One of the most unique and captivating groups to surface out of Atlantic Canada in recent years, Inn Echo is a Prince Edward Island based band who has been enchanting audiences locally and abroad since their debut in 2018.
Innovative, creatively-crafted, and what Roots Music Canada coins as “a powerful sound,” the soundscape laid down by this four-piece instrumental group is both wildly dynamic and delightfully distinctive – rightfully earning them Emerging Artist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year nominations for the 2020 Music PEI Awards.
Playing festivals such as Ireland’s largest music festival, the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil; a slew of renowned festivals throughout Canada such as Quebec’s Festival Mémoire et Racines, the Indian River Festival, and the Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival; and performing as 2021 ECMA showcase artists, Inn Echo is comprised of four musicians who hail from places all over the world – as this in itself is a key reason for their musical diversity in what they bring to life together. Concertina player Gormlaith Maynes is from Ireland; fiddler Karson McKeown is from Ottawa, Ontario; cellist/fiddler Tuli Porcher is from Victoria, B.C.; and guitarist Tom Gammons, from Montana, USA, is a newly-added member for the group, whose “sound fits seamlessly with the band’s vision” describes The East Mag.
Releasing a debut self-titled album in 2019 which earned them a Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year nomination at the 2020 Music PEI Awards, Inn Echo followed this up with a critically-acclaimed EP called Winter’s End in 2020, which has already received a Music PEI 2021 nomination for Instrumental Recording of the Year. Now about to release their next anticipated recording this summer, Inn Echo is looking ahead with plans for returning to touring in the near future.
Inn Echo’s name was brought forth from two different sources: The ‘Inn’ refers to the inn where Gormlaith and Tuli live (and where the group rehearses), and the ‘Echo’ refers to the band’s vision of echoing different musical traditions from their four homelands – as these are all distinct echoes of who each of them are. And when you hear even just one Inn Echo song, it will be easy to derive another reason for their name: their music will keep reverberating in your soul long after you listen.
- Bio by Todd MacLean
Karson McKeown has been playing fiddle since the age of 10. Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, he has been a regular and well-recognized player in the Irish session scene in both Ottawa and Prince Edward Island, and has won numerous fiddle competitions in Eastern Ontario. Once a student of three time Grand Master Champion Patti Kusturok, he has since developed his own energetic and driving style of playing and has been recognized in groups such as The Trousers, and Anna Ludlow. On top of playing with Inn Echo, Karson teaches violin on PEI and is helping to keep the fiddle tradition alive in Canada.
Though her main instrument with Inn Echo is the concertina, Gormlaith Maynes is a well regarded multi-instrumentalist in her hometown of Drogheda, Ireland. Playing tin whistle since the age of 6, and then taking on more instruments like the concertina, fiddle, guitar, and harp as the years went on, she has made a name for herself and has won several county and provincial Fleadhanna over the span of her lifetime.
Since earning her Masters Degree in Traditional Irish Music Performance from the University of Limerick, Maynes has moved to Prince Edward Island as an Irish Gaelic language teacher and as a faculty member for the School of Performing Arts program.
Over the years, Gormlaith has learned from players such as Padraigh Rynne, Micheàl Ò Raghallaigh, and Noel Hill, and continues to draw inspiration from them.
Being one of the only concertina players in Charlottetown, her unique style of playing has already become well-known and recognized by many players across the island.
5 String Fiddle & Cello
Playing classical violin since the age of 3, fiddle tunes since she was 5, cello since 10, and now recently the 5-string fiddle, it’s easy to say that music has always played a large part in Tuli Porcher’s life. Raised in Victoria, BC, and now living in Charlottetown to study contemporary music at Holland College School of Performing Arts, she has been turning heads with her unique west-coast style, groove, and approach to traditional music.
At age 20, Tuli has already been a part of many accomplished BC based groups such as Close The Bombay Doors, The BC Fiddle Orchestra, and Coastline, the latter with whom she was able to join on a tour of Scotland and Ireland.
Gifted his first guitar at age 5, Tom Gammons grew up fostering his love for music between his home of Butte, Montana and yearly trips to Southeast Saskatchewan. He got his introduction into the world of tune playing and fiddle accompaniment under the instruction of Tim Chaisson and Jake Charron of The East Pointers and furthered these studies with Saskatchewan guitarists Ben Knorr and Clinton Pelletier. Because of his diverse experience with traditional music, Tom has had the opportunity to accompany players of Celtic, Maritime, Quebecois, Western, and Appalachian styles, performing in local Montanta festivals, playing in bands in Saskatchewan, and hitting the sessions and ceilidhs of Prince Edward Island. He studies at the School of Performing Arts in Charlottetown, PEI to reach deeper into the Canadian music tradition.