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March 15th, 2013

Irish Descendants & The Navigators

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ABOUT The IRISH DESCENDANTS & THE NAVIGATORS

From the rocky Atlantic shores of Newfoundland The Navigators have worked their way to the top of the Eastern Canadian Folk/Roots Music Scene by performing music that is much like the province itself, rocky, energetic, un-predictable, and unforgettable. Formed in 2000, the groups' sound is based on two baritone lead singers who complement and contrast each other in ways that create fluid dynamic performances of both original and traditional material. The two lead singers also share lead instrument duties with acoustic & electric guitars, fiddle, tin whistle, and bodhran backed by a stellar rhythm section. The Navigators are renowned for leaving the audience with an unforgettable experience & performance.

The Navigators’ acoustic/electric contemporary sound draws on Newfoundland’s rich traditional heritage with links to the old world. The groups’ third recording “Solders & Sailors” is a mix of modern electric & acoustic folk and traditional Irish Newfoundland melodies steeped in local folklore. “Soldiers & Sailors” released fall 2011 is not unlike Sea Miner” featuring what Navigator fans have come to expect from their live shows as well as more of what was heard on their first release (“Dance and Sing”) – rollicking upbeat tunes perfect for kitchen parties. “Soldiers & Sailors” highlights a deeper, softer more serious side; Arthur’s songwriting as many others from his home province is significantly influenced by Newfoundland’s people, history, tragedy and rugged coastal beauty, many songs with a strong undertow and longing for Home. “Soldiers & Sailors” was produced by Glen Simmons (Fables, Wonderful Grand Band) with many co-writes with Arthur. Many of these new songs have a contagious grove and hook and has audiences already singing along at their live concerts.

As hard a working band as any beyond their Newfoundland borders, The Navigators channel their thrilling pub and club presence into Soldiers And Sailors – a warm and welcome disc built upon a bedrock of folk sensibilities and rock influences. In Fred Jorgensen they have such a compelling and emotional vocalist that comparisons to the late great Ronnie Drew of The Dubliners do not go amiss. While Jorgensen provides an electrifying wallop, Arthur O’Brien has proven himself a wonderful, engaging, songwriter highlighted by Pullin’ Oil From The Sand – a heartbreaking tale of the homesickness Maritimers feel migrating to Alberta’s oil fields. And his moving Safely O’er The Sea deserves its place alongside the best of Ron Hynes. O’Brien, though, balances these touching tracks with his light-hearted A Sunny Night In Paris, flushed full of fun with a delightful reggae lilt, and Just Me, is a rollicking drunken swagger amidst dubious company, methinks. Even the auld traditional biddy Step It Out Mary makes it home with a fresh pair of knickers be assured this is an affecting recording.