Friday, March 22, 2013


By Gai Anderson

Huonville Town Hall
As part of Ten Days on the Island , 2013

sprag [spræg]

n. 1) a young man 2) a young cod 3) a wooden prop to support the roof of a mine.
 sprag unit auto part with several rotating sprags that lock to provide traction.
 adj. 1) quick and lively (Shakespeare) 2) of sprag mind: one’s thought process in constant cognitive motion creating a distracted and wavering personality.

I don’t know what I expected of SPRAG SESSION on Monday night at Huonville, but as these young energetic musicians from Cape Breton stepped onto stage and played those first electrifying notes I knew that I was in for something really special.

As if dropped in from another place in the midst of full musical flight, their toe tapping wild energy expanded instantly to fill the room with an intoxicating and multilayered mix of Celtic traditions with twists of funk and rock.

For these five smiling young men are no ordinary Celtic band, but one that layers upon the reels and jigs and Breton dances with their unique and inspired arrangements to create thoughtful original “toons”. Their music is infectious.

The ever-smiling sprite that is the toe-tapping frontman Colin Grant, has gathered a group of amazing musicians around him to create Sprag Session, bringing together a traditional trio in combination with a blues, funk rhythm section . Combining virtuosic mandolin, guitar, banjo, drums, wild thumping piano and the ever soaring fiddle of Grant himself, Sprag Session created a dynamic range of grooves, beats and melodies, which occasionally slowed for soulful moments of great beauty.

Grant is also a great story teller whose impish enthusiasm to connect with the audience and comic chatter between the sweat-inducing tunes were delightful. His comic stories of the people from the community they live in had a great generosity about it and a great familiarity. In fact the photo of the lads on the Ten Days program, sitting in the park with the ducks, could be of a bunch of local boys taken in Huonville.

And that’s a bit how the whole night felt, like we had known these boys forever and they were  playing to their home crowd. Except we were definitely not all up and dancing as we much as they would have been at home when these boys were “driving the ceilidih bus”.
But it was a Monday night in Huonville.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think?