CARTHAGE – New England Celtic Arts will host the acclaimed Scottish band Cantrip Tuesday, Sept. 30, at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center and Wednesday, Oct. 1, at Lakeside Theater in Rangeley.

Both concerts will begin at 7 p.m. This is the eighth in a series shared by the two theaters this season.

There will be a preshow jam session at 6:30 p.m. at Skye Theatre when audience members are urged to bring instruments and jam for a few minutes with performers.

Cantrip is a quartet of Scottish traditional musicians known for its driving blend of twin fiddles, bagpipes and guitar. The name is an Old Scots word meaning a charm, magic spell or piece of mischief – which aptly describes the unexpected twists and turns in thei band’s musical arrangements.

Band members are Jon Bews, fiddle, mandolin and vocals; Gavin Marwick, fiddle and mandolin; Dan Houghton, Highland bagpipes, borderpipes and smallpipes, flute, whistles and vocals; Cameron Robson, guitar, bouzouki, 10-stringed cittern, banjo, mandolin, jaw harp and vocals.

Cantrip had its beginnings in a pub where Bews, Robson, Houghton and occasionally Marwick played together on a regular basis, under the names The Spare Tools, The Cracksmen or An Talamh Bàn.

The name Cantrip was finally decided upon about the time the band’s first EP, “An Oidhche a Bha na Gobhar Againn,” was recorded. (It was later called “Bothy Days Pre-visited.”)

Cantrip released its “Silver” album on the Footstompin’ label and followed up in 2005 with “Boneshaker” on the Mischief label.

Tickets are $10 at the door. Call New England Celtic Arts at 562-4445 for reservations. Skye Theater is at 2 Highland Drive off Winter Hill Road and U.S. Route 2. Lakeside Theater is on Main Street in Rangeley.


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