Sat Aug 15, 3:00 PM Shade Stage Gold and In the Way (Acoustic Grateful Dead Set)
Sat Aug 15, 9:15 PM Boogie Bar-N Stage Brother’s Keeper
Sun Aug 16, 12:00 PM Shade Stage Positively Fourth Stage WORKSHOP
Sun Aug 16, 4:45 PM Boogie Bar-N Stage Grateful Dead Tribute
Mark Karan is best known for performing with the extended Grateful Dead family. For twelve years, he anchored the lead guitar slot in Bob Weir & RatDog, playing hundreds of shows to thousands of fans year-round. Before crossing over into the land of the Dead, Mark worked his guitar and vocal voodoo for the likes of Dave Mason, Delaney Bramlett, Paul Carrack, Huey Lewis, Jesse Colin Young and Sophie B. Hawkins.
Mark also tours with an array of amazing musicians in his own “Mark Karan’s Buds”, where his soulful blues-based vocal stylings and inspired guitar work meld with the remarkably creative and responsive playing of his friends in a passionate delivery of the psychedelicized sounds of Americana. This is where rock meets R&B and country and mixes with the soul of New Orleans… with healthy portions of reggae, folk, funk and whatever else the muse might bring.
Mark has performed live with The Allman Brothers, ALO, Trey Anastasio, Joan Baez, Dickey Betts, Delaney Bramlett, Larry Campbell, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Galactic, Gov’t Mule, Jackie Greene, Levon Helm, Bill Kirchen, Chuck Leavell, Little Feat, moe., New Riders of the Purple Sage, Phil Lesh & Friends, John Popper, String Cheese Incident, and Derek Trucks.
His Walk Through The Fire is a fine outing and the sessions found him supported by members of Little Feat, Bonnie Raitt’s band, and Jackie LaBranch and Gloria Jones from the Jerry Garcia Band.
It’s not hard to figure out why Roots and Blues 2015 wanted Mark Karan to participate in this festival.
Sat Aug 15, 3:15 PM Boogie Bar-N Stage We Be Jammin’ WORKSHOP
Sat Aug 15, 11:00 AM Blues Stage Kat’s Kradle WORKSHOP
Sun Aug 16 12:30 PM Boogie Bar-N Stage Latin Lovers and Polyrhythmic Panic WORKSHOP
Sun Aug 16, 4:45 PM Boogie Bar-N Stage Grateful Dead Tribute
Tacoy Ryde was first conceived almost 40 years ago in the minds of a group of twelve year olds from Stettler, Alberta in the summer of 1967 (commonly referred to as ‘the Summer of Love’).
In 1973 they moved to Edmonton. At this time, the members of Tacoy Ryde were writing their own songs, as well as playing covers by the likes of the Allman Brothers, The Band, The Byrds and lots of Grateful Dead tunes. Since they were the only band in Edmonton playing this kind of material they developed a large following of loyal fans who would guarantee full houses wherever they played.
In the spring of 1980 the band recorded their first single at Homestead Recorders with manager Larry Wanagas (k.d. Lang, Big Sugar). The single,”Is There a Reason”/”Don’t Let Me Be Alone” was released and received airplay regionally. These were the days of six-nighters back-to-back across the country, with a solid fan base in several major cities they were also being booked to open tours for major reggae acts such as Jamaica’s Third World Band and England’s Steel Pulse.
By 1982, the time was ripe to record an album. The band headed to Pinewood Studio in Vancouver with Claire Lawrence (Chilliwack, Hometown Band) hired to produce the record. The group also recorded an album under the name Jato. Flip the calendar pages ahead to 2003 and Tacoy Ryde began recording their independent CD, “Here’s the Picture”. Upon release, songs like “Where’s Doug” and “Ojo Grises” ranked in the top 15 most played songs on CKUA radio. Tacoy Ryde will be a fine addition to the jam band portion of the R&B 2015.
Sat Aug 15, 11:00 AM Shade Stage Honky Tonkin’ Guess I’ve Done Me Some WORKSHOP
Sat Aug 15, 4:30 PM Shade Stage Writers’ Block WORKSHOP
Sun Aug 16, 12:00 PM Shade Stage Positively Fourth Stage WORKSHOP
Held together by equal measures of heartbreak and hope, and featuring performances from some of Canada’s most accomplished instrumentalists, Russell deCarle’s new album Under the Big Big Sky plays like the soundtrack to a vintage film. A fluent mix of blues, jazz and R&B tinged western swing that pays homage to some of Russell deCarle’s all-time favourite artists while remaining simultaneously fresh and familiar.
As lead vocalist and bassist of iconic Canadian country roots band Prairie Oyster, deCarle is no stranger to awards and accolades. Over their career the 2008 CCMA Hall of Honour inductees have racked up an impressive list of JUNO and Canadian Country Music Awards, gold and platinum selling records and number one singles. As a songwriter deCarle has also been honoured with two SOCAN Song of the Year Awards. Once in 1994, for Prairie Oyster’s first number one single ‘Such A Lonely One’, and then again in 2008 for ‘One Way Track’, his co-write with Canadian folk legend, Willie P. Bennett.
For some artists the urge to make a solo record asserts itself almost as soon as they start to gain attention as part of a successful band – sometimes even before they, or their audience, truly know who they are. Not so for deCarle. “For decades people have been asking for a solo record,” he says, “but I never thought I was ready and the band always satisfied the musical part of my life.”
What finally got him fired up enough to strike out on his own in the studio was spending some quality time alone with his acoustic guitar. Although he’d initially intended to weight Under the Big Big Sky more heavily in favour of covers than original material, the more he played and wrote, the more he found himself falling naturally into a style that marked a definite, if unintentional, departure from his past work. When it became clear that the balance of the record would feature his own material, deCarle approached longtime friend, pianist/arranger/producer John Sheard (The Guess Who, Dan Hill) and asked him to take a listen. “We’d wanted to do a project together for years. He’s absolutely one of my favourite musicians in the world and musically we share a lot of things.”
After Sheard signed on to produce the record, deCarle enlisted the talents of another old friend, engineer L. Stu Young (Prince, Ronnie Hawkins, Guns n’ Roses, David Wilcox), who assisted on Prairie Oyster’s 1991 breakthrough record Everybody Knows and mixed their most recent release, 2006’s One Kiss. With Young manning the board and Sheard producing and playing piano and vibes, the next step, deCarle says, was putting together a wish list of players to join them in the studio. Among them, guitarist Steve Briggs, string bassist George Koller and drummers, Mark Kelso and Al Cross, as well as an all-star cast of guests including: bassist Russ Boswell, fiddler Drew Jurecka, percussionist John Adames and B3 virtuoso Denis Keldie; guitarists Kevin Breit, Amos Garrett, David Wilcox and Prairie Oyster bandmate, Keith Glass; vocalists Amoy and Ciceal Levy, Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine of Dala and Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy; and a horn section featuring deCarle’s old friend and musical compadre Chris Whiteley on cornet, Gord Myers on trombone and Colleen Allen on tenor and baritone sax.
“I’m honoured that everybody I wanted on the record ended up on it. They really dug deep and did an incredible job.” But assembling this ‘fantasy camp’ of players wasn’t about cramming as many talents on each track as possible, deCarle stresses. It was about complimenting the songs with performances by people he believed would make a personal connection with his songs; the same kind of connection he hopes his audience will make. “For people to be emotionally invested in this, to be touched in some way, that would be the best thing that could happen. That’s why I made the record.”
As much as Under the Big Big Sky may represent a new beginning for deCarle, it’s not a conscious effort to shake off the label of ‘country singer’, but a natural extension of his talents as both a songwriter and interpreter. “I’ve always thought of myself as a singer, not just a country singer. I’m a music lover first and foremost – a product of all the stuff I’ve ever listened to – and my tastes are very broad. To me this is a torchy, bluesy record more than anything else. It’s certainly a product of where I came from musically.”
Just exactly where that is, however, isn’t easy to pin down, and nor should it be. The songs and the subjects deCarle writes about defy being crammed into some fabricated musical zip code for the sake of convenience. “Growing up when I did, radio wasn’t homogenized. I’m pretty sure that the Beatles ‘Ticket To Ride’ and ‘Tiger By the Tail’ by Buck Owens were on the pop charts at the same time, and I’m sure there was a Frank Sinatra song on that same chart.”
