Collin Van Pelt and Katrina Fortier, two free spirited music loving singers, make up the local duo that is known as AnamCara.

AnamCara is their take on the Celtic spiritual belief of Anam Cara or “soul friend”. Anam Cara , is “a person to whom you look as the person to share, confess and reveal the hidden intimacies in your life. You can express your mind, your heart, the very core of your innermost self. Your friendship with your anam cara is not just a friendship, but also an act of belonging, a place of recognition.”

AnamCara can regularly be found at SaltWater at Newport Harbor Hotel, One Pelham East, Jo’s American Bistro and just about anywhere there’s fine live music to be played. For their full schedule and more info visit

What’sUpNewp’s 2016 Newport BridgeFest Coverage is brought to you by Midtown Oyster Bar
What’sUpNewp’s 2016 Newport BridgeFest Coverage is brought to you by Midtown Oyster Bar

We recently caught up with the duo before their show during Newport BridgeFest at One Pelham East, enjoy and be sure to head out and check them out!

RB: What got you into music?
AnamCara: “I think as kids we always felt drawn to music. Collin grew up in a very musical household and I loved bopping around with my walkman and singing for my family at gatherings. As kids, we were always asked what we wanted  to be when we grew up, how cool that we are actually able to do what we love for a living! Hopefully this is just the tip of the iceberg for what’s to come! We are hoping to put together our first EP this fall, keep an eye out.”
RB: What was your first cd, record or album?
AnamCara: “Well being 90’s babies, my first album was N’SYNC self titled cassette and Collins’ first was Will Smiths “Big Willie Style” CD. I don’t think we could get any more nostaligic than that!”
RB: What performance/concert has most inspired you in your life?
AnamCara: “We both saw Paolo Nutini live in concert a few years ago and it was life changing. He is not defined by one single genre, each album has a different soul and a new vibe based on where he was when he wrote it. His storytelling is phenomenal and his performance was captivating. His band “The Vipers” were so in the pocket, it was truly unreal.”
RB: How long have you been performing?

AnamCara: “As a duo we just had our one year anniversary, it has been such an exciting year and we are so grateful for the growing success and business. We couldn’t have imagined how far we would come in such a short time. This was our first summer season and we were booked solid. It’s a high bar we’ve set for ourselves but it’s so rewarding to keep evolving as a duo and pushing ourselves to be the best we can be. We work with a lot of really great venues who are so supportive of us and what we do and we are excited to continue working with them in years to come.”
RB: Favorite thing about being a musician in Newport?

AnamCara: “Being Newport locals, it’s awesome to walk around town the day after a gig and get stopped by patrons who attended our show the previous night. It shows us that our music makes a difference and people had an experience they didn’t forget. Also, we love meeting new people and have gained a lot of friends from our shows. AnamCara is Gaelic for “Soul Friend” after all! ”
RB: Describe the arts, live music and cultural scene in Newport?

AnamCara: “It’s so diverse! For such a small town our music scene is great. There are so many venues in Newport that have music during the summer and so many chances to catch different styles of music. There is a little something for everyone and you don’t have to look too hard to find it. On a summer night you can walk through downtown and follow the sounds on Thames street and catch some really great acts.”
RB: Tell me about the one performance in Newport that you’ll never forget, why was it so special?

AnamCara: “On July 3rd, we played at One Pelham East with our full band option called “AnamCara and the Soul Keepers” it was packed and a complete blast! We will never forget this show because after our last set  two women came up to us and said ” Hey! We met you both a while back and connected over the Gaelic term AnamCara” They then proceeded to show us that they got matching Anam Cara tattoos. How special it was to know that the Celtic belief of Anam Cara  resonated so deeply with them that they wanted to represent their friendship permantely… now that’s commitment!”
RB: Why did you pick the instrument (s) that you play?

AnamCara: “Collin’s dad played the guitar and it was something they bonded over. Collin has great rhythm so it doesn’t surprise me that he was a natural at it.  He has been encouraging me to start playing out with him. I’m a novice pianist, guitarist and ukelele player, but to be honest it takes a lot of skill to play an instrument and sing on rhythm. To play out professionally you have to be consistently on point to ensure your delivering the same product every gig. I’m looking forward to the fall where we have a little bit more down time to practice and Collin can help me get to where I need to be. I’ll definitely be playing some open mics this winter to test my skills! Look out Summer 2017,  AnamCara 2.0 is coming!”

Catch AnamCara at Newport BridgeFest on Wednesday, July 27th;

10:00 pm – 1:00 am | FREE
at One Pelham East
Great acoustic music, great vibes and great fun in a casual setting – featuring Katrina Fortier (vocals), Collin Van Pelt (guitar, vocals)
(401) 847-9460

About Newport BridgeFest

Newport Festivals Foundation will continue the tradition of Newport Bridgefest in 2016, over the four days the festival will aim to celebrate folk, jazz, and the musical heritage of Newport.

Newport BridgeFest was founded in 2009 by the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County to “bridge” the days between the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals. Earlier this year, the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County transferred the rights to the event to the Newport Festival Foundation.

Bridgefest 2016 will take place in and around Newport from July 25th to July 28th, and will include free and paid concerts, music related films, educational programs and other music related activities.  In addition, Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc, will produce a free family concert at Fort Adams on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. For more information, visit

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).