ST. GEORGE’S CHANNEL: Keith Mullins will perform at St. George’s Channel Hall on February 23.
Born and raised in Cape Breton, Mullins, for a quarter-century has been synonymous with the east coast music scene. His professional career, beginning at the ripe age of 15, has taken him around the world and onto many stages sharing the spotlight with some genuine musical greats such as Matt Anderson, Jimmy Rankin, Natalie MacMaster, and many, many more.
In spite of being a largely undiscovered gem, Mullins has garnered several industry awards including two ECMAs and six Music Nova Scotia awards, two of which being musician of the year. Mullins plays over 250 shows a year and just finished a European Tour to promote his latest album Onward and Upward.
Mullins plays guitar, harmonica, sits on top of a kick box drum with a tambourine on one foot and a drum pedal on the other.
“I think Keith is a real asset to the musical scene in Cape Breton, so I wanted to give the people a chance to see him,” Robert Woodley, music director and organizer at St. George’s Channel Hall said. “Keith is a true one-man-band and is a total original.”
The upcoming show is the sixth edition of a monthly “Maritime Songwriter Series” that originated in September, something he said is a whole series dedicated to introduce an audience to new, original music from unfamiliar singer/songwriters.
“The point of this evening is to introduce songwriters to an audience that are interested in original music, it’s a chance for the songwriters to put a little context behind their songs,” Woodley noted.
Woodley said he was a little worried when he started the series as people in Cape Breton know what they like and have plenty of local musicians who provide that. He was also a little worried how well the idea of introducing unfamiliar musicians would go.
“There’s always a risk in bringing people onto the island that normally, wouldn’t come here,” he said. “What this series has proved to me is there is an appetite for this curiosity and we’re developing a fairly regular audience.”
Mullins will be one of the guest musicians during the upcoming Road to Stanfest Songwriters’ Music Camp taking place in July.
Usually, Woodley would be the opening act for the evening but doesn’t want to this time as he’d rather Mullins maximizes his time there.
“The whole point of the LIVE!@theChannel events are to get people listening to the music, it’s not passive consumption, its active listening,” he said. “It is always a keenly-anticipated event for those that like the chance to hear new and exciting music.”
The event begins at 7 p.m. at the St. George’s Channel Hall, a few kilometres past the Dundee Resort and Golf Club. Refreshments will be available, entry is by donation (suggested amount around $10) and all profits go to the main act.