A P.E.I. gig of their own

Less than a year after they formed, the four members of Treble With Girls have a new show running at Orwell Corner Historic Village this summer

Sally Cole scole@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on July 18, 2014

After splashing onto the P.E.I. music scene last fall, good things continue to happen for Treble With Girls.

The high-energy band has successfully performed shows across P.E.I.

And now it has a steady gig.

The new show, Treble at The Corner, plays at Orwell Corner Historic Village on Tuesdays until Aug. 26. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

“We’re excited about it because it’s close to home for all of us. It’s also a nice family friendly environment,” says fiddler/singer Sheila FitzPatrick, a member of the group that includes award-winning P.E.I. singer-songwriters, Maxine MacLennan and Jolee Patkai and guitarist/singer Norman Stewart.

Everything — from the rural location to the traditional community hall venue — dovetails perfectly with the band’s traditional folk and Maritime music repertoire.

It’s also a perfect setting — cozy and quaint.

Whether the group is performing an a capella version of One Voice or Fisherman’s Son, a song made popular by The Rankin Family, or FitzPatrick is doing a lively fiddle set, the music fits perfectly in the traditional community hall.

“It’s a match made in heaven,” says Stewart.

To add to the immediacy of the show, there’s plenty of audience participation.

“That’s part of our appeal. So we invite folks to interact with us, clap and sing along,” says Stewart.

For audience members, it’s an authentic Island experience.

“Everyone expects to get a taste of (something special) when they come to P.E.I., and this show depicts the rural aspect, both past and present,” MacLennan adds.

But unlike ceilidhs where guest performers are invited up on stage, the show is their own creation in design and content.

“We’re keeping it fresh. We’re revamping it every week, so we’re highlighting different songs throughout the summer,” says Paktai, adding the program will feature homegrown songs, including her One Room Schoolhouse.

“Maxine (also) has a lot of great originals.”

Inspiration for the show started last winter when the four performers began meeting on a regular basis.

“It was something that we were hoping we could do. We were working hard to develop a set list. We were also busy doing gigs of our own.

“So doing regular shows keeps us together and keeps us building our repertoire,” says Paktai.

In keeping with the tradition of the country concert, a lunch — lemonade and ice cream — will be served at intermission.

It’s all food for thought for band members.

“Hopefully the show will help to establish who we are and what we do so we’ll build more of an audience. It will be informal. It’s not going to be the same every week. And it’s not going to be perfect,” says Stewart.

Instead, expect lots of lively music, tight harmonies and joking around.

“It’s about having fun,” says Paktai.


If you are going

What: Treble at The Corner.

When and where: Tuesdays until Aug. 26 at Orwell Corner Historic Village, 98 Macphail Rd., Orwell.

Information: Call 902-651-8515.

Website: Go to http://orwellcorner.ca/.

Sally Cole is an entertainment writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at scole@theguardian.pe.ca or by phone at 629-6000, ext. 6054.

Members of Treble With Girls take a break from a rehearsal for their show, Treble at The Corner. From left are Jolee Patkai, Maxine MacLennan, Sheila FitzPatrick and Norman Stewart. The show runs Tuesdays until Aug. 26 at Orwell Corner Historic Village. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.