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Not just The Once 

This Newfoundland folk trio is discovering that the music they make on the rock appeals to a much larger audience.

"To be able to play at a film festival is perfect," says The Once's instrumentalist and singer Phil Churchill. "It's the exact mix of the two things we love most in the world." Those "two things" are music and performing---the balance that composes the Newfoundland folk trio, who met at a theatre company in the fishing community of Trinity, Newfoundland, six years ago. Bandmates Geraldine Hollett, singer, and Andrew Dale, singer and instrumentalist, make up the remaining thirds, with Hollett's voice beautifully layered on the talented vocal harmonies of both Churchill and Dale. The latter two combine the sounds of a bodhran, mandolin, guitar, banjo and bouzouki to form music that is distinctly from the east coast, but that Churchill says is drawing audiences from off the rock. "Anytime we ever play for anybody it's always assuming, 'OK, we really gotta fight this. This is Newfoundland music and they're going to want something else.' And it turns out, in the end, that they really accept it." The band's self-titled debut album was released just a year ago, and left four Music Newfoundland and Labrador awards, an ECMA 2010 nomination and a Galaxie Rising Star Award in its wake. They're playing as the third showcase in the Atlantic Film Festival's Music & Image Conference, but you can catch them at this Company House show.

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