New World Festival fans will welcome the return of Cantrip, featuring Dan Houghton (bagpipes, flute, whistles, guitar, bouzouki, vocals), Jon Bews (fiddle and vocals), and Eric McDonald (guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, vocals). Cantrip is an Old Scots word meaning a charm, magic spell or piece of mischief and it aptly describes the unexpected twists and turns in the band’s musical arrangements, as well as the compelling potency of their musicianship.
Originally formed as a quartet, Cantrip sprung from a local session in Edinburgh fifteen years ago. Their driving music immediately caught the attention of lovers of traditional music, and they were quickly signed to the Foot Stompin’ label. With their first album “Silver” (2001) in hand, Cantrip made its way across the water to the United States, where they were enthusiastically received. After years of significant touring, the band parted ways with Foot Stompin’ and began producing albums on their own. Two albums later – “Boneshaker” (2005) and “Piping the Fish” (2008) – Cantrip had cemented its presence in the world of traditional music. The band took a hiatus while children were born and old continents were left for new ones, and has recently emerged with a redefined sound. Now trimmed to a trio, the band has tightened its arrangements while expanding its influence. New inspirations have crept in, complementing its traditional foundation. The enhanced sound has delighted old fans and attracted ones. Their much anticipated fourth recording, “The Crossing”, was released in 2015.