Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Recording: GREX

Artist: GREX with Martha Farquhar-McDonnell + friends

Songs: Johnny's Gone to Hilo [traditional] + Holy Manna [composer: William Moore]

Recorded at Church of St. Andrew by-the-lake, June 5, 2016.

GREX with Martha Farquhar-McDonnell - Johnny's Gone to Hilo

GREX and friends - Holy Manna

Martha Farquhar-McDonnell's My Singing Bird has been issued by High Park Records, a new endeavour from Alex Samaras to spotlight recordings of unaccompanied vocal music. So on celebrating the album's release in the same Island church where it was recorded it was no surprise to see Samaras opening things up with his vocal ensemble GREX.

Performing as a trio, Samaras, Ghislain Aucoin and Ryan Brouwer tackled a couple church-appropriate numbers (including the glorious "Kviria") but the set was also structured to include not only Martha Farquhar-McDonnell (as heard on the sea-shanty "Johnny's Gone to Hilo", recorded by The McGarrigles as well as many others) but also her mother and sister and frequent singing partners Isla Craig and Robin Dann on an old shape-note number. Beautiful stuff and a totally joyful set.

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