When Felicia Dale of Pint and Dale brings her hurdy gurdy on stage she welcomes questions about it.
That is, after all, part of her desire for smaller venues, such as the Upstairs Lounge in Oak Bay where she and husband William Pint will pull out the tunes on Oct. 17.
“We’re really looking forward to it. We love playing in Canada, you guys are awesome,” Dale said in a phone interview from Seattle.
“Canadian festivals, we were just always blown away by the treatment we got, the venues are beautiful. It’s just always fabulous.”
So when they got the stars aligned to allow them the trip to the Island in time for a slot in Recreation Oak Bay’s entertainment lineup they snapped it up.
“Mostly what we’re famous for is sounding like four people instead of two. We tend to create a lot of sound for just two people,” Dale said. “It’s like other people are joining in when they’re not in the room. It’s very strange. … We’ve heard other people do it too and we’ve never been able to figure it out.”
The Oak Bay audience should prepare for an intoxicating blend of traditional and modern music reflecting the immense vitality of those who live and work on the sea. Pint and Dale’s music fits into the world of modern folk, rock and popular song, but it’s rich with the myth, narrative, rhythm, rhyme and lyric associated with the days of the tall ships.
“We mostly do traditional music but we try to set it in a more modern way,” she said. “What we usually deliver is upbeat, lots of audience participation if they choose to, but nobody gets shamed.”
For her the music makes movies in her head and the pair attempt to convey the emotion or stories in the lyrics as they pour out.
“Showcase the song in such a way that people can showcase it with themselves,” she explained.
Audience participation is encouraged. They prefer the interaction of a smaller venue to “sitting in the green room eating blue M&Ms” during breaks.
“We love it when the audience sings along. We love it when the audience will talk with us during the performance,” she said. The hurdy gurdy Dale plays often garners some attention, whether it’s folks looking to buy one or try one.
“We like the contact. That’s what we like about folk gigs. There’s contact. We get to know people and they get to know us,” she said.
Other instruments they use include the penny whistle, mandolin, ukulele and fiddle, along with both six- and 12-string guitar.
“We tend to try and tailor to the needs of the audience. … They are part of the show, without them there is no show,” she added, noting her husband is a genius at reading audiences and creating a set list. “Usually we start with something with a chorus that’s in your face and rowdy to get the crowd going a bit.”
The Pint and Dale concert starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17 at Oak Bay Recreation’s Upstairs Lounge, 1975 Bee St. Tickets are $12 in advance at Ivy’s Bookshop and Oak Bay Recreation or at beaconridgeproductions.com online. Tickets are $15 at the door.
Visit pintndale.com for a preview.