Andrew Collins Trio to Perform in Thunder Bay

By Michael Charlebois

Nearly two years have gone by since the Andrew Collins Trio last took the stage. They were travelling through Manitoba when the hysteria of the early pandemic days had begun.

“We actually had a show the Monday after that weekend where everything went crazy,” says Andrew Collins. “I obviously can’t verify this but I like to think we were one of the last shows in Canada.” Now, the trio is set to make a triumphant return in front of a room of folk lovers in Thunder Bay. “I may cry tears of joy; it has been an emotional couple of years,” Collins says.

The Andrew Collins Trio is made up of the man with his name on the billing, along with multi-instrumentalist Mike Mezzatesta, and bassist/vocalist James McEleney. Since the trio is usually playing amid a busy touring schedule, this show will be different, Collins says. “When we’re touring, we’re usually playing the same set. So we get into a groove, the show gets more and more refined, it gets more natural. This show is going to be relatively fresh because we haven’t played in two years.”

For the listeners, the show may sound unlike anything you’ve heard. Collins calls it new acoustic, but the trio like to play fast and loose with genre conventions and bend their music around the confines of bluegrass, folk, classical, and Celtic. “It’s really all about exploring music, always pushing boundaries.”

Despite the style being extremely technical, Collins says his focus is on the art of the performance. “My main goal as a performer is to be entertaining. It’s not like we’re trying to do heavy music that people have to think and put their index finger on their chin and nod.” Performances are filled with banter, comedy, and stories to pull it all together. “We love to try to make the best performance all the time, It’s like a game. I love the energy of connecting with people and seeing when things work.”

With an unreleased album waiting in the wings, the trio now has a catalogue of six projects they can pull from to complete the show. “It will be very exciting to be in the van again and have a taste of community,” Collins says.

Despite COVID-19 postponements affecting the recent Sleeping Giant Folk Music Society shows, the Andrew Collins Trio show is set to go forward on March 26. Tickets are available at