David A. Wilson and the McGee Band: Concert, Literary Event, and Book Launch of Thomas D’Arcy McGee Volume 2: The Extreme Moderate – Sunday November 6th

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An Almonte Celtfest 2012 fund-raiser, The McGee Band and Prof. David Wilson presents a superb show that uniquely combines powerful emotion, creativity in music and words, and brings to life a compelling chapter of the history of Canada as an emerging nation. Please mark the date, and come and experience the acoustically superb Almonte Old Town Hall, Sunday, November 6th at 2 pm for this musical and literary event extraordinaire.

The recipient of the University of Toronto’s Outstanding Teaching Award, and a Professor in the Celtic Studies Program and History Department at the University of Toronto, David A. Wilson has completed a two-volume biography of Thomas D’Arcy McGee, the brilliant Irish Canadian politician and Father of Confederation who was assassinated in 1868 at the age of forty-two. The first volume won two major awards; Volume 2 has been described in an advance review as “one of the great historical biographies of our time.”


The McGee Band excel in fusing a blend of Irish, Scottish, and Québécois music, and have recorded a CD of original music in traditional style “In Honour of the Life and Times of Thomas D’Arcy McGee,” written, recorded and produced by James Stephens and Frank Cassidy in Ottawa. “This is an exciting and brilliantly arranged CD,” commented Aidan O’Hara on RTE (Irish Radio and Television). “It’s a rare enough event to hear so excellently performed a recording of music in the traditional vein, but when it succeeds in weaving a creative melodious tapestry of the ‘folk’ and the ingeniously newly composed, it is an altogether unexpected delight.”

The McGee Band is James Stephens (fiddle, octave mandolin, and vocals) and Frank Cassidy (tin whistles and tenor guitar), multi-instrumentalist Greg T. Brown (concertina, accordion, fiddle, tenor banjo and vocals), bodhran player extraordinaire Ken Harper, and piano and melodeon player Jeff McClintock

Together, David A. Wilson and the McGee Band put on a show that combines the speeches, letters and poems of McGee with original music by The McGee Band, that is fresh, and innovative and respectful of its traditional roots. They have performed it to great critical acclaim in Canada and the United States, and Almonte Celtfest 2012 is delighted to premiere the launch of Thomas D’Arcy McGee Volume 2: The Extreme Moderate 1857-1868.

Tickets are $20 advance, $22 at the door and are available at: Mill Street Books 613-256-9090, Mississippi Mills MusicWorks. 613-256-7464, Baker Bob's 613-256-7674 . Refreshments are by Almonte’s Naismith Pub