chrispygal - Trip Advisor Review
People in New York make Anne of Green Gables jokes when you tell them you're going to Prince Edward Island. They are sad cynics. Anne is pure sweetness, something New Yorkers have a famously hard time understanding. But I'd take my bitterest, most cynical friends to see The Ross Family Ceilidh, just to watch them grinning so hard their faces hurt and singing along to "The Rattling Bog." Because, well, they would.
A Ceilidh is a "kitchen concert," a gathering of traditional musicians playing Celtic/Acadian tunes. The Ross Family is a group of three siblings: Johnny on piano, Stephanie on guitar and vocals, and Danielle on fiddle and vocals. The gals step dance like they've been doing it since they were babies--and they probably were.
But I still haven't said why these folks are special. I've been to a lot of Ceilidhs. I play some trad music myself. Ceilidhs can be a lot of the same. What's special about the Ross Family is that they aren't purists, although they totally respect their tradition. They're not above hula-hooping and playing fiddle. Or step dancing and playing at the same time. Or, in Johnny's case, playing piano rockabilly style, bench tossed back, shoes on the keys. Or covering "The Orange Blossom Special" to close the show.
But Johnny's bass notes still sound like the most pristine aged ladies I've heard on Cape Breton--just as true to the music. And Danielle could hold her own at the most hide-bound show. Anyone who doesn't love Stephanie's powerhouse vocals and contagious joy at being on stage is a Grinch, pure and simple. Plus, that girl sure can play rhythm guitar!!
I think the Stephanie summed it all up when she mentioned that the last show this summer was going to be on Bruce Springsteen's 66th birthday. She's obviously a fan, and her Big Man and Bruce stance with her sister on stage is a heart-melter. Here's the thing: this Ceilidh (of all things) has Springsteen levels of energy. Plus you could take your kids--please take your daughters, so they can see what terrific gal musicians who love to play are like. A little girl at the show tonight was totally star-struck, and it was a beautiful thing.
Date of experience: July 2015
About the show
Presented every summer since 2006, the Ross Family Ceilidh has become a staple of the PEI roots music scene and a vacation highlight for travelers. This young brother-sister group is noted for full-throttle performances, doused in “crazy legs” and non-stop movement -- You have to see it to believe it!
Fun, engaging songs, backed by brisk fiddling, guitar picking and energetic piano playing, combine with synchronized step-dancing to deliver a memorable evening of entertainment for children, seniors and everyone in between! Also featuring performances by their mother, a
Shows take place at two great locations: Clinton Hills, a beautiful rustic barn venue located in the countryside west of Cavendish and The Guild, an intimate theatre in downtown Charlottetown. Both venues are air-conditioned and offer a licensed bar and snacks at intermission.