Like the soundtrack deCarle grew up with, Under the Big Big Sky covers a lot of ground stylistically. From the sweet soulful blues of ‘Can’t Find the Song in My Heart’, to melancholy ballads like opener, ‘East of the Sun, West of the Moon’ by Robert M. David, to unabashedly upbeat tunes like ‘Girl With the Golden Hair’ that are as reminiscent of old time rock and roll as they are of the music of classic crooners like Dean Martin. And although the record defies easy classification, it’s perfectly clear about the fact that deCarle can find inspiration for his songs just about anywhere; from the big, big Saskatchewan sky he references on the album’s title track, to the ‘Fingernail Moon’ hanging above his own backyard in rural Ontario, to the sad songs and ballads he’s loved since first hearing them on the airwaves as a teenager.
“I could sing sad songs and ballads all night. It’s true, man. I kind of live at 72 beats per minute. Emotionally I think I’ve always been affected by the bluesy side of life; that’s always been what stirs it up for me.” Still, even on heartbreakers like his cover of the Cindy Walker classic, ‘Goin’ Away Party’, or his own ‘Blues for Christmas’ and ‘Don’t Ask The Question’, deCarle possesses an uncanny ability to weave a little bit of hope into every line he sings.
The result is a remarkably eclectic, but entirely cohesive record. Under the Big Big Sky is more than just a confident, compelling exploration of deCarle’s singular voice as a songwriter. It’s an unflinching reflection of where he lives musically and literally, a celebration of the music and musicians who began to influence him long before he began his career forty years ago and a gathering of his closest and dearest musical friends.
Sat Aug 15, 3:15 PM Boogie Bar-N Stage We Be Jammin’ WORKSHOP
Sun Aug 16 12:30 PM Boogie Bar-N Stage Latin Lovers and Polyrhythmic Panic WORKSHOP
Sun Aug 16, 7:20 PM TD Main Stage
25 years of performing live have seasoned Quique to effortlessly connect with his audiences, be it in an intimate house concert setting or on Toronto’s venerable Harbourfront stage. He breaks down language barriers through his powerful voice and passionate delivery while fusing traditional Mexican styles of music such as ranchera and huapango with modern sounds of rock, reggae, ska, pop, jazz, cumbia, bolero, and a variety of other Latin American rhythms. His lyrics carry powerful messages that are inspired by and support various social and political issues such as human and civil rights, immigration reform, global conservation, anti-racism, discrimination, anti-oppression and Indigenous rights. Despite the distance from his homeland, Quique remains strongly attached to his Mexican roots. He is honoured to be in Canada to share with his audiences a flavour of Mexican culture, heritage and traditions through his music and live contemporary performances.
Quique Escamilla is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and producer living in Toronto. Since his arrival from Chiapas, Mexico in 2007, he has rapidly become a rising star on the Canadian music scene. In 2011, he was discovered by a CBC radio producer and has since become a favourite on popular CBC Toronto shows such as Here and Now, Metro Morning, Fresh Air and Big City Small World. He has been a featured guest at special CBC presentations like the annual fundraiserSounds of the Season —aired live from the Glenn Gould studio—alongside artists like Justin Rutledge, Sophie Milman, Jenn Grant and Michelle Wright. In 2012 he launched his self-titled debut EP, with a concert recorded for CBC’s Canada Live at Toronto’s Lula Lounge Arts Centre. That same year he was invited to open for Michael Franti & Spearhead at the prestigious stage of Luminato Festival. Since then, he has performed at festivals such as Mariposa Folk Festival, La Falla Festival (La Tohu, Montreal), Shelter Valley Folk Festival, Blue Skies, Toronto Harbourfront, South Country Fair, SunFest, Small World Music Festival, Yonge & Dundas Square, Toronto Bicycle Music Fest and Interstellar Rodeo.
Quique released his latest album 500 Years of Nightin April 2014. Toronto’s CBC Radio 1 show Here & Now premiered and featured Quique’s first single of the album “Presa Fácil” as the SONG OF THE WEEK. Following the release, Quique completed a National tour in late spring 2014 and appeared at festivals throughout the summer.
500 Years of Nightwon the 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for World Solo Artistof the Year and the 2015 JUNO Award for World Music Album of the Year.
Fri Aug 14, 4:15 PM Shade Stage: Ladies First WORKSHOP
Sat Aug 15, 11:00 AM Blues Stage Kat’s Kradle WORKSHOP
Sat Aug 15, 3:00 PM Blues Stage Rockin’ With the Highliners WORKSHOP
Kat Danser’s music navigates a paddle steamer from the muddy banks of the Mississippi Delta downriver toward a big ol’ full moon over New Orleans. Dubbed ‘Queen of the Swamp Blues’, this Edmonton-based guitar slinger, songsmith, and blazing vocalist channels the spirit of roots, blues and gospel music pioneers.
Her fourth album, ‘Baptized by the Mud’, is a collaboration between Danser and Juno-award winning producer Steve Dawson. The recording addresses the dichotomy of ‘church-blues’: blues music as devilish and church music as angelic. This sub-genre demonstrates that human truth and the divine are one in the same – “one is preached from behind the pulpit and the other from behind the plow”.
This CD (distributed by Outside Music) is the summation of years of study, mentorship, and songwriting with legendary blues icons in Mississippi- birthplace of the blues- and her graduate studies at the U of A, where Danser focused her Masters thesis on the representation of blues music over the past century.
A national touring and award-winning artist, Danser has performed at the 25th Anniversary of Canadian Women in Blues at Massey Hall in Toronto, the Calgary International Blues Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Calgary Folk Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival, Folk on the Rocks Festival in Yellowknife, Regina Folk Festival, Saskatoon Blues Festival, Lethbridge Jazz Festival, Vancouver Island MusicFest, The Winspear Centre’s ‘Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts’, Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, Harmony Bazaar Festival, Mountainview Music Festival, Islands Music Festival and the Winter Roots & Blues Festival.
Media reviews and interviews have occurred with CBC Radio, Global TV, Halifax Chronicle, FYI Music, Vancouver Georgia Straight, Edmonton Journal, CKUA Radio, Winnipeg Free Press, CTV, Edmonton Sun, Toronto Blues Society, Blues Matters!, Penguin Eggs; with highlights being featured by CTV’s Alberta Primetime, co-hosting an edition of Natch’l Blues on CKUA with Holger Petersen, Penguin Eggs and completing a short documentary film entitled Rails & Rivers: Searching for the Heart of the Blues.
Her accolades of late have been many. Danser recently won the Ambassador of the Blues Award (Blues Underground Network), International Blues Competition Semi-Finalist Best Independent Blues Album, Top 5 Albums of 2014 (Blues Underground Network), her third Western Canadian Music Award – Spiritual Recording of the Year nomination, Top 11 Albums of 2013 (CBC Radio) and The Maple Blues Award – Best New Artist of the Year nomination.
Danser is also a nationally award winning scholar and has presented at conferences throughout North America. She holds a Masters in Musicology from the University of Alberta and has completed her PhD coursework toward a full doctorate in Musicology specializing in blues and roots music in the American South.
She combines her performance and education skills to assist community building through the arts. Toward that end, Danser is the Artist in Residence at the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts (Calgary), facilitates music and healing at the U-School Program for Marginalized Youth, Foothills Youth Psychiatric School, and instructs her own Music Education Program from elementary schools to adult instructional camps. Danser’s primary goal is to use music as a space for personal exploration and as a method to strengthen community.
The Hearts use a heart-on-sleeve framework of roots and indie-pop to construct an expansive sonic world. They write songs that wouldn’t sound out of place in 1971, at the birth of Big Star and the New York Dolls among the wreckage of the Beatles and Gram Parsons–era Byrds, but with a modern sonic distinction, striving for glory and redemption on the AM dial. Melodies, harmonies, and hooks, hooks, hooks abound. CKUA Radio describes their music as “elegant, sophisticated, daring, and brilliantly creative, but more than anything, from the heart.”
