Susan Aylard, left, and Andrew Mercer of Cod Gone Wild. The band is bringing its Neighbourhood Rounds Christmas Tour to Smithers Saturday, Nov. 30. Wayne Emde Photography

Susan Aylard, left, and Andrew Mercer of Cod Gone Wild. The band is bringing its Neighbourhood Rounds Christmas Tour to Smithers Saturday, Nov. 30. Wayne Emde Photography

Cod Gone Wild brings Newfoundland-inspired Neighbourhood Rounds tradition to Smithers

The Celtic fusion band will perform songs from new Christmas album Nov. 30 at The Glenwood Hall

When Cod Gone Wild released its Christmas album entitled The Neighbourhood Rounds last December, a tradition was born based around the Newfoundland custom of the Neighbourhood Rounds, where neighbours go from house to house to celebrate the season.

The Okanagan-based band is spreading Christmas cheer the best way it knows how — through music — and is about to embark on a 16-stop British Columbia tour to connect and celebrate with their own extended neighbours across the province.

The Cods, as the band is also known, will be making a stop in Smithers, performing Saturday, Nov. 30 at The Glenwood Hall.

“The idea behind The Neighbourhood Rounds is a tradition my parents started with their neighbours back 30 years ago, and they go around house to house to each place and have a drink and something to eat, and they go on to the next place, and so on and so on,” said lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Mercer, who grew up in Bay Roberts, N.L.

“That’s the whole idea of doing the tour and keeping it within British Columbia is that this is where we’re from, this is our neighbourhood, so we’re able to go around to all the different places around the province and do these shows, and at the same time, bring people out to something that’s not on Netflix or on their television, so they can come out and enjoy a night and visit with their neighbours and enjoy some downhome music.”

The tradition of the neighbourhood rounds continues today, and Mercer has written the title track of the album to not only keep the tradition alive, but also to remind people to come together this holiday season.

“It is my hope that in the spirit of the season, despite this tumultuous world that we live in, people can come together,” he said. “Visit your neighbours, check in on a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while, and most importantly, make time for family.”

The Cods’ album features a mix of original songs and Christmas songs that Mercer grew up listening to on the east coast.

“Growing up in Newfoundland and being exposed to traditional music at a young age, there will always be a strong Newfoundland influence in Cod Gone Wild’s music,” said Mercer. “Having musicians from various musical backgrounds allows us to create something a little more modern and edgy that will have a broader appeal to audiences across the country and around the world.”

To get The Neighbourhood Rounds album out in time for Christmas, the band recorded it last July.

“That was kind of strange recording Christmas music in the middle of the summer, especially when it was 35 degrees out most days and we’re inside singing Christmas songs,” Mercer said with a laugh. “But it was great. I feel it’s not your typical Christmas album. We do some classic, traditional Christmas tunes on there, but I feel the way we are presenting them is quite different and unique. I think the goal was — well I don’t know if it was necessarily the goal from the outset, but what ended up being the goal and the result was we wanted to create a Christmas album that wasn’t traditionally the way all Christmas albums sound, and I think that really comes through in the album.”

Based out of the Okanagan Valley since 2009 when Mercer transplanted from Newfoundland, the Cods are recognized as one of Canada’s top Celtic acts.

When Mercer moved to B.C., he brought with him his passion for Newfoundland, the rich culture and the deeply rooted music he grew up with. Joining Mercer are musicians Susan Aylard (fiddle), Sean Bray (electric guitar), Dan Fogarty (bass) and David Mihal (drums).

The Celtic-inspired band is focused on giving traditional music a modern edge.

“They blend the varied talents of musicians whose classical, folk, rock and jazz backgrounds fuse together to create a dynamic and unique sound that instantly connects and resonates with audiences,” according to a press release from the band. “Through their uplifting energy, tight vocal harmonies and remarkable stage presence, they weave together a tapestry of tales that evoke a nostalgic experience of days gone by.”

Mercer says they are looking forward to sharing music from the album and to getting back to places where they have played in the past during this tour.

“I don’t think there are any places on this tour that we haven’t played before, but it’s going to be interesting bringing this album there,” he said. “Of course, we’ll still be performing non-Christmas music — we’ll still be performing material from our other albums — but we certainly will be doing all the Christmas songs as well from The Neighbourhood Rounds album. We’re looking forward to sharing that different kind of music with everybody that we’ve seen in the past and hopefully opening up the door for new audiences for people who may not have seen us before.”

Cod Gone Wild is bringing The Neighbourhood Rounds Christmas Tour to Smithers Saturday, Nov. 30 at The Glenwood Hall at 13804 Telkwa High Rd. Doors open at 7 p.m. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Mountain Eagle Books at 3775 Third Ave. or online at codgonewild.com/shows.

The Neighbourhood Rounds is available now, wherever you download or stream your music and can also be purchased or downloaded directly from the band’s website at codgonewild.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce coveted Alpine Man Statue for winners of the 2020 Community and Business Awards Nov 25. (contributed photo)
Smithers Feed Store named Business of the Year

Chamber of Commerce Community and Business Awards handed out in virtual ceremony via Zoom

The Terrace River Kings lost 9-3 to the Quesnel Kangaroos on Mar. 2, 2019 in the final CIHL playoffs. (Lindsay Chung Photo)
Central Interior Hockey League cancels 2020/21 season

League open to playing exhibition games if possible

Questions around rail safety, firefighter safety, cleanup near the rail yards and tracks, whistle cessation, etc were raised during the RDBN meeting with CN. (File photo)
Regional district frustrated with CN response to grievances

‘A lot of our concerns are still not being heard,’: Houston mayor Shane Brienen

Skiers and snowboarders enjoy the fresh, fluffy snow at Fernie Alpine Resort.
Ski hill scheduled to open Dec. 4

Hudson Bay Mountain Resort will open without its usual contingent of international workers

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

More than 60 cm of snow has fallen at Ulkatcho First Nation near Anahim Lake in the Chilcotin since a snowfall warning went into effect Thursday, Nov. 26. (Graham West photo)
VIDEO: More than 60 cm of snowfall in Chilcotin since Thursday, Nov. 26

Graham West of Ulkatcho First Nation captures the scene on video

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Most Read