Glengarry Bhoys sold out in Homer

Ellen Leahy, Editor/City Eagle 06/20/07More articles
The Glengarry Bhoys (GB) literally rocked the rafters in Homer last weekend June 14 and 15. The second floor balcony swayed under the stomping feet of a crowd that ranged in ages from baby to great grandda. The Center for the Arts in Homer (CFTAH) closed its regular season to a sell out and the largest audience in its history. GB is a Celtic rock band from Glengarry Ontario that is four bhoys and one fiery woman. I believe it started as a trio with Graham 1 the front man on guitar and vocals, Graham 2 on bass and vocals and Gaye Stuart Leroux or Zig on drums and vocals. G1 confided to the gathering that he and Zig had once been cops. He explained how their song, which screams full of rage was written after a particularly grueling night on the beat. It’s pretty brilliant, full of angst and adrenaline and the crazies.

These three are the infrastructure, like steel or more like post and beam as there is plenty of give. Upon this Ewan rocks it with of all things wind instruments including the bagpipes and many a trill with a penny whistle. He has this way of holding himself that would rival any hot rock and roll performer in history, only he is playing the bagpipes, its wailing working to his advantage. His voice is described on their Web site as both earthy and true. With everything else in his bag of tricks, his singing is noticeable. He definitely has stage.

As does Miranda the red hair vixen (hey it fits) with a voice like an angel, who can sing from any position in the choir. She plays the fiddle as if she were born to it. She is the quintessential fiddle chick. I saw them last year and Miranda was on fire, although the year seemed to take a toll on her spirit. She was fine, but a little sullen. At the end of the encore, the Bhoys took a bow arm in arm, as she turned her back on the crowd and hurried off stage. Even in a snit her talent stands out as striking, but it didn't seem like a great place to be in the midst of a tour junket.

GB was taping for a new live album. There was much to do about waiting for the recorder a couple of times. GI invited the local Irish Dance troop up to the stage. The young girls behaved in true Americana fashion with bashfulness and a little pomp and then shyness and then a little more courage and then they pretty much exhausted their routine - as half of them looked into the audience like a herd of deer off of Route 41.

G1 also introduced a few more of their songs, with back-stories. His explanations took some great writing and elevated it, as in “Let it Rain,” which was written for a lady, a friend's mother; he knew when he first immigrated to Canada from Scotland. She had smoothed the way for him at a time when he really needed it. As an old woman she succumbed to dementia, he sang this for her in turn trying to return her kindness.

He said he wrote “Over the Mountain” after a good friend died from breast cancer. It was one of my favorites on the disk I purchased at last year's GB concert in Homer, but played live, his heart and soul really went into it. He digs deep on this ballad, making his voice full and shapely.
G2 is your basic laid back bass player. He is right on, steady. And Zig or Ziggy with his baldhead and tattoos looks like a character actor. It is said that a drummer sets the pace for the whole show. And maybe this has said before too - but it is worth revisiting; Zig never zags when he should zig - but he can zag when he wants too.

GB is a talented group of fine musicians. Each one can stand on their own, but together they are wonderful, so much so that even on an off night, they can kick it out and make one’s heart skip a beat or two.

You can become a member
TCFAH - is a dear home for the arts nestled in the handsome village of Homer at the southend of Skaneateles Lake. It is in a former church.

The programming is world class and smart. The managing director, draped in a shamrock-laden shirt got up and asked the house to please, “become a member.”

He said in Europe a center like this would be fully supported by the government, but not here in the state. To get grants to continue to operate they have to show big numbers; not so much in revenue, but in the number of people who use a facility. So, if you have been to TCFAH and enjoyed it or even it you have wanted to make a performance and hope to in the future, he would like you to consider becoming a member so he can continue its mission with head held high.

To become a member or to check out TCFAH programming go to center4art.org/ or e-mail info@center4art.org.

Photo by Ellen Leahy
G1 is the leading man for the Glengarry Bhoys, a group of equally talented musicians. Here he is in the middle with G2 on to the left and Ewan on the pipes

Rating: 2.2/5 (14 votes cast)

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