Cod Gone Wild’s Andrew Mercer performs in an evening of songs and stories from his home province of Newfoundland

Cod Gone Wild’s Andrew Mercer performs in an evening of songs and stories from his home province of Newfoundland

Cod leaves Wild temporarily for Vernon concert

Cod Gone Wild's Andrew Mercer presents evening of original music, Celtic ballads, story songs and tales about growing up in Newfoundland.

Find out how one boy went from playing kitchen parties on the Rock to picking guitar while sweltering under the Okanagan sun.

On Friday, Nov. 25 at Vernon’s historical Caetani Cultural Centre, Andrew Mercer, front-man of local band Cod Gone Wild, is presenting an intimate evening of original music, Celtic ballads, story songs and tales about growing up in Newfoundland.

“The premise for this show is to get away from some of the upbeat dancing songs that I’m  used to performing with Cod Gone Wild and showcase some of the great Celtic music with a softer side that I grew up listening to,” said Mercer.

Born and raised in Bay Roberts, Nfld., Mercer has been surrounded by music his entire life.

He formed his first Celtic band in high school and at age 17, released his first commercial recording with the band Ocean Skye, which was nominated for two Newfoundland and Labrador Music Industry Awards.

Mercer was also selected as one of the winners of a national songwriting competition with his song I Remember.

Diplomatic and easy going, yet fiercely stubborn and dedicated, Mercer provides the platform for Cod Gone Wild’s song repertoire and authentic background.

“I’m looking forward to performing a group of songs, both original and traditional, on several different instruments, that I don’t really get the opportunity to sing very often with the Cods because they don’t fit the venue or the event that we are performing at,” said Mercer.

Driven by his traditional East Coast roots, Mercer has been heavily influenced by pioneering East Coast/Newfoundland bands such as Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers, Great Big Sea, The Fables and Newfoundland songwriters such as the late, great Ron Hynes.

Mercer has a bachelor of commerce degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland, which he uses to manage Cod Gone Wild. When he is not performing with the Cods, he is the director of the Okanagan Celtic Choir in Vernon and is an avid curler (he has represented Newfoundland at five national curling championships).

Mercer will be joined by Cod Gone Wild fiddler Susan Aylard, who is also known for her work as a violinist with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra.

“Sue will provide beautiful accompaniment for the ballads and story songs as we weave together a tapestry of tales that evoke a nostalgic experience of days gone by,” said Mercer,

Aylard will also share a couple of rip roarin’ fiddle tunes to get your hands clappin’ and feet stompin’.

“The Caetani centre’s brand new studio/gallery will provide the perfect intimate atmosphere for this show,” added Mercer.

The Nov. 25 show starts at 7 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.) at the Caetani Cultural Centre, 3401 Pleasant Valley Rd. Tickets are $20 and are available for purchase on the Caetani centre’s website, www.caetani.org. Tickets are limited. For more information contact the centre at 250-275-1525.