Gig Seeker Pro



Band Folk Celtic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Buffy leads Canadian conquest of Woodford"

'In all, 65 Canadian artists (24 of them from Newfoundland) performed, with the sister duo Ennis being a standout, their tight vocal harmonies compensating for the intentional corniness of their between-song patter.'
Martin Buzacott Jan 04, 2012 - The Australian

"Quote from promoter"

This band has it all - stellar songwriting, excellent musical skills, world-class harmonies and engaging stage presence. Through all their performance the love and pride of their home in Newfoundland shines through. Ennis belongs on the top-shelf with the very best of performers.

Jimmy Buttimer
Presenter Savannah Irish Festival
- personal quote:

"Quote from promoter"

Watching the Ennis concert was a totally enjoyable experience. The audience was captivated from the start of the show and became more engaged as the evening developed.

The songs are beautifully written, the harmonies are wonderful and the banter on stage is fun and relaxed. It was a wonderful show and a great way to begin the season.

Angela Bujold
Dryden Entertainment Series - personal quote:

"Quote from Mary Black"

'I had the pleasure of hearing Ennis perform live recently. I was hugely impressed by their vocal sound and how they seemed to blend effortlessly. I was very much taken by their style which remains true to their strong Irish roots'
Mary Black - Personal Quote

"Quote from Eric Bogle"

Ennis are extremely talented musicians and singers. Unlike many similar groups, they bring a freshness and originality to their musical and vocal arrangements that tends to set them a bit apart from the competition. In other words, they are more than just a musically competent carbon copy of stuff you have heard before many times. Those qualities of freshness and originality should ensure for them a long and successful musical career ..... - Personal Quote

"'This Band Has it All'"

This band has it all - stellar songwriting, excellent musical skills, world-class harmonies and engaging stage presence. Through all their performance the love and pride of their home in Newfoundland shines through. Ennis belongs on the top-shelf with the very best of performers.
Jimmy Buttimer
Presenter Savannah Irish Festival - Personal Quote

"Fame Games-Spain"

Congratulations on winning the Fame Games Track of the Month! This is a well-deserved win from a band that`s exemplary in every way - from great, meticulously worked-out songs, to a great sound and an excellent image and charm.

- Fame games-dj review

"CD Review: Lessons Learned, Ennis"

The story of Ennis is one of coming home. Sisters Maureen and Karen Ennis spent some time in Nashville pursuing a prescribed career path in American county music. They made some fine recordings, but more recently they heeded the call in their hearts to return home to their beloved Newfoundland and make the kind of music that they have lived and breathed all their lives. Lessons Learned, released in December 2009, is a glorious musical expression of this journey back home to their roots, with an adept blending of the North American acoustic sound with the Newfoundland/Irish traditional sound. This is an album that sounds wonderful – with those gorgeous sisterly harmonies and traditional Irish instruments – and one that touches the heart with well-crafted songs, both musically and lyrically. The music runs a full spectrum of emotions, but the over-arching feel is one of that inner peace that comes from being where one belongs and being surrounded by the family and friends that get a person through the hard times.

Newfoundland, the home of Ennis, is a massive island larger than Ireland with slightly less than 500,000 people. It is closer to Ireland than it is to western Canada. In fact, the distance from their home in St. John’s to Galway is only 30 miles more than the distance to Nashville, Tennessee. There is a large concentration of Irish descendants in this part of the world. Ennis is made up of Newfoundlanders: Maureen Ennis (songwriting, lead vocals, guitar); Karen Ennis (vocals, tin whistles, bodhrán, guitar, mandolin); the support includes Mark Murphy (co-songwriting, percussion, vocals); Billy Sutton (bouzouki, guitar, accordion); Heather Koo (fiddle); Paul Kinsmen (piano); Graham Wells (accordion, whistle); Bob Pike (bass); Greg Hawko (percussion); Tom Power (banjo); and John P. Allen (fiddle).

Maureen and Karen, along with their younger sister Teresa (now a solo artist), grew up in a very musical family within the “Irish Loop� of the Avalon Peninsula, and yet, though their music is very Irish, they never thought of it that way. They were simply playing the music of home, which also includes some Country influence as well as some influences from the Maritime Provinces to the south. As manager Mark Murphy puts it, “We didn’t look at this place (or the music) as being so Irish growing up. It was our home and we played what we knew. It was only after we got out in the world and everyone else said ‘Oh, listen to the Newfoundlander playing Irish music’ that it became SO evident.�

Starting with their first album in 1997, the songwriting, vocal and instrumental talent of the Ennis sisters brought them growing success in Canada and many awards won (including a Juno Award). They were featured on a track of the Chieftains album Fire in the Kitchen. They were invited to perform at numerous concerts and festivals and even performed on Canada Day at Trafalgar Square in London. In 2008, the Ennis sisters took a path that led them from their home in St. John’s to Nashville, Tennessee. There, so-called industry reps in suits pushed Ennis away from their Newfoundland roots toward a more American Country sound – and also a glossier image. It became obvious to the band that their love for Newfoundland and its music could no longer be denied. Homesick beyond cure in Tennessee, they decided to follow their hearts and not the ready formulas to success prescribed in Nashville. They packed their worldly possessions into the car and made a mad three-day marathon dash to Sydney, Nova Scotia in order to catch the earliest possible ferry headed for home. It was a trip that had Maureen so overcome with homesickness that during a break to get gas, she stood underneath a Canadian flag in the pouring rain, sipping black Tim Horton’s coffee and sobbing with the relief knowing that she was finally heading home. This experience inspired the song “I’m Leaving.�

Lessons learned: There’s no place like home… Do whatever it takes, and go wherever you need, to arrive at what really makes you happy… Everything has a way of working itself out… How to let go… Never take a second of this for granted… “Newfoundland influenced folk music is what we love to play!!!� As Maureen has said, “I’m a Newfoundlander through and through. It took me leaving to really understand the depth of my love for my home.� It is fitting, then, that the latest album from Ennis was named Lessons Learned.

