For anyone sitting on the fence about ponying up for ducats to
see The Higgins , the dynamic young British
Columbia family band who’ll play Nov. 7 at the Admiral
Theatre , the group offered up a compelling nudge Sunday
That is, if you put any credence in the British Columbia Country
Music Association’s annual doling-out of awards. The Higgins —
26-year-old John , 22-year-old
Eileen and 20-year-old Kathleen —
carted off six awards, including Album of the Year for their summer
release, "Real Thing."
The group also won Best Group-Duo honors in the ceremony at the
Red Robinson Theatre in Coquitlam (and if there was ever a phrase
that summarized country music in B.C., it’s "the Red Robinson
Theatre in Coquitlam"). Their song "Flower Child," co-written with
manager and co-producer David Wills , won Best
Single, Best Songwriter and Best Video (directed by Stephano
Barberis). They also won BCCMA’s "roots/Canadiana" award,
presumably for being , well, rootsy and Canadian.
Bass player Dennis Marcenko, who played on "Real Thing," was
voted onto the all-star band, but nominees John (guitar) and Eileen
("special instrument") both missed out. Eileen, who won the BCCMA
honor last year for her mandolin-pickin’ proficiency, can’t feel
too bad, though — earlier this fall she won the same category at
the Canadian Country Music Awards … which, if you’re keeping score,
is the whole flamin’ country, not just one province.
Having heard a good chunk of "Real Thing," I can attest to its
appeal, not only to BCCMA voters but to the country music community
in general. It’s a seamless amalgam of traditional Country and
Western sounds, highlighting fresh three-part harmonies and
Kathleen’s Shania Twain-esque lead vocals, a splash of
young-country hubris, a tasty rock ‘n’ roll sensibility … and an
overflow of energy. The songs literally jump out at you, and make
you wonder just what seeing the trio (and three backing musicians)
live would be like.
Pretty good, I bet.
So, if you were leaning, take it from me and the BCCMAs. Like
the title of their record, The Higgins are the "Real Thing." The
show’s at 8 p.m. Nov. 7 (dinner, for those with foresight and
hunger, is available with reservation beginning at 6:30 p.m.).
Information: (360) 373-6743, admiraltheatre.org ; and
to hear several of the more poppin’ songs off "Real Thing," you can
fire up the music player at higginsmusic.com .
More later … — MM