The Tiller's Folly

A Celtic reel belts across the North Vancouver Civic plaza where children dance and adults keep time to the beat. The buildings around the plaza provide refuge from the evening sun and day's heat as The Tiller's Folly treat the crowd to their unique style of pacific Celtic/roots music.

Lead singer Bruce Coughlan's voice was destined for Celtic folk music. While listening to him sing "Little Beggerman", "Water at the Bar", and "Ghosts of Read Island" I could have closed my eyes and been back in a Irish pub listening to live folk music. Nolan Murray's fiddle, Laurence Knight's base guitar, and Eric Reed's electric guitar/mandolin were all brilliant.

Given the diversity of the band members' talents the range of musical style is no surprise. While many songs were Celtic folk we were also treated to a sound very much like the Eagles and one blue grass number! Knight gave an excellent bass solo in one piece, I was left wanting more. Reed's electric guitar added a very cool rock sound to some of the less traditional numbers. Murray is a champion fiddle player and it shows, as does his mischievous streak. At one point his between song musical antics cracked up Coughlan as he was beginning a ballad.

Part of the 2004 North Vancouver summer concert series, The Tiller's Folly was one of a number of free performances at North Shore venues on Friday July 23rd. Though not designed for concerts the Civic Plaza does a pretty good job. On a wee slope it's a virtual mini-amphitheatre with the band's equipment marking a stage on the plaza floor. The acoustics are amazingly good and thank God for that. The talent of these musicians filled the area with a glorious sound!

If you like your music with a Celtic flavour check out The Tiller's Folly. They have sample MP3 files on their website:

Regardless of where you are, if your community has free summer concerts check them out. I hope your experience is as good as mine.


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