Return of the Wolf: Hometown boy makes good (music)

A native son came home to Ucluelet on Saturday, bringing his Celtic band.

Multiply musical, Wolf Edwards fronts Knackers Yard, and the band brought rousing Irish tunes to the ANAF Hall. But that’s not all the 1990 graduate of Ucluelet Secondary School does.

From an amplified viola/guitar combo to the Toronto Symphony, Edwards composes it all.

He holds a masters degree from UVIC, and he has studied with Gilles Tremblay in Quebec, as well as with masters in Germany and France.

He turned down an opportunity to work on a doctorate at Harvard University (“Too busy. I’ll do it later, I’ll do it when I’m 50,” he said.)

No synthetic origins for his music, tohugh.

“I literally have paper and pencil, I do it ‘old school,'” Edwards said. “I just start from an idea and write pieces for whatever instrumentation the group is.”

On stage at the ANAF, with his five-string banjo twanging (along with band mates on another banjo, rhythm guitar, mandolin and bodhran/bones) Edwards slipped with ease from his Vancouver Island spoken accent into full-on Irish tenor.

His band, Knackers Yard, plays traditional, rollicking, foot-stomping Irish tunes – strong Celtic stuff, punctuated by fascinating vignettes about their origins in Irish folk lore and political unrest.

“This is great music … It’s disciplined in its simplicity,” he said. But Scandinavian black metal? Full-on orchestral classic? Wolf

Edwards likes it ALL.

“I like different types of music -I like how they evolve on their own,” he said.

Wolf Edwards still sports the dreads he wore at USS. An accomplished musician, he reminisced while his band, Knackers Yard, played at the beleaguered ANAF Saturday. (Cover photo of band by Brad Larson)

“Classical people always want me to mix it … they want me to bring it in. Some of the conductors are like, ‘We want to bridge the gap to the public,'” Edwards said. “The gap between music? I don’t think it exists.”

You won’t catch Wolf Edwards throwing in some Disney overtures or Metallica stylings into his classical composition.

“I don’t think that’s reaching the masses. It’s not going any favours for the project of classical music,” he said.

“You don’t want to mix metal with classical, it’s just the lowest common denominator … Bringing pop music into classical music is not a good idea. People are going to tell you their opinion, are you going to follow it?” Dreadlocks tied back, Edwards cuts a youthful troubadour’s figure at 42. Like the dreads of his youth, his West Coast roots are always with him -his mother’s 26-year job packing fish, the time he got suspended from school before graduation for playing expletive-laden punk rock at a USS band concert – and he retains a life-long affection for his hometown.

“I always talk about Ucluelet .. I was talking about Ucluelet in Port Alberni (Friday night at Char’s Landing) -at length,” he said with a chuckle.

editor@westerlynews.ca

Just Posted

Ucluelet gets ready to celebrate Ukee Days

“There is nowhere that does an event quite like Ukee Days.”

Florencia beach clean near Tofino draws awesome crowd

Visitors from as far as Hawaii, Philippines, and Venezuela pitch in at Surfrider event.

West Coast leaders fear orca habitat protection could bring fishery closures

Ucluelet demands extension to DFO consultation process

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Through your lens: Okanagan wildfires

Check out some of the captivating images and video from social media of the wildfires

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

UPDATED: ICBC fights back against claims that it’s ‘ripping off’ B.C. RV drivers

Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the provincial government to open up ICBC to competition

Summerland issues State of Local Emergency in response to wildfire

Two homes under evacuation order; evacuation alert remains in place as result of wildfire

A brother’s determination pushes B.C. cyclist to ride 2,500 km for heart care

#Cunnycan: Ryan Cunningham ‘pushing the envelope’ to support brother Craig’s foundation

B.C. hockey coach, nurse was killed in case of mistaken identity, police say

In Surrey, Paul Bennett’s wife makes a tearful plea for help in finding her husband’s killer

Lower Mainland blueberry farms expect solid season

Blueberry Council of B.C. says season will be better than last year

Most Read