Enter The Haggis, Adam Ezra Group
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$15 advance | $17 day of show
For the better part of two decades, Toronto’s Enter The Haggis has combined bagpipes and fiddles with a rock rhythm section to create a distinctively eclectic sound, praised by The Boston Globe, The Washington Post and Canada’s Globe and Mail. Their songs offer singalong melodies and deep, meaningful lyrics which tell the stories of everyday hard working people, often faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges. Signature songs like “One Last Drink”, “Gasoline”, “Down With The Ship” and “Lancaster Gate” have had hundreds of thousands of plays on social media, appeared in Hollywood movies, and have been performed and recorded by artists around the world.
Enter The Haggis is clearly comfortable on the stage and develops an easy rapport with audiences, sharing the stories behind their songs and laughing through tour anecdotes. The show is exciting and dynamic, featuring unpredictable and spontaneous moments. One song might feature drummer Bruce McCarthy taking a drum solo on Trevor Lewington’s guitar strings, while the next song breaks down into a fierce battle between fiddle and harmonica. Sometimes during an encore, the band will leave the stage entirely to perform acoustically standing on chairs in the audience.
Enter The Haggis’ commitment to putting on a great show every single night has made them a favorite at festivals and performing arts centers across the US and Canada. As a result, ETH shows have become an annual tradition on some of the most prestigious stages on the continent. The band has also brought hundreds of fans on eight tours of Ireland, forging deeper friendships with their supporters while exploring ancient landmarks and natural wonders across the country. The next trip is planned for October 11th–19th 2019.
Enter The Haggis has appeared on “Live with Regis and Kelly” and “A&E’s Breakfast With The Arts”, and was the feature of an hour-long PBS concert special which aired for months on more than eighty affiliate stations across the US. The band’s legions of die-hard fans (the self-described “Haggis Heads“) have crowdfunded the last four ETH albums, and played a huge part in propelling the most recent full-length record to its debut at #9 on the national ”Billboard Heatseekers" chart. The group’s friendly, welcoming attitude is responsible for the close relationship it has with its supporters, and all five band members truly enjoy taking time after every show to meet with people one on one.
Official Website http://www.enterthehaggis.com/home.cfm
It’s difficult to impart the roots-steeped, road-trippin’ essence of the Adam Ezra Group into a single word, but frontman Adam Ezra nonetheless keeps one in mind as something of a mantra: community.
Community is epitomized by a belief that has long doubled as a mission statement for the group: namely, that making music together is itself a form of grassroots organizing, capable of nothing less than changing the world.
For their most recent release, Hurricane Wind (2017), the AEG fanbase turned the full power of its collective hurricane wind outward, and shared the music for free with over 5000 people over the course of two weeks. Such a groundswell of activity wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago; “Hurricane Wind,” to AEG, represents both a celebration and reaffirmation of how remarkably that community has grown.
A tireless touring outfit, the Adam Ezra Group (AEG) is constantly on the road, often devoting their time to local charities and always going out of their way to connect with fans. They are creating a powerful, inclusive community around AEG shows that is beginning to be compared to a social-movement as much as a traditional music fan-base. It’s this dedication to fans that inspired the annual “Get Folked Concert Tour” in which Ezra ventures solo/acoustic to the homes of at least 40 fans in as many days and almost as many states to play house concerts throughout January and February.
Ezra started his own non-profit organization called RallySound to better support fans and activists dedicated to making the world a better place. The proceeds from the video for the single “Let Your Hair Down” are being donated toward micro-grants for cancer patients struggling to make ends meet while in treatment. The Adam Ezra Group hosts a free festival each year called The Ramble. Last year over 3,000 people came out and they raised money to help the families of wounded veterans.
AEG’s grassroots efforts recently caught the eye of John Oates, of Hall & Oates fame. For the past few years, Ezra and Oates have been regular writing partners, meeting up in Nashville between tours. Three of their co-writes are featured on Hurricane Wind, and Oates himself joined Ezra in the studio to sing and play on the album. They performed their first co-written song, “All I Am“, live in-studio as an acoustic duet.
Even amid ballooning success, Ezra says it’s been not just easy, but natural for AEG to stay dedicated to its mission and true to its humble roots. Perhaps no song sums this up more than a fan favorite, selected to anchor the new album. Called “I Believe,” it’s a gorgeously layered, nakedly emotional ode to the long path they’ve already traveled as a community – and to the wide-open road ahead.
Official Website http://adamezra.com
Higher Ground Showcase Lounge
1214 Williston Road
South Burlington, VT, 05403