MacArthur Lloyd grew up traveling with his musician father in the Pacific Northwest. Like his dad, Lloyd became a touring musician, performing primarily in the Northwest until he discovered and fell in love with Moab.
“I added the Southwest to my tour,” said Lloyd, who sings and plays guitar and piano in a variety of styles, including rock, blues, folk and Celtic.
While making Moab his base, Lloyd typically performs in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah during the spring and fall seasons; he tours the Northwest in summer and winter. In Moab, Lloyd often performs at The Blu Pig.
Lloyd is hosting a “ceílí” – the Gaelic word for a traditional social gathering involving music, art and dancing – at Old City Park, on Saturday, May 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. A slate of Moab artists are scheduled to perform throughout the day. The event is free, although donations for the performing artists are welcome.
Lloyd said his goal in hosting the Canyon Ceílí at Old City Park is to raise awareness, appreciation and support for local musicians who are seldom compensated in the local live music scene. According to Lloyd, “there is a huge ambient attraction to a town with live music around every corner that reflects the culture of that town, which contributes to the local economy in ways that cannot always be verified on paper.”
There was a time when the “bards and minstrels were cherished in their communities,” Lloyd contends. “It’s almost as if they kept the people anchored together in some deep and meaningful way.”
Some of the artists lined up for Saturday include Scott Ibex and Friends, Jon O, MacArthur and the Round Table, Sweet Rolls on the Down Low, Phil Dirt, and Kokopelli Tropical. Evan Echo Hunter will kick off the day’s events at 11:30 a.m.
Ibex is a popular Moab musician known for his acoustic guitar playing, with added tapping, and harmonics. The technique creates a unique simultaneous rhythm and lead sound. He also plays folk, singer-songwriter and reggae tunes.
Ibex has recorded five albums. His sixth record is due out in a couple of months. His new song, “Worth the Wait,” premiered two weekends ago on KZMU Community Radio.
“For this festival I will perform all original music,” Ibex said. “I love the idea of getting musicians together for a beautiful day in the park. I encourage everyone to come out for a great celebration of local art and music.”
Lloyd will perform Celtic music with MacArthur and the Round Table – a “rubber band group – so called because the band “expands and contracts depending on who’s available,” Lloyd said.
The band Kokopelli Tropical plays a Latin-jazz genre of music; and Phil Dirt is known for its eclectic roots-rock style, Lloyd said.
By late evening, Lloyd said he expects various musicians to begin jamming with one another.
Artists and craftspeople will sell their wares without the burden of paying a booth fee, Lloyd said. At least one massage therapist will be on hand to offer her services.
A local food truck will sell barbecue foods throughout the day. And, possibly there will be a potluck meal.
Free festival at Old City Park features music, art and dancing
Cost: Free; donations welcomeWhat: The Canyon Ceílí – a day of live music, Gaelic-style
When: Saturday, May 9, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Old City Park, intersection of Old City Park Road and Murphy Lane
Information: 208-290-4781; www.macarthurlloyd.com
For more information, call 208-290-4781, or go to www.macarthurlloyd.com.