Picture yourself in a small in a town somewhere in Ireland, when a group of local musicians start playing and singing some traditional tunes in the corner. They’re sitting around a few tables, most likely with a few pints Guinness within reach. Or, maybe you’re strolling down the street in Glasgow or Inverness, or anywhere else in Scotland, and you’re drawn in by the sound of music and song emanating from a local pub. Or, perhaps, you’re somewhere in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or New Brunswick, and you’ve stumbled on to an east coast kitchen party, where local tunes are ringing out well into the evening.
If you envision yourself in one of these settings, you’ll be hearing and singing along or tapping your feet to the music that you’ll find at a Celtic Routes concert or pub night. Celtic Routes – we’re excited and proud to be sharing the music, songs and stories from Ireland, Scotland and Canada’s East Coast.
Celtic Routes, a Lethbridge-based Celtic music group formed in 2017, when a group of local musicians who share their love and passion for Celtic music decided to band together. While the group is only 3 years old, the members have all been enjoying and performing various genres of music, ranging from dance hall, country, bluegrass and Celtic, for numerous years.
Consisting of Anna Linville on fiddle and vocals, Don Breuer on bass and vocals and John King on guitar and vocals, Celtic Routes have been impressing audiences with their own brand of Celtic music, including Irish, Scottish and Canadian East Coast music, songs and stories. They have performed at the Water Valley Celtic Music Festival, are regular performers at Lethbridge Folk Club events, and can often be seen at various other venues in southern Alberta. Their brand of high energy, hand-clapping, toe-tapping, and sometimes heart-tugging shows is their way of sharing the rich culture of Celtic music with the community!
In December 2018, Celtic Routes completed their first recording, called, “Sailing Home” which showcases their range of songs and stories, and is always available at their shows or through any member of the group.
If you like Irish, Scottish and Canadian East Coast music, or are just curious, you’ll never regret attending one – or many – of Celtic Routes’ performances!
Anna hails from the UK and has lived in England, Wales and Scotland and spent time in Ireland. Classically trained, the Scottish ceilidh scene turned her into a fiddler and she’s never looked back. Playing in Edinburgh ceilidh bands of all sizes ranging from 4 to 15 pieces, her first love is jigs and reels, as well as strathspeys and airs, but she also adds ethereal vocal harmony to the Celtic Routes sound.
Anna is definitely our own, “Scottish influence”, in our music selections and performances! With her enthusiasm towards Celtic music, she has greatly expanded our Scottish repertoire, as well as our Irish and East Coast selections.
Don started playing guitar when he was about 18, just playing three chord party tunes. That wasn’t very satisfying after a while so he started looking for something else.
When he was about 40 he discovered the Dobro and fell in love. He became a reasonably good dobro player and formed “Country Grass”, a four-piece band which included his wife on the autoharp, son on bass, and a guitar picker. They played grass roots country/blue grass music all over southern Alberta. After his son quit playing his bass, Don bought it and learned to play that instrument, joined a Pattern Dance band for a couple of years and became a bass player.
In 2004 he moved to Coaldale and formed “The Old Man River Boys”, a bluegrass band and played stand-up bass, singing bass harmony. During one of the jams he attended in 2017, he met and played with a Celtic troubadour (John King) and realized he enjoyed playing that style of music. John liked singing with a bass behind him, so they decided to join forces, became a duo, and grew into a three-piece Celtic band, called Celtic Routes.
Don still lives in Coaldale and enjoys the different music scenes.
Born the grandson of Irish immigrants and growing up in the Montreal and Ottawa Irish communities, Irish music and culture has always been part of John’s life. When he first picked up his guitar as a teenager, instead of playing rock and roll, he concentrated on songs from the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Irish troubadours, largely credited with bringing traditional Irish music and songs to North America in the 1960’s.
While living in Saskatoon several years later, John noted that there were no Irish music groups in town, so he formed the music group, “Tipperary” and joined the Saskatoon Association for the Promotion of Irish Culture. Tipperary later became, “Tipperary Creek”, and for 15 years, the band performed all over Saskatchewan at festivals, pubs, conventions, private parties, etc.
In 2015, John made his first ever trip to Ireland, and the music, songs and stories that had somehow faded away while life happened, were reborn in him. Since then, John has regularly been performing Irish, Scottish and East Coast music in Lethbridge and the surrounding area. By 2017, he joined forces with other local musicians who share his love and passion for Celtic music, and Celtic Routes became a reality.
Home to Donegal | An Irish guy returns home to his birthplace in Donegal after leaving as a young man for work in London. Recorded live on March 8, 2020.
Red is the Rose | An Irish love song with Scottish melody (Loch Lomond).
Molly Malone | An old Dublin street song, more commonly known as, “Cockles and Mussels”.
Carrickfergus | An Irish fellow who emigrated to America as a young man yearns to return to his hometown north of Belfast called Carrickfergus so he can die there.
Set of Irish Polkas | A toe-tapping set of Irish polkas – O’Keefe’s Reel, Denis Murphy’s, John Ryan’s and Mickey Chewing Bubble Gum (yes, really!).
Easy and Slow | An old Dublin song about true love. Many Dublin landmarks are referenced in this song, including the River Liffey, Phoenix Park, Kings Bridge, and Thomas Street.
Set of Irish Jigs | A set of two very popular Irish jigs: Kesh Jig and Morrison’s Jig.
Wild Rover | Strike up this “prodigal son returning home” song in any pub in Ireland, or anywhere else in the world where Irish people get together for a few pints, and the crowd will be singing along with you! This video was shot from a table of some folks joining in and clapping, explaining for the shaking video!
