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Haines & Leighton

The finest in Maritime, Celtic, Traditional, Roots & Folk Music

Show Description

The Acoustic Harvest Folk Club describes Haines & Leighton as such: "Their enthusiasm and love of this music is so encompassing & pervasive that the audience is swept up in a contagion of joy!" - and we couldn't agree more. Mark Haines & Tom Leighton established themselves as a duo in 1992 with the release of their first CD, "Foot To Floor (repeat on beat)". They perform an original and traditional repertoire influenced by their Celtic and North American folk roots. +

Their engaging humour and personality has made them popular performers in theatres, festivals, concerts, corporate events, and clubs. These Borealis Recording Artists have rambled along Canadian highways from Ontario to the Maritimes, into the mountains of New York, and across the seas to Britain, Sweden and Taiwan. Tom and Mark were commissioned to write arrangements of Canadian traditional music for the Canada Pavilion at Epcott Centre, Disney World, Florida. They celebrated the release of their second CD, "Optimists Jig"" with a busier schedule of concerts and festivals including performances with the Kingston Symphony Orchestra. "Optimists Jig" receives air play on Canadian national radio and selected folk stations across North America and is featured as TV theme music for "Antiques Country" WNED, Buffalo, New York.

They previously hosted The Canadian Maritime Celebration at the Grand Formosa Regent Hotel, in Taipei Taiwan. As well they were part of the cast of "The Needfire", a Mirvish Production celebrating Canadian and international Celtic artists, staged at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto, Ontario.  --

Tom Leighton also performs regularly with Conrad Kipping who provides lively accompaniment on guitar, fiddle and mandolin as well as backing vocals and accompanies Mark and Tom on many of their shows, tours and albums.

Their Sound: Mark's voice "is a one of a kind". Add Tom's superb harmony and arranging skills, and the stories and images come vividly to life. These multi-instrumentalists combine the traditional "tug at your heart strings" sounds of the fiddle, accordion, guitar, bouzouki, and bodhran, with the "turn on your ears" new technology of synthesizers, tone generators and processors. Tom sometimes plays FOUR instruments AT ONCE; left hand pumping the accordion and bass, the right hand thumping the drum, while his feet deftly work the pedals of the keyboards. These guys create a HUGE sound!

Their repertoire includes (but is not limited to) numerous down home jigs, reels and songs made popular by notable "Down Easteners" such as Stan Rogers, Lenny Gallant, David Stone, Stompin' Tom, Nancy White, Jim Fiddler, and Ron Hynes. They also perform LOTS of Canadian music by such songwriters as Gordon Lightfoot, Murray MacLaughlin, and David Wilkie, as well as lots of pub songs like Irish Rovers, Reilly's Daughter, Black Velvet Band, and Wild Rover plus some pop/dance songs.  +

Awards >>>

  • Song of the Year, PEI Music Awards for the title track
  • Song Writer Of The Year (to Mark Haines) PEI Music Awards
  • Nomination for Roots Group of the Year, East Coast Music Awards
  • Steve Fruitman's Porcupine Awards
  • The CEC McECHERN AWARD (to Tom Leighton) for outstanding musical accompanist.

Selected Festivals >>>
(Partial Listing)

  • The Vara World Music Festival (Sweden)
  • Red Rock Folk Music Festival
  • Summerfolk, Owen Sound
  • Fox Valley Music Festival
  • Ottawa Folk Festival
  • Almaguin Music Festival
  • Mariposa
  • Festival Of The Islands
  • Grass Roots
  • Stan Rogers Folk Festival (Canso, N.S.)
  • East Coast Music Awards
  • Eaglewood Folk Festival (Pefferlaw, Ontario)
  • Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival (Lunenburg, Nova Scotia)
  • Octoberfolk, Brantford (Ontario)
  • Miramichi Folk Song Festival (Miramichi, N.B)
  • Home County Folk Festival (London, Ontario)
  • Blue Skies Music Festival (Clarendon, Ontario)
  • Brampton Folk Festical (Brampton, Ont.)
  • DeCoste Centre (Pictou, N.S)

Selected RADIO Features >>>

  • WFMT Radio - 98.7 FM (Chicago), Rich Warren, host;
  • ""Sounds Like Canada" (hosted by Sheila Rogers - CBC National Radio )
  • Madly Off in All Directions" (hosted by Lorne Elliot - CBC National Radio)
  • "Back to the Sugar Camp" (hosted by Steve Fruitman, CIUT - FM)
  • "Fresh Air" (hosted by Jeff Goodes - CBC Regional Radio)
  • "Nova Scotia Kitchen Party" (CBC National Radio)
  • "Swingin' On A Star" (hosted by Murray McLaughlin - CBC National Radio)
  • "Later The Same Day" (hosted by Catherine O'Hara)  --

Driving the crowd insane with pleasure!

–Chronicle Herald, Halifax


Driving the crowd insane with pleasure!

–Chronicle Herald, Halifax

I had the breath sucked right out of me by the fantastic musicianship of Mark Haines & Tom Leighton, they sound at times like a symphony!

–Nancy White, Toronto Sun

Their enthusiasm and love of this music is so encompassing and pervasive that the audience is swept up in a contagion of joy!

–Acoustic Harvest Folk Club

Absolutely the hit of the White Oak Folk Festival Last July!!

–Jim Marino, host of the Freewheeling Folk Show on 93.3 CFMU in Hamilton Ont.

Absolutely fabulous!

–CFB Borden - (3) "Down Homer" Events

Gentlemen: Your Chicago area performances were nothing short of fantastic. Thanks for gracing us with your music.

–Rich Warren, host of WFMT Radio - 98.7 FM's folk music show

A two man folk festival!

–Grit Laskin, Borealis Records


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