Not only has their heir music received international critical acclaim and charted on radio networks across Canada, but some of their songs have been featured in HBO and MTV productions. The Hearts are all accomplished multi-instrumentalists, bringing strong musicianship and a healthy dose of sonic experimentation to their performances, where they trade, layer, interpret and cohere beautifully, mixing some glitter with the grit.
They’ve toured extensively, opened for top acts and performed at a host of internationally renowned festivals. They’re energetic, entertaining and artistic. With their third studio album complete and set for release in 2015, Jeff Stuart and The Hearts are a bright light in the firmament of independent music.
“One of the best albums of the year, a sweeping, silverscreen mix of ’60s psychedelic pop, folk-rock and atmospheric electronica.” (Edmonton Journal)
“A terrific mix of frugal neo-roots charm, fragile indie rock and memorable songs. It’s not an everyday sound/simply impossible to resist or ignore.” (Leicester Bangs Magazine, UK)
“It’s elegant, sophisticated, daring, and brilliantly creative, but more than anything, just as the band’s name suggests, this music is indeed from the heart.” (CKUA Radio Network)
Fri Aug 14, 9:15 PM Boogie Bar-N Rockin’ Highliners Revue
Sat Aug 15, 1:45 PM Shade Stage Portage and Main WORKSHOP
Sat Aug 15, 12:30 PM Blues Stage
Sat Aug 15, 3:00 PM Blues Stage Rockin’ With the Highliners WORKSHOP
Brent Parkin is a veteran of the Winnipeg music scene and has been playing for audiences in Winnipeg and across Canada for well over 40 years. His music is a mix of Chicago style Blues, Swing, Roots music with some Country and Roots Rock and Roll thrown in for good measure. He is comfortable playing with his band whether it be a 3 piece or up to 7 piece, solo or duo.
In the early 70’s he co-founded several popular blues bands including the popular band Houndog in 1976.
In the last 43 years he has been part of the backup bands for such legends as Bo Diddley, Gatemouth Brown, Otis Rush, Billy Boy Arnold, Johnnie Johnson and Jimmy T99 Nelson and many more. As well as opening shows for such greats as James Cotton, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, John Prine just to name a few. A career highlight was sharing the tour bus and stage with BB King and his band as his opening act on a Western Canadian tour in 1983.
Numerous appearances at the Winnipeg Folk Festival also made it possible for Brent to play and share many workshop stages with a lot of great artists over the years. This experience has come in handy when doing shows in schools and such.
Over the years he has appeared on many TV and radio shows. Some of the most memorable were 90 Minutes Live CBC with Peter Gzowski. Jimmy King Presents CTV’s Live at the Warehouse.
Some of the honours that have come Brent’s way over the years include:
1993 Juno Award for his performance on Saturday Night Blues CBC Compilation.
1996 & 1999 Maple Blues Award Nominations
2013 & 2014 Maple Blues Award Nominations for the Blues With A Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement)
2011 Western Canada Music Award Nomination in the Blues Category for Brent Parkin Vintage Rhythm
“One of my favourite musicians is Winnipeg bluesman Brent Parkin. Why? First of all, he’s a rock solid player who says more with less. Tasty solos coupled with soulful singing, but wait, there’s more! Parkin can also craft songs about what’s on people’s minds, a kind of community blues player if you will.”
Fri Aug 14, 9:15 PM Boogie Bar-N Rockin’ Highliners Revue
Sat Aug 15, 11:00 AM Shade Stage Honky Tonkin’ Guess I’ve Done Me Some WORKSHOP
Sat Aug 16, 1:45 PM Blues Stage. Going Down to Rosedale WORKSHOP
Sun Aug 16, 11:00 AM Blues Stage
Sun Aug 16, 2:45 PM Blues Stage Blues Blender WORKSHOP
Revered as one of the top guitar players in Alberta, the reputation Amos Garrett has spent over four decades building spans beyond the geography of the Prairies, reaching into the U.S. and overseas.
Born in Detroit, but raised in Toronto, Garrett moved through piano and trombone lessons, remarking that neither instrument suited him, before finding the guitar at the age of 14. Within a year, Garrett was gigging. “I just sort of took to the guitar – it suited me and I guess I had gotten over my awkward years as a teen. I was getting little jobs playing within a year of picking up the guitar,” remembers Garrett.
Although known world-wide as a jazz and blues cat, Garrett’s eclectic style of playing has allowed him to transcend beyond those genres that lie closest to his heart, rooted in childhood, into country-rock, pop and folk. “Back then, we called everything rock ‘n’ roll. We didn’t call stuff blues, rhythm and blues, rockabilly – it was all rock ‘n’ roll to us,” reflects Garrett. He remembers 1954 as being “the year rock arrived,” catapulting artists such as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and T. Bone Walker into a world that would never forget them. By the time he had reached college age, Garrett began learning about early acoustic Delta blues players from the 1930s such as Robert Johnson and Leadbelly.
While Garrett was hard at work developing his own sound and playing in bar bands in the Toronto area, including the Dirty Shames (which also included Chick Roberts, Jim McCarthy and Carol Robinson), the acoustic folk duo known as Ian and Sylvia Tyson were conjuring up a new sound of their own. “My first break and ticket to the U.S. was courtesy of Ian and Sylvia Tyson,” says Garrett.
The Tysons went to work with Garrett, taking their new band, Great Speckled Bird, and their new sound, hard-hitting country-rock, off to Nashville to record and spend the next two years touring. During this time, Garrett was rapidly developing his own technique: a method of bending more than one string at a time, which he teaches to students and through online lessons to this day. This innovation gave Garrett the ability to sound like a pedal-steel guitarist at times, while remaining rooted as a jazz player. “Amos does that multi-note string bend like no one else…. You can put on a disc with a dozen world-renowned studio guys and pick his solos out no problem. Totally unique,” remarks contemporary Calgary bluesman, Tim Williams.
Garrett had become a skilled guitar player, one who could be picked up as a hired gun by any type of band and hold the music up. He spent the next number of years moving up through the guitar ranks and contributing his legacy to music history. He teamed up with folk artists Geoff and Maria Muldaur, played guitar in virtuoso harmonica player Paul Butterfield’s band Better Days, later on reunited with a now-divorced Maria Muldaur as her guitar player and band leader (Garrett was the player who performed the famed guitar solo in Maria Muldaur’s 1974 hit, “Midnight at the Oasis”) before finally making the decision to part with Muldaur some ten years later to go out on his own.
“I wanted to sing. I loved to sing, but there was no way I could do so being a hired gun for bands,” says Garrett, who has enjoyed a full life-spanning career both on his own as well as sharing the stage with other renowned artists such as Stevie Wonder, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and Anne Murray (with whom he recorded her first five albums). Over the years, Garrett has recorded with over 150 artists.
Edmonton’s Holger Petersen of Stoney Plain Records has been Garrett’s manager since 1980. Garrett describes Petersen as “the patron saint of roots music in this country.” When asked what it’s been like to represent Garrett over the last 30 years, Petersen responds, “It’s been an honour and an education for me. Amos gave me, a relative newcomer to the music industry, a chance to represent him internationally and be a part of his musical circle. I’m very proud that we’ve worked together for so long.”
These days, Garrett, who relocated to Alberta in 1989, keeps busy with three bands: his acoustic act, blues band and jazz trio. The Amos Garrett Jazz Trio is the band Garrett is the busiest with, gigging on a regular basis and looking forward to recording over the next few months. “It’s nice to record things before performing too much and letting things get stale,” says Garrett, who likes the idea of live recording at gigs, letting the genre of jazz shine through its improvisational characteristics. At this point, there’s not much Garrett hasn’t accomplished, at least in the music sense. “I’d like to keep walking on this side of the grass…and I’d like to catch an Atlantic salmon twenty pounds or bigger,” muses the guitar guru. Whether or not he accomplishes this goal, Amos Garrett can look back on a musical journey well travelled, proof that hard work and persistence pay off.
Sun Aug 16, 2:00 PM Boogie Bar-N Stage Steal Our Hearts WORKSHOP
Sun Aug 16, 9:15 PM Boogie Bar-N Stage
In this increasingly virtual world of ours, what makes music authentic? For some, songs are no more than tiny sentimental decompressions. But others treat music as an extension of their roots, a mirror of their travels and relationships, and a testament to both their craft and passion.
