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Tiller’s Folly blends roots, Celtic sounds at The Met

Tiller's Folly taps Celtic and bluegrass for  a roots sound. Catch the guys Thursday  at The Met.
 (Photo courtesy  of Tiller's Folly / The Spokesman-Review)
Tiller's Folly taps Celtic and bluegrass for a roots sound. Catch the guys Thursday at The Met. (Photo courtesy of Tiller's Folly / The Spokesman-Review)
Chris Kornelis Correspondent

Even before “Riverdance” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” turned U.S. audiences on to Irish and bluegrass music, Tiller’s Folly was touring the globe, mixing as many acoustic sounds as possible.

The band’s next stop is a St. Patrick’s Day show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at The Met. Tickets are $20 for adults and $14 for students and seniors through TicketsWest (800-325-SEAT or The band is joined by Spokane’s Haran Dancers for the Irish-themed show.

Although the band samples sounds that are not strictly Irish, in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, the show mostly will feature the band’s Irish repertoire.

For better or worse, the show is sure to field comparisons to Broadway’s “Riverdance,” but Tiller’s Folly bassist and singer Lawrence Knight doesn’t see that as a problem.

“I think whatever attracts people into the show. If people think it’s similar to ‘Riverdance’ … I think that helps,” Knight said. ” ‘Riverdance’ definitely opened the world to Irish dancing and Irish music.”

Tiller’s Folly includes Bruce Coughlan on guitar, vocals, flute and whistles; Knight on bass and vocals; Nolan Murray on fiddle, mandolin, banjo and guitar; and Eric Reed on mandolin, guitar and dobro.

The Vancouver, B.C.-based band, formed in 1996, played more than 180 shows in 2004, which included its first swing through Scotland.

The band’s break came in 1997, when it was invited to play 17 days straight at Vancouver’s PNE Festival. Toward the end of its stint, the band was playing three sets each day and, according to Knight, was attracting upwards of 5,000 attendees.

“The View from Here,” Tiller’s Folly’s first album, sold its entire initial run of 1,100 copies during the festival.

Knight says despite the absence of widespread exposure, the band hasn’t had a problem attracting audiences interested in music left of mainstream.

“I think there’s a big underground scene,” Knight said. “A lot of people are just dying for real music. Seniors really love our music; everybody except for rap people.”

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