Guitarist Terry Boyle will play a variety of Celtic tunes alongside fiddler Ivonne Hernandez at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville on Friday Feb. 7. (Courtesy of Terry Boyle)

Celtic tunes offered up at Parksville’s McMillan Arts Centre

Terry Boyle and Ivonne Hernandez perform at the MAC on Friday, Feb. 7

The sounds of Ireland will grace the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville on Friday, Feb. 7.

Guitarist Terry Boyle and fiddler Ivonne Hernandez, both Victoria-based, will join forces to play a dynamic variety of tunes together.

Boyle originally hails from Dublin, Ireland, and much of his original songwriting tells stories of his times cutting his teeth as a musician in the pubs of Dublin and playing sessions almost every night of the week. He’s looking forward to showing off tunes from his latest album, Life’s Too Short, at the MAC.

“It’s a really nice venue. So I’m really looking forward to playing there,” said Boyle.

“I think what you can expect is quite a vibrant session from us. Ivana who is an awesome fiddler player, she’s going to bring a lot of dynamic music, both to the tunes we play and also to the songs I write and sing. I’m going to have a bit of fun. We like to just work off each other, and spark like that.”

The two have played together in the past, but never performed as a duo. Boyle called her up when his original fiddler player, Ceilidh Briscoe, was called away for a Riverdance tour.

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“I’m absolutely delighted. I nearly fell through the floor when [Hernandez] accepted the gig, because she is so busy playing with so many different people. She’s teaching, and performing, and she has a group that she looks after called Coastline, and they’re in the process of recording, making an album, and she’s making her own album,” said Boyle.

Hernandez has solid musical chops, at one point holding the title of youngest member of the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra, and more recently winning a Juno award in 2017 for instrumental album of the year for her album Bird’s Nest.

Boyle has been playing guitar for 50 years, and has so far put out two albums of original music with another in the works. The subject matter of the songs range from teary to cheery.

“It can be just quirky whimsical stuff. Some of it is autobiographical – the album Life’s Too Short, the actual title song … goes back to my time when I lived on the West Coast of Ireland, in a tiny little village there, where I played music seven nights a week,” said Boyle.

“I have a few stories that I tell people to launch the songs. Some of them are true, some of them are lies, some of them are half-true. A bit of tongue in cheek stuff – I intend to have a bit of fun with the audience, hopefully I can bring the audience in, too, have a little bit of interactive stuff.”

The show starts at 7 p.m. at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville, 133 McMillan St. Tickets are $20, $18 for Oceanside Council of the Arts members.

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