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Newcomer Orientation Sessions

The City of Charlottetown is hosting it's first two Newcomer Orientation Sessions of the year on Sep [ ... ]

Linking Together LGBTQ2S+ people

PEERS Alliance is looking to build community among LGBTQ2S+ people in PEI by launching a new project [ ... ]

Talking Bands
by Fraser MacCallum

Thomas Webb, Mark Geddes, Dennis Ellsworth, Johnny Ross, Mike MacDougallHaunted Hearts have made quick work of their goals list. Since beginning in 2008, the Charlottetown alt-country outfit have released two acclaimed albums, picked up a boatload of Music PEI trophies, logged thousands of kilometres in touring, and all the while continue to develop great new songs with a striking frequency.

Led by Sherwood-raised Dennis Ellsworth, the band now consists of Mike MacDougall, Johnny Ross, Mark Geddes and Thomas Webb. Webb and Geddes (also members of Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys) joined last fall, bringing a new sound (pedal steel, upright bass) to an already stacked cast of players.

“The vibe is maybe a little more country by way of the instrumentation, but the writing style is essentially the same,” says lead singer Ellsworth. “The live energy is quite a lot better now, and overall, I think we are in a better place as a band because of the changes we made to the line-up. The natural evolution of Haunted Hearts has been a trip worth taking.”

“The contributions are different but the process remains untouched” Ellsworth emphasizes. “It’s exciting to be writing with this line-up. We are challenging ourselves a little more than before, not necessarily with the sound of the music, but more so with the length of time we let something develop before we perform it live. We’re just really enjoying being a band and figuring out what works and what doesn’t before we reveal it.”

After a busy winter (including 3,000 kilometres burned during a successful ‘Home Routes’ tour across Saskatchewan) the Hearts are looking at a summer of regional festivals and planning more serious touring for the fall season. Ellsworth also points out that he’s looking to tinker with the type of show the Hearts bring and which stages they go after.

“We are looking to be less of a bar band and more of a traveling spectacle…but not all the way. We will still play bars. It’s good fun, but we have a soft side to our music that gets shoved aside in an effort to keep a bar crowd engaged. Some of our mellow stuff is my favorite and it kind of stifles things a little when we have to appear one dimensional when we clearly are not.”

The Haunted Hearts have connected with all sorts of fans though, picking up four 2011 Music PEI Awards and playing the ECMA Gala during Charlottetown’s wild week in April. Along with their albums, this turned the head of Jeff Liberty (management for Matt Andersen, Mike Biggar) who recently signed the quintet to JL Artists.

“It is a great move,” affirms Ellsworth. “It means we can grow our sound, stop managing ourselves, and give the business side of this over to someone who truly understands it; while we concentrate on making the best music we can—making it easier for him to get us in the door.”

“For the first time, we see a road we can travel as a band, and we know that Jeff has every confidence in us, and he shares our desire to see us succeed.”

Events Calendar

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Some Upcoming Events

The Bruce Guthro Songwriters Circle

November 3
Delta Prince Edward The Bruce Guthro Songwriters Circle, presenting Maritime legends and  [ ... ]

Trailside Café 2018

Select dates
Trailside Café  Nick Doneff | September 28 Nick Doneff has won a large PEI follo [ ... ]

Backstage Pass Series

The Small Glories and Lloyd Spiegal in October October 13 & 24
Harbourfront Theatre Harbou [ ... ]

Recent News & Articles

Drawing the line

Profile: Sandy Carruthers by Jane Ledwell Retired for a year now after twenty-five years teaching  [ ... ]

Filmworks Summerside

Film series is back for 7th season Filmworks Summerside opens for their 7th season on September 12  [ ... ]

An Island wish

On August 23, 4 year old Cooper Coughlin will arrive on Prince Edward Island soil for a once in a li [ ... ]