Music Hall Kicks Off Fall Season With Tanglefoot September 20

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The Ontario Center for Performing Arts begins its 31st season of Oswego Music Hall performances by welcoming back Music Hall favorite Tanglefoot, live at 8 pm, Saturday, September 20, in the McCrobie Civic Center, 41 Lake Street, Oswego.

Perhaps best known for their exquisite vocal polish and relentless energy, they’re also a band with substantial instrumental agility and are a noteworthy group of songwriters. “Masters of the storytelling tradition, (with) elegant, sensitive musicianship and an impressive range of talent”, according to BBC Yorkshire, while Robert Reid of the Kitchener-Waterloo Record called them “Canada’s most accomplished musical mythologizers”. Their monumental a cappella song “Vimy” led to their taking part in the dedication of the restored memorial at Vimy, France on April 9, 2007.

Their label-defying sound and vigorous approach are the result of five distinctly talented individuals working as a true collective, and both the sound and the vision have endured several changes in personnel. Violinist/violist Sandra Swannell made her Tanglefoot debut in January 2006. Guitarist Steve Ritchie has the longest tenure, having joined in 1988. Toronto bass player Al Parrish has been around since 1994. The multi-faceted Terry Young joined in 1999, bringing with him a gaggle of instruments including mandolin, guitar, tenor and five-sting banjo, harmonica and whistle. Most recently, former Tanglefoot piano player and songwriter Rob Ritchie has returned to the band after a five-year break, during which he toured as a solo performer, released a solo album Five O’clock Shadow, and became a published author (Orphans of Winter; Seraphim Editions).

Dance Like Flames is Tanglefoot’s most recent album, released in the fall of 2006. Their first studio recording in four years, it coincided with the addition of Sandra Swannell. “The talented ensemble has emerged from the changes with a sound that has more dimension than ever,” said Dirty Linen, while Sing Out! called it “…a riveting musical journey; you feel the satisfaction of having read an engrossing novel.”

In September of 2007 Tanglefoot appeared on The WFMT Midnight Special Folk Festival, broadcast live from the Harris Theater in Chicago.  Other media appearances include WVBR’s “Bound For Glory” in Ithaca, NY; CBC Radio’s Madly Off in All Directions and Routes Montreal; Radio Canada International; WXPN in Philadelphia; The Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour in Kentucky; and on BBC Radio Hull and BBC Radio York. On television, Tanglefoot has appeared on CTV’s Gabereau, CITY TV, ATV Halifax, Minnesota Public Television, BBC’s Christchurch Studios in Bristol and Radio-Canada’s Télé-Relais in Winnipeg during Festival du Voyageur.

Tanglefoot enjoys the unusual claim-to-fame of having had one of their CDs fly aboard the space shuttle;The Music In The Wood accompanied Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in April of 2001. By coincidence, Tanglefoot is also likely the only Canadian band ever to play at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia – an afternoon of Canadian culture for an auditorium full of NASA engineers and rocket scientists. For more information about the band, see

Admission to this show is payable at the door – $10 for Music Hall members and $14 for non-members. Children under age 12 are half-price and under five are free. Call 315-342-1733 for reservations, which are recommended and held until 7:50 the night of the show. (Please note that reservations can only be made for this show at this time. Reservations for future shows will be accepted beginning two weeks prior to the show date.)

Upcoming Fall 2008 Oswego Music Hall shows:

  • October 4 – Cheryl Wheeler (contemporary folk)
  • October 18 – Sara Milonovich and Greg Anderson (alt-folk duo)
  • November 1 – David Roth (songwriter extraordinaire)
  • November 15 – Jim’s Big Ego (rocking intelligent folk)

The Oswego Music Hall is an all-volunteer, family-friendly venue featuring primarily folk and acoustic music. The atmosphere is intimate with candle-lit tables surrounding a small stage. Homemade desserts, popcorn and beverages are available for purchase. Call 315-342-1733 for more information or to be placed on the Music Hall mailing list. OCPA events are made possible in part with public funding from the New York State Council on the Arts.