Gilbert will perform folk songs at the Candlelight Concert

PORT TOWNSEND — The Trinity United Methodist Candlelight Concerts on Thursday will host Chris Gilbert, a singer who splits his time between Port Townsend and Gloucestershire, England.

The show will take place at 7 p.m. with one set and no intermission at the church at 609 Taylor St. in Port Townsend. Attendees should plan to arrive early, organizers said; doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Masks will be required for in-person attendees.

The concert will also be streamed live at, where there is a link for online candlelight concerts and ways to donate. Additionally, the concert will be simulcast on KPTZ FM 91.9.

Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $10 per person. Half of the proceeds from this concert will be donated to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness),

Gilbert’s repertoire contains an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary folksongs from all over the British Isles, but for this gig he will focus on folksongs from England and Ireland.

He sings lilting ballads, dramatic songs, upbeat drinking songs, and roaring chants.

Gilbert will be joined by Hap Smith on bass. Smith has played in a variety of bands and was a founding member of Chris’ Irish band PT Happenstance.

Those who appreciate the songs of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, the Dubliners and Ewan MacColl will enjoy this concert, organizers said.

Audience participation in choirs is encouraged and chorus words will be provided.

Gilbert has performed at numerous venues in the Puget Sound area including the Wooden Boat Festival, Port Gamble Maritime Festival, Port Angeles Maritime Festival, and Northwest Folklife Festival.

He was the frontman of the Irish band Happenstance, part of the duo Gilbert and McHagar, and a member of the slum band Nelson’s Blood. (Happenstance and Nelson’s Blood have performed at previous Candlelight Concerts.)

Gilbert spent his professional career in healthcare software engineering in the UK and USA and has now returned to his passions as an artist, singer and storyteller.

He was born in the East End of London and often lets his Cockney accent shine through, organizers said.

He cut his teeth in the English tradition of Morris Dancing and learned to sing folk songs the hard way – in front of tough, tough British pub audiences.

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