The Derina Harvey Band – Steve Pinsent, Jess Blenis, Harvey, Ed Smith and Scott Greene – performs at the Port Theatre on March. 17. (Photo courtesy Scott Molnar)

Edmonton’s Derina Harvey Band brings St. Patrick’s Day cheer to Port Theatre

Nanaimo concert is Celtic group’s first Vancouver Island performance

Derina Harvery says St. Patrick’s Day is like the Celtic New Year’s Eve.

“It is the biggest party of the year for us and we just absolutely enjoy bringing that Celtic music from the East Coast,” said the singer and guitarist.

Harvey, who hails from Labrador but now lives in Edmonton, will be ringing in St. Patrick’s Day on Vancouver Island for the first time with her bandmates, all Atlantic Canada transplants, when they play Nanaimo’s Port Theatre.

“We are your authentic East Coast band based in the west,” Harvey said, adding, “We want to make you laugh, we might even make you cry but we want to make you laugh again, have a good dance and then we’ll send you home.”

The group is coming off a year in which they’ve taken People’s Choice honours at the Edmonton Music Awards​ and are finding success breaking into the United States. They’re currently at work on their third album. After a couple of records that drew heavily from Celtic standards and covers, Harvey said their next release will have more original tunes. She said the album will be “watery.”

So far they’ve released a pair of singles: The Fallen Man’s Daughter, which Harvey calls a “lament and tribute to those who are lost at sea” inspired by the story of a bandmate’s uncle, and Up All Night, “a fun and uplifting tune about spending quality time with friends and family, perhaps in a pub or around a campfire, singing songs and having a grand time.”

Harvey said that while her band appreciates their recent successes, she said they’d still be making music regardless of the accolades.

“The awards are fantastic and amazing, but either way we’re going to keep plodding along, one foot in front of the other and keep trying to do what we feel we’re here to do,” she said.

WHAT’S ON … Festival Nanaimo presents the Derina Harvey Band at the Port Theatre on Sunday, March 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $18 to $59. Family packages available.

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