Banshee's Wail
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Banshee's Wail

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Band Rock Celtic

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Music

The best kept secret in music

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Discography

My Oh My... 5 Song EP. Available at shows

New album out in 2011!

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Bio

"As one of Winnipeg's best live performers, Banshee's Wail has quite a reputation to sustain... they put on an impressive act." - The Uniter

Banshee's Wail has been a dominant force on the Winnipeg music scene since 2005, a cross-generational mix of melody and rhythm that packs sweaty dance floors, raises voices and delivers good times by the pint (or pitcher). From revved-up traditional tunes to the frontier of Celtic music, Banshee's Wail delivers soaring jigs and searing reels in the highest energy sets around.

Although the name Banshee's Wail was first used in June 2005, the history of the band goes back much further. Brothers Brendan and Murray Jowett began playing fiddle and violin together in their childhood, at ages five and six, and share a rare musical connection formed through 17 years of experience, brotherly tension and musical familiarity. Many Banshee's Wail songs (such as Sleepy Maggy and The Parting Glass) are adapted fiddle tunes that the boys have played since they were children.

Steve Barkman, the Jowetts' cousin, also comes from a rich musical family, and the three boys all began jamming and playing together as teenagers. Eventually they drew inspiration from local Celtic Rock bands the Dust Rhinos and Men in Kilts, and put their traditional sensibilities into a rock setting. They formed various lineups which included different cousins and friends, and eventually formed Banshee's Wail with drummer Brendan Thompson.

After a break in 2007, Banshee's Wail reformed with two new additions, each with strong musical backgrounds of their own. Adam Sims, a close friend of Steve's, a notorious audiophile and a life-long musician, joined the band on guitar, and Nick Turnbull, a St. James staple and multi-instrumentalist joined the band as a drummer.

The band has played a huge variety of venues and shows, including Festival du Voyageur, Folklorama, the SuperSpike festival, Regina's Mosaic Festival, the West End Cultural Centre, Pyramid Cabaret, Park Theatre, and can be seen regularly in Winnipeg bars and pubs. They have supported acts including Sloan, the Trews, Tupelo Honey, Five Alarm Funk and Harlequin. They have performed across the prairies, wrote and performed the theme song for a 10-episode PBS Television Series, the Red River Showcase and have appeared on Breakfast Television on several occasions. Most exciting of all, however, is when the band joins the Dust Rhinos or Men in Kilts on stage and gets to share their music with the people who inspired them.

The band is frequently joined by guest performers on-stage, including their sisters Nicole Jowett and Janna Barkman, their cousin Eric Breckman (Winnipeg's finest ugly stick player), piper Graeme McCombe and drummer Dan Bertnick.