The Jasper County Concert Association will presented its season finale Thursday, April 3, at Newton Senior High School. It was quite an energetic finale at that.
I was impressed by all that Everything Fitz can do. They are excellent musicians and athletic step dancers. Everything Fitz is a family band, and I have the impression that they are rather close-knit. The father, Paddy FitzGerald, and mother, Pam, seem to have an incredible amount of fun watching their children. The fiddlers three — Julie, Kerry and Tom — are multi-talented siblings who are award-winning fiddlers and vigorous dancers. The playing on stage is not limited to the music and dancing. I caught teasing looks and playful glances as they egged each other on to faster dancing or even more hearty musicianship.
I get the impression that they don’t need the audience to do what they do. Sure, they are thoroughly engaging, Paddy told jokes, Pam answered questions and each member added to the conversation with the audience and we were drawn into the performance at every level, but it seems as though this family revelry might happen even when we are not there. The audience simply shares a moment of family time.
Everything Fitz is a band that has been in the books, studying. Nate has a great voice and plays guitar very well. Julie, Kerry and Tom must spend a lot of time with their many and diverse instruments. Each plays the fiddle, mandolin and others, and sometimes they fiddle while dancing. They also spend a lot of time on their musics, here there is a staggering variation. The music they perform comes out in the folk music style of the Ottawa Valley of Ontario, but the source material is voluminous. They incorporate bluegrass, folk and Celtic standards with The Beatles and Stevie Wonder as well as a selection of more rare songs from Quebec. One has the impression that German Polka or Raggae is not off their radar.
If you missed the show, you might review their websites www.everythingfitz.ca and www.natedouglasmusic.com for tours and news. The show was worth the ticket price, and if you don’t want to miss other shows like this, consider becoming an annual member of the Jasper County Concert Association. For more information, visit them at jasperconcert.homestead.com or purchase tickets at Mattingly Music and Books.