Celtic music duo Evans & Doherty will return to Cape Breton with a performance at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre’s Shannon Studio on March 10.

PORT HAWKESBURY: A favourite Maritimes music is marking 34 years of performing together with a visit to Cape Breton.

Kevin Evans and Brian Doherty are set to perform at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre’s Shannon Studio on March 10.

“It seems to be a tradition around March that we go down there and it’s a lovely little intimate theatre,” Doherty told The Reporter last week. “You get to see all the people there and meet a lot of them afterwards. It’s a lovely place to perform.”

Evans & Doherty have become well-known for their blend of traditional Irish and Scottish songs mixed with some contemporary and original music and a bit of storytelling. Kevin Evans is a prolific songwriter and incorporates a variety of Celtic and Maritime influences into his music.

“We do a lot of Kevin’s material,” said Doherty. “There’s also a lot of standard material that you end up doing that people like to sing along with. We like to hear people sing as well, and we encourage everyone who comes to participate in that way.”

The two musicians first performed together as Evans & Doherty on New Year’s Eve in 1984.

“We thought we would get together and maybe keep our hand in the music business, but not doing it professionally, or full-time,” said Doherty. “But as it turned out it became a full-time venture.”

Over the past three decades, the pair has toured at music festivals in the United States and Canada, made numerous television and radio appearances, and recorded extensively. Both musicians are involved in many aspects of the music business, including producing their own albums in Evan’s recording studio. In 2000, they opened the first Old Triangle Irish Ale House in Halifax. The business now has four locations in the Maritimes where visitors can go to hear live Celtic music.

Evans, who currently lives in Newfoundland, sings and plays guitar, banjo and mandolin. He recently received gold and platinum records for his original song, “Christmas Memories” which was recorded by John McDermott. He also owns and operates his own publishing company Modtrad Music. Doherty sings and plays guitar and bass with the duo. He lives in Halifax and operates his own booking agency and production company, Eastern Entertainment Agency.

“We don’t perform as much as we used to years ago, but when we do now, we perform places that we love to play, and Port Hawkesbury is one of them,” said Doherty.

“We’ve put out a few recordings since we were there last. We did a tribute recording to the late Tommy Makem which we’ll have with us, and of course then we’ll have all our other recordings.”

Doherty added that they are also looking forward to returning to Cape Breton for KitchenFest this summer, as well an upcoming collaboration with Symphony Nova Scotia alongside vocalist Heather Rankin in March.

“It’s always a great pleasure to play with the symphony, it’s such a great wall of sound, and of course we’ve worked with Heather on a couple of occasions as well, so it’s nice, the mixture of her material and our own,” said Doherty.

For tickets call the box office at 902-625-2591 or visit: www.phcivic.com.