KNACKER’S YARD was formed in Victoria, B.C., in the spring of 2012. The original intent was, and still is, to perform traditional Celtic and English folk songs, intrumentals and ballads dating from the 1600’s up to the 1960’s. Their repertoire includes songs made popular by voices such as Ewan MacColl, Shirley Collins, Luke Kelly, Ronnie Drew, Enoch Kent, Andy Irvine, Paul Brady and well-known musical groups such as the Dubliners, The Pogues, Corries, The Wolfe Tones, Planxty, De Danaan, and the Bothy Band to name a few.
After the first year of casual rehearsals, the group had become an ensemble of six musicians; tenor banjo, five-string banjo, bodhran, mandolin, steel-string guitar, vocals and electric bass guitar. Due to a switch on guitar, and Devo leaving the group, Knacker’s Yard is currently a five piece: Anatol Anton-lead tenor banjo, Cody Baresich-lead mandolin, Shaun McConnell-bodhran and bones, Jon MacDonald-steel string guitar, Wolf Edwards-five string banjo and lead vocal.
The band recently recruited William FitzGerald( late 2015) on the uillen pipes, whistle, and fiddle making the band a six piece once again.
Knacker’s Yard currently have two self-released albums: ‘The High St. Demo'(2013) and ‘Live at Dunsterville'(2015). Song selection on these two well received recordings represents a third of the early repertoire of the band. While arranged by the group, the songs are closest in presentation to the musical style of The Dubliners, a style the group has chosen for its clear, direct and energetic presentation. In addition to this, they bring in elements from the youthful urban revival of traditional music in the 60’s and 70’s and also from the humble, stripped down presentation such as can be found on many of the more traditional singer/songwriter albums of the 1960’s.
Traditional music enthusiasts will appreciate the song-tales of lost love and betrayal, the misdeeds of ramblers and rakes, emigration, hard drinking and hard living, sea shanties and worker’s songs. In addition to these ballads and chorus songs, KNACKER’S YARD also adds the explosive musical energy of traditional instrumental, reels and jigs.