Headwater to headline Hardy concert for NICS

The North Island Concert Society's series continues with Vancouver quartet Headwater.

PORT HARDY—The North Island Concert Society kicked off its season with a Juno-Award winning folk icon celebrating 25 years of touring and recording, and followed up with a Juno-winning blues legend that has been in the business more than 30 years.

This weekend will be given over to a band of relative newcomers.

Headwater, a Vancouver-based roots/folk/pop quartet, appears Saturday in the third event of the NICS 2012-13 concert season, starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Centre.

Matt Bryant (guitar, mandolin) and Jonas Shandel (guitar, banjo), after getting their start in rock-and-roll, formed the acoustic group roughly a decade ago with steel guitarist Tim Tweedale and bassist Patrick Metzger.

Two traditional acoustic folk albums — My Old Friend in 2006 and Lay You Down in 2009 — followed, garnering the group a solid local following and appearances in folk festivals in North America and Europe.

Last spring, the four expanded on their sound by plugging in and adding a more lush, textured sound for the six-song EP Push.

Regardless of the style, the four employ vocal harmonies throughout, and fans at live shows can expect to be treated to improvisational solos and interplay, “furniture as percussion” and various stomping, hooting and other sounds in support of their craft.

Many groups toil for years before being “discovered”, and Headwater bears all the marks of a band on the verge.

Last year they played with Canadian Blues legend Jim Byrnes and capped the year by appearing in the Timmy’s Telethon benefit televised by Shaw TV. Tonight, Headwater is among the acts scheduled to perform a live performance in Vancouver of the new Beck album BECKstravaganza, which was released only as sheet music and which has not yet been recorded or performed by Beck.

Who knows? Perhaps North Islanders will be among the first to hear one of the songs played in concert.

Tickets for Headwater are $25 and are available in advance in Port Hardy at Cafe Guido, Port Hardy Museum and For Scrap Sake; in Port McNeill at The Flower Shoppe; and in Port Alice by calling Gail Neely at 250-284-3927.

For more information, visit www.headwater.ca or NICS at www.niconcert.ca.