• Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    CANMORE, ALBERTA, CANADA — For a town often overlooked by its glitzy elder, Banff, Canmore was lucky to host the Andrew Collins Trio this past week at artsPlace Canmore, an intimate little venue in a classic Canadian mountain town.

    One street over from a main drag decked out in glittering Christmas lights, concertgoers of all ages turned up for this concert. The pre-show chatter was more intense than your garden variety small talk: there were repeat listeners, folks talking about their own years of performances, and even a pair discussing sonic separation at the venue. A great marker that you're in for a treat is when you're about to witness the musicians other musicians are eager to see.

    Andrew Collins, on mandolin (and mandocello, mandola, guitar, vocals...) is a guy that knows his audience and gears the jokes right where they need to go. He's joined by James McEleney weaving everything together on bass, and Grant Gordy on guitar and mandolin, only the 5th gig he's played with Collins and McEleney, not that anyone would have noticed if they hadn't said anything. If anything is true to their style (musical, not wardrobe), the Andrew Collins Trio is nothing if not eclectic to the core. The setlist swung between vocals and instrumentals, bluegrass and classical, homages to Jethro Burns and soulful originals.

    Of his covers, there were two standouts. Part of the first, Collins joked, was "from a real underground artist, you've probably never heard of them- Pink Floyd," that slides into an old bluegrass tune after the first couple bars of "Another Brick in the Wall." The uneasy cohesion felt representative of the whole set, and his overall style that ties a little bit of everything together. The second was Collins's own arrangement of Debussy's "Clair de Lune" for mandolin, guitar, and bass, going straight back to the classics. It was brutally tender, painstakingly compelling, and the audience barely breathed. Really, really exceptional, especially for Grant Gordy on guitar.

    From the originals, Collins shared deeply about his last few years. There was a delicate melody dedicated to his aunt, who'd passed during the height of COVID. Several songs later, there was some comedy in a womping jazzy funk of a tune, "The Grumpess," inspired by his young daughter's moods. It sounded exactly like its title. A Jethro Burns homage ("That Jethro Really Burns") brought some gypsy jazz to the mix and a line that flirted with "The Girl from Ipanema," which is always welcome.

    Finally, he came to the rollicking standout song from his eponymous 2022 studio album, "Love Away the Hate." One thing he does consistently well is instrumentals that convey exactly what he means to. As great as his vocals are, Andrew Collins speaks best through his instruments, and here is no different.

    And of course, to close everything out, Collins joked about how he'd describe the type of music his trio plays, and they jumped mid-sentence into "I Don't Know (But I Like It)." Fair enough. We did, too.

    About the instruments: Andrew's mandolin (which Grant also plays) is a 2006 Engelmann topped Heiden F5, his one and only mandolin. His mandocello is a Fletcher Brock L5 style bodied beast, also Engelmann topped. James plays a blonde Kay from the 60s and Grant Gordy plays a 2019 OOO-18 built by Hiroshi Suda.

    About the author: Skye Lizotte is a freelance photographer and music writer based in Alberta, Canada. This is her fourth assignment for the Mandolin Cafe. Her musical interests vary widely and include everything from Yann Tiersen to Marty Robbins and Johann Sebastian Bach. She shoots with the Sony mirrorless system.




    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    Photo Shoot and Concert Review: Andrew Collins Trio in Canmore, Alberta, Canada
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. doc holiday's Avatar
      doc holiday -
      It was a killer show (as always)!
    1. ccravens's Avatar
      ccravens -
      Great pictures as well.
    1. rodeoryan's Avatar
      rodeoryan -
      What kind of octave mandolin is he playing? It looks really nice!

      Edit:

      I read the article and learned it is a mandocello. Made by Fletcher Brock. Great write up, great band!