Battles and bootleggers. Disasters at sea. Ghosts. Fur traders. The Gold Rush. Unrequited love. These are all ingredients for great stories, which in turn make great songs — the toe-tapping, hand-clapping type. Now add a dash of Celtic, folk and bluegrass and you have Tiller’s Folly, wrote Rosemary Phillips in her review of the band a few years ago.
The folk tradition of this popular Canadian band continues with their latest album Stirring Up Ghosts from which the group will draw many of its tunes for the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin’s Heritage Festival in Boitanio Park Sunday, says singer and bass player Laurence Knight.
“We’re excited to be coming up to Williams Lake,” Knight said. “We haven’t been there for a while … I think there will be a little something for everyone … we have quite a diverse bag of tunes.”
Knight was standing high up on a ladder cleaning a ceiling fan covered in dust that he happened to notice when he was hanging a new painting which he and his wife had recently purchased.
With such a vivid description of the situation he was asked if the situation had the makings of another song.
Perhaps it could be titled “Dust Bunny Rag,” but Knight said he isn’t the writer in the group. That job is left to the band’s principle singer/songwriter, guitar player and founder Bruce Coughlan, he explained, continuing to chat about the band’s trip to the Southern U.S. where Coughlan was inspired to write the song Old Hank, about country music legend Hank Williams.
A 40-year veteran of Western Canada’s music scene, whose first love is rhythm and blues, Knight earned a solid reputation in Vancouver’s Blues music community, touring and recording with legends such as Long John Baldry.
Nolan Murray joined Tiller’s Folly in 2002 and plays fiddle, mandolin, and mandocaster.
He came to the band with a long history as an in-demand multi-instrumentalist who parlayed an impressive list of championships into a touring/recording career.