There is always lots of excitement surrounding Vernon Winter Carnival’s Irish Pub Night, hosted by Vernon’s own modern Celtic band Cod Gone Wild.
Vernon will get the first opportunity to hear the new incarnation of the popular group on Feb. 4, as the Cods embrace the carnival theme and transform the Vernon Recreation Centre Auditorium into a Canadian Irish Pub.
Cod Gone Wild will also visit Kelowna on Mar. 18 at the Okanagan Mission Community Hall and for Valentine’s Day Weekend, Feb. 10 and 11 will be at the Memorial Hall in Sorrento.
“Change in the music industry is one of the only things you can absolutely count on. That being said, I believe that with any change comes great opportunity, if you have a positive outlook,” says band founder and resident Newfoundlander Andrew Mercer.
“The goal was set at the end of the summer to have a band in place to debut at Irish Pub Night in Vernon and I am thrilled to welcome the very talented David Mihal (drums, percussion), Sean Bray (electric guitar, mandolin, vocals), and Martyn Jones (bass, vocals),” Mercer said.
Drummer David Mihal, who was influenced by the drummers of the 70s, began playing in his early teens and was soon working at a professional level. Some of his early work included Canadian blues artist Rita Chiarelli and RCA recording artist Shawne Jackson (Domenic Troiano).
While living in Toronto and studying with drummer and author Peter Magadini, Mihal was asked to join Canadian jazz icon Oliver Jones and tour the US with Jamaican singer Kenny Hamilton. Living in New York City while touring with that project greatly influenced his musical development, providing the opportunity to meet many of the great artists and drummers of that period, including Elvin Jones.
See Captial News coverage of Cod Gone Wild’s summer performance in Lake Country.
Upon returning to Canada, Mihal spent the early 80’s touring and recording with the Refugee forerunner Michael Fury. Mihal currently records drum tracks for projects around the world from his private studio in Kelowna, and as of 2014, is spending much of his time in Los Angeles.
Sean Bray is a well-respected guitarist, composer and educator who has played with various artists on many diverse projects.
Bassist Martyn Jones was born in the blustery borough of Liverpool. A bit late to catch that initial wave of pop music that broke out all over North America, he began his life of music when, at age six his family moved to Prince Edward Island.
Tickets for the the event are $20 in advance/$25 at the door and are available at the Vernon Winter Carnival Office (3401, 35th Avenue) or online at www.vernonwintercarnival.com. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and music begins at 8:30. Must be 19 year of age or older and a cash bar is available.
With the addition of these veteran musicians, Mercer and fiddler Susan Aylard, plan to continue to modernize Celtic music and the band was voted best musical performing act in the Okanagan in 2013 and 2014 in Okanagan Life Magazine.