Rant Maggie Rantwww.rantmaggierant.com/
Celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2018, this multi-award winning ensemble continues to win over audiences at festivals, folk clubs, town halls, churches, concert halls and symphonic stages. The original goal was to take traditional Celtic music as the foundation, then liberally and unapologetically colour outside the prescribed lines. In a nut-shell, have fun!
While Rant Maggie Rant falls under the tag of Celtic, there is a wide mix of other elements that perk the ears of their audiences – Latin rhythms, Mediterranean sounds, African beats, dub bass, reggae & jazz influences, finger-style acoustic guitar and lots of syncopation and polyrhythms, with three part harmonies. The band performs this all on acoustic instruments – fiddle, guitar, recorder, whistle, flute, harmonica, bouzouki, cajon, djembe, upright bass, spoons, kit, shakers and an assortment of other odds and ends to fill this out. And they rock out a bit too when everything comes together in a big heaping crescendo.
“This Ontario folk ensemble might be the ultimate melting pot of musical styles, and delights in mixing elements in surprising and fun new concoctions. There’s lots of trad folk, but it’s turned on its head, with lots of drums and percussion, obvious jazz bass or a rock guitar, a whistle playing a blues, a
bouzouki doing whatever it is bouzoukis do. The band keeps bringing in more and more instruments to the mix: fiddle, recorder, accordion, harmonica, mandolin, tabla, a shifting ensemble of core members and guests…..these are all special players, giving new life and different twists to originals and classic folk covers. Opening medley Hold The Candle starts with lots of effective beats and a near-reggae bass on an Irish number, which then blows up into a fiddle/drum workout. Then they keep heading east: Mi’kmaq Enigma sees them cover two Arsenault writers from P.E.I., An Dro is a visit to Brittany, France, and then Cocktails in the Cabana finds them in Galicia, Spain. The lovely Paper Boats is perhaps the best example of their first-tier ensemble at work, starting as an acoustic guitar/percussion number, before recorder, fiddle and more join, doubling and tripling the lilting melody line, touches of Africa gliding in….”
— Bob Mersereau, CBC Radio