A whale of a band

By Sonis Sharma

"We’ll rant and roar like true Great Big Sea fans–Newfie style."
-Great Big Sea

In an ocean of Celtic music, Great Big Sea is more than just a band riding
the waves. Vocalist Darrell Powers and his three compatriots Allan Doyle,
Sean McCann and Bob Hallet make up this folk-influenced band. Formed in
1991, this hard-working band has played an impressive 273 shows in Canada,
the us and the United Kingdom last year alone. Great Big Sea also played
at the Calgary Folk Festival last year and have gained quite an impressive
fan base , proven by the many web pages dedicated to them.

“We’re an aggressive traditional band that plays pop music,”
says Powers. The band has a strong background in conventional Celtic music
as well as a culture that, “favours songs that encourage you
to keep your chin up in the face of adversity.”

What differentiates the band from other Celtic and Irish bands is their
fairly original combination of traditional Celtic/folk tunes with modern
rock/pop music. Melody in song, according to Power, should be something
that “sticks in the head,” and the lyrics both “memorable
and conscious.”

The previous albums, Play, Up, and Rant and Roar, combine toga-party music
with calmer, more inspirational songs.

The band is very excited about their latest album, Turn. Although more
mellow than previous releases, this album will also probably turn into
a hit, with great songs like, “Jack Hinks,” “Demasduit
Dream” and “Margarita.”

The band’s main asset seems to be their live performances which are
usually described as having raw energy, and upbeat craziness. They have
also won many awards, including the East Coast Music Awards Entertainer
of the Year for four consecutive years.

Great Big Sea will hit the road soon with Blue Rodeo playing at Calgary’s
Stardust Picnic at Canada Olympic Park July 2.

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