For The Ballroom Thieves, the band’s journey has only just begun, but their roots already run quite deep. Now, on A Wolf in the Doorway the Thieves find themselves taking the very idea of “roots” and creating ways to make its associated sound progress, while making its encompassing spirit glow. Stylistically, the trio finds a captivating mélange of acoustic styles, blending folk conventions with modern hymnals, delta blues grit with rich harmonies, exploring the basic constructions of pop music while almost wholeheartedly rejecting its restrictions at the same time. “Our own personal growth and explorations in songwriting and musicianship caused us to end up in this unique spot where we can generally feel free to be who we are at all times, which is sadly not a luxury enjoyed by all,” says guitarist Martin Earley. “I think we have a certain sound at the moment, but that sound is constantly evolving, and I hope it keeps doing that.”
Perhaps it is a blessing, but the band has a certain awareness and interest in all of its surroundings that equates to a form of musical intelligence. See them live and this becomes tremendously clear. They are a product of their community. They wager it all with every song and every performance. They study those with whom they share the stage. They feed off of the spirit of their audience. They grow from each other.
“This was a huge transition year for us in that regard and I think we are stronger than ever,” says percussionist Devin Mauch. “When money is tough, the road is snow covered, ticket sales aren’t ideal, food is repetitive, or relationships back home are struggling, that’s when you have to be able to turn to your two bandmates and relate to one another on a higher level than others can really understand. We’ve become a pretty solid and supportive unit, so I think we’ve armed ourselves to take on just about anything.”
A year of transition it was, but with new challenges came fresh inspiration. Cellist Calin Peters joined the band in September of 2013, after Mauch and Earley had been playing with a different cellist for almost two years. Peters’ immersion into the Thieves was almost freakishly natural, with the band soon after discovering ways to add additional brawn to their sound. For Earley, this meant falling slightly in love with an old Gretsch hollow body and spending countless hours studying its sound, experimenting with different ways to make it sing. For Peters, transitioning into a vocalist was a baptism by fire, but as a performer, the ultimate growing experience. “I was terrified to try singing lead, although I always loved creating harmonies,” she says. “For a while, even knowing I’d have to sing alone into a mic during soundcheck sent me into a day long panic about that one short, unimportant moment. But the most frustrating and challenging times for this band are also the most rewarding.”
The band is now equipped with twelve new originals that make up their first full-length album, A Wolf in the Doorway. The work as a whole reflects the new dynamic, and the excitement that managed to pull all of these songs together in a matter of months. Harmonies take shotgun on the record, lending splendid crescendos to songs like “Saint Monica” and “Lantern,” raising them from a rather subdued nature and enriching their lyrical sentiments. Peters’ lead vocals on “Bury Me Smiling” are a standout on the album, stirring in fragile melodies and a change of pace to the record. Earley’s lead vocals at times climax to throaty wails on more gravelly tunes like “Oars to the Sea” or the final track, “Wolf.” And the backbone for such experimentation comes from the distinct percussion work of Mauch, who continually seeks to expand the repertoire of sounds from what little of a setup he brings on the road.
“It bears mentioning that Dev invented his particular style of drumming in his college days and, just as you might expect, that kind of thing comes with somewhat of a learning curve,” says Thieves co-founder Earley. “He’s constantly exploring the limits of what he can do with his setup and adding to it in the process, and that creative energy definitely contributed to the path we’re on.” It brings to mind the early days of The Ballroom Thieves, which really weren’t all that long ago. Limited to just a dorm room, an acoustic guitar, and a djembe, Earley and Mauch first began making music together in 2010 while attending college just south of Boston. The minimalism of these early jam sessions continues to permeate in the purity of the band’s recent music, while songwriting has only grown in complexity. But the content of these songs isn’t just a product of “practice makes perfect.” All three of the Thieves are quick to point out that the foundation of their latest work is a reflection of their travels, their interactions, and their time on the road. The band has shared the stage with bands like The Lone Bellow, Houndmouth, and fellow New Englanders Dispatch over the last couple of years. Playing in front of six and playing in front of six hundred both happen with regularity, presenting their own sets of challenges and rewards. Of course, one of the greatest takeaways is the shared experience with any audience, and the creative fuel that it continues to produce.
“The experiences we have with friends, fans, and strangers when we perform is what keeps me wanting to explore this art form further and discover all that it has to offer,” says Earley. “Simple human connection is a beautiful thing and I’m very grateful to be playing music that allows me to experience such feelings on a regular basis.” For The Ballroom Thieves, this family tree has only just begun to bloom, but its roots give the trio a strong and solid structure from which to continue to build. A Wolf in the Doorway documents this growth in the most authentic way, sending any listener off with a heavier heart and a purer soul than when they arrived.
Magpie Ulysses is a dynamic performance poet and storyteller known for charming and slaying her audiences with intense stage presence and thoughtful insight about humanity. Her “confessional poems hit hard and take the reader through intense visceral terrain, but never wallow” (Robert Priest, NOW magazine).
Magpie began performing poems in 1997 in Calgary, Alberta. Since then, she has performed across North America at hundreds of venues, is a veteran of the Vancouver poetry slam, where she was a member of two national champion Vancouver poetry slam teams and was recently named a Poet of Honour at the Canadian festival Of Spoken Word In the Fall of 2012.
So much of her work surrounds the things we don’t say. She speaks on the topics of history, science, love, exploration, abuse, addictions, environmentalism, human triumph, sacrifice and struggle.
James can be seen performing in urban centers and tiny rural nooks. He has performed in art spaces, established venues, yoga studios, strangers houses, on festival stages and the Via rail lounge car.
Having spent nearly ten years touring as both a side man for various Canadian songwriters and in support of his own releases while living between Vancouver, Montreal and Hazelton, James has recently returned to his home town in Nelson BC. He is respected and loved by numerous musicians in Nelson and across the country for his dynamic guitar work, tenor voice & well crafted songs.
In 2009, James won the first Island Mountain Arts Songwriting competition with his song, Shot Down The Tracks. In 2013, he received three KMA award nominations for his third independent recording “Imagineering”. The record was well received by peers and longtime fans, Edmonton’s Argue Job called it: ”Calculated, expertly paced, and infused with the almost human voice of perfectly placed strings, the record is a smooth drive through the wooded wild of Canada”
His live presentation can haunt a room with thoughtful joy and his commanding stage presence has been known to plunge even the noisiest bar goers into mesmerized silence.
Sat Aug 15, 1:45 PM Shade Stage Portage and Main WORKSHOP
Sun Aug 16 11:00 AM Boogie Bar-N Stage Breakfast Wrap WORKSHOP
Sun Aug 16, 12:00 PM Shade Stage Positively Fourth Stage WORKSHOP
Sun Aug 16, 2:20 PM Shade Stage
The Small Glories are a brand new musical union between folk/roots artists Cara Luft and JD Edwards. Based in Winnipeg, a city well-known for its long history of remarkable musical talent, the duo is already creating a buzz, with fans and promoters eager to hear the recorded result of their collaboration. June 2014 saw them head into the studio with producer Neil Osborne, recording an album’s worth of original and traditional material, with a focus on their dynamic and powerful vocal blend and harmonies.
What started as a casual friendship has turned into something quite unexpected and extremely magical, all thanks to the artistic director of one of Western Canada’s premiere live music venues, Winnipeg’s West End Cultural Centre. JD and Cara were partnered together for the venue’s 25th anniversary concert in October 2012, and they stole the show. Alas with busy tour schedules and side projects, thoughts of pursuing anything further were put on hold until January 2014, when Cara asked JD to join her on a winter tour. The two received such intense praise from presenters and fans alike that they decided it was time to take the plunge. Their abilities as both strong lead and harmony singers, their shared history of growing up singing in musical families, combined with their songwriting prowess and musical chops all contribute to the uniqueness of this partnership.
Both Cara and JD are no strangers to the Canadian and international music scene. Juno award winnerCara Luft deserves her solid reputation as one of Canada’s finest live performers and acoustic guitar players, whose engaging, down-home style comes wrapped in a warm and delicious sense of humour. A co-founder of folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys, Cara was the spark behind the group. Her spirit and innate musicianship were instrumental in their rise to the forefront of the North American roots music scene. Since leaving the trio, Luft has wowed audiences and critics across North America and Europe with her performances. Reviewers fall over themselves in praising her original material, her distinctiveness and daring mix of styles, her execution and her eclectic approach drawing on folk, roots and rock. Her albums and live shows make listeners wish they had practiced guitar more. Cara’s the real deal, there’s nothing pretentious about her. And that sense of honesty, integrity, personality and spontaneity permeates both her music and her live shows.
