PORT HARDY—In their show last spring in Port Hardy, members of the band Headwater drew chuckles from the audience — and cringes from North Island Concert Society and Port Hardy Lions Club directors — when they poked fun at the creaky and uneven stage at the Civic Centre.
When NICS kicks off its 15th season this weekend, they’ll feature a new stage — and just the group to judge its worthiness.
Everything Fitz, a family fiddling act featuring step-dancing and multi-instrumental showmanship, opens the new season with a show Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m. The Ontario-based group, comprised of four 20-something siblings backed by their parents on bass and keyboards, will showcase their quick-stepping on a smooth, seamless stage floor, build this summer through an NICS-secured grant and assistance from the District of Port Hardy and the Lions Club.
Julie, Kerry and Tom Fitzgerald are all champion fiddlers, and older brother Pat plays drums — and occasionally steps forward to join in the dancing or to grab another instrument for one of the group’s novelty numbers. Parents Pam and Paddy round out the rhythm section.
Everything Fitz is grounded in the old-time fiddle tradition of traditional and Celtic jigs and reels, but the family’s show covers a wide range of musical genres and styles, including jazz and swing standards, gospel and bluegrass.
At various points, you may see a fiddle or two put aside in favour of a mandolin, guitar and even, if space in their touring van permits, a cello.
The group’s current tour is being held in conjunction with the release last month of its Everything Fitz Live CD-DVD package.
They have received rave reviews at the start of the tour on the West Coast of the U.S., and Saturday’s show comes in the middle of a two-week swing through B.C. before they return to the States for shows in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Northern California.
Tickets are $25 and are available in advance at Port Hardy Museum and Cafe Guido in Port Hardy, at The Flower Shoppe in Port McNeill, and in Port Alice by calling Gail Neely at 250-284-3927.
Additional info on the concert society is available at www.niconcert.ca. Everything Fitz can be found at everythingfitz.ca.