ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 42

Some old, some new, to go down Country Roads!

From London to Edinburgh, to Nashville, Vancouver and Nepal, singer-songwriter Astrid Brook has held audiences captive with her strong, hypnotic voice and her songs of beauty and heartbreak. And now this London-based singer is travelling to Colombo to sing for local audiences at Country Roads XV.

Yes, it’s time to go on that musical trip down Country Road once again as this popular annual ‘concert for a cause’ is held at the Mount Lavinia Hotel next Sunday, March 25.

This is Country Roads XV and in celebration of this major milestone, the show too promises to be a memorable one. Astrid Brook apart, the star-studded line-up includes many other Country Road favourites like The Mavericks, Wildfire, Cosmic Rays and new faces like Anno Domini (AD), all on stage to raise funds for children in need.

The Mavericks from Germany

Writing on her website, Astrid says, “I feel very honoured and excited to be performing at a charity benefit concert in Colombo, Sri Lanka (March 25). Organised by the Country Music Foundation (CMF) in Colombo, the event is called 'Country Roads for Children'. It is an annual gig, now in its 15th year, that is organised to raise awareness and money for underprivileged Sri Lankan kids.

“This year the event will help children in two villages where Save The Children is working hard to provide facilities and protection for them. The CMF also supports and works with other children's organisations in Sri Lanka, including UNICEF and Chrysalis. So if you happen to be in Sri Lanka at this time or have always wanted to visit, then this would be a great time to come and also possibly support this worthy cause.”

Well known for their blues, folk, country and rock music repertoire, the group Anno Domini (A.D.) comprising Shehan Perera (leader/ vocals and guitar), Adrian De Niese (guitar), Timal Jayamanne (bass/vocals) and Senaka Pereira (drums/percussion/vocals) are a popular fixture at Colombo hot spots such as the Deli Market, Waters Edge, Zanziba and Molly’s Irish Pub as a “fused” or predominantly acoustic group. This year, they make their first appearance at Country Roads.

Continuing its tradition of wholesome family entertainment, bands like the Mavericks of Germany and Sri Lankan crowd favourites Wildfire and the Cosmic Rays will also be there to keep audiences rocking. As always, the night will be capped off by the Country Revival Band, a group put together especially for this concert made up of CMF veterans.

Anno Domini

The Country Roads concert is organised by the Country Music Foundation (CMF) which reaches a significant landmark of 15 annual concerts over a 20-year period with this show. CMF President and concert organiser, Feizal Samath, looking back on its amazing success recalls how the first concert held in 1988 was meant to be a one-off show. “But its phenomenal success led to a second show the following year with the support of UNICEF and thereafter it has been history in the making,” he says. Since its beginnings in 1988, Country Roads has helped raise both the profile of child related causes, and more than Rs. 3 million in contributions towards improving pre-schooling, nutrition, water facilities, and renovating post-tsunami libraries for children. Most recently the foundation gifted over 1,500 mosquito nets to families in Moneragala as part of the Million Nets for Million Children initiative. Over the years, the Country Music Foundation has also worked with many internationally renowned aid organisations including UNICEF and now Save the Children.

Astrid Brook: Strong, hypnotic voice

In addition to Save the Children, the CMF is also this year, supporting projects by Chrysalis, the Association of Former UNICEF Staff Members in Sri Lanka formed in 2003 to improve and protect the health, welfare and rights of some of Sri Lanka's most disadvantaged children.

Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel joins this concert as principal sponsor with support from SriLankan Airlines, Mount Lavinia Hotel and The Sunday Times among others.

So be there at 7.00 p.m. on Sunday, March 25, 2007, at Country Road XV.

Tickets priced at Rs. 500, Rs. 750 and Rs. 1000 are available at Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel head office, Mt. Lavinia Hotel and Cargills Food City outlets at Staples Street, Majestic City, Mount Lavinia (near S. Thomas College) and Dutugemunu Street (Kohuwela). Inquiries on tickets could also be made from Dhammika at 2304179.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.