Arts and Entertainment

Tiller's Folly to make music at Lake Meridian Park in Kent

(Left to right) Nolan Murray, Bruce Coughlan and Laurence Knight of Tiller
(Left to right) Nolan Murray, Bruce Coughlan and Laurence Knight of Tiller's Folly play a free show at 7 p.m. July 15 at Lake Meridian Park.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO

Laurence Knight paused for a moment when asked to describe the music of Tiller's Folly. There is no simple description of the musical group, with its trademark mixture of Celtic, country, bluegrass, blues and folk.

"I would call it acoustic music, roots music," Knight said during a July 2 phone interview from his home in White Rock, British Columbia, just across the Washington border. "We definitely have many flavors."

Tiller's Folly plays 7 p.m. July 15 at the city of Kent's annual Thursdays at the Lake concerts at Lake Meridian Park, 14800 S.E. 272nd St. The free summer concerts continue each Thursday through Aug. 12.

Bruce Coughlan, a singer, songwriter and guitarist from Maple Ridge, B.C., founded the band. Knight, who plays the bass and sings, joined the group in the mid-1990s.

"We started as a Celtic group, so we have that flavor," Knight said.

Knight plays the blues, rhythm and blues as well as folk.

When Nolan Murray joined Tiller's Folly in 2001, he added his country and bluegrass background. Murray, who lives in Birch Bay, plays the fiddle, mandolin, banjo, viola and guitar.

"And we're all fans of the Beatles," Knight said of the group's musical influences.

Coughlan uses the Celtic tradition of writing songs that tell a tale whether it's about explorer Simon Fraser paddling the British Columbia river later named for him or the old Kettle Valley Railroad that used to run through British Columbia. Coughlan is even writing a song for the bicentennial celebration next year of the city of Astoria, Ore.

"The history of the Pacific Northwest is important to us," Knight said.

Coughlan, Knight and Murray have played together since 2001.

"Nine years we've had the same three, base guys," Knight said. "There is real comfort in that."

Tiller's Folly regularly plays in the Vancouver, B.C., and Seattle-Tacoma area.

"We're not spring chickens anymore," Knight said. "But it's nice to be able to do so many shows. The band's name continues to build worldwide."

The group leaves in late July for a 17-day trip to the United Kingdom. In the fall, they head for Nevada and Northern California.

"We're quite famous this side of the line," said Knight as the band builds its reputation south of the Canadian border.

Tiller's Folly is working on its ninth CD.

"We're halfway through it," Knight said. "I have no idea yet what we will call it."

The group looks forward to playing at Lake Meridian Park.

"It's bonus when you play at a beautiful spot as well," he said.

For more information, go to or go to and search for Tiller's Folly.

The rest of the Thursday music lineup at Lake Meridian includes Craicmore, contemporary traditional Celtic music, July 22; Kusun Ensemble, music and dance from Ghana, West Africa, July 29; Marley’s Ghost, vintage Americana music, Aug. 5; and John Jorgenson Quintet, American gypsy jazz, Aug. 12.

If you go

What: Tiller's Folly concert

When: 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 15

Where: Lake Meridian Park, 14800 S.E. 272nd St.

Cost: Free

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