by Jon Zahlaway
liveDaily Staff Writer
December 17, 2003 - Canadian outfit Great
Big Sea follows its current break from the road with a late-winter/early-spring U.S. tour.
The Celtic Rockers plan to kick things off in the Northeast in early
March, and dates so far are scheduled into April. The group is also slated to give a Dec. 27 performance in its native Newfoundland.
Last month, the band released a new DVD titled "Great Big DVD," which
features about 80 minutes of concert footage, as well as 13 music videos, three Karaoke tracks, a tour documentary, home movies
and a band timeline, according to the group's website.
Great Big Sea's most-recent audio release is last year's "Sea of No
Cares," which debuted at No. 1 on the Canadian charts.
The group spent much of 2003 on the road in support of the set during
the band's first outing without founding bassist Darrell Power, who announced at the beginning of the year that he was retiring
from the group in order to spend more time with his family.
Founding members Alan Doyle, Bob Hallett and Sean McCann have charged
ahead with new bassist Murray Foster, formerly of Moxy Fruvious.
Multi-instrumentalist Hallet, in the band's label biography, describes
Great Big Sea as "a really aggressive folk band that marries traditional Celtic music with modern rhythms.
July 18, 2003
In fair and foul weather
By Rob Antle - The Telegram
The first time Sam Roberts played a gig in Newfoundland, he almost
didnt make it here. Roberts and his bandmates had to navigate their van through a February ice storm just to make it to the
airport in Halifax and their waiting flight.
But when they did finally arrive on the Rock, the perilous journey
the freezing sleet, the ice the treacherous highway were all forgotten.
Roberts had a a couple of lubricating pints with some buddies of a
good friend from Newfoundland, then hit the stage at Club One not long after midnight.
This was the best show weve ever played, Roberts wrote afterwards in
his online journal. Like Halifax, all sense of inhibition had been thrown out the window, and it forced us to raise the bar.
This weekend, he will be back in Newfoundland to raise the bar again
and maybe raise a couple in the bar. On Saturday, the Sam Roberts Band will be one of the headline acts for this years Splash
2003 concert at the Exploits Valley Salmon Festival.
Its a welcome return to these parts for the Montreal-based musician;
he still counts that February show in St. Johns as among his best ever.
It came out better than good, he said in a mid-week telephone interview
from somewhere on the road in Ontario. On a personal level, Id been waiting to come out to Newfoundland for a long time. Ive
got Jeremy Charles (his friend from Newfoundland whom he met in Montreal) feeding me stories about the Rock every few seconds,
basically getting my imagination working and (generating) a hunger to see the place. On one level, there was that that was
almost as important as the fact that we were there for a show.
And the show?
The show itself was unbelievable, he said. We never expected that much
of a welcome.
The months following the bands midwinter appearance on George Street
have been a whirlwind. There was the release of a critically praised CD (We Were Born in a Flame), the taping of TV appearances
south of the border, and recent news that the band would be sharing a stage with The Rolling Stones at the SARS relief concert
in Toronto later this month.
Roberts says he is looking forward to this weekends show, and has designs
to return to this side of the overpass later in the year. Its too bad we dont get to come back to St. Johns right away, but
we have plans already to do that at some point soon.
This trip will be another flying visit to Newfoundland something he
regrets, but acknowledges is part of the business.
Its the blessing and the curse of being in a band, Roberts said. On
the one hand, you do what you love every day, but at the same time you never really get to become too attached to a place
because by the time you even feel remotely comfortable in a place, youre back on the road again. Thats why youve got to come
back and keep going back and keep going back, and every time you do you learn a little bit more.
GBS on the roster
Thousands of people are expected to descend on Grand Falls-Windsor
this weekend to hear Roberts and a varied lineup of acts at Saturdays Splash 2003 concert. The show is the highlight of a
weekend full of events.
Performers hitting the stage on Saturday include headline act Great
Big Sea, singer-songwriter Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, hip-hop heroes Swollen Members, punk princess Bif Naked, and local
acts Gearbox and Timber.
Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea will be playing at the festival, but even
if he wasnt going to be on stage, he might have been there anyway.
Ive gone to the Salmon Festival twice when we didnt play To get everybody
out of town for a weekend is such a blast, and to see all the other bands its such an excellent lineup. Im looking forward
GBS is just back from a gig in Burlington, Vt. Summer holidays started
(this week), and the Salmon Festival is a big part of the summer holidays, Doyle said.
