Catherine MacLellan woos audience

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Heartwood Folk season-opener attracts good numbers

Catherine MacLellan opened up Heartwood Folk Music Club’s new season to a standing ovation on Feb. 4 at the Nancy Appleby Theatre.

The Prince Edward Island based folk singer-songwriter said after her performance she had a lot of fun entertaining such a unique crowd.

“I think the biggest feeling I got was just a real sense of community around the people that come to this, and that made me feel at home,” she said.

The 2015 Solo Roots and Traditional Album of the Year Juno award-winner revealed her talent when after minor technical difficulties she came out front with Tim Leacock, her tour mate, her mandolin and clear voice without a microphone or amplifier.

While cordless, she sang a moving song, which she said was sort of an apology to her 11 year-old daughter for often being away on the road.

Near the end of her first set, the artist joked about being from PEI, the “middle of nowhere,” saying, “I believe some of you here might know what I mean.”

MacLellan performed her original songs in the first set from her album The Raven’s Sun, and in the second set presented songs for a tribute record she’s working in memory of her father, Gene MacLellan, who was also a singer-songwriter. He’s well known for writing Snowbird and Put Your Hand in the Hand.

Later this year, MacLellan said she hopes to release the tribute album, along with another solo record.

Peter Opryshko, Heartwood Folk organizer, said MacLellan’s show attracted a good crowd.

“There was a very good crowd, it was refreshing. We usually get good crowds, but this was better or as good as we usually get,” he said. “I think she was very refreshing, good sound, and people seemed to appreciate her.”

He estimated that there were about 160 tickets sold for the show.

Opryshko also said artists usually enjoy performing in the Nancy Appleby Theatre, with it’s good sound acoustics.

MacLellan echoed his sentiments, saying, “It is a really interesting room. I’ve never played in a room like it, I think it’s pretty special.”

The next Heartwood Folk Club show is on March 3 with Calgary-based musician Tim Isberg, around the time of the club’s 20th anniversary.

Opryshko said his subject matter is based on Isberg’s experience serving with the armed forces.

“It’s not gung-ho warm music, but it’s sort of, this is how I was affected by it,” he said.

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