A little Celtic fusion in time for the holidays

A Celtic fusion band is making the Neighbourhood Rounds with a stop at the Prince George Playhouse on Sunday, Dec. 1.

Cod Gone Wild, a five-piece band, will take to the stage to perform old favourites and new right in time for the holiday season.

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In Newfoundland it's tradition to go house to house as part of the holiday celebrations so lead singer of Cod Gone Wild, Andrew Mercer, thought doing a 16-stop tour of B.C. would be an extension of him making his Neighbourhood Rounds like he did growing up.

"I grew up on a small neighbourhood street called Newfound Lane, in the town of Bay Robert's Newfoundland," Mercer said. "On this street there lived a tight knit group of neighbours who regularly got together to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Years ago a tradition was started at Christmas time to go around the neighbourhood and visit each house, taking the time to have a drink, some food and to spin a few yarns (tell stories) at each stop along the way."

Cod Gone Wild performs in Prince George quite often and during the show audiences won't be disappointed.

"We'll be playing material from the Neighbourhood Rounds album with other music mixed into the show," Mercer said. "So people are going to get a taste of all of that material and anybody who has seen us before will hear their favourites as well."

Mercer is a musical transplant to Vernon from a desk job in Newfoundland. That's quite a leap.

"A desk job just isn't what I was cut out for in life," he said. "I didn't have anything tying me down at the time so I just decided on a whim to give it a try."

Mercer said he first came out to B.C. in 2007 when he had written a song for a friend's wedding.

"When I got here I looked around and said why am I not living here?" Mercer said. "So a couple years later I made the move and I've pretty much been doing music ever since."

He recently moved to Kamloops for his family.

Included in Cod Gone Wild are Susan Aylard on fiddle, Sean Bray on electric guitar, Dan Fogarty on bass and David Mihal on drums.

"Having musicians from various musical backgrounds in the band allows us to create something a little more modern and edgy that will have a broader appeal to audiences across the country and around the world," Mercer said.

The tradition of the neighbourhood rounds is alive and well and Mercer wrote the title track of the album to remind people to come together this holiday season.

"It is my hope that in the spirit of the season, despite this tumultuous world that we live in, that people can come together," Mercer said. "Visit your neighbours, check in on a friend that you haven't spoken to in a while, and most importantly, make time for family."

Tickets for the Prince George show are $25 in advance and $30 at the door (plus

applicable taxes and fees). Tickets are available at the Central Interior Box Office by phone at 250-596-0020 or on-line at www.centralinteriortickets.com.

For more information about Cod Gone Wild visit www.codgonewild.com.

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