Its nice to be home, he said. Any gig we do where the area code is
still 709 is good by me.
After a couple of weeks off, the band will start recording tracks for
their new CD; they hope to preview some of those new songs on Saturday, Doyle said.
Third time for Timber
Meanwhile, Timber is gearing up for a big weekend after a short spell
off the road. The band spent much of June on a tour of the Atlantic provinces with 70s icon Dr. Hook. They played 11 nights
out of 15, a hectic schedule that was interspersed with six- and seven-hour drives between gigs. In total, they put 9,000
kilometres on their van, lead singer Billy Hickey said. I think we crossed the ferry over to Nova Scotia four times.
After a little bit of time off, the bands batteries should be recharged,
Hickey said. Ill tell you, one thing about playing almost 11 nights in a row is that by the end of it, we felt really good
about the band, we were really tight. Hopefully the rust is not on it now with our little layoff.
This is the third year in a row Timber will be on the Salmon Festival
bill. They will play a stadium show Friday night, then take the main stage on Saturday afternoon.
Were really looking forward to it Splash is such a great time anyway,
Local organizers are expecting more than 10,000 people at Saturdays
show, according to Grand Falls-Windsor Coun. Mike Griffin. Advance sales were up 20 per cent over early-bird receipts last
year, he noted.
Many concert-goers will be bunking out at a new campsite, called Red
Cliff Rocks, which is open for the first time this year. The site can accommodate 5,000 people, Griffin says, and is fully
This is the biggest event in Newfoundland, not just for us, Griffin
said. It really is.
Meanwhile, the RCMP says it will be boosting patrols in central Newfoundland
this weekend to coincide with the festival.
Patrol units will be travelling to and from Grand Falls-Windsor with
concert-bound traffic, and checkpoints will be set up throughout the weekend, according the RCMPs Cpl. Peter Cornick.
July 16, 2003
Band digs amenities, Vt. hospitality
By Sally Pollak - Free Press Staff Writer
"From an artist's perspective, it's absolutely top-notch," said Murray
Foster, bass guitarist for Great Big Sea, a lively Celtic folk-rock band from Newfoundland.
Foster was talking Monday night at North Beach, after his group had
played the second set of a three-band show. Nickel Creek, a bluegrass band from California, was onstage, swatting bugs and
playing fiddle-and-mandolin tunes with complicated rhythms.
Foster was commenting on his surroundings, from catered food and concert
hall to the beach where he had spent the afternoon.
"We even had a beautiful woman come up to us and say, 'I'm your hospitality
maiden: You can't get your own drinks. I'll bring you towels,'" Foster recalled. "We were like, 'No problem.'"
Great Big Sea played Burlington's North Beach on the sixth date of
a six-date tour. It was a "stunning" way to the end the road trip, he said.
"All of us thought it was spectacular," Foster said of the venue. "We
had such a wonderful day, lying on the beach. It was phenomenal. You go from dingy concrete dressing room to dingy concrete
dressing room. And you come to expect it."
The only thing missing Monday, he said, was a soccer ball
Friday, January 10, 2003
Big Sea's Bassist To Pursue Future Off The Road
(St. John's, NL) -- After ten years of non-stop recording and touring, Great Big
Sea's bassist Darrell Power has decided to conclude his affiliation with Great Big Sea.
"I have chosen to pursue interests, musical and otherwise, off the road and closer
to home for the foreseeable future", says Power. "It was an amicable decision and the right one for me at this time." The
remaining founders of the group, Alan Doyle, Bob Hallett, and Sean McCann will continue to perform and record. A replacement
bass player will be hired for live appearances. "Darrell has been a great driving force in the band and will be missed," says
Doyle. "But being in Great Big Sea is an all consuming job and we respect his decision to devote more time to his family,"
Great Big Sea just completed a highly successful tour of Canada this Fall, visiting
over 40 cities and performing for over 100,000 people in promotion of its fifth studio album Sea Of No Cares. The album debuted
at #1 its first week of release at Canadian retail, garnering further critical acclaim and bringing Great Big Sea's total
album sales to over one million units sold.
The group was recently nominated for seven 2003 East Coast Music Awards (ECMA),
including Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year and Group of the Year. This past year, the band has also headlined over
100 concerts and festivals in major cities in the US and Europe.