The East Pointers are fiddler/singer Tim Chaisson, banjoist Koady Chaisson and guitarist Jake Charron all from Canada’s East Coast. They’re heading overseas to debut their latest album at Thomas Hughes Memorial Hall, Faringdon, January 31.

Their palpable authenticity makes their instrumental tunes infectious rhythm-driven hits and ensures their lyric-driven songs connect as though they were looking right in your eyes as they say the words. 

What We Leave Behind, Juno Award winning album, produced by songwriter/producer Gordie Sampson, is the follow-up to 2015’s internationally acclaimed, JUNO Award-winning debut Secret Victory.  The album reflects on the traditions of Canadian Celtic music, where it comes from, and what it means to the people, but also strides in new directions that make it totally contemporary. 

The trembling first single ‘82 Fires’ and the inspired ‘Two Weeks’, co-written with Sampson, were recorded at Nashville’s famed Sound Emporium last winter. It was born out of the band’s real experience of the disastrous Australian wildfires of 2016.  “It was a restless few days for us,” says Koady. “Small human decisions about where to live or whether or not the show would go on didn’t matter, Mother Nature would always have the final say.  Being in the middle of that brings an immediacy about it.  You can feel powerless.”   

The arresting ‘Two Weeks’ meanwhile documents a passage sadly common in the bands’ home province of Prince Edward Island and played out the world over in economically challenged communities: the need to leave home and travel far away from friends and family to find work. 

“When I played that song for my mom, she said ‘That’s going to hit home for a lot of people,’” Koady Chaisson explains. “Many families here are forced to split their time, with at least one member having to go out west, usually to Alberta, to make ends meet.  It’s so hard. I did it, though luckily not for long, but there are people in my community going through it month after month, year after year.” 

The flip side of What We Leave Behind, and indeed, of The East Pointers’ electrifying concerts, are the scorching instrumental tunes that yank the freewheeling, Celtic-goosed past into the present. “Celtic-influenced tunes have always been at the core of what we do as a band,” says Jake Charron. “There’s something powerful about a style of music that has been passed on for generations around the world.”  A new take on this tradition is evident in the spry ‘Party Wave,’ inspired by a thrilling surfing experience the band enjoyed in New Zealand, one of many countries The East Pointers visited during ten months of touring in 2016.  The tunes, written on the road, take you on a journey, building the excitement.  This is what gives their live shows the atmosphere of a pop concert at the O2 and makes The East Pointers unique in the folk genre.

What We Leave Behind carves a new path for The East Pointers, as they continue to blur the lines between traditional and popular music.

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