Publication:

Valley Journal Advertiser - 2021-11-23

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Ready to perform

MUSIC

JASON MALLOY VALLEY JOURNAL ADVERTISER jason.malloy@saltwire.com @JasonMa47772994

Rachel MacLean is looking forward to her first concert since the pandemic began. The Kentville-based singer-songwriter will host Christmas With Friends at University Hall in Wolfville on Sunday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. It will be the 11th celebration of the concert following a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19. MacLean has been involved with the concert since it began in 2010. MacLean said most of her concerts occur in churches or theatres, and the pandemic made that challenging. “It just wasn’t in the cards until now,” she said, noting there will be a little extra nervous excitement in the leadup to the upcoming show. “(By the) third song in, it will feel like I’ve never left.” She said it was sad not to host the show in 2020 and she missed catching up with people who make the concert part of their holiday traditions. what to “That’s I seem always hear. Your concert signals the beginning of the Christmas season.” MacLean, who has been sharing her music with audiences for more than 25 years, said the concert is always an entertaining evening. “It’s just such an energetic, happy feeling,” she said. “It rolls along with different artists ... I love sharing the stage with other people.” This year’s special guests are Mark Riley and The Gilberts. Riley was born into a musical family just outside of Dartmouth. He is an alumnus of the Nova Scotia Mass Choir and has worked with many music groups, including Bluesmobile and Shoulder to Shoulder. In addition, he formed The Mark Riley Quartet, a jazz band and established the Mark Riley Project. He was the 2021 African Nova Scotian Music Association Rising Star recipient for his recent efforts with several Annapolis Valleybased projects. The Gilberts are a sibling contemporary folk trio. Frieden, Reuben and Maisie Gilbert emigrated to Canada in 2003, growing up on folk festival fields around Nova Scotia. They have performed at major festivals, including Deep Roots, the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival and Full Circle in Nova Scotia. They are the youngest artists to appear at any of these festivals. The Gilberts recently received Music Nova Scotia’s Americana/bluegrass recording of the year for Tell Me. MacLean performed for more than 15 years as part of the popular duo, The MacLeans, with her sister Mary. They recorded five successful independent albums during that time. Rachel has been performing solo across the Maritimes for more than a decade and released her first solo inspirational album, Beyond The Rain, in 2013, followed by Fallen Snow in 2019.

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