Groundswell Music Festival Concert Review
Supporting local is something we should all strive for whenever possible. This past weekend Groundswell Music Festivaltook local support to another level. Nova Scotia can feel a great deal of pride in the product that was displayed. Food, drinks, and of course, music, all from our beautiful province, thrilled the crowd from March 16-19.
Thursday night kicked off the weekend at the Spatz Theatre with a Celtic show for both young and old. Heather Rankin started things off promoting her new solo album “A Fine Line.” She took the stage and treated the audience to a multitude of songs written for said album, a few old Rankin Family tunes to keep the toes tapping, and in true Cape Breton fashion told a few stories for good measure. Recording her new album in L.A. lead to a few little fish in a big pond stories for the Mabou native. From a room at the extended-stay inn with an unexpected guest, to unanswered early morning knocks on the door from a unbeknownst friendly stranger, every story had a song to coincide. She closed her set out with the Rankins’ classic “Movin On” which had every butt in every seat dancing along.
After a short intermission, a surprise act graced the stage. Mitchell Poirier, from Inverness, won an up and comer’s opportunity to work with Mike Ryan (Town Heroes). He played two songs, one written with Mike Ryan (and his sound was incredibly apparent in the best way possible), and an acoustic instrumental track that left jaws agape. Though maybe not quite as long and moving as John Butler’s “Ocean”, it certainly drew influence from it, and if we’re lucky enough Poirier’s path will lead us down that road. Next up was the headliner Rawlins Cross.
Maybe known as the band your dad loved in the ’90s, these guys haven’t lost a step through the years. Their modernized blend of Celtic rock boomed through the auditorium, with all in attendance digging every note from every Celtic instrument ever made. Ian MacKinnon played every wind instrument imaginable, from bagpipes, to tin whistle, and pan flute alike. Yarns were spun of their highs of sending a video to MuchMusic in ’93 with a quart of dark rum and a couple of lobsters, leading to their video going #1 on the MuchMusic countdown. They closed the night with the help of Heather Rankin on their hit “Reel and Roll.” Night one in the books.