Everything Fitz finds an audience at TRU

First ‘Live at TRU!’ performance full of variety and energy

Nathan Weissbock, Contributor Ω

This fiddling group was the first performance in the 2013-14 Live! at TRU series of free concerts. Nathan Weissbock/The Omega

This fiddling group was the first performance in the 2013-14 Live! at TRU series of free concerts. Nathan Weissbock/The Omega

TRU hosted the high-energy fiddling band, Everything Fitz on Sept. 19. The performance was held in the Alumni Theatre, where students, professors and fans gathered to watch a 90-minute performance by the Fitzgerald family.

The group consists of siblings Julie, Kerry and Tom, all of whom are fiddlers. Their brother Pat plays percussion and parents Pam and Paddy accompany them on piano and bass guitar.

The band originated in Bancroft, Ont. where the trio of children began to show their prowess for the arts at a young age.

“We started dancing and fiddling when we were about seven, eight or nine and then a few years after that, we formed a band and have been touring for about six years maybe,” Tom said.

The band’s name was influenced by Pam Fitzgerald, the pianist and mother for the group, which is a shortened version of the family‘s last name. “It was kind of a corny, long-running joke our mother came up with when we were younger while doing fiddling and step-dancing contests,” Kerry said.

They mentioned Mark O’Connor as being one of their inspirations, and described their style as using the fiddle to mesh together bluegrass with Celtic and gospel music.

While they create their own original music, they also enjoy covering pieces written by other artists. At one point during the performance, the group played instrumental versions of popular songs like Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” and Willie Nelson’s “The City of New Orleans.”

The performance was a vast showcasing of Everything Fitz’s musical talents. Tap-dancing, dual-wielding fiddles, instrumental sound effects (including sirens, fast-moving trains and the buzzing of a bee) and singing all made this performance the success it was. To top it off, they had an intimate stage presence, constantly interacting with the crowd, something afternoon concert-goers enjoyed.