CANADIAN folk trio Red Moon Road have a series of intimate UK dates this autumn, including two appearances in Cumbria.

By Karl Steel ( email )

The Winnipeg-based band are set to play live at Melmerby Village Hall on Friday October 7, and on Sunday 9 at Wetheral Village Community Hall.

Formed in 2012 by Daniel Jordan, Sheena Rattai and Daniel Peloquin-Hopfner, the highly-rated outfit have toured across Europe and North America.

They are back on the road this year in support of new record, Sorrows and Glories - their third album, which has already received major plays and several weeks at number one on the National Folk/Roots/Blues Charts in Canada.

Daniel says: "We're pretty excited to be bringing the new album over. It's been out in North America for a while now, but FolkWit Records in England is kind enough to release it as part of their roster in the UK.

"Last year, we were playing many of the new songs and it was pretty gratifying, but disappointing, when so many people asked about purchasing those songs and we had to tell them they weren't "out" yet.

"The writing on this album is definitely some of our best, and was shared pretty evenly between the three of us. Audiences seem to enjoy hearing from three distinct voices, while at the same time I think the live performance of these songs is some of our best team work yet."

Spanning a wide range of genres, from a Beatles-esque pop song to a full-on spiritual song backed by a star-studded choir, the three collaborative yet distinct writers frame their well-crafted songs with original and innovative instrumental work.

Live, Red Moon Road makes a much bigger sound than one would expect from a trio. In a well-choreographed show, they incorporate three-part harmonies, a roots drum kit split between two band members and an acoustic guitar rigged to also be a bass.

Daniel is hoping that even though the shows are fairly intimate affairs, they will pick up plenty of new fans on their travels.

"Besides the music, audiences can expect some storytelling and, more often than not, some of our trademark "foot in mouth" banter between songs.

"Much of our music is inspired by stories, our families and history. We've heard from many people over the years who really seem to like when we share these inspirations and stories. We've heard how the songs take on a greater meaning for folks as a result.

"We plan to do a few covers as well on this tour, and given the musical luminaries the world lost this last year, you may be able to guess at one or two of them - we know how you British like your monarchy, so perhaps some "Prince-ly" music, or some from a certain "Skinny Pale Duke".

"Making new fans is always the goal, but we did do a smaller UK tour last spring, which is how we met the organisers of the Northern Regional Touring Forum - who helped organise much of this tour - and fell in love with you all, and made a lot of great friends."

It will be a treat for some rarely-visited Cumbria villages, courtesy of the Highlights rural touring scheme, and follows Red Moon Road's well-received visit to Cockermouth last year.

Daniel continues: "Last year we played a great show at the Kirkgate Centre. We remember the beautiful drive in through the Lake District and just a picturesque area, more rural than much of England I recall, and therefore us prairie kids were feeling right at home.

"Musicians get the chance to travel so much and it amazes me how many of them don't see much outside of the hotel, venue and airport. We try and make a real point of seeing as much of the country as possible, and doing the local things, and in this case we would love to get out on the lakes.

"We're avid sailors and boat people so if any takers want to show us around or lend us a vessel or take on a day crew, email us !"