular progressive Celtic band Sprag Session.
The Phillips Community Center is on 21 Depot Street in Phillips. Skye Theater is located 3 miles West of East Dixfield village at 2 Highland Drive off Winter Hill Road and Route 2 in South Carthage. UCCPA is at 42 Depot St. in Unity. The Portland Stage Company is at 25A Forest Ave., Portland. Ticket price is $15 at the door at all locations. For reservations call Skye Theatre at 562-4445 or UCCPA at 948-7469, in Phillips at 639-3717 and in Portland 774-0465 . Reservations are strongly suggested at all venues.