And a good time will be had by all


By Marilyn Delk


Although I enjoy listening to recordings and hearing music on the radio, the experience of attending a live performance is much more fulfilling and meaningful than that simple somewhat passive act of listening. And that is a major reason that you should attend the upcoming performance of Celtic Rock sensation, the Derina Harvey Band, when the award-winning group comes to Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall in Greenville. Darke County Center for the Arts will welcome the Canadian ensemble to town on Saturday, April 6.

The energy generated by a skilled live performance lifts moods and inspires spirits in a mysterious exchange between artists and their audience. Derina Harvey, known for her powerful vocals and vibrant personality, takes center stage to front her band in a high-energy show that blazed a shining path across their native land and is now earning fans across the globe after engaging a huge wave of new followers via TikTok during the sea shanty craze that began in 2020.

Harnessing the sounds of their native Newfoundland and Labrador (in case you are wondering, even though there are two named areas, that is just one Canadian province), the Derina Harvey Band produces a tried and true brand of traditional music, but with a modern kick, offering a fresh take on traditional folk songs as well as rocky, rhythmic original material. The band includes drummer Steve Pinsent, guitarist Scott Greene, bassist Ed Smith, and fiddler Jessica Blenis, who work to represent the message of their music, conveying whatever emotion a song may contain while making sure beautiful harmonies come through to their audience.

The traditional music of Newfoundland and Labrador arrived with the Irish, Scots, French and English who settled along the island shoreline and up the coast of Labrador in the 16th century to harvest northern cod, and brought their music with them. They sang shanties as they worked and shared ballads and tunes at the end of the day. Over time, the settlers and their descendants reworked the old music and created new songs to tell their own stories. Newfoundland music spoke of work, politics, humor, fear, hope, tragedy and the ebb and flow of day-to-day existence.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that Newfoundland folk music truly emerged from the kitchens and sitting rooms to take its place as a broader cultural voice. In the last 100 years the music has been heard by more people and has changed more rapidly than in the previous four centuries combined.That music grew to become the voice of the land, a powerful evocation of its lifestyle, heritage and personality; music became an international calling card, and at home it was by far the most popular art form.

Although in the 1950s and 1960s younger people embraced rock and roll with the new generation of musicians pickingup electric guitars instead of fiddles and accordions, by the end of the 1960s young musicians and artists were taking a new interest in traditional culture, and returning to the music of their forebears. Young bands began playing the old tunes and ballads with electric instruments, sophisticated arrangements, and the driving rhythms of the rock music they had grown up with. Like their ancestors, contemporary singers and players have followed a do-it-yourself ethic, encouraging experimentation while treating their musical heritage with both respect and irreverence.

Grounded in traditional Newfoundland music, the Derina Harvey Band tackles modern themes, offering their take on the music of our times while also providing a rollicking good time for all concerned. Their show has been described as raucously entertaining, which pretty much translates to a good time will be had by all.

Tickets to the performance by the Derina Harvey Band cost $30 (students half-price), and are available by contacting DCCA at, by calling 937-547-0908, or visiting the DCCA office located on the third floor of Greenville Public Library; office hours are 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. If any remain by showtime, tickets will also be available at the door the night of the show.

No posts to display