Juno Award winners, The Fretless, touch down at the Golden Gumboot Award winning Big Yellow Merville Hall, on Saturday, October 21st for a rocking concert as part of their current North American tour. Having just won a 2017 Canadian Juno Award for Instrumental Album of the Year, the quartet has been in high demand throughout the summer and is capitalizing on that popularity by ramping up their tour schedule.

Lucky for us, they are squeezing in a performance locally as it will be a homecoming for Comox Valley fiddler, Trent Freeman, who started his music career with Comox teachers Mary and Harry Hill, and the fiddling Brown family. Trent’s success started with his folk/jazz recording Rock Paper Scissors, which scored a 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award for Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year as well as a Vancouver Island Music Award.

The Fretless has a new approach to folk music with goals to expand the rhythmic, harmonic and structured arrangement style of the many folk genres they play using only string instruments. There are countless fiddle styles across Canada and around the globe that have been stagnating over time, and The Fretless is working on incorporating a new approach and a new audience with their intricate, beautiful, high-energy arrangements.

Their latest Juno release, Bird’s Nest, continues The Fretless’ trajectory into the creative stratosphere. This completely instrumental release was composed and inspired by events, people and places connected to the band. While each song tells a story and has its own musical arc, the commitment to mastery of their instruments and a playful, creative artistry shows throughout the recording.

With The Fretless, Trent is joined by Canadian fiddle champion Karrnnel Sawitsky and Nashville based Ben Plotnick on violins; and American cellist, Eric Wright, on, you guessed it, cello.

So, join this dynamic group on Saturday, October 21, at the Big Yellow Merville Hall as they blow away the goblins and spooks with their powerful playing. Doors open at 7:00pm, the show starts 7:30pm. Tickets are $20 adult/$10 youth and will be on sale at The Music Plant in Campbell River; Blue Heron Books in Comox; Long & McQuade in Courtenay; and at the door, if available. FMI Craig, 339-4249: www.thefretless.com

Craig Freeman