JD Edwards has a voice that defies categorization, one that easily ranges from gentle and melodic to fierce and powerful, leaving listeners begging for more. He is truly one of the finest singers of his time. Mix that with honest, passionate songwriting and it’s easy to see why JD is an enchanting musical powerhouse. To attempt to cage JD’s style in a singular genre would result in frustration for any music aficionado. With his 6-piece JD Edwards Band, listeners are enrobed in a concoction of country, blues, R & B and soul, with a healthy dose of good ‘ol rock and roll. In the musical collective Dry Bones (with Leonard Podolak of The Duhks, Nathan Rogers and Gilles Fournier), JD sings old-time, Americana and original tunes as though they were his birthright. Tack on his energetic live performances and it’s impossible to resist a personal connection with JD’s contagious optimism and love for his craft.
Together as the Small Glories, Luft and Edwards are a tour de force, ready to take the music world by storm.
If you were to give country music an address, you might say it’s at the corner of sacred and profane, two doors up from the blues and folk, and just across the street from gospel, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll. And on a deeper emotional and spiritual level, it resides where Saturday night meets Sunday morning.
No one understands these coordinates better than Marty Stuart. For over forty years, the five-time Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, photographer and historian has been building a rich legacy at this very crossroads. On his latest release with his band The Fabulous Superlatives, the double-disc Saturday Night & Sunday Morning, Stuart captures all the authentic neon and stained-glass hues of country music – from love and sex to heartache and hardship to family and God – in twenty-three tracks.
“I’ve always thought that country music had a really unique relationship with gospel music,” Stuart says. “It is interesting to me that country stars can sing drinking and cheating songs authentically, then at some point during the evening or the broadcast, take their hats off and say, ‘Friends, here’s our gospel song.’ If it’s the right messenger it seamlessly flows. That’s a time-honored tradition, from Jimmie Rodgers to Hank Williams to Johnny Cash. Rogue prophets and rogue preachers. That is my world.
“Another part of my world, while growing up in Mississippi, was listening to our local radio station, WHOC. ‘One thousands watts of pure pleasure.’ In the morning, they signed on with country music and farm reports. At noon they played gospel music for an hour. Then afternoon was rock ‘n’ roll and top 40. Late afternoon was soul. And they signed off with easy
listening. I thought everybody’s radio station was like that. It was kind of a reflection of how Mississippi is. The birthplace of America’s music. The church house is the common denominator, and every form of music has a touch of the blues. So I come from that perspective. Traditional country touched me the deepest, but all of these other styles were relevant to me. It felt like just another day at the office.”
That day at the office on Saturday Night and Sunday Morning offers a rousing blend of Stuart originals, classic covers and traditional hymns and that throw their arms around the whole history of not only country but modern American music. Kicking off with the revved-up rockabilly rush of “Jailhouse” and “Geraldine,” disc one winds through Stuart’s grand “When It Comes To Loving You” and the honky tonker “Talking To The Wall” through deeply soulful covers of Charlie Rich’s “Life Has Its Little Ups And Downs” and George Jones’ “Old Old House” before wrapping up with the positively frantic blues rocket ride of “Streamline.” Disc two trades sawdust for sermons, and goes right to the river with the gorgeous “Uncloudy Day,” featuring not only the legendary Mavis Staples on lead vocals, but Marty playing a guitar that the Staples family bequeathed him that once belonged to Pops Staples. The Fabulous Superlatives shine with their celebratory group harmony singing on standouts like “That Gospel Music,” “Angels Rock Me To Sleep” and “Mercy #1,” while uptempo rockers like “Keep On the Firing Line” and “Good News” build the service to a big hands-to-heaven call and response finish with “Cathedral,” featuring the mighty soul shouts of Pastor Evelyn Hubbard.
“There are a few twists and turns in the record,” Stuart says with a smile, “so I hope it all feels like it’s part of the same thing. As a band, that’s where we are. It’s natural.”
Born in the small town of Philadelphia, Mississippi, Marty Stuart caught the music bug early, displaying prodigious talent on every stringed instrument he picked up. At an age when most kids are running bases in little league, 13-year old Stuart was logging cross-country interstate miles as a mandolinist with the legendary Lester Flatt’s road band. In his twenties, Stuart toured with Johnny Cash, and also played with other legends such as Bill Monroe, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. By the late 1980s, Stuart was a solo artist, rising faster than mercury in the heat of a hillbilly fever. But amidst the hits and hoopla, the bright lights eventually revealed a deeper truth.
“I had such a great run, playing butt-wigglin’ songs in coliseums, and it was just wearing thin,” he admits. “I remember spinning around one day at Foxwoods, up in Massachusetts, there was a full house, the band was really loud, we were doing good, the crowd was screaming and hollering, and I thought, ‘I am not enjoying this music.’ And then I told myself, ‘Well get back to enjoying it, because you’re on top of the world right now. Platinum records, Grammys, it was all coming. But I did not like the way my legacy was shaping up. So I took the better part of a year to unwind it. Another issue that fueled that decision was that radio was starting to cool on my records. I was beginning to chase after hits, and it was tearing me apart. I had one record left on my contract with MCA, and I vowed to get back to the music I’ve always loved the most, and let my heart be the chart.’”
To get some clarity, Stuart consulted his friend and mentor, Johnny Cash. “I went to his house and said, ‘J.R., I’ve got a record in my mind called The Pilgrim. I laid it out to him, and he said, ‘Well, just know you’re stepping up for rejection. Potentially.’ I said, ‘I understand, but I’ve got to do this.’ He said, ‘If you’ve got to do it, that’s all the reason you need.’ So I made the record. It was a great critical success, and it was a line-in-the-dirt artistic moment of reconnecting with my true self, a piece of myself that I had hidden away years before, to go exploring. From that moment forward, I realized that there’s a different way to live a life as a musical citizen.”
Stuart knew he didn’t want to travel this new path alone, so he recruited fellow musical missionaries Kenny Vaughan, Harry Stinson and Paul Martin.
“From the Superlatives’ first rehearsal, I knew this was the band of a lifetime,” Stuart says. “I knew this was my Buckaroos, my Strangers, my Texas Troubadours – my legacy band. Kenny Vaughan, Harry Stinson and Paul Martin are not only musical geniuses, but statesmen. The Fabulous Superlatives are without question one of the greatest bands of our time. We have played ourselves out of the woods and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is one of those milestone projects in the band’s legacy that truly brings the spunk and fire of the bandstand to the studio. The other person that should be mentioned is the invisible Superlative, Mick Conley. His engineering brings a touch of class and a spark to our music that any band would long for. We are a much better band because of Mick’s presence.”
With acclaimed albums like Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions and Souls’ Chapel, as well as The Marty Stuart Show, a musical variety program on RFD-TV, Stuart says “I’ve found my place to drive a stake in the dirt, and proclaim, this is what I believe in.”
“I think traditional country music should be regarded alongside jazz and ballet and classical music in the pantheon of the arts,” he says. “I thought, ‘As a band, that’s our mission. Putting our arms around what’s left of the culture. Making sure the old timers get loved on and shown dignity.’ And then it became, let’s show young musicians that traditional country music
is alive and well. The message is, C’mon, over here and play it if it’s in your heart. RFD-TV gave me a stage and a broadcast to put country music and Saturday night back together. Those two entities were made for each other. We’ve just finished our 156th episode of The Marty Stuart Show. It’s been pure magic.”
August 14, 15 and 16th 2015 Salmon Arm Roots and Blues festival member early bird tickets go online December 1st!
CHILDREN 12 & UNDER ARE FREE and MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A PARENT.
Weekend Passes include Fri. to Sun. (all day plus evening)
Day Tickets include all day and evening
Evening Tickets are only available at the gate after 5:00 pm Sat. and Sun. and are subject to availability
Youth: 13- 19 (Full time students from the age of 20 to 25. Must provide a valid student ID)
Senior 65 + may also be asked for valid ID at the gate.
