David O’Leary sits at the airport in a snowstorm hoping his flight to the Folk Alliance in Montreal won’t be delayed or cancelled.
Despite the snow, the manager at Evergreen Theatre in Margaretsville is excited about the venue’s new season that kicks off March 1 with a sold out Joel Plaskett concert. If you don’t have a seat, don’t worry. There’s a long list of good shows going through the spring and into late fall.
The next one, on March 9, is legendary PEI singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant.
“Our new season has a great mix of old favourites and eclectic new voices,” said O’Leary. “We’re looking forward to return visits from Joel Plaskett, Lennie Gallant, and Old Man Luedecke to get things started.”
Old Man Luedecke takes the stage on March 30.
Acts like Dave Gunning, The Good Brothers, and Morgan Davis will no doubt fill the house later in the season.
But O’Leary’s excitement extends beyond the tried and true. He’s booked a bunch of new acts that are promising to pack the place in the recently expanded venue.
“New faces at the Evergreen that we are really looking forward to are Makayla Lynn and Malcolm Holcombe,” O’Leary said. “The first is a teenage country sensation from NS who has even caught the notice of Rolling Stone Magazine. Malcolm is a grizzled country musician from North Carolina whose latest (of many) is a collaboration with Iris DeMent.”
One of the Evergreen’s summer offerings is Bridgetown’s Paul O’Brian, an international recording artist who performs regularly in Europe.
The Evergreen helps welcome spring and their new season with a big fundraiser that the theatre’s large fan base looks forward to every year – with an appetite for music and food.
“Our annual Gala fundraiser will happen on Sunday, March 24 with a seven-piece Halifax band Bend the River, two of whose members were part of the late lamented Gypsophilia,” O’Leary said. “A gala ticket for a mere hundred dollars gets you a great dinner, an exciting show, at least three more shows -- our choice -- this year, and a $50 tax receipt.”
While the menu has yet to be announced, the food is as big a draw as the music. The dinner is at the Margaretsville Fire Hall at 6 p.m. with Bend the River performing at the theatre at 8 p.m.
Shows at the Evergreen became more of a social event starting last year as an addition was open that includes washrooms, a greenroom, and room for food offerings.
“Late last year the Evergreen Bar opened and does a brisk business before the show and at intermission,” O’Leary said.
O’Leary said a new initiative this year is the Evergreen Bus Service in partnership with both the Kingston and the Annapolis health boards and the Trans-County Transportation Society.
“This is a special bus service for selected Evergreen shows which will pick up riders in Middleton, Kingston, and Greenwood and take them home after the show,” said O’Leary. “There will be no charge for this service but riders are encouraged to leave a donation to support the initiative.”
Following is a list of concerts:
Joel Plaskett – March 1 at 8 p.m.
Lennie Gallant – March 9 at 8 p.m.
Gala Dinner – March 24 at 6 p.m
Bend the River – March 24 at 8 p.m.
Old Man Luedeke – March 30 at 8 p.m.
Neil Squared – April 5 at 8 p.m.
Don Brownrigg – April 13 at 8 p.m.
Villages – April 27 at 8 p.m.
Carson Downey – May 11 at 8 p.m.
The Bettys – May 25 at 8 p.m.
Makayla Lynn – June 15 at 8 p.m.
Raine Hamilton – June 22 at 8 p.m.
Paul O’Brien – July 5 at 8 p.m.
Pretty Archie – July 19 at 8 p.m.
Malcom Holcombe – July 30 at 8 p.m.
Morgan Davis – Aug. 2 at 8 p.m.
Grand Tour – George Jones – Aug. 8 at 8 p.m.
Dave Gunning – Sept. 15 at 8 p.m.
The Good Brothers – Sept. 29 at 8 p.m.
Gordie Tentrees – Nov. 22 at 8 p.m.