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Maria Dunn to share stories and fiddle music at the Wolf’s Den this week

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Edmonton folk singer Maria Dunn is looking forward to winding up a quick tour at the Lethbridge Folk Club Wolf’s Den, Saturday, March 19. While she hasn’t played the Wolf’s Den for several years, she has played here for other events.

“I haven’t played the Lethbridge Folk Club  for Fall 2005, but I’ve played other  events,” Dunn  said from Edmonton, just before leaving on a quick tour including a house concert  in Saskatoon, Forget , Saskatchewan and Regina where she will be picking up fiddler Lizzy Hoyt who will be coming to Lethbridge with her. She has played events for Womanspace as well as a  special  multi-media presentation  about  the history of Albertan unions and the GWG  factory at the Galt Museum , which took place last September.

“Even though I haven’t played the folk club for a while, I feel I’ve been to Lethbridge in a few different settings,” she continued adding she is excited about having Hoyt on board.Maria Dunn returns to Lethbridge, March 19. Photo from

“This time I have a very good fiddle player in Lizzy Hoyt which will help perform some of the more Celtic material from my CD ‘The Peddler,’ which have jigs and reels written right into the songs,” she continued. ‘The Peddler’, which was released in 2008, was nominated for a 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award — solo artist of the year.

“It’s great to have a  great fiddle player especially so close to St. Patrick’s Day,” she said adding she has played with Hoyt at a couple folk festivals in Salmon Arm as well as Lunenburg , Nova Scotia.

 After Lethbridge, Dunn returns home for a few days before heading to the Maritimes to tour for five weeks, then down to Chicago, where she has a burgeoning fan base.

“They really like what I do. There is a strong oral tradition in Chicago, and they really, really like storytelling and history,” Dunn continued adding she has no shortage of stories to sing about.

“There were a few I made  up on the last CD, but I’m really interested in stories and there is a lot of stories to sing about,” she added, noting she talked to a lot  of elders who lived  through the Depression for her 2004 CD, “We Were Good People,” who were happy to share their stories about the places they had come from and experiences they had.

“They had stories about immigrating here. There were refugees from eastern Europe and Vietnam. And it was really important that they told their stories. It was almost harder to choose which ones  to sing about,” she said adding, thanks to  her participation in the GWG project, she now has a lot of Lethbridge stories to share too.

“Lethbridge has a huge coal mining history. Their unions were very important  in getting rights for working people in 1905,” she observed adding the  Alberta  Federation of Labour turns 100 next year in 2012.
 She plans on recording a new CD featuring  the GWG material.
“I've got 10 songs  together, so it would be nice to get them on one CD. I’m really hoping  to start recording in the summer, but there is a lot of touring to do,” she continued adding folk musicians aren’t as pressed to record new material as pop stars as the live show is what gets people through the doors.

“ Listeners are  just as driven by the subject of the songs and how it makes them feel,” she said.

“Folk musicians have a longer shelf life just as people do. We don’t all have to be young,” she continued.
“ I started in my early 30s after seeing  the Irish folk singer Andy Irvine perform. He was in his ’60s and he was just an amazing musician. It showed me if people are interested in the music, it doesn't matter how old you are,” she observed.

Tickets for the show cost $20 for members, $25 for non-members. Maureen Chambers opens the show at 8 p.m., March 19.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Monday, 14 March 2011 16:51 )  
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