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The Celebration of Leonard Cohen

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

On the final night of ROOTSANDBLUES, the songbook of Leonard Cohen will be celebrated by an wonderful cast of artists. Cohen, who passed away in November 2016 was without question one of the most loved artists and critically acclaimed artists of our time. The Montreal native produced a huge canon of work that is regarded as both brilliant and timeless …

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RB HOUSE BAND

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

Last year ROOTSANDBLUES introduced a “house-band” to the mix, and this year Winnipeg blues guitarist and singer Brent Parkin will lead our 25th Anniversary house band. Vancouver drummer Chris “The Wrist” Nordquist, Calgary keyboard wizard Garth Kennedy, former K.D. Lang and Colin James bassist (and Vernon resident) Dennis Marcenko, and Edmonton Folk Music House Band saxophonist David Babcock round out …

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BOOGIE PATROL

In 2017 Performers by Sydney Barron

Travelling across the Rockies from Alberta, the Boogie Patrol will be bringing there fresh, contemporary blues style to the Festival. Guided by vocalist and harmonica player Dan Shinnan, the group inspires audiences with its unique blend of blues, rock, soul, and funk. Buddy Guy’s guitarist, Ric Hall, says, “Boogie Patrol is off the hook…they’re on fire!” Making this Canadian group …

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MICHAEL JEROME BROWN

In 2017 Performers by Sydney Barron

Browne arrived in Canada with his parents in the 1980s; as a young boy growing up in Quebec he was influenced by the province’s rich culture and arts scene. This musician sings ‘the blues’ but has also perfected his style of old time, Cajun, country, and swing music. Downbeat Magazine tells readers that Browne “magnifies the magnificence of 1920s and …

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DAVID ESSIG

In 2017 Performers by Sydney Barron

David Essig: This blues veteran came to Canada as a young man and honed his blues style in the early 1970s. Essig, has delivered brilliant interpretations of blues classics and original blues numbers over the course of his half century as a touring musician. Essig has also worked extensively as a music producer in a multitude of traditional folk styles …

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Coco Jafro

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

Coco Jafro is a hard hitting force to be reckoned with, unifying the masses with their electrified, funky global rhythms. They bring together the schools of Funk, Soul, Jazz and Afro-beat providing a unique sound that flows from a foundation of deep set grooves. Moroccan born, lead guitarist Amine Said’s musical roots provide an exclusive sound with the proven power to instantly synchronize your …

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April Verch

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

Fiddler, singer, and stepdancer April Verch knows how relevant an old tune can be. She was raised surrounded by living, breathing roots music—her father’s country band rehearsing; the lively music at church and at community dances; the tunes she rocked out to win fiddle competitions. She thought every little girl learned to stepdance at the age of three and fiddle …

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Jane Bunnett and Maqueque

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

Four-time JUNO Award winner, two-time Grammy nominee, and Officer of the Order of Canada, soprano saxophonist/flautist Jane Bunnett once again brings the soul of Cuba to the hearts of Canadian music-lovers. Along with her new and exquisite all-female sextet, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, she will reveal the band’s fresh sound and unveil the new self-titled CD with summer festival stops …

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ALEX CUBA

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Sydney Barron

Grammy and Juno-award winner Alex Cuba and his dynamic band will be heating up the festival site and playing our main stage and workshops for the final two days of the four-day event that goes from August 17 thru 20. Cuba has lived in B.C. since emigrating from Cuba in 1999, and this long-time resident of Smithers has earned a …

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ALTAMEDA

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Sydney Barron

On the alt. country front, Roots and Blues is pleased that Altameda, a young band from Edmonton that heads to the UK next month to play major festivals, will be playing Roots and Blues.  This quartet, formed out of a recording session for singer-songwriter Troy Snaterse, quickly became a group on a mission to create something new. Despite the quartet finding …

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ANDY HILLHOUSE

In 2017 Performers by Sydney Barron

The Roots & Blues Festival’s Celtic component continues to grow with the addition of one of Canada’s finest Celtic guitarists, Andy Hillhouse.  Having spent much of his adult life as a musician in the fields of folk and traditional music, Hillhouse now divides his time between performance and scholarly pursuits in traditional world music. Andy’s entrance into professional folk music …

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ASANI

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Sydney Barron

Asani is an Aboriginal women’s trio with members based in Alberta and B.C.. They are Debbie Houle, Sarah Pocklington and Sherryl Sewepagaham. This circle of First Nations and Metis women have performed across the continent at Carnegie Hall is NYC, The Kennedy Centre in Washington and the Saddledome in Calgary, and the group has also performed for the Dalai Lama, …

