The Ellis Family bad are of Dave Ellis, Brian Ellis, Rick Ellis, Greg MacDonald and Steve Ellis.
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - I’ve watched band front man Eddy Quinn welcome dozens of musical guests to the Close to the Ground concert stage over the past 14 years.
So when I heard that the popular Celtic group, Fiddlers’ Sons, was opening for the Ellis Family Band on Wednesday, Aug. 16, at the Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside, I wondered how about how he felt about it.
The Ellis Family Band, comprised of brothers Rick, Brian, Steve and Dave Ellis, along with Greg MacDonald, the Juno-nominated country band has been a household name on P.E.I. since the ’70s, producing such hits as “Summer Nights”, “Why Am I Still Crying”, “Easy To Love” as well as their No. 1 song, “Thank You For Being My Friend”, as well as their popular song, “Mother of Mine”.
Turns out that the two bands have teamed up at four previous Close to the Ground concerts. They performed individual band sets and even jammed together.
“It’s always an honour. And I’m excited,” says Quinn, who grew up listening to the band’s hit singles on CFCY radio.
“Even now their original songs are timeless.”
Besides sharing the stage, Quinn tells me he’s looking to spending time with band members after sound check and in the green room.
“Not only are they some of the top musicians in the country, they’re just excellent fellows. And we always have a lot of laughs when we get together. So it’s nice to share fellowship with the guys,” says Quinn, lead singer for the band that includes John B. Webster on guitar and fiddler Courtney Hogan-Chandler, and Keelin Wedge on fiddle, vocals, guitar, and bass.
When I spoke with Brian Ellis, he said the feeling is mutual.
“We really enjoy playing with Fiddlers’ Sons. And we love working with Eddy Quinn.”
But what will make this performance special is fans from both groups will be drawn into a soft seat concert setting.
“The Harbourfront Theatre is a great theatre. So there will be lots of synergy,” says Ellis.
As the opening act, Fiddlers’ Sons will perform songs from the new CD, “Fiddlers’ Sons - The Best Of Twenty Years 1997-2017,” a collection of the band’s most requested songs from their seven recordings along with three new songs. It includes crowd favourites like “The Girl from Gaspereaux” and “Eagles Fly”, a song that Webster wrote as a tribute to his son Alex. As well, the concert will include numbers by Hogan-Chandler and Wedge, who have also released albums.
“I think it’s going to make for a nice variety show and everybody will go home smiling.”
If you are going
- What: An Evening with the Ellis Family Band and Fiddlers’ Sons.
- When and where: Aug. 16, 8 p.m., Harbourfront Theatre, Summerside.
- Tickets: Available from the box office, by calling 902-888-2500 or
1-800-708-6505, toll free.
Call in and win
The question is: What was the Ellis Family Band’s number one song?
The prize: A pair of tickets to the Aug. 16 concert at the Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside.
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To enter: Call The Guardian’s Phone and Win contest line at 902-629-1707.
Sally Cole is an entertainment writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at sally.cole@TheGuardian.pe.ca or by phone at 902-629-6000, ext. 6054.