The Newfoundland-based folk trio The Once will play Quadra Island Saturday

Once upon a time on Quadra

Newfoundland folk trio The Once to appear at Heriot Bay Inn on tour of West Coast

The award-winning Newfoundland folk trio The Once will bring their east coast harmonies and instrumentation cross-country for a March 28 performance at Quadra Island’s Heriot Bay Inn.

The Once has collected a trio of Canadian Folk Music Awards, been named Newfoundland & Labrador Art Council’s Artist of the Year and earned a Juno nomination for best Roots/Traditional album. The trio (Geraldine Hollett, Andrew Dale and Phil Churchill) draw upon a range of influences and perform a mix of original and traditional material, using guitars, mandolins, banjos and even a bouzouki to build a rich musical tapestry.

Currently on a cross-Canada tour, The Once are performing their dazzling music during a one-night stop on Quadra. Show and a two-course dinner are $79/pp. Also available are show-only seats for $59.

“Just as the sea refuses no river, the Once turns back no listeners. These three Newfoundlanders gracefully and evocatively offer gem-like maritime music – foot-stomping shanties, heart-rendering ballads, and salt-aired interpretations (of Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen tunes)… Something singular is happening here, you bet” reviewed Brad Wheeler in the Globe and Mail.

The new The Once album, Departures, holds more originals than their other ones combined. Hollett says that the new album reflects the group “feeling more confident to do what we want.” Dale also feels that they threw their “trepidations out the window” on this recording. Departures represents the Once’s most honest and personal effort to date.

The Once operate as a democratic, collaborative unit; everyone contributes to each others’ tunes. The songs come from different band members but shared lyrical themes isn’t surprising since the three, as Churchill notes, have spent many years together, traveling in the same small van and going through similar life experiences.