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Tickle Harbour

Tickle Harbour is still having fun. The music is a marriage of Irish and Newfoundland traditions. The band is acoustic, but doesn't shy away from fresh approaches to tunes, some familiar, some dug out of oblivion. The six musicians in the band are some of the best traditional players in Newfoundland.

Don Walsh (guitar) Don is not only the guitarist in the band but also owns Dadyeen Studios. Most recent in a stream of great recordings from Dadyeen Studios is uilleann piper Paddy Keenan's latest release "Na Keen Affair". Don's collaboration with Paddy Keenan isn't limited to the recording studio. Their live concerts in St. John's are musical highlights and they perform to sold out houses. Don has also recorded, produced and played with the legendary fiddler Seamus Creagh. In the late 70's Don co-founded Red Island, a folk/rock group popular in the Atlantic region and he was part of the critically acclaimed Plankerdown Band. Don is a founding member of Tickle Harbour and writes most of the arrangements for the band. He is also on the advisory committee for the music performance program at College of the North Atlantic in Stephenville Newfoundland.

Gerry Strong (whistle, flute) Gerry was also a founding member of Tickle Harbour. Gerry took up the tin whistle while he was living in Ireland with his family. After many years of playing the whistle he decided to take up the flute. Gerry made a guest appearance on Paddy Keenan's CD with one of his own compositions "The Kildevil Air", which was also used in the sound track of CBC's "East Of Canada" series. Gerry is also a sought after session musician in St. John's with guest appearances on many locally produced CDs.

Fergus O'Byrne (vocals, bodhran , banjo, guitar, mandolin & concertina) Fergus became a familiar voice on national radio and television as a member of the famous group, Ryan's Fancy. Since then, his inimitable voice, huge repertoire, and lively instrumental work on various instruments have ensured a busy solo and freelance career. Extensive touring has taken him throughout Canada, the United States, the UK, Ireland, and Hong Kong. He recorded 14 albums with Ryan's Fancy, and can be heard on the most recent recordings of Minnie White, Paddy Keenan, Jim Payne, Christina Smith and the Sons of Erin, as well as anthologies of Newfoundland Music. He recently joined the ranks of Tickle Harbour with whom he plays bodhran and concertina as well as handling some of the vocals.

Patrick Moran (fiddle) Patrick Moran, a native of Pouch Cove, Newfoundland, began playing the fiddle in 1982 as a student of Kelly Russell when he was seven years old. Although now only twenty, Patrick has appeared at the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival in St. John's for the past thirteen years, has recently toured Ireland with Jason Whelan, Larry Foley and Irish Fiddle great Seamus Creagh and has performed for the Governor General in Ottawa.

Vonnie Baron (vocals) Born in Bridgewater Nova Scotia of Newfoundland parents, Vonnie was never far from traditional music and song. She has performed on stage, radio and television has been the vocalist with Tickle Harbour for the last 8 years. Vonnie has also worked as a session musician on various recording in Newfoundland. She sang her rendition of 'The Ode To Newfoundland' at the opening game of The St. John's Maple Leafs when they came to the city.

Francesca Swann (cello) Francesca's musical roots are in classical music. She's performed with The Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, The Heidelburg Chamber Music Orchestra as well as other ensembles and chamber music groups in Europe and North America. Since she arrived in Newfoundland four years ago, she noticed how easy it was to find a pint of Smithwick's at folk music venues and instantly became a convert to traditional music. These days Francesca finds herself increasingly called upon as a session cellist at several St. John's recording studios. Francesca is also the producer and host of CBC's regional music program "Musicraft".



Tickle Harbour


"Tickle Harbour represents the spirit of what Newfoundland folk music at its best is all about. This is a group that obviously has a lot of fun making music..." (Glenn Colton -Sunday Telegram)






1998 MIA Award Winner
Album of the Year
Folk/Roots Artist of the Year
Instrumental Album of the Year