Lush vocal harmonies and exuberance from the Bill Hilly Band 

European stylings and timeless acoustic at Children’s Art Festival

Who: The Bill Hilly Band,

When: May 26, 1 p.m., Myrtle Philip school

When: 7 p.m. at St. David’s United Church, Pemberton

What to do with the kids this weekend?

From Copenhagen to Cortes Island, the Bill Hilly Band has travelled the world with their music.

And now they’re here as part of the 20 th annual Whistler Children’s Art Festival for your family’s entertainment.

"We get the kids up and dancing with songs like Andre de sa pato novo (Portuguese for ‘Andre’s new shoes’), and we make the songs rhythmically exciting," says Chris ‘Bill Guitar’ Frye.

Excited at being awarded the B.C. Touring Artist of the Year in April, the Bill Hilly Band’s new album All Day, Everyday , will be released in June on Borealis.

"We’re really pleased, it’s our first album with an independent release. We’ve always been musical explorers, whether we’re learning from old fiddlers at festivals or from playing a new song."

An old Appalachian tune, Little Girl Dressed in Blues, also gets the kids jumping, says Frye.

With a musical mission to "find the planet earth’s best acoustic music and create original arrangements to suit (their) unique talents," the band aims for music that can captivate an audience of all ages.

Based in Victoria, the self-dubbed "acoustic explosion" brings bluegrass and Celtic folk alive.

"The new album shows a real maturing of the band, and a more complex arrangement of songs," Frye adds.

Not ones to take themselves too seriously, you might catch them playing a mandolin solo with a candelabra!

Formed in 1996 and featured on CBC radio’s North by Northwest this past year, the band attracts attention for their fun antics and choreography, which adds to the energy of the show.

The band members hail from Nelson, Quadra Island, and Kingston. Marc ‘Bill Mandolin’ Atkinson leads the band with Frye, while duets are played by Beau ‘Bill Bow’ Klaibert (classical violinist) and Adrian ‘Bill Fiddle’ Dolan, who plays fiddle, piano and accordion.

Bass player Glen ‘Reverend Bill Bass’ Manders provides the band’s rhythm, stepping out for the occasional solo.

The Bill Hilly Band has appeared at the 2002 Folk Alliance Festival in Jacksonville, Florida in February, and Frye regularly performs as guitarist for the Marc Atkinson Trio.

Frye says they aim for a "funky and down home atmosphere."

Come out for their joyous musical ride this weekend.


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