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TALKING DREADS

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Sydney Barron

Hardcore Reggae fans will witness the Canadian performance debut of Talking Dreads at Roots & Blues ’17. Talking Dreads is the brainchild of Head Dread, Mystic Bowie, a Jamaican artist whose long and close relationship with Chris Franz and Tina Weymouth, founding members of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, began when he joined the latter group as a singer …

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RICKY SKAGGS

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Sydney Barron

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues is pleased to announce that country and bluegrass music legend Ricky Skaggs and his extraordinary band Kentucky Thunder will be headlining our main stage on Friday August 18 at the Salmon Arm Fair Grounds. A winner of 14 Grammy Awards, Skaggs has had such an impact on Americana music that it is hard to know …

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FIVE ALARM FUNK

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Sydney Barron

Five Alarm Funk has long been a ROOTS&BLUES favorite and it has been five long years since the band played the Salmon Arm Fair Grounds. The infectious, ferociously upbeat sounds and intense performances of FAF continue to draw praise from crowds around the globe and with a new album, appropriately titled Sweat, the Vancouver-band continues to be one of our …

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ZAL SISSOKHO

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Sydney Barron

Fans of the hypnotic sounds of West African music and the kora will be enthralled with the playing of Zal Sissoko. An amazing improvisor, Sissoko moved to Montreal from Africa in 1999 and before long his talents were being championed by Canadian cultural bodies and adoring audiences. He sings in the Malinke and Wolof languages.  

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KEITH SCOTT

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Sydney Barron

For blues fans, the region’s favorite roots festival has added another veteran of the Chicago blues scene with guitar playing and singing Keith Scott. Scott received his musical education over 30 years ago jamming with greats like Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and James Cotton, and then became a member of the legendary Chicago-based Jimmy Dawkins Band. Scott will be a …

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IRISH MYTHEN

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Sydney Barron

Winner of the ECMA’s 2015 Roots Album of the Year, Irish Mythen is a globetrotting troubadour – an Irish-born, contemporary Canadian folk artist who’s been amassing accolades and achievements across several continents over the years. In just the last 12 months, Irish has closed out the Philadelphia Folk Festival, performing after the iconic Lyle Lovett, and had tens of thousands …

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DJ SHUB

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Sydney Barron

A member of the Turtle Clan; and, a Mohawk from Six Nations, DJ Shub last played Roots and Blues as a member of the A Tribe Called Red with whom he won a JUNO Award for Nation II Nation. He was also on board for their most popular single, “Electric Pow Wow Drum”. DJ Shub’s solo debut ep includes six …

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THE EISENHAUERS

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Sydney Barron

For fans of acoustic music with an old time sensibility, the sounds of husband and wife duo of Jeremy Eisenhauer and Sheree Plett Eisenhauer, aka The Eisenhauers, should resonate strongly at ROOTS&BLUES. Based in Kaslo, the couple’s latest release “The Road We Once Knew”, is, at heart, a meditation on change that explores the dynamics of escaping from the city and moving …

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STEPHEN FEARING

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

What the people are saying… Halifax Chronicle Herald — Stephen Fearing was born in 1963 in Vancouver, British Columbia and grew up in Dublin, Ireland where his schoolmates included future members of U2. In 1981, he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and immersed himself in the music scene, learning the fundamentals of song writing and performing, while washing dishes to stay …

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FRAZEY FORD

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

The root of all soul music is freedom-sheer abandon. It’s about luxuriating in the emotions that make us all human. No wonder singer Frazey Ford placed her ear to the earth and tapped into that lush tradition to give voice to her own stories on her newest release, Indian Ocean, an album about pain and dealing with tough truths but …

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JOHN PRIMER

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

John Primer has undisputedly helped build the sound and style of Chicago blues as we know it today. The echos of tradition bellowing from the birthplaces he played such as: Maxwell Street, Theresa’s, Checkerboard and Rosa’s Lounges, pulse from every chord in his fingers today. John Primer is a Chicago Blues Living Legend. John’s father died tragically in Mississippi when …

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BOOKER T

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

It can be argued that it was Booker T. Jones who set the cast for modern soul music and is largely responsible for its rise and enduring popularity.  On classic Stax hits like “Green Onions,” “Hang ‘Em High,” “Time Is Tight,” and “Melting Pot” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Musicians Hall of Fame inductee and GRAMMY Lifetime …

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BRADEN GATES

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

Braden Gates is a young man, which may come as a surprise to anyone who has heard his brand of classic foot stompin’, fiddle playin’, guitar pickin’ folk. It would be easy to stereotype Gates as an old soul, but despite his love of traditional folk instrumentation and songwriting and old timey stage clothes, Gates’ sound carries a youthful feel …

