Beggar’s Road Brings Original Celtic Music To Meaford Hall

This Saturday, Nov. 18th, Bognor Jam Productions presents Beggar’s Road at Meaford Hall.  If the name of the band sounds familiar it’s because it has taken its name from a recording by The Shards, a band formed in 2000 in Owen Sound.  Beggar’s Road is the current incarnation of that band.  With just a few personnel changes, Beggars Road retains the same exciting approach to Celtic music that made the Shards a popular local band.

The Shards were originally brought together by Bob Robin, who writes the majority of the songs for the group.  After a lengthy apprenticeship in rock bands, Bob found his niche with the traditional sound of Celtic music and it inspired him to write evocative songs about our area around Georgian Bay.  He was particularly encouraged by the response that greeted the group’s recording of his song “Georgian Bay Bound”.  Now the traditional music of the British Isles is in his blood and when he’s not playing with Beggar’s Road, he contributes his talents to a traditional dance group called Scatter The Cats.

All of the band members have other interests as musicians which serves to enrich their contributions to this group, making it that much better each time they come together in this configuration.  The band members’ other projects are what gives Beggars Road its unique edge, with flavours of rock, country, blues and even classical music stirred in to the mix.  Excellent musicians they blend voices and instruments to create beautiful melodies around traditional styled tales of local life.

Two of the founding members of the band are the husband and wife team, Dave Farrar and Justine Maw-Farrar.  Dave drums with a country band The Chill Billys, with Justine adding harmonies.  Another side project for Justine is the Lounge Lizards, a duo in which she performs with Kevin Moyse, who played keyboards in The Shards.  Dave drums with a country band The Chill Billys, with Justine adding harmonies.  In Beggar’s Road she shares lead vocal duties with Dave and with Larry Dickinson who also plays bass.

Larry has recorded his own CD of original songs and contributes a few of his own songs to Beggar’s Road.  Other side projects for him include Peter Irwin’s Jailhouse Rock Elvis tribute show, gigs with his brother Steve Dickinson, and  work with The Kreuger Band.

Violinist Kim Lake is the band’s newest member.  She replaces Sandra Swannell, who departed from the Shards many years ago to head out on the road with Tanglefoot.  Sandra currently  tours with My Sweet Patootie but still calls this area home, and she is part of an annual special series of Christmas concerts called Harp and Holly with renowned Celtic harpist Sharlene Wallace.

Kim plays violin with the Georgian Bay Symphony and and teaches at the annual Kincardine Summer Music Festival, as well as to students in Wiarton. She is also a director for Southampton Summer Music Camp.

With all of their other projects, this band doesn’t perform often enough but when they come together their shared love of music and the quality of musicianship guarantees a great show.

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At Meaford Hall Saturday, November 18, 2017 – 7:30pm  TICKETS: $27

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