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The Fugitives of Folk: Vancouver music makers entertain Dryden Entertainment Series crowd

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
West coast folk quartet The Fugitives appeared in a Dryden Entertainment Series concert, Jan. 17. Photo by Michael Christianson

By Michael Christianson

With 10 years behind them and a new album in front of them The Fugitives brought their unique blend of folk and spoken word to The Centre last week for an evening of melodic music and laughs.

The Fugitives were established in 2007 and the band has several records and EPs, which have been nominated for multiple Canadian Folk Music Awards and a Western Canadian Music Award. Their previous album, Everything Will Happen, spent ten weeks on the top ten Canadian folk charts, and earned them a support slot across Western Canada with Buffy Sainte-Marie and an appearance at UK’s Glastonbury Festival.

Founding members Brendan McLeod and Adrian Glynn were joined on this tour by violinist Carly Frey and banjo player Rob McLaren; McLaren also plays with Union Duke who have played the Dryden Entertainment Series in the past. 

The first thing the audience may have noticed was Glynn playing the balalaika, a Russian stringed instrument with a triangular body. A fine mix of vocals and instrument lent itself well to the night of storytelling and melodies.

The Fugitives played selections from their yet to be released next album which is entitled The Promise of Strangers, which is full of songs the band describes as written for strangers. The first song they played off the album was called Lights Out. The song was written about Adam Capay who spent four years in solitary confinement in Thunder Bay with the lights always on. They had also played the song on their tour in Sioux Lookout where Capay went to high school.

Other songs from the album included a song for Leonard Cohen and another for Glynn’s hard working mother of three boys.

The Fugitives had a good rapport with the audience, joking back and forth about the northern community rivalries and they told their story of feeling like city slickers when they didn’t know what the small stop signs were for, the answer was snowmobiles. 

The Dryden Entertainment Series returns Feb. 9 for Motus O Dance Theatre’s presentation of The Prisoner of Tehran. 

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