Well it’s not quite Robbie Burns Day (January 25) so the big question about this show is, “will there be haggis?” Chef is keeping it a closely guarded secret.
Poor Angus dynamically interprets the music of past and present, performing original and traditional Scottish, Irish and East Coast themed pieces, transforming them into thoroughly original arrangements. Formed in 2005, and hailing from Hamilton Ontario, this collection of musicians expresses their admiration for Celtic music in a manner which appeals to both traditional purists and modern audiences equally.
Featuring the masterful highland and uilleann piping and tin whistles of Ross Griffiths and profound fiddling of virtuoso Andrew Bryan, bodhran, guitar and mandolin of Brian LeBlanc and bass of DJay Moons, this talented group has recently been joined by the talented singer songwriter Joel Guenther. Poor Angus is noted specifically for impressive vocal harmony and this Celtic quintet always gets feet stomping and leaves audiences of all ages roaring for more.
The combination of Scots, Irish and East Coast music styles in the Poor Angus performance bends every ear to delightful interpretations of Celtic music and ensures that one and all leave the show with a smile on their face and a song in their heart.
Andrew Bryan recently moved back to Thunder Bay where he was born and raised. It was there where he first picked up the violin and honed his craft on the cold endless winter nights. He has since picked up all manner of other instruments and often grabs a mandolin to switch up his sound and sings as well. He lends an excellent ear for arranging to the group and has also taken to writing music.
Ross Griffiths has been piping his entire life. His mastery of the highland pipes has spread to uillean pipes, tin whistles and flute. He has played and written with a who’s who in the piping world, and has shared the stage with artists including Rod Stewart and Paul McCartney. Ross also gives the band their bass vocals and at times takes his turn on the lead.
Brian LeBlanc is a multi-talented musician. He provides guitar, lead and backing vocals, mandolin and Bodhran to the music, but provides so much more in terms of his leadership and presence to the other members of the group. He is an organizer and motivator and has a knack for attending to the small details that help Poor Angus achieve the quality of performance for which they are renowned.
Joel Guenther is a veteran singer-songwriter. His great sense of melody and lyricism are quite evident in the Poor Angus repertoire. While he didn’t grow up in the Celtic idiom, Joel has taken to it enthusisatically, providing rhythm guitar and arranging interpretations of many of the band’s instrumentals as well as delivering strong lead vocals to many of our traditional and original songs.
DJ Moons bass playing gives Poor Angus a solid footing on which to build its instrumentals and songs. He gives not just the typical celtic bass lines but a more nuanced style which adds so much to the Poor Angus sound. DJ also plays a mean accordion and is a master on the piano.