In an all new show for 2022, the Ross Family brings huge piles of fun to the stage as they explore roots music uncovered from the Island’s red soil!
Carefully crafted arrangements and a little love help make the unearthed traditional material their own, while preserving its core keeps the music as pure as when their Celtic and Acadian forebears played it years ago. Combined with modern content and original songs, incredible dancing and much more, this feast for the ears — and eyes — offers an exhilarating concert experience that can only be found here!
The fiddle. Its rich sounds connect us to the past and provide a direct link to bygone generations. Hands down, it is the equivalent of a rock star’s axe at any Island gathering where traditional music is played — no exception here!
Danielle’s heart pounding fiddle sets are sure to satisfy any audience member’s wildest floor stomping desires, while her versatility keeps it sounding fresh. Every good fiddle performance requires a strong foundation of rhythm: Stephanie’s natural, intense guitar technique delivers the goods in spades and her agility on the bodhrán and foot percussion add depth way down low. Throw in Johnny’s driving piano with his dizzying left hand and the group’s rhythm picture is complete.
However, this is much more than a fiddle music show: In between the strathspeys, jigs, and reels, the Ross Family shares their passion for the Island story through song. Jovial sing-alongs and tear-jerking ballads are on tap, along with self-penned songs that offer an intimate and sometimes humorous touch. Also featuring covers of well known — and obscure — songs from influential PEI singer-songwriters. No song is selected that doesn’t have meaning for the group, as revealed through story. Stephanie’s powerful, emotive vocals are accented by group harmonies and all songs are thoughtfully interpreted, like virtually everything in the show! While the majority of the music is in English, to authentically capture the roots, there are occasional songs in Acadian French and Scots Gaelic.
And now for the most exciting visual aspects of the show: the dancing!
Two-thirds of the group are natural born dancers. The siblings are eager to tap at the drop of a bow — or virtually any sound! Whether it is a group stepdance extravaganza where their amazing Mom joins in the fun, or an outburst of tapping feet at the crest of a fiddle set, the dancing is marked by passion and done with aplomb. It will capture your attention, if not your heart. As lovers of all in the world of dance, the group may digress by briefly doing the Charleston or even a mind-blowing dance stunt that is best kept a surprise. When the Ross Family takes the stage, dancing is not simply a spice, it is a main ingredient!
The show’s variety is further enhanced when Johnny steps out from rhythm duty on the piano and causes a stir! Once things get cooking, the piano bench may be tossed as he unleashes devilish energy with a potent Cajun bayou soaked, roots-rock-jazz-country fused groove that is not for the faint of heart!
Smiling faces, tight arrangements, wicked tunes, haunting ballads, dancing thrills — the Ross Family Ceilidh has it all! With performances scarce during the pandemic, the group found the downtime presented an opportunity to build on over fifteen years of shows and come back stronger. They restudied their craft and created new material, pouring a whole lotta extra feeling, devotion, and just a little sweat into preparing their 2022 concerts. Come and join the brother-sister band doing what they love and discover what makes this a ceilidh like no other!
Shows take place at two great locations: Clinton Hills, a gorgeous barn loft converted venue located in the countryside west of Cavendish and The Guild, a bustling little theatre in the heart of the city of Charlottetown. Both venues are climate controlled and offer a licensed bar, with local craft beer available. Snacks such as ice-cream sundaes and slices of meat pie are available (Clinton Hills only).