Leaving Nashville behind, Ennis reclaimed control over their music. As Karen told The Telegram (St. John’s) reporter Ashley Fitzpatrick, “We didn’t have to write your typical love song so it can play on the radio. Each song is about something.� Also, Ennis no longer had to worry about a song not fitting on country radio because of too much folk Newfoundland Irish coloring. Ennis set about to record a new album based on the seven generation history of their family in Newfoundland and it would be a big-time return to their traditional musical heritage with songs, not based on market research, but from the heart. “I think this, from a music standpoint, is what we always wanted to make. It was deliberately crafted that people will sing along,� says Maureen.

Lessons Learned is a beautiful blend of harmony-based country-folk, flavored by deep roots and Newfoundland traditional influence that is undeniably Irish in nature. There are eight exceptional original songs written by Maureen (seven of which she wrote with Mark Murphy). These include “Constant Companions� (a song Maureen wrote about being sisters); “Newfoundland� (a song about the love of home); “Sing You Home� (a beautiful song written by Maureen in the wake of losing a dear cousin – it put tears in my eyes); “With You� (about that confusing time of falling in love); “I’m Leaving� (which tells the story of that liberating trip home from Nashville); and “High Up There� (a song inspired during one of Maureen’s summer evening walks), and “Until Then� (a heart-warming song written to fill a need for a concert closer). One of my favorites is “Cecilia� a song with a lively Acadian tempo and gorgeous melody line. Maureen explains: “I was inflicted with a frustrating case of writer’s block. I was wondering why I was so inspired one minute and the next I had nothing; so I asked St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, where she was when I needed her. And just like that I had the inspiration for the song.� Prayers do get answered!

There are two cover songs on the album, an excellent version of “Carrick-a-rede� written by Cathie Ryan and John Doyle; and “Last Tears� written by Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls. There is a magic in the harmonies of Maureen and Karen, and, for me, there are particular moments when Maureen’s lead vocals I found heartbreaking, one such moment being the bridge section of “Last Tears.� She has a real gift for infusing great emotion in her singing. Lessons Learned features two instrumental tracks, “Still Single(s),� a fun set of Newfoundland Singles arranged by Billy Sutton; and the very beautiful Scottish tune “Hector the Hero� closes out the album with a beautiful glow of peace. I find this album very moving in ways I can’t easily express. For me, it’s one of those albums to experience start to finish, not only because all the tracks are superb, but also because the album is very much a musical journey that does not spare us the confusion, heartbreak, disappointment or grief encountered in life. Yet, through it all, it affirms those essential things – love, hope, kinship, and a sense of belonging – that restore, rekindle and regenerate us. There’s a contagious joy that pervades the album.

Live performances by Ennis not only include beautiful musicianship and singing, but they also include the humorous repartee between Maureen and Karen, as well as Karen’s signature jokes and step dancing. If you ever have the chance to see them perform, take advantage of it! Recently Ennis returned from the 2010 Irish Festival Cruise of the Caribbean where they performed with artists such as Mary Black, Tommy Sands, and The Elders. After returning home to Newfoundland, they were welcomed with a winter storm that brought high winds, a foot and a half of snow and a storm surge that destroyed a fisherman’s wharf. In response to a concerned fan from the States, Maureen observed, “We’re good. Although that sounds like a lot, we’re a hearty crew up here. You folks call that a storm; we call it Tuesday!� Ennis are hearty folk indeed; they had the fortitude to remain true to themselves and their music, and the result is truly heartfelt album that embraces and celebrates the Newfoundland Irish folk tradition. As Mark Murphy says about the music of Ennis, “We don’t care what it’s called. We have to play what’s in our hearts.� That’s the lesson learned. Sixty Seven Music salutes playing it by the heart and is glad to help spread the word about Ennis. - A 67 Music Review by Eion Dolan


Red is the Rose 1997
Christmas on Ennis Road 1998
Fire in the Kitchen (Chieftains) 1999
Ennis Sisters '3' 1999
Ennis Sisters 2001 Warner Canada
It's Not about You 2003 (Rounder U.S.)
Can't Be the Same 2003
Be Here For Awhile 2007
Lesson's Learned (ENNIS) 2009



'Lessons Learned' wins Roots Traditional Group Record of the year at the 2011 'East Coast Music Awards'

ENNIS is a dynamic, original group with a unique contemporary voice flavored by deep roots and Celtic traditional Newfoundland influences. Having won multiple Music NL, East Coast Music Awards and a JUNO (Canadian Grammy).
Maureen and Karen are powerful, interesting and humorous story tellers with a broad mix of Maureen's accessible original songs and uniquely interpreted tunes and ballads. With 7 albums
(1 Gold) and inclusion on countless compilations CD's (2 gold) to date, they have shared the stage and/or recorded with the Chieftains, Altan, Danu, Tommy Makem and toured with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, among too many others to mention. Touring highlights include the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Stan Rogers Folk Festival, the Strawberry Music Festival (California), Merlefest (North Carolina), The Cleveland and Pittsburgh Irish festivals and the Woodford Folk Festival in Australia. They have also played Canada Day events on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada and Trafalgar Square in London, England.

Ennis tours with several personnel configurations:

Maureen Ennis: Lead vocals, guitar and songwriting.
Karen Ennis: Vocals, tin whistles, bodhran, guitar and mandolin.
Mark Murphy: Percussion and vocals

For more information:
Mark Murphy