Rakes of Mallow | The song is about the rakes (scoundrels) from Mallow, a town in County Cork.
Caledonia | This song is often considered the unofficial national anthem for Scotland.
Mairi’s Wedding | A Scottish song about a proud father on his daughter’s wedding day.
Take Me Back | Bonny Scotland, I am coming home to you.
Both Sides the Tweed | Historical song about the border between England and Scotland.
Donald, Where’s Yer Troosers | A totally fun song about a naive Scot from the Isle of Skye who goes to London, wearing his kilt. On second thought, was he really that naive?!
Charlie is M’ Darlin’ | Singing the praises of Bonny Prince Charlie, “the young chevalier”.
Will You Go, Lassie, Go | A beautiful Scottish song about love in the spring time, often mistaken for an Irish song.
Twa Recruiting Sergeants | An unsuccessful military recruiting effort in Scotland.
Scottish Strathspeys Medley | At any ceilidh in Scotland, Scottish country dancers will always do the starthspey dance.
Comin’ Thro’ the Rye | A Robbie Burns poem. Interpret at your peril!
Maid of Fyfe | An Irish soldier falls in love with a beautiful Scottish maiden in Fyfe, a town in the lowlands of Scotland. Unfortunately, the love wasn’t mutual.
My Johnny Lad | A fun singalong song about a fellow from Glasgow named Johnny.
Alive | A recently recorded Scottish song celebrating life and looking optimistically to the future.
Ballad of St. Anne’s Reel | A song celebrating the welcoming Islanders from Prince Edward Island and the spirit of Canada’s smallest province. If you’re familiar with St. Anne’s Reel itself, you’ll notice that Anna plays a different version of the famous fiddle tune after each verse.
Song for the Mira | A wonderful tune from Cape Breton Island, celebrating the people who live in Marion Bridge along the Mira River.
Working Man | A beautiful tribute to the coal miners of Cape Breton Island, and Rita MacNeil’s most well known and most often requested song. Living in the coal mining cities and towns in southwestern Alberta and southeastern British Columbia, this song is close to home for us as well!
Celtic Fusion Medley | Why not celebrate east coast, Irish and Scottish heritage all in one medley?! The tunes include, “Fella from Fortune” (Newfoundland), “Frost is All Over” (Ireland) and “Roarin’ Jelly” (Scotland). Apologies to the good folks who live in Fortune – in spite of the medley introduction, it truly is a beautiful little fishing village!
Heave Away Me Jollies | A totally fun, almost nonsensical singalong song from Newfoundland and Labrador.
Newfoundland Waltz | A traditional waltz tune from Newfoundland and Labrador. Hearing this, you just want to get up and swing your loved one around the dance floor!
Sonny’s Dream | If you start singing this song in any pub in Newfoundland and Labrador, you’ll find every Newfoundlander will join in! It is one of the most popular songs in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Saturday, July 24, 7:00 pm – Neighbourhood Concert, in the park behind 450 Couleecreek Blvd S, Lethbridge, AB
Monday, July 26, 4:00 pm – Private 65th birthday celebration, Champion, AB
Wednesday, August 4, 6:30 pm – Sunny South Lodge, Coaldale, AB
Wednesday, August 11, 7:00 pm (tentative) – East Coast Kitchen Party, Riverstone Neighbourhood, 96 Rivermill Landing W, Lethbridge, AB
Saturday, August 14, 4:00pm – Lethbridge Folk Festival, Legacy Park, Lethbridge, AB sponsored by Lethbridge Folk Club (www.lethbridgefolkclub.com)
June 2022 – Water Valley Celtic Festival, Water Valley, AB – For details: watervalleycelticfestival.org
Tuesday, July 6 – Neighbourhood Concert, Garden Grove Park, Coaldale, AB
March 17 – Virtual St. Patrick’s Day Concert, “live” via Zoom, sponsored by NordBridge Seniors Centre – For details: nordbridgeseniors.com
March 17 – Virtual St. Patrick’s Day Concert on YouTube – Watch the videos
August 20. East Coast Kitchen Party concert, driveway and front lawn, 96 Rivermill Landing West, Lethbridge
August 19. Outdoor patio, Sunny South Lodge, 1112 20th Avenue, Coaldale
August 14. Lethbridge Folk Club outdoor open stage in backyard, 636 19th Street South, Lethbridge
August 3. Southern Alberta Ethnic Association Virtual Heritage Day 2020 Celebration (video performance)
Sunny South Lodge, 1112 20th Ave, Coaldale
Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, NordBridge Seniors Centre, Lethbridge, AB
NDP Lethbridge East St. Patrick’s Annual Ceilidh – NordBridge Seniors Centre, Lethbridge, AB
Bavaru Catering Sunday Brunch – Old Firehall, 402 2 Ave S, Lethbridge, AB
Lethbridge Folk Club Howling Wolf Open Stage – CASA, Lethbridge, AB
Robbie Burns Day – Sunny South Lodge, Coaldale, AB
Robbie Burns Day with the Scottish Country Dancers – Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization, Lethbridge, AB
Robbie Burns Celebration – NordBridge Outreach, Lethbridge, AB
Celtic Christmas – Sunny South Lodge, Coaldale, AB
Latin Christmas Market & Fiesta – Lethbridge Folk Club, Lethbridge, AB
Christmas Around the World – Southern Alberta Ethnic Association, Lethbridge, AB
Lethbridge Folk Club 40th Anniversary – Casa, Lethbridge, AB
Water Valley Celtic Festival – Water Valley Alberta, Cochrane, AB