‘Barley’ to play Friday

Gate House Community Theatre will showcase one of western Canada's hottest instrumental groups tomorrow in an evening performance.

PORT McNEILL—To help celebrate the harvest moon, Gate House Community Theatre will showcase one of western Canada’s hottest instrumental groups tomorrow in an evening performance that is part of a Thanksgiving tour covering most of the north end of Vancouver Island.

Wheat in the Barley have been in the Port Hardy/Port McNeill area this week presenting their educational shows to the schools in School District 85. The quartet will wind up its North Island stay with a full evening concert at the theatre beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18.

The Wheat in the Barley first turned heads with an exotic brew of high-energy instrumentals drawing on traditions mainly from the fertile ground of Celtic and Slavic cultures. Years of intense musical creativity through hundreds of sizzling shows have since forged them into a hot Canadian roots fusion band, building their uniquely Canadian sound on a rich multicultural foundation.

They have created fresh and innovative interpretations of French-Canadian fiddle tunes and Maritimes songs, original songs written by guitarist/mandolinist Steve Gidora and fiddler Nicole Scoffield, and rollicking instrumentals written by accordionist/percussionist Victor Smith. Wind specialist Mark Dowding on flute, whistles, harmonica and saxes adds a jazzy/bluesy edge and energy to everything they do. Together, they light a roaring fire under a multi-cultural cauldron of folk music, funky rhythms and fun for all.

“What do you have to do to follow an act like that? Set your beard on fire?” said Valdy, getting on stage after they dazzled the Panorama Music Festival in Invermere, B.C.