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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Backstage: A Conversation With Lindsay Schindler & Tara Dunphy Of Canadian Band 'Maggie's Wake'

Douglas McLean has a deep love of Celtic music, and asked Lindsay Schindler and Tara Dunphy, co-founders of new Canadian roots band, Maggie's Wake, to chat about their formation and story for the Christmas edition, and last interview for his podcast 'Backstage' in 2022. Maggie's Wake combines Celtic instrumentation with a contemporary approach.

You can listen to the entire interview and music HERE

Contemporary Roots outfit Maggie's Wake is a Canadian roots band that combines traditional Celtic instrumentation with a contemporary approach. Born from the ashes of Rant Maggie Rant, Maggie's Wake is an exciting collaboration between Rant Maggie Rant co-founder Lindsay Schindler (fiddle, vocals) and Tara Dunphy (tin whistle, flute, fiddle, vocals), lead singer and songwriter of acclaimed country outfit, The Rizdales.

They are joined by a powerhouse band of Ontario's finest musicians, including Stephan Szczesniak on percussion, Andrew Kosty on bass, Kenneth Palmer on guitar and Dean Harrison on piano and accordian.

After more than a decade fronting acclaimed Celtic fusion band Rant Maggie Rant, Lindsay Schindler was ready to build on the foundation she had established with her RMR bandmates while embracing the changes that had come her way.

RMR finally began rehearsing again in August 2021, having endured a long, unwanted hiatus due to the pandemic. Plans were in the works for the annual Frost and Fire concerts and RMR enlisted the help of award winning multi instrumentalist and vocalist Tara Dunphy to join them for these very special performances. The sets were a blend of crowd favourites that the audience has come to expect from RMR over the years and exciting, fun arrangements that Lindsay and Tara brought to life. Changes were happening and new opportunities were presenting themselves to the band.

Over the course of the pandemic, the members of RMR had embraced other musical and non musical paths, with guitarist Barry James Payne finding inspiration in his musical endeavour, Stringbone and bassist Steve Clark rekindling his love of cycling and other projects. It was a bittersweet moment, saying goodbye to longtime members Barry and Steve, who had been such an integral part of RMR's success. While Jennifer Thorpe had been with the group for only a short time, it was admirable the way she jumped in to fill the space left by Glen Dias and her contribution during those six shows was appreciated. The many years of performances, touring, backstage banter and musical partnership had come to it's natural conclusion but the friendship remains and the door will always be open for future RMR collaborations.

Tara Dunphy began playing celtic music at just 3 years old, taught by Paddy Fagan in London, Ontario. From her first performance, standing on a chair because she was too little reach the microphone, she knew it was her calling and her musical adventures brought her across North America and abroad, playing Celtic music, jazz and most notably, country music with her band, The Rizdales. But Tara's first and enduring musical love was the Irish folk music she had grown up playing and from the first rehearsal with RMR, the connection with Lindsay was instantaneous. There was something happening that needed to be explored and nurtured. Ideas began flowing between Lindsay and Tara and suddenly, tunes and songs were being written faster than anyone could keep up with. Veteren RMR percussionist Rob Larose, fresh off another successful stint with the Grand Theatre, was eager to jump into the fray and the new sound was rounded out with Andrew Kosty on both electric and upright bass and special guests Kyle Waymouth on guitar and banjo and Kenneth Palmer on guitar. The enormous talent that makes up Maggie's Wake comes from a background of classical, Celtic, funk, jazz, latin, cajun and country music and we draw from all of those elements to make every piece a musical voyage, allowing us to travel across all borders.

A new sound was discovered, the path had revealed itself and Maggie's Wake was born.


Bridget O'Brien

Shaken and Stirred

Christmas Is Coming (For You)

You can listen to the entire interview and music HERE


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