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Irish, Scottish and Cape Breton musicians coalesce for driving Celtic bravado with this award-winning quintet of musicians from far-flung places.
In its twelfth year, The Outside Track won “Best Group” in the 2012 Live Ireland Awards and performed in over 5,000 gigs across 5 continents.
East Lansing will be the last stop on the leg of its Michigan tour through Traverse City and Frankfort.
Since 1975, Ten Pound Fiddle has hosted everything from concerts to contra dances in the Lansing area. Through partnerships with local venues – like Robin Theatre and Michigan State University – this folk club has managed to consistently pull in noteworthy national acts.
According to Sally Potter, the booking manager, The Outside Track is a big deal.
“We have a real Irish band two days before St. Patrick’s Day,” Potter said. “They’re young, they’re fresh and they’re graduates in schools of traditional music.”
Accordionist Fiona Black hails from the Highland village of Evanton, Scotland. She graduated with a BA in Irish Music and Dance from the University of Limerick.
“It’s going to be a fun-filled night of song and music, dance and banter,” Black said. “Sometimes we are even funny.”
Black is joined by violinist Mairi Rankin of Nova Scotia, flautist Teresa Horgan of Ireland, harpist Ailie Robertson of Edinburgh and guitarist Michael Ferrie of Callander, Scotland.
“We love touring the world and it is exciting for us to go to places where we can meet new people and see the cool things to do,” Black said. “We are excited to come here to Michigan and we’ve been a few times before.”
The band recently released its full-length album “Rise Up” in December 2018. It was funded via Kickstarter for £8,104 of its £6,000 goal. It is the group’s fifth entry starting with its self-published, self-titled album of 2007.
“We made this album full of music and songs by and about women. We want to focus on the amazing amount of women in traditional music. We want to be positive and celebratory,” Black added.
In addition to emphasizing the narratives of women in their music, The Outside Track is also unique in their style.
“They are phenomenal musicians who also know how to present and weave in vocals, where to put those vocals and how many layers they should have at that time during a song,” Potter said. “Some traditional acts fall into the cliché of six guys in a backing band with one female lead singer.”
“This is the new Irish band and this is the new Celtic band scene. If more and more bands have more and more women you have more piano represented.”
Attendees are welcome to partake in Irish step-dancing during the show. The East Lansing Hannah Community Center offers free parking for the event.
The Outside Track
Friday, March 15
7:30 to 10 p.m.
MSU Community Music School
4930 S. Hagadorn, East Lansing