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McGoldrick, McCusker & Doyle

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

From Ireland, ROOTS&BLUES is pleased to bring acoustic music fans the brilliance of Mike McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle, as it is a rare occasion when this all-star crew is not on a summer tour with Mark Knopfler. With the fiddle- playing McCusker’s deep Scottish roots, Doyle’s magnificent discography that includes his guitar magic as a member of Solas, …

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MARIA DUNN

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

Past Juno-nominated songwriter Maria Dunn draws deeply on the folk tradition of storytelling through song. Melding North American roots music with her Scottish-Irish heritage, she sings about the resilience and grace of “ordinary” people, past and present. Her latest recording Gathering (April 2016) celebrates love—the love of family, community and humanity that connects us and fires our actions to make …

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TOUBAB KREWE

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

Some music cannot be found on a map or within iTunes categories.  Some music is so original it seems snatched from the great, invisible substrata that runs below all human activity, a sound aching to be born without a flag or fixed allegiance – free, questing, overflowing with immediate, tangible life.  This is the music of Toubab Krewe, the vibrant …

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VISHTEN

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

For over a decade, the Acadian trio Vishtèn has dazzled audiences with its fiery blend of traditional French songs and original instrumentals that fuse Celtic and Acadian genres with a modern rock sensibility and indie-folk influences. Lauded as “traditional but fiercely up-to-the- moment” (Penguin Eggs), this band from Canada’s east coast has been recognized as an ambassador of Francophone culture …

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THE MAD DOGS EXPERIENCE

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

For 2017 Roots & Blues will present The Mad Dogs Experience on Saturday night in The Barn. A 17 piece band with choir will roll through the great songbook that Joe Cocker and Leon Russell put together under the banner Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Conceived by Dan Shinnan, the lead singer of Boogie Patrol, the Mad Dogs Experience is an …

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THE LIL SMOKIES

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

With their roots submerged in the thick buttery mud of traditional bluegrass, The Lil Smokies have sonically blossomed into a leading player in the progressive acoustic sphere, creating a new and wholly unique, melody driven sound of their own. The quintet, from Missoula, MT, has been hard at work, writing, touring and playing to an ever-growing fan base for the …

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LIVINGSTON TAYLOR

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

Livingston Taylor picked up his first guitar at the age of 13, beginning a 40-year career that has encompassed performance, songwriting and teaching. Born in Boston and raised in North Carolina, Livingston is the fourth child in a very musical family that includes Alex, James, Kate and Hugh. Livingston recorded his first record at the age of 18 and has …

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KAIA KATER

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

The new album from young African-Canadian roots phenom Kaia Kater couldn’t come at a better time. As a new generation takes the reins, American roots music is needed more than ever to remind us of the troubled pathways of our own history. Born of African-Caribbean descent in Québec, Kaia Kater grew up between two worlds: one her family’s deep ties …

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REV ROBERT B JONES

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

Authenticity is something that I believe is important to all of us. And hopefully we get to work with people who are authentic. When you couple that authenticity with talent of a truly exceptional nature: a pastor, a songwriter, a storyteller, a multi-instrumentalist, an award winning educator with an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of African American folk music, including …

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DYLAN MENZIE

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

With his compelling, sprawling vocal range and songs that strike a perfect balance of familiar yet sophisticated, Dylan Menzie is quickly becoming one of Prince Edward Island’s prime musical exports. Hailing from Belle River, PEI, Menzie has drawn comparisons to treasured songwriters like Joel Plaskett and Ron Sexsmith, the latter of whom publically praised Menzie when the young artist opened …

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JEFFREY FOUCAULT

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

One of the finest songwriters of his generation, Jeffrey Foucault has taken, in his own words, ‘the small roads;’ building a brick and mortar independent international touring career of ten studio albums, countless miles and critical accolades. He’s been lauded for Stark, literate songs that are as wide open as the landscape of his native Midwest (The New Yorker) and …

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KENNY “BLUES BOSS” WAYNE

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

One of the finest blues piano players anywhere, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne is on a wonderful roll these days making critically acclaimed albums for Stony Plain Records and traveling the globe playing for adoring audiences in South America, Russia, the UK, and all over this continent. Just two years ago Wayne was honored as the Most Outstanding Musician (keyboard) by …

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CLAIRE LYNCH

In 2017 Performers, News and Updates by Roots & Blues

Long recognized and praised as a creative force in acoustic music, Claire Lynch is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of the bluegrass genre. Her career has been decorated with many accolades including two GRAMMY nominations, six International Bluegrass Music Association awards and the prestigious United States Artists Walker Fellowship. Read more about Claire Lynch’s GRAMMY nomination CLICK HERE. …