Tickets will also be available at the gate for purchase at gate prices effective August 9th, 2014.
If you would like your tickets mailed NOTE* Select the mailing option on purchase page.
* NO REFUNDS OR EXCHANGES (line-up subject to change)
Early Bird Member Prices in effect December the 1st, 2014 until February 27th 2015 or until a maximum of 100 are sold. You must purchase a $12 membership for the member pricing, Up to a limit of 4 tickets per membership. Adults Early Bird Member $119, Student 13 to 19 up to 25 with STUDENT ID $85, Senior 65+ $97 for a 3 day weekend pass!
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American-born, Canadian by choice, actor and blues musician Jim Byrnes
Jim Byrnes pt 2: Talks
may be best known for playing ‘Lifeguard’ on the CBS series
Wiseguy (1987-1990), and Joe Dawson in the syndicated series
A handsome man, often bearded, Byrnes lost both his legs when, while helping push a stalled truck on a highway, he was hit from behind by a car.
After recuperating, he pursued work as a musician, and it’s the music that has had the most serious impact on his life- filling his need to be constantly creative.
Born and raised in St Louis, Jim grew up on the city’s north side. Starting piano at age five, by thirteen he was singing and playing blues guitar.
Jim Byrnes – One life
One of the neighbourhood bars had Ike and Tina Turner as the house band. As a teenager going to music clubs, he and his buddy were often the only white people in the place.
Over the years, he has had the good fortune to appear with a virtual ‘who’s who’ of the blues- from Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker to Taj Mahal and Robert Cray.
Byrnes moved to Vancouver, BC in the mid-70s after years of drifting, working odd jobs and playing music. In 1981 he formed the blues group, The Jim Byrnes Band, and began playing dates throughout Canada.
“We never had any problems. We were too naïve, and had too much respect for the music and culture – they knew it, they could tell.”
Starting piano at age five, by thirteen he was singing and playing blues guitar.
Jim Byrnes – Just a Pilgrim
Jim Byrnes – Love is Just a Gamble.wmv
The band released three albums: Burnin‘ In 1981, followed by I Turned My Days Into Nights in 1987 and 1995’s Juno-Award winning That River.
Jim Byrnes – That River
In 2004 Jim hooked up with Steve Dawson, one of North America’s most critically acclaimed roots music producers.
Together they created five outstanding albums: 2004’s
Fresh Horses, 2006’s Juno Award winning House Of Refuge, 2009’s
My Walking Stick, 2010’s
Everywhere West I Hear The Wind In The Wires, a salute to Jim’s origins and influences, and 2012’s, an album of songs from the golden age of country music.Jim and Steve were back at it again in 2014 with St. Louis Times Byrnes’ most personal record to date.
Jim Byrnes – 12 Questions
Reminiscences of his childhood home of St. Louis are expressed through original compositions as well as versions of songs he grew up with that were recorded by St. Louis musicians.
Jim Byrnes – I Need A Change
By revisiting songs associated with Chuck Berry, Stump Johnson, Little Milton, Peetie Wheatstraw and more, Jim Byrnes shares an intimate musical journey through a world that has passed by.
Although the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis and ten years of partnership with Steve Dawson may have been the original motivation for recording St. Louis Times, the sheer joy you can hear in the music is the real reason to celebrate.
Jim Byrnes & Lindsay Mitchell Live at Massey House
Jim Byrnes is a living musical treasure and St. Louis Times is his best record yet, and that’s saying something.
Are you looking for a memorable summer experience?
Sat Aug 16, 12:10 PM Boogie Bar-N Workshop, ‘Riding the Rhythms, Grabbing the Grooves’
Sat Aug16, 3:20 PM Family Stage Workshop, ‘Repercussions, (Roy)
Chorus-driven anti-folk, the duo of Jon and Roy continue to roll. With four critically-acclaimed roots albums, the group is proud to share their fifth addition By My Side. Featuring warm and genuine song writing, Jon and Roy combine Bob Dylan-like authenticity with Lumineer-esq heart-swelling stomp-and-clap acoustic rock. The exact moment where instinct triumphs — that is one thing that never loses its impact over time, and that is something both singer-guitarist Jon Middleton and drummer Roy Vizer readily agree upon.
Neither can recall exactly when or where they started playing music together, but they distinctly remember it was very soon after meeting. The symmetry was there from the start: Middleton’s gently wavering voice, powerful in spots but never enough to overshadow his expressive guitar playing; Vizer’s inventive, expressive percussion, delivered in a way that meshed perfectly with its elements. To date, Jon and Roy have played hundreds of shows in clubs, theatres and festivals — both at home in Canada, through the U.S. and overseas in the UK — and have seen their music placed in everything from MTV, HBO and NBC programs to spots for Scotiabank, Volkswagen, Telus and more.
By My Side, the band’s fifth album, adds to Jon and Roy’s well-documented reputation. Fans and critics have praised 2005’s Sittin’ Back, 2008’s Another Noon, 2010’s Homes, and 2012’s Let it Go, the latter of which earned Jon and Roy a Western Canadian Music Award for Best Roots Recording. The new recordings came about by way of regular jams at Vizer’s house. Middleton brought a banjo and his newly-acquired 1950s Gibson acoustic into the fold, while Vizer used his new, custom Gretsch kit. The end result, which features contributions from bassist Louis Sadava and backing vocals from Carmanah’s Laura Mitic, charts a new path for the group, while the core tenets of Jon and Roy remain evident.
With a commitment to encouraging up and coming talent, Roots & Blues announces three fresh and original acts who are creating real buzz in the music industry. Coming to the 2014 Festival:
Good For Grapes
Formed after a busking trip to Victoria in 2010 Good for Grapes, the Vancouver based indie-folk act, has been dazzling audiences and gaining momentum ever since.
Good For Grapes – London Fog (Official Music Video)
With their energetic stage presence, busting rhythms and tight harmonies, this young (just out of high school) band has captured the attention of the Canadian music industry and fans alike. Their humble beginnings playing in support of charity events and foundations has garnered them a varied, loyal and enthusiastic fan base that grows with every turn.
Good for Grapes have come a long way since winning their first battle of the bands. Last year the band digitally released their album Man on the Page under the Toronto based label Pheromone Recordings. The album was produced by Colin Stewart (Yukon Blonde, Dan Mangan) and was recorded at Hive Studios in Vancouver, BC.
Good For Grapes – Renminbi Tips (Official Music Video)
Oh My Darling
Individually, they are known as some of the hottest players on the Canadian roots scene, collectively they are known as the strikingly original quartet Oh My Darling.
Oh My Darling – Live in Holland 2012
In the four years since the wintery Winnipeg jam session that started the journey, Oh My Darling has released three critically acclaimed albums and is touring ceaselessly through Canada, Europe and the US, including a recent debut at New York City’s Living Room.
They have earned opening spots for Blue Rodeo, Tegan & Sara, and have shared the stage in collaboration with artists such as Adam Cohen, Tim O’Brien, Dirk Powell, Le Vent du Nord, and many other musical friends.
Oh My Darling live 2011- Anna K
Oh My Darling and their dazzling solos, soaring vocals and unique grooves can be heard regularly on CBC Radio and Radio Canada. They have received rave reviews for their recordings and performances, and have had three albums nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award.
Oh My Darling: Love Me Love Me Not HD
One of the most dynamic groups to hit the Jamaican music scene, Raging Fyah has a sound likened to legendary artists such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Third World. Since the “Fyah” was ignited in 2006 in Kingston, Jamaica, these five talented musicians have set out to rekindle a flame of positivity in the music industry.
With the release of their first album “Judgement Day” they have gained recognition locally and internationally. With a new album about to drop this year, Raging Fyah is committed to changing the world, note by note, melody by melody, spreading light in areas of darkness, growing when conditions seem most bleak, and demolishing obstacles without remorse.
Raging Fyah – Nah Look Back
[Official Video 2013]
Raging Fyah – Running Away
With their authentic, soul-filled, roots rock reggae sound, Raging Fyah will no doubt be a powerful player in the long awaited reggae renaissance. Says the band,”We will keep blazing…like a RAGING FYAH!”
RAGING FYAH – IRIE VIBE – OFFICIAL VIDEO
Catch Good For Grapes, Oh My Darling, Raging Fyah and many more of the best and brightest at the 22nd Annual Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival, August 15 – 17, 2014.
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Sue & Al Bates have been making music for a sweet long time. Sue Kyle on banjo, tin whistle vocals and dance calls and Alan Bates on guitar and vocals. The group originally came together through working and playing with the old horse-drawn Caravan Stage Company. Their music is an eclectic brew of acoustic styles ranging from Celtic jigs through cowboy swing and choice selections of contemporary folk songwriting.
LEON REDBONE is a singer and guitarist specializing in interpretations of early 20th-century music, including jazz and blues standards and Tin Pan Alley classics.
Recognized for his trademark Panama hat, dark sunglasses, and bow tie, Redbone first appeared on stage in Toronto, Canada in the mid-1970s.
Redbone has released approximately fifteen albums and earned a sizable cult following. His concerts blend performance, comedy, and skilled instrumentals. Recurrent gags involve the influence of alcohol and claiming to have written works originating well before his time. He sang the theme to the television series Mr. Belvedere.
While living in Canada in the early 1970s, Redbone began performing in public at Toronto area nightclubs and folk music festivals. At one point, it was rumored that he was actually comedian Andy Kaufman, who sometimes took on other identities, or singer/guitarist Frank Zappa, who somewhat resembled Redbone. However, Redbone has performed since the deaths of Kaufman and Zappa, and the rumors have subsided.
In 1974, Rolling Stone magazine ran a feature article on Redbone, a year before he had a recording contract. The article described his performances as ‘so authentic you can hear the surface noise [of an old 78 rpm].’ His first album, On the Track, was released by Warner Bros. Records in 1975.
He was introduced to a larger public as a semi-regular musical guest on NBC’s Saturday Night Live throughout the late 1970s and into the 1980s. During the 1980s-’90s Redbone was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Redbone usually dresses in attire reminiscent of the Vaudeville era, performing wearing a Panama hat with a black band, dark sunglasses, white suit and black string tie, often while sitting at attention on a stool.
Redbone survived the crash of a small plane in Clarksburg, West Virginia on February 12, 1979. He travels to engagements exclusively by car, saying, ‘I carry around many unusual items and devices. They make life difficult for airport security personnel and flying impossible for me.’
With a timeless code of her ever-growing musical design, Tanika Charles creates music that gets inside you and stays there, stirring a response that just feels good. There lies the haunting, authentic music that many of us have been yearning for.
One part jazz, two parts soul, equal part control with a hint of blues, her sound compliments her character and feels like food for the masses. In the person you find charisma, humour, easy laughter and a continuous flow of creativity; in the artist, you find old school cool and her own unique blend of innovative compositions. Tanika Charles has the sought after ability to paint canvases in which her audience connects and is moved, wrapped in an evolution of layered vocal tones, powerful range and affecting intensity.
She has been singing and writing since childhood. It isn’t until 2007, however, when she comes back to her city of birth, that this soulful songstress finally takes to the stage and quickly wins the heart of many in the process.
Mz Chawls started getting noticed as a back up singer to South African/Canadian recording artist Zaki Ibrahim. She would later go on to tour with Miss Ibrahim and Bedouin Soundclash. Back to Toronto, soon enough Mz. Chawls would be asked to open for international acts such as: Estelle, Nneka, Mayer Hawthorne, Macy Gray and Kate-Miller Heidke.
In the midst of these remarkable openers, Mz. Chawls effectively established her incontestable status as a powerful solo artist and continued to do what she loves: perform shows of her own, cultivating and connecting with a growing fan base while receiving radiant recognition.
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Sat Aug 16, 12:15 PM Shade Stage Workshop, ‘Pull Up The Covers’
Since the release of The Strumbellas’ eponymous 2009 EP, which was peppered with accolades from Toronto weeklies and prompted a proclamation from the CBC that they are a ‘band to watch’, the six-piece group had been slogging it out, earning their stripes through residencies at legendary Toronto venues The Cameron House and The Dakota Tavern. The band left the proverbial nest in 2012, making new fans with cross-country tours, as well as playing a plethora of festivals including CMW, NXNE, Pop Montreal, Eaglewood and Hillside in Guelph.
The Strumbellas’ 2012 JUNO nominated debut album, My Father And The Hunter, offers a beautiful, harmonious dichotomy between melancholy heartbreak and blow-the- barn-doors-off spunk. The album, produced by Cone McCaslin and recorded at Blue Rodeo’s coveted Woodshed Studio, is the harvest of talented friends, some whisky and a few rounds of euchre. Harmonies, stomps, hollers, claps and gang vocals unabashedly abound as the songs weave compelling stories throughout the entire album.
With their second and latest album, We Still Move On Dance Floors (out in Canada with Six Shooter Records), hopeful lyrics play across the sweeping bluegrass-inspired indie rock music in the single In This Life. Full of handclaps and gang-vocal harmonies, the song stays true to The Strumbellas’ roots, while giving off a feeling that something new is on the horizon.
For their sophomore album, the Lindsay, Ontario band headed to the woods of the pacific north west, settling in at Bear Creek Studio just outside of Seattle to record with Grammy nominated producer, Ryan Hadlock. It seemed a natural progression for the band, whose dark lyrics about death and solitude crop up amongst beautiful lyrical mindscapes of trees and lakes and home.
“The Toronto-based roots rockers prove you don’t need auto tune and synthetic beats to get people’s feet moving on their sophomore album. The Strumbellas hopeful brand of finely crafted indie music – full of handclaps and harmonies – offers an enchanting mix of folk, bluesgrass and country. This one should earn them another JUNO Award nomination. No gimmicks or shameless promos required.” (Chris Lackner / Post Media)
The Strumbellas are: Simon Ward – vocals, acoustic guitar / David Ritter – piano, organ, percussion, vocals / Jeremy Drury – drums, percussion / Isabel Ritchie – violin, viola, vocals / Jon Hembrey – electric guitar, mandolin / Darryl James – bass.
Sat Aug 16, 4:15 PM Boogie Bar-N Workshop, ‘The Blues Had A Baby’
The core of any rock band worth their salt is a deep respect for the fundamentals – a feel that’s redolent of the scare-the-parents, back country, wild juke joint origins – and an abiding drive to carve out one’s own unique territory. The friction between these impulses is where good things happen, and it’s the place San Francisco’s The Stone Foxes – spear headed by brothers Shannon Koehler (drums, harp, vocals) and Spence Koehler (lead guitar, vocals) ) – have resided since their 2008 debut, young men dedicated to keeping rock engaged and succulently alive.
“You do what the song needs you to do. That’s how this band does it,” says Shannon. “Hell, that’s how The Band did it! You can go back to Muddy Waters and further for examples of this. With us, there’s this filter of blues and roots that we’ve created by soaking up that music, and when we write everything gets put through that filter. It comes out as who we are today, but everything we do goes through that filter, this cultural fuzzbox.”
The band’s third record, Small Fires, released in February of 2013, is a cohesive, compelling distillation of all the learning the quartet has been doing on the road the past two years since 2010’s Bears & Bulls, an evolution that harnesses their significant firepower with and wrestle with the idea of conflicts, big and small.
“For sure it’s economically and politically driven, but there are still a few relationship songs in there,” chuckles Shannon. “With earlier albums, we were more concerned with how the music sounded than any underlying themes. This time we took the lyric writing to a new place. I think we’re getting better at defining who we are.” With producer Doug Boehm (Girls, Dr. Dog, The Vines), The Stone Foxes cut 12 songs in 12 days at Los Angeles’ Carriage House, a whirlwind pace that kept things popping in real time, ideas coming fast and furious, bits of lightning captured in whatever bottle was handy.
On this past tour in support of Small Fires the Stone Foxes put action to their politically driven lyrics by teaming up with SuperFood Drive to help raise awareness of hunger and homelessness in each city they visited on tour. According to SuperFood Drive 1 out of 6 people visit a food pantry because they can’t afford to buy food. 50% of these people are children. This same population also tends to suffer from obesity and chronic illness like diabetes and heart disease. At every show the band encouraged fans to bring healthy nutrient filled non-perishable food, and teamed up with a local food bank where the band personally delivered all the food that was collected at the shows.
While working with SuperFood drive the Stone Foxes embarked on a very unique musical collaboration with food bank and food shelter patrons. “The first recording we did at a shelter was a man named Charles who had lived under a freeway”reports Shannon Koehler, “he sang our song about cold nights in the city. After we stopped rolling, he called me over and told me how much the song meant to him. You don’t forget things like that. Goose bumps and watery eyes were the norm at these sessions. At shelters on tour and at home in San Francisco, people who know hard times have sang with us and shared their stories. It’s been an honor to listen. We’re just trying to share their voices.” These special recordings will be released in late November in time for Thanksgiving.
As for right now the Stone Foxes are focused almost solely on writing. “During shows we’ll be trying out some new stuff, “ says Shannon “and then we’ll huddle back in the studio and start cranking the stuff out. We’re really excited about the sound. The rock is raw, blues is the filter. We can’t wait to share it in the new year and get back on the road.” The Stone Foxes are preparing to release a new full length album in 2014.
Sat Aug 16, 12:10 PM Boogie Bar-N WS, Riding the Rhythms…
(Kenya / Canada)
Shad is a critically-acclaimed MC, regarded for his humour, honesty, and intelligence. His fan base graciously received his first two albums, and his third LP, TSOL, continued to pique new levels of international interest.
Born in Kenya to Rwandan parents and relocated to Canada shortly after, Shad has nurtured a broad range of interests and experiences since his formative years, including, of course, a passion for music. After high-school Shad put his nose to the grindstone and wrote his first songs while studying business at Wilfrid Laurier University where he later graduated with a Bachelor’s degree. Sprung from his dorm-room and financed by the 17 500$ winnings from an unsigned talent competition, Shad’s first record When This Is Over was released in July 2005, and was characterized by overt introspection and social awareness. An unadulterated glimpse of young-adulthood, the self-made album bore promise of even greater accomplishments.
When 2007’s The Old Prince was released on Black Box Recordings, critics immediately incorporated Shad into the dialogue among the most well-regarded MCs in North America. The Juno Awards, the most prestigious honor in Canadian music, nominated the album as Rap Recording of The Year. The Old Prince was also named an official contender for the cutting edge Polaris Music Prize in 2008.
His third album, TSOL, continued his thoughtful approach which traverses soulful arrangements with sharp, progressive lyrics. Since its release on Black Box/Decon in 2010, TSOL was named a shortlist nominee for the Polaris Music Prize – Shad’s second consecutive nomination – and won the 2011 Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year.
Between tours and stints in the studio, Shad also completed a Master’s degree in Liberal Studies at Simon Fraser University, graduating with an M.A. in 2011. With a supportive fan base growing around the globe, Shad has been hard at work on his 4th album, hoping to continue to inspire hope and joy while exploring the depths of his wide-ranging ideas and experiences.
Sat Aug 16, 3:00 PM, Focus Stage Workshop, ‘Haven’t We Met’
Sun Aug 17, 11:00 AM Shade Stage
Sun Aug 17, 4:15 PM Focus Stage Workshop, ‘Two Dynamic, Dynamite Duos’
The voice of Rose Cousins is unmistakable.
Originally from Prince Edward Island, she lives in Halifax. She has released three albums We Have Made A Spark (2012), The Send Off (2009) produced by Luke Doucet, and If You Were For Me (2006) produced by CBC in Halifax, as well as singles and recordings in collaboration with artists across Canada, the US, Ireland, Australia and beyond.
Equally unmistakable is the devastating emotions her music evokes. Her songs have appeared in climatic scenes in television shows including Greys Anatomy, Rookie Blue, Heartland, Hope for Wildlife and Drop Dead Diva.
The spirit of collaboration is in everything Cousins does. Her firm roots in two vibrant music communities (Eastern Canada and Boston Massachusetts) fuel her music with an evolving cast of talented fellow artists. At any show, anywhere Cousins travels, recruits from the local music scene appear with her on stage, be they emerging or well known.
She has garnered awards including the JUNO for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year, 2 Canadian Folk Music Awards for Best Contemporary Singer, 6 East Coast Music Awards, 3 Nova Scotia Music Awards, 3 PEI Music Awards, and a Polaris Prize long list nomination. In America, We Have Made A Spark was named to NPR’s Top 10 Americana & Folk Albums of 2012, and recognized by USA Today, Oprah Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Folk Alley, Sirius XM, WFUV, WXPN and other media outlets. In Canada, CBC debuted her short film IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND about the community in Boston where her album We Have Made A Spark was made.
Sun Aug 17, 3:00 PM Focus Stage Workshop, ‘Sunday Afternoon Song Swap’
Sun Aug 17, 11:00 AM Boogie Bar-N Workshop, ‘Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down Or Lookin’ Up’
Rolla Olak grew up in Qualicum Beach, a small island community off the coast of Western Canada. Leaving home at a young age to pursue a career in music, Rolla moved to Toronto to play guitar in a touring band. Extensive touring throughout North America and Japan followed. Returning to Canada, Rolla began exploring the studio and songwriting which led to the recording of his self-titled debut album.
Rolla met up with producer Colin Stewart (Dan Mangan, Cave Singers, Black Mountain) to record his first solo album at The Hive in Vancouver. Full of spacious experimentation and heavy vintage guitar tones, the album was used as the soundtrack to the VICE motorcycle documentary “Doin it Baja”.
Upon moving back to the West Coast, Rolla transformed a shed in his backyard into a recording studio where he recorded “WESTERN HEART”, his 2nd solo album. In the quiet confines of the “Tone Shed”, the band played live as Rolla was inspired by great singer-songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Neil Young. The completed album features eight songs ranging from psychedelic country to classic ‘Crazy Horse’ bar-rock, including a spine-chilling duet with Canadian pop-songstress Louise Burns.
Credited as a songwriter and musician on over a dozen Canadian and UK releases, Rolla Olak continues to play live and record regularly for multiple projects. Rolla is currently booking 2014 summer festivals while working on his 3rd solo album- his most ambitious to date.
Sat Aug 16, 12:10 PM Boogie Bar-N Workshop, ‘Riding the Rhythyms…’
Every once in a while an artist emerges who touches the very soul of an audience.Genevieve Chadwick is such an artist.
She looks like an angel… roars like a lion… and plays guitar like a demon! She’s been likened to the great Janis Joplin… ‘a female John Butler’. In his article at australianstage.com.au, reviewer Lloyd Bradford Syke called her “Australia’s answer to Melissa Etheridge”.
Without doubt, Genevieve is an extraordinary performer who exudes raw energy by the bucket load. She has the power to bring an entire venue to a complete standstill. Her own original brand of Blues and Roots – poignant songs full of rich melodies, sung with a voice that’s confoundingly gravel-like and smooth all at once – has given this singer/songwriter from the NSW South Coast a loyal and ever-growing army of followers.
Genevieve tirelessly toured her popular debut album ‘Riding the Wind, Forgetting Time’, captivating audiences all over Australia and winning her appearances at many major music festivals. She also scored opening slots for some of the country’s top acts and in 2013 won the People’s Choice Award at the Telstra Road to Discovery Finals in Tamworth.
In a breakthrough year, Genevieve was also selected as one of only three Australian artists to become part of the global Playing For Change music project, which in turn saw her play Bluesfest at Byron Bay and and support Joan Armatrading and Ben Caplin on their Australian sideshows.
She has signed a new record deal and consequently, her much-anticipated second album will be produced by The Hit Factory’s Grammy award-winner Mark Johnson (Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Taj Mahal, Rickie Lee Jones, Keb’ Mo’, etc.).
On stage, she inevitably lives up to her reputation for giving her all. Offstage, her talent is equalled only by her humility. There’s no doubt she’s already made her mark, but that mark is about to get a whole lot bigger.
The future holds great promise and if anyone can deliver on that, it’s Genevieve Chadwick.
Regardless of the answer Bellstop, is definitely something raw and original and true. Runar and Elin have been together for years, living a life full of adventure and risk – traveling around the world seeking freedom from within – and it all comes out in their music.
It’s been an interesting journey, from playing a full show for an audience of one to playing impromptu shows in front of thousands, and all points in between; playing in a Chinese shampoo commercