About McInnis’ Kitchen
McInnis’ Kitchen offers a fresh, energetic sound that is unique in the way it interprets traditional music. This sound does not come from a formula, or a conscious process of emulation, but is a result of the living trad music process and what happens when various traditional players bring their own varied cultural mix together to make music.
We’re not sure how they make it work, but the results of that process have been captivating audiences and earning them a following everywhere McInnis’ Kitchen performs. In the past Donegal players learned Scottish tunes in the bothy camps of Scotland and put their own turn on them once back home, thus influencing Donegal music. Irish immigrants to Newfoundland reshaped their own traditional music with influences from the other cultures in Newfoundland and created their own unique sound, McInnis’ Kitchen has evolved a uniquely different sound that reveals those same sort of trad music processes at work.
When these four musicians with Scottish, Irish, Maritimes and Newfoundland influences began playing music together, the blending process revealed what would become the trademark sound of McInnis’ Kitchen. Each performer brought proud traditions honed from kitchen music and sessions, family tradition, and the fun that goes with those settings and have successfully preserved that good-times feel to their music and performances.
McInnis’ Kitchen combines the vocal talents of members Sue Spencer and Jim Ofsthun with the fiery double-fiddle style fiddlers Mark Monroe and Chuck Butler. The driving rhythmic music is performed on fiddle, guitar, bodhran, button accordion and whistle. The songs often tell the stories of the people, their journeys and the sea. The energy and fun these musicians project in their performances attest to their own kitchen music roots and cultural upbringing.
McInnis’ Kitchen typically performs at festivals and concert venues internationally and has appeared on radio and television programs in the US and in Canada.
Sue Spencer was raised with Newfoundland folk songs and music at a very young age, handed down from her parents. She has spent her musical career sharing that culture with her audiences. Sue has been twice nominated for the prestigious Hall of Honour award from the Newfoundland & Labrador Art Council for her contribution to Newfoundland traditional music culture.
Jim Ofsthun is steeped in Irish music inspired by his own Irish heritage. His musical career as a respected vocalist, percussionist, and multi-instrumentalist is well established. He is a respected veteran producer and arranger in Celtic music and has produced numerous recording projects to his credit. He has always been in demand for recording projects for his talented command of the Irish bodhrán and for his rich baritone voice.
Chuck Butler represents the third generation in his family’s fiddle tradition from northern Ireland. That tradition has been passed down from Ireland stopping through places like Newfoundland and the Maritimes along the way. Those influences have shaped his own unique energetic double-fiddling style of fiddle music. He also is a veteran of recording projects and performances in collaboration with other artists in the US and Canada.
Mark Monroe draws on his cultural ties to his Irish and Scottish heritage and has had a fiddle in his hands from a young age. He has earned respect as a fiddler in the US and Canada and frequently has performed with felllow fiddler Chuck Butler in other projects that feature their unique fiery double fiddling style. He has been featured in recording projects and collaborative performances in the US and Canada.
Sample of some Past Performances
• Newfoundland Labrador Folk Festival - St John's, NL
• Tall Ships Event - Bayfront Park, Duluth, MN
• Festival of Friends - Outer Cove, NL
• Irish Fair of Minnesota - St. Paul, MN
• Phipps Center for the Arts - Hudson, WI
• Brigid's Pub - Bemidji, MN
• Heritage Days - East Grand Forks, MN
• Yellow River Music Festival - Forts Folle Avoine Hist. Park, WI
• Blueberry Festival - Brigus, NL
• Celtic Fair - Thunder Bay, ON
• Lucius Woods - Solon Springs, WI
• Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua
• Chief Theatre - Bemidji, M
• Woody Point Heritage Theatre - Woody Point, NL
• Stage North - Washburn, WI
• Clyde Iron Works - Duluth, MN
• The Ship Pub - St John's, NL
• Hot Summer Nights Concert Series - Cloquet, MN
• Ely Winter Festival - Ely, MN
• Land of the Loon Festival - Virginia, MN
• Harmony School of Music - Washburn, WI
• MCC Auditorium - Slayton, MN
• Historic Ironwood Theatre - Ironwood, MI
• Gander Day Musicfest - Gander, NL
• World Famous Fish House Parade - Aitkin, MN
• Duluth’s Grand St. Patrick’s Day Celebration - Duluth, MN
• Music in the Park - Antigo, WI
• Fort William Historical Park - Thunder Bay, ON
• Heyde Center for the Arts - Chippewa Falls, WI
• Knife River Music Fest - Knife River, MN
• Arts Under the Stars - Clarenville, NL
• Garnet Rogers/McInnis' Kitchen - Duluth, MN
• Scottish Ramble - St Paul, MN
• Shamrock Festival - Ferryland, NL
• Park Theatre - Hayward, WI
• Bonn Tours Cruise - Gros Morne National Park, NL
• Papa Charlie's - Lutsen, MN
• Center for Performing Arts - Tucson, AZ
• Two Harbors Folk Festival - MN
• Canada Day Celebration - Thunder Bay, ON
• Auntie Crae's - St John's, NL
• Kieran's Irish Pub - Minneapolis, MN
Sue Spencer - guitar, button accordion
Chuck Butler - fiddle, button accordion
Mark Monroe - fiddle
Jim Ofsthun - bodhrán, button accordion, guitar
A bare minimum sound set-up includes:
4 - vocal mics on boom stand
2 - instrument mics on boom stand for bodhrán and accordion
1 - xlr connector for fiddle preamp (two fiddles are mixed in preamp to just one output)
2- xlr connectors for guitar preamps
Sound requirements are often venue specific and a custom sound plot will be provided on a performance-by-performance basis. Any additional needs will be listed in the venue-specific rider.
McInnis’ Kitchen has become synonymous with the energy, spirited fun and tradition experienced in any downhome kitchen party. Their repertoire is founded on the traditional music of Newfoundland, Ireland, Scotland, and the Canadian Maritimes.
"Our Canada Day concert welcomes over 20,000 people... our celebration concert was greatly enhanced by an overwhelmingly excellent performance by McInnis' Kitchen... (it was) like watching our national heritage and folk tales come to life once again"
- Dean Burke - Parks concert coordinator, City of Thunder Bay, Ontario
"...Newfoundland is equally blessed to have such wonderful musicians call it their
- Heidi Wicks, St. John's Telegram
"...What a great mix...McInnis' Kitchen!”
- Deborah Collins, host of "Summer Breeze," Rogers Television - St John's Newfoundland
Copyright ©2007-2015 McInnis’ Kitchen | Band photos by Cameron Butler | Design: Pond Stage Productions