Meet the Band

The Sound of Celtic Routes

Picture yourself in a small 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 of 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 Atlantic Canada, 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 History

Celtic Routes, a Lethbridge-based Celtic music group, was formed in 2017, when a group of local musicians who share their love and passion for Celtic music decided to band together. The members of Celtic Routes had all been playing music for numerous years, enjoying and performing various genres of music, ranging from dance hall, classical, folk and Celtic.

Consisting of Anna Linville on fiddle, tin whistle and vocals,  Arturo Tejeda Torres on guitar, Alec Chisolm on pipes, whistles bodhran and vocals and John King on guitar and vocals, Celtic Routes have been impressing audiences throughout southern Alberta 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, Lethbridge Folk Festival, New West Theatre’s Arts in the Park Summer Concert Series, Delta Calgary South and are regular performers at Lethbridge Folk Club events. They can often be seen at various other venues in southern Alberta, including cultural events at the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association (Heritage Day, Celebrating Everything Scottish), Lethbridge Dragon Boat Festival, pubs (including Theoretically Brewing, Twin Butte General Store, Lost Things Distillery, Coleman Legion and The Zoo at the University of Lethbridge), as well as various summer pop-up concerts. They have also been featured on CKXU Radio in Lethbridge. 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!

If you like Irish, Scottish and Canadian East Coast music, songs and stories, or are just curious, you’ll never regret attending one – or many – of Celtic Routes’ performances!

Anna Linville

fiddle, vocals

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.

Arturo Tejeda Torres

guitar

Arturo moved to Lethbridge from Queretaro, Mexico a few years ago. Before moving to Canada, he played guitar in several bands in Mexico, and he taught guitar to younger students.

Being a music lover and a musician with a unique guitar style, he decided to join the Lethbridge Folk Club shortly after arriving in Lethbridge. While attending the Lethbridge Folk Club open stages and concerts, and listening to Celtic Routes, he developed a new music interest – Celtic music. He met with and jammed with a few members of Celtic Routes to gain a better understanding of Celtic music and the stories behind the songs. In no time, his interest in Celtic music kept growing and it wasn’t long before he became a member of Celtic Routes.

Alec Chisolm

Bagpipes, Bellows-blown Small Scottish Pipes, Uillean pipes, Tin Whistles, Bodhran, Vocals

Alec has played the bagpipes since he was 9 years old and now he’s helping aspiring bagpipers become confident on the practice chanter and transition to the pipes! Receiving professional bagpiper instruction, Alec won many medals competing in solo piping (Grade 3) in highland games across Canada. He also learned many other instruments including trumpet, Irish whistles, the bodhran, banjo and a bit of mandolin.

Alec has busked, played in pub crawls with pipe bands, and performed at various celebrations including weddings, funerals and Remembrance Day ceremonies. He taught himself the bellows-blown Scottish small pipes and wrote half a dozen of his own tunes. He is now studying and learning the Irish uilleann pipes.

Inspired to share his piping knowledge and his love for teaching beginner bagpipers, Alec started leading bagpipe lessons on YouTube in 2019, and now teaches piping online, screened all around the world (getbagpipeready.com).

With Celtic Routes, whenever he can, Alec adds to the vocals, and plays bagpipes, the bellows-blown Scottish small pipes, long whistle, tin whistle and bodhran. Since Alec lives in Pincher Creek, he is not always available to perform with Celtic Routes, but, when he can, he is a most welcome guest performing member of Celtic Routes!

John King

guitar, vocals

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 folk singers, 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, and the Saskatchewan Irish Club. 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.

Recently Retired Member

Darlene Waldie

accordion

Darlene was a founding member of Celtic Routes back in 2017. She very recently retired. We are really going to miss her wonderful accordion playing, but more importantly, we’ll miss her warm and friendly smile as well as her wit and humour! She will always be close to our hearts!

Darlene has always loved accordion music and was given a great chance to play old time dance music with Alvin and the Gafflebitters in Southern Alberta.  In Southeast Saskatchewan and Southwest Manitoba, she joined The Happy Wanderers playing for dances and in nursing homes.

Celtic Routes speaks to Darlene’s Irish ancestry and her coastal (BC) upbringing. She especially enjoys playing the poignant, historical and sea songs with Celtic Routes – not to mention the rollicking, toe tapping, hand clapping flights of fancy that oft burst out.

Photos

Videos

Are Ye Sleepin’, Maggie with Lethbridge Highland Dancers. Lethbridge Highland Dancers, Fiona Urquhart and Ava Trotter, dancing to an old Scottish tune. Recorded live at ATB Financial Lethbridge Rotary Dragon Boat Festival, 2023.

Are Ye Sleepin’, Maggie. A very old Scottish poem, written in the 1700s by Robert Tannahill, which was later set to music. The story was about a Young Scottish lad courting his lassie (Maggie), who’s “sleeping” in her father’s house. The words are in old Scottish English, so it’s hard to follow the story. Let’s just say he managed a successful liaison with his lover! Recorded live at a private St. Patrick’s Day event in 2023.

Up She Rises. A fun Newfoundland singalong, clap along tune – try to just listen without clapping!. Recorded live in the School Tent at Water Valley Celtic Festival, 2023.

Home Boys, Home. A traditional Irish tune. Since we were playing this at a family-friendly event (Chamber Tent at Water Valley Celtic Festival 2023), we sing the family version!

Rambles of Spring. A whimsical celebration of spring, sung by a travelling Scottish (or Irish) fiddler! Recorded live on Settle In Stage at Water Valley Celtic Festival, 2023.

St. Patrick Battalion. In order to escape the Great Famine in Ireland in the late 1840’s thousands of Irish people emigrated to North America. Many of the young men who landed in Boston or New York were immediately conscripted into the US army. At that time, the Americans were engaged in a war with Mexico, fighting over the Texas territory. One group of Irish soldiers decided that the Mexicans were being exploited by the Americans, so they traded sides, formed The St. Patrick Battalion and fought alongside the Mexicans. Mexico lost the war and, therefore the territory. Most of the fighting Irish perished in that war. Recorded live on Settle In Stage at Water Valley Celtic Festival, 2023.

Lanigan’s Ball. Our fun version of Lanigan’s Ball. As the story goes, Jeremy Lanigan inherited a small fortune from his father (which was good because he really didn’t have much money!). He threw a “grand party for friends and relations”, but the party didn’t go as planned! It started out OK, but then it erupted into “a row and a ruction”, and deteriorated quickly. We sing only 2 verses: the first to set the stage and the last to summarize the disastrous ending! The jigs include, “Tenpenny Bit”, “Rakes of Kildare”, “Dancing Master” (also known as “Swallowtail Jig:) and “Lanigan’s Ball”. Recorded live at Theoretically Brewing, Lethbridge, 2023.

Far Side of the World. A modern day song from Scotland – a guy reminiscing about his Highland Girl, and obviously missing her! The traditional tune, “Maggie in the Woods”, made famous by The Chieftains just seemed to fit nicely at the end of the song! Recorded live at Theoretically Brewing, Lethbridge, 2023.

Kelligrew’s Soiree and I’s th’ B’y. A couple of popular Newfoundland tunes. Recorded live at Theoretically Brewing, Lethbridge, 2023.

I’ll Tell Me Ma. A Belfast street song! We start with The Road to Boston, then I’ll Tell Me Ma, then finish with O’Keefe’s Reel. Recorded live at Theoretically Brewing, Lethbridge, 2023.

Irish Rover. Traditional Irish tune about the craziest ship that ever sailed from Cork en route to New York….but it didn’t quite make it! We have lots of fun with this one! Recorded live at Theoretically Brewing, Lethbridge, 2023.

The Osprey and Drunken Piper. Medley of Scottish Tunes – The Osprey (written by Dougie MacLean) and Drunken Piper (traditional). Recorded live at Theoretically Brewing, Lethbridge, 2023.

I Wish I was Hunting. A lively Irish/Scottish song about the joys of hunting. We follow this with 2 Irish reels – “Denis Murphy” and “John Ryan”. Recorded live at Theoretically Brewing, Lethbridge, 2023.

Walking on the Waves. A modern Scottish love story. Recorded live on the patio at Theoretically Brewing, Lethbridge, AB, 2023.

In Memory of Herbie MacLeod. A beautiful traditional fiddle tune from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Recorded live at Legion Arms, Lethbridge, August 2023.

Jolly Beggarman. A whimsical tale of Johnny Dhu, the Jolly Beggarman. Ah, the life of the rover! Recorded live at Lost Things Distillery, Pincher Creek, Alberta, March 17, 2024.

Paddie Lie Back, with Kesh and Morrison’s Jigs. A fun song about sailing to sea, followed by 2 Irish jigs – Kesh Jig and Morrison’s Jig. The crowd was really into this one at Lost Things Distillery, Pincher Creek, Alberta, March 17, 2024!

Red-Haired Mary. A fun story about an Irish guy who spots a beautiful red-haired colleen. He offers her a ride on his donkey to the Dingle Fair. While he quite fancied her, he found out when they got to Dingle that she was engaged to another. That’s how the story starts but watch out for the surprise ending! Recorded live at Lost Things Distillery, Pincher Creek, Alberta, March 17, 2024.

Carrickfergus. An old Irish song about an old man reminiscing about his childhood in the town of Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and wishing he could return. A beautiful, yet sad song. Recorded live at Lost Things Distillery, Pincher Creek, Alberta, March 17, 2024.

Down by the Sally Garden. An old Irish poem, written by famous Irish poet, W. B. Yeats. We’re not sure who wrote the melody, but the lyrics and words go so very well together! Recorded live at Lost Things Distillery, Pincher Creek, Alberta, March 17, 2024.

Ireland My Home. We took a few liberties with this song. Originally a Cornish song, “Cornwall My Home”, and changed the lyrics for St. Patrick’s Day, only! Our apologies to all Cornish folks – don’t worry, our next video recording will definitely be with the original Cornish lyrics! Recorded live at Lost Things Distillery, Pincer Creek, Alberta, March 17, 2024.

The Island. Scottish song about reminiscing the older man’s youth and dancing all night at the beginning of the summer solstice. Recorded live at Lethbridge Folk Club, November 10, 2023.

McPherson’s Lament and Athol Highlanders. A Scottish medley of McPherson’s Lament and Athol Highlanders. McPherson’s Lament, a tune often sung and/or recorded by both Scottish and Irish singers, is a song about a fiddler facing the gallows, and deciding that his fiddle should never be played after his death, so he destroys it.Recorded live at Lethbridge Folk Club, November 10, 2023.

My Heart’s Tonight in Ireland. A song written by Andy Irvine of Planxty reflecting on his early days before Planxty when several “soon to be” professional musicians used to jam in County Clare in Ireland. At the time, Willie Clancy was a master uillean piper and seemed to be the catalyst for celebrating traditional Irish music in County Clare. Although Willie has now passed, his piping school still operates in Miltown/Malbay, Clare. We follow the song with “Merrily Kissed the Quaker”. Recorded live at Lethbridge Folk Club, November 10, 2023.

McNabb’s Hornpipe. A popular hornpipe that’s great for highland dancing! Recorded live at Lost Things Distillery, Pincer Creek, Alberta, January 6, 2024.

Caledonia. A very popular song written by well-known Scottish singer/songwriter, Dougie MacLean. Many Scots regard this song as an unofficial anthem of Scotland. Recorded live at Everything Scottish Celebration, Southern Alberta Ethnic Association Hall, January 20, 2024.

Live Events

Upcoming Shows

Please note: All upcoming dates may be subject to health restrictions and/or cancellation due to Alberta Health Services regulations due to Covid-19.

June 2024
  • Saturday, June 15, All Day (Celtic Routes Performance Times TBA) – Water Valley Celtic Festival, Water Valley, AB
  • (Tentative) Sunday, June 23, Time TBA – Lethbridge Dragon Boat Festival, Henderson Park, Lethbridge, AB
July 2024
  • Wednesday, July 24, 2:00 – 3:30 PM – Seasons Gardens West, 2641 Garry Drive, Lethbridge, AB
  • Saturday, July 27 – Edson Renaissance Fair, Edson, AB

Jams & Open Stages

Upcoming Jams & Open Stages

Celtic Routes proudly support and share our music at the following music jams and open stages.

General Schedule
  • Every month, first Thursday, 7:00 PM – Celtic Music Jam – Theoretically Brewing, 1263 2nd Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB
  • Every month, September to May, second Friday, 7:00 PM – Lethbridge Folk Club Open Stage, McKillop United Church Hall, 2329 15th Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB (except where noted)
April 2024
  • Thursday, April 4, 7:00 – 9:00 PM – Celtic Jam (Seisiun) at Theoretically Brewing, 1263 2nd Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB
  • Friday, April 12, 7:00 – 9:30 PM – Lethbridge Folk Club Open Stage, McKillop United Church hall, 2329 15th Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB
May 2024
  • Thursday, May 2, 7:00 – 9:00 PM – Celtic Jam (Seisiun) at Theoretically Brewing, 1263 2nd Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB
  • Friday, May 10, 7:00 – 9:30 PM – Lethbridge Folk Club Open Stage, McKillop United Church hall, 2329 15th Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB

Contact Us & Booking Enquiries

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