Viper Central | Meg Tennant
MEL LEHAN HALL AT ST. JAMES i
3214 West 10th Ave, Kitsilano
Accessible All ages
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Viper Central can rip it up bluegrass style with sweet n' crunchy harmonies and tight melodic breaks that'll make your heart soar, your feet shuffle and your blood curdle! Canadian roots and the traditions of American bluegrass, Métis, country, rockabilly and old-time have influenced their ever evolving style. The songs reflect Canadian landscape and experiences and the result is entirely natural, effortless and delightfully original. Viper Central is an acoustic string-band that takes that 'high lonesome sound' to new places.
Over the past four years, Viper Central has toured North America and Europe, performing at festivals such as the San Francisco Bluegrass and Old-Time Festival, the Southwell Folk Festival (UK), and the Willisau Bluegrass Festival (Switzerland).
At the forefront of a rising wave of new local talent in the bluegrass and old-time music genres, Viper Central has managed to create an original niche in an otherwise traditional style and yet simultaneously appeal to audiences both young and old. Hailing from the Republic of East Vancouver, they approach their music with the sense of creativity and adventure found in the earliest bluegrass and old time recordings. While all members contribute original songs, the band won't hesitate to deliver their take on an ages-old mournful waltz or bring the house down with a barn-burning bluegrass standard.
Their latest album ‘The Spirit of God and Madness’ takes a few steps away from Viper Central's bluegrass beginnings and delves further into country, western swing and modern Canadian folk traditions, all contributing to their ever-evolving style. Still featuring their stringband lineup of Kathleen Nisbet (fiddle), Steve Charles (guitars, banjo), Tim Tweedale (dobro, steel guitar) and Patrick Metzger (bass, guitar), there is additional instrumentation from a roster of special guests including Mark Vaughn, John Raham, Andrew Millar, John Reischman, CR Avery, Miles Black, Tyson Naylor, Bonnie Northgraves, Ellen Marple, and Chris Suen. The songs reflect Canadian landscape and experiences and the result is entirely natural, effortless and delightfully original.
"This is blistering bluegrass, original, fresh and energetic." - John Davy, No Depression.
"Great playing, great singing, great songs and superb arrangements." - Americana UK
"Comparisons to Old Crow Medicine Show are inevitable, but if tonight was anything to go by, this group proves that Vancouver could easily hold its own against North Carolina." - Steve Clements, The Brighton Source
"Both their shows were so packed we had to turn people away at the door. Extremely exciting music, great musicianship and singing, creativity, a fun show - what more could you ask. Everyone loved them. They made many new fans, and sold a ton of CD's." - Ken Frankel, San Francisco Bluegrass & Old Time Festival
"Along with their amazing talent, they brought enthusiasm and a wonderful 'down to earth' attitude. It was apparent by the many compliments from festival-goers that their music was a smash hit! We certainly hope to see them again in the future." - Tracey Lalonde, Northern Lights Bluegrass & Old Tyme Music Society
"Vocal harmonies and driving rhythms highlight Viper's unique sound and arrangements. It's hard to distinguish their original songs in their repertoire; traditional and timeless. They left our audience wanting more." - Kelly Sherwin, President, Victoria Bluegrass Association
Meg Tennant’s love of song was awakened early. Her childhood home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, was filled with music, and after the obligatory piano-lesson foundation, she acquired her first guitar at age sixteen. The song-writing began in earnest then, and within two years she was frequenting the open mic stages in Toronto, while living in a home-made houseboat on the Island.
A subsequent move to B.C. opened a new chapter in her life. While reveling in new motherhood, she performed at festivals and showcases and provided backing vocals for other singers’ projects. She played in the duo The Lingo Sisters, opened at the Rogue Folk Club in Vancouver for well-known songwriters like Eliza Gilkyson and Tom Russell, and eventually toured BC in the band, August. In 2001 she released “Driving With You”, her first album of originals and in 2007, followed up with the collaborative collection, “The Sweetest Day”, with August.
Returning to Toronto in 2010, Meg’s sweet vocals and soulful lyrics continued to charm audiences at venues like Acoustic Harvest, Winterfolk, Musideum, and the Nashville Bound songwriter showcase at the Free Times Café. Her long-awaited second solo CD, “Echoed Light”, which Meg co-produced with Toronto roots rock songwriter Mark Ripp, was released in the Spring of 2019. "Echoed Light" was included in Roots Music Canada's list of eleven favourite new discoveries of 2019.
After 10 years in Toronto, Meg has moved back across the country to the west coast and is currently writing songs for her next album.
"This sweet-voiced artistically mature singer-songwriter might come as a revelation to many...Meg's voice manages to sound both girlish and world-weary at the same time. And there are some beautiful songs here." - Roots Music Canada
COVID-19 Policy: We will be operating in full compliance of all BC Health restrictions. We are limited to 50% of our usual capacity. Dancing is not permitted. The wearing of masks is required. Everyone in attendance must have proof of being fully vaccinated. Volunteers, staff and performers will be as well. (If you haven't been vaccinated, the concert will be streamed.) Restrictions may change if more BC Health announcements are made.