Canadian bluegrass band Viper Central return to Westport this Sunday, August 23, to play in Matt Molloy’s Yard Bar. The band were last in Mayo in 2012 for the Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival, when they brought the house down.
Vancouver’s Viper Central first came together through a shared love for classic bluegrass and old-time repertoire, along with the more contemporary styles of acoustic innovators, such as David Grisman, Béla Fleck and David Lindley.
In 2008, the Vipers released their debut, ‘The Devil Sure is Hard to Please’. Blending instrumental prowess with innovative arrangements and creative vocal harmonies, the album showcased the diverse songwriting talents of every member in the band and earned them a place among the bands to watch for in Canada’s thriving roots music scene.
In 2010 they released their second album, ‘Live at the Street Church’. Comprised of traditional and original bluegrass gospel songs, it effectively captured the energy of the band’s live performance.
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) as well as Mayo’s own Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival.
Their latest album ‘Thump and Howl’ marks a coming of age for the Vipers – there’s maturity and a confidence that they have found their own sound. While the banjo and fiddle remain central, pedal steel can be heard on several tracks, and the melodies draw on such diverse influences as Metis Fiddle, Klezmer, Bluegrass and Rockabilly.
Most importantly, the songs come from Canadian landscape and experiences and the result is entirely natural, effortless and delightfully original.
Doors at 8.30pm; admission €10.