Clockwise from left, Emma Beaton, Blair McMillan and David Moss have joined forces for a quick tour of the Pacific Northwest and Vancouver Island.

New folk trio tests water with local show

Emma Beaton, Blair McMillan and David Moss to play concert at 384 Mant Road in Qualicum Beach on June 25

Qualicum Beach will soon be host to another first. Folk musicians Emma Beaton, Blair McMillan and David Moss will make a stop in town on June 25 as part of their first ever tour as a trio.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Beaton.

Nashville-based Beaton and McMillan, who often play music together, first met Moss in Brooklyn, and while Beaton said Moss has been “a friend of ours for a good while,” the trio never have not the opportunity to join forces until now.

“It will be fun to finally play some music together,” said Beaton.

The trio may be impromptu, but nobody seems to be worried. After all, each member is an accomplished musician in his or her own right.

According to a news release for the show, Moss was the 2011 NewFolk songwriting competition winner, has toured with Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown and has had songs featured on Democracy Now! His music has also been included on the Ruach 5771 compilation CD and last year he released his first album Songs for Willoughby.

Beaton, who hails from Qualicum Beach, won the Canadian Folk Music Award’s young performer of the year at 18 years old and was nominated for traditional vocalist of the year two years later for her self-titled debut record with Nic Gareiss. With the progressive stringband outfit Joy Kills Sorrow, she recorded two full-length albums and an EP. She’s also appeared on PBS, NPR’s Mountain Stage and A Prairie Home Companion, STV (Scottish Television) and more.

Finally, Scottish-born McMillan has been working as a professional musician since the age of 14. He has worked extensively as a freelance drummer, including with Rachel Sermanni and Findlay Napier. While playing with pop singer/songwriter Katie Sutherland, McMillan appeared on BBC television and opened for Sir Elton John on a number of stadium shows in the UK. Although he still works extensively with other artists, McMillan will release his debut solo album just before heads on this latest tour.

Together, Beaton said the trio plans to play “a little bit of each of our songs.” While a detailed set list has yet to be penned, she said the audience can expect traditional and original “singer-songer folk music.”

On the instrumentation side of things, Beaton said she will be on vocals, cello and banjo; McMillan will be on guitar, vocal and drums; and Moss will be on guitar, vocal and cello.

“We all know each other’s music well,” she added, saying that this will allow each of the musicians to add their own flair to the songs and create something unique to the trio.

As for when you might be able to see this trio perform again, or if you’ll see a record produced, Beaton said she doesn’t know what the future holds. So far, this tour (in which Qualicum is the only Canadian stop) is all they have planned.

The trio will play on June 25 at 384 Mant Road in Qualicum Beach. Doors will open at 7 p.m., with the music following at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the evening are $20 and can be purchased from Joyce and John Beaton at 250-752-1162 or e-mail:



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