The Once


Folk group The Once are a St. John’s based trio whose mastery of harmony is comparable to most people’s mastery of breathing.

Made up of Andrew Dale (The Cobblestones), Phil Churchill (Victory Cigarettes, Dance Party of Newfoundland), and the amazing Geraldine Hollett, the trio have sung and played their way into the limelight with a laid back and old school style of performance. They keep it simple: a couple of instruments, one microphone, and three incredible voices.

How good are they? Most recently they played the Lunenburg Folk Harbour festival. A festival designed for accomplished recording artists.

An even bigger shock came when performing their last set at the festival, when Churchill (also a very diverse comedic talent) was joking with the crowd saying that they take sponsors for a CD, all done in jest, prior to their closing tune. The joke soon turned real when, after the show, the festival organizer approached them saying a man wanted to pay for them to record a CD.

Dale was reduced to tears, Hollett’s eyes widened, and Churchill’s jaw dropped firmly to the stage.
A short time later they found themselves with a cheque for five thousand dollars. After contacting the gentleman who made the contribution, they offered to pay him back in full once they were in a position to. The man just replied, ‘no need, just do me one favour, if you’re ever able to help another artist? Pay it forward.’

The Once will be entering the studio this fall with a CD due out this winter. DS


“dd’s blues” by Duane Andrews

“dd’s blues” by Duane Andrews

Traditional Newfoundland music meets Django Reinhardt.

10 February 2011

  1. John Maybee · February 10, 2011

    Put me on your list for that CD!! I had the priveledge of hearing you for a bit on Tuesday December 16th and then for the evening on the 17th on Canada Live.

    It’s so nice to here Christmas songs sung plain and simple. I am so tired of the schlock that other artists have put out. I loved your stories and the music that came with them. I could listen to that party (I think it was at the Chases place) over and over and never get tired.

    You have songs that will become carols in their own right once they are played again and again (as I am sure they will be). I particularly liked the one you wrote in the summer about asking your grandparents what Christmas was all about. I’m sure they’ll be singing that in a hundred years once the word gets out.

    Thanks Dale, Phil and Geraldine for making my Christmas special. Get out that CD asap so I can spread it around my family.

    If I lived in Cornerbrook I’d drive anywhere on the island to hear you and say thanks, unfortunately I live on the opposite shore about a hundred yards from English Bay so this’ll have to do.

    Have the best of Christmases – you sure have made mine!!


  2. gerry parsons · February 10, 2011

    I need to get whatever recording you make. Beautiful blend.

  3. jane vincent · February 10, 2011

    Just listening to you on the Vinyl Cafe – absolutely gorgeous. Must search out your CD. Beautiful – “Sail Away to the Sea”.