What do you get when two well-established singer-songwriters and instrumentalists band together?  Alyssa Wright and Don Bray shine together as The Brights.  As one musical colleague said: "A little him, a little her, a little them. Much more than the sum of the parts” [Paul Court, Orillia Folk Society].

      Roots music, tinged with gospel, country and blues is accompanied by guitar, cello, Hawaiian king, accordion, mandolin, cajon, and whatever new sounds have recently tickled their fancy. With soulful harmonies and sensitive arrangements, The Brights offer original songs in an easy-going, timeless style, equally at home in kitchen party or concert hall.

      The Brights released their debut CD, Live Love Dream, in 2009 at Hugh’s Room in Toronto. Live Love Dream is a collection of twelve original tunes (eleven songs and one instrumental), and includes three co-writes that “show the best of both” [Jennifer Ives, music promoter]. The album stays true to their live duo sound, albeit with PATRICK MCPHAIL’s bass and a few harmony and instrumental layers thrown in on the occasional track.

      Past performance highlights include Live From the Rock Festival, the Mariposa Folk Festival and BarrieFolk Festival, and Toronto City Roots. On their most recent western tour, JIM SINCLAIR of CASTLEGAR NEWS reviewed them as "a couple of musical powerhouses... charismatic charm... experienced, gifted, original and extremely likeable."On their most recent tour of the Maritimes, Cole Harbour's Rose & Kettle Sessions "extended our concert season to make sure we didn't miss them," and CHIP VEINOTTE, volunteer at the Lunenburg Sessions, declared their performance to be "one of the best Sessions I've ever seen!".

      More recently, The Brights participated in a unique collaboration with classical ensemble the Cellar Singers (writing and performing roots songs to mirror Bach Cantatas and other choral works), and made their debut at the Blue Skies Festival. They've also been enjoying and looking forward to more of their favourites – house concerts!

      As their fan Robert Rountree exclaimed: “drop everything but your drawers and go see this group!”.


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Upcoming Shows

Blood and Fire: The Donnelly Project

Orillia Folk Society @ Aladdin Banquet Hall, 1035 Mississaga Street West, Orillia, ON


FridayFolk presents Blood and Fire: The Donnelly Project on Friday, January 30. The concert takes place at Aladdin Banquet Hall, 1035 Mississaga St. W., Orillia, with dinner available before the show. Doors open at 7:00 (or visit Aladdin Restaurant next door if you'd like an earlier meal), showtime is 7:30. Tickets are $15 for adults, $7 for youth ages 16 and under, available at the door.

The Donnelly Project started as Paul Court's response to the Steve Earle song "Justice In Ontario" -- he began to reflect on different perspectives on the story and events that took place in the 1800s in Ontario. Paul was considering a way to present the songs in performance when Susan Charters, a former band-mate of Paul's, and a storyteller, offered to collaborate on linking the songs with stories to present The Donnelly Project in a concert setting. Their efforts resulted in a variety of performances and the recordings in 2007 for the live CD - "Blood and Fire: The Donnelly Project". Both the show and CD are intended to draw you into the story, let you hear the voices that are willing to speak, revealing or hiding what they wish, and letting you form you own opinion, as so many have, about the brutal events of February 1880 in that small Ontario Township.

Paul and Susan will be joined by the musicians from the "original cast" of the recording: Don Bray (mandolin, guitar, lap slide, vocals), Alyssa Wright (cello, vocals), Jennifer Ives (vocals) and Carol Teal (vocals).

$15 Adult, $7 Youth aged 16 and under Age limit: All ages

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