Celtic ensemble kicks off 2014
Music: Lizzy Hoyt Trio at Red Deer Lake on Jan. 26
Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 08:33 am
Music enthusiasts will feel they traveled from one end of Canada to the other during a concert expected to be as entertaining as it is varied.
Award-winning Edmonton singer/songwriter Lizzy Hoyt, of the Lizzy Hoyt Trio, will combine Celtic maritime tunes with country folk in a performance filled with song, stories, jokes, banter and dance at Red Deer Lake United Church on Jan. 26 at 3 p.m.
“We don’t want to get on stage and people really enjoy the first three song and keep doing the same thing over and over and over again,” said Hoyt. “It’s to change things up for the audience, have it engaging and seem like there are more musicians on stage than there are.”
The ability to perform a varied concert comes with an abundance of influences in Hoyt’s musical career. Hoyt began playing the fiddle at a young age, growing up in a home with classical musicians as parents and being exposed to a variety of musical genres including traditional Celtic music, which became her favourite.
Hoyt’s talent to perform traditional Celtic music on the fiddle might have some relation to her family’s roots to the Maritimes.
“My roots are Celtic, but my family has been in Canada for three generations now and two generations being out in PEI,” she said. “When I was little I loved that music and it spoke to me. I could assume it’s just because it’s part of my heritage, but it’s always been a form of music that rings true in my bones.”
Although playing the fiddle and singing came naturally to Hoyt, she wasn’t always an enthusiastic student and admitted to not often wanting to practice.
Hoyt’s parents encouraged their daughter to pursue other interests in addition to music.
“I had no stars in my eyes to be a famous musician,” she said. “I grew up knowing how hard my parents had to work to make a living as musicians. They had to work really hard to create the life that I was able to grow up in so that we could have dance lessons and music lessons.”
Hoyt enrolled in sociology at the University of Alberta, but it wasn’t long before music started calling to her.
“It didn’t feel like it was what I was supposed to do with my life,” she said of sociology.
“I felt like I would be wasting the gift I was given if I didn’t try it.”
Hoyt completed her degree and went back to music, honing her skills on the fiddle, mandolin, harp and guitar.
She began performing on stages in Edmonton, Calgary and small communities across western Canada, where she is known for her traditional Celtic songs, instrumentals, fiddle tunes, cover songs and original music she wrote about home, war, immigration and love.
Hoyt enhanced her performance with Celtic step dancing, which she learned from a friend. Hoyt said step dancing is similar to tap-dancing where the feet are used as a percussive tool.
“The fiddle and dancing go hand-in-hand traditionally,” she said. “You really start to link how you are playing and how to use your bow in a certain way because you want to make people dance.
“Here I am dedicating my life to this folk music that is so intertwined with the dance.”
Although Hoyt spends most of her time performing in Calgary and Edmonton, the smaller centres hold a special place in her heart.
“I go to communities where not a lot of Canadians get to go,” she said. “Once I went to Snow Lake, Manitoba. It’s 700 kilometres north of Winnipeg.”
She said in smaller communities she meets the neatest people.
“In these rural communities there are these concert series, these associations of people coming together, often times volunteering, making sure they are bringing the arts to the community,” she said. “I love the fact that I get to visit these places and I just feel like I get to meet the nicest people in these communities.
“They are the people who are volunteering, putting on these concerts and supporting events going on.”
Since the start of her career, Hoyt released three albums and made a music video in 2013 that won numerous awards.
She was named Best Female Artist at the International Acoustic Music Awards in 2012 and awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013.
Hoyt said she plans to release her next album this fall.
For more information about Lizzy Hoyt go to www.lizzyhoyt.com. Tickets to see the Lizzy Hoyt Trio perform costs $20.
To purchase tickets go to www.rdlunitedchurch.org or call 403-256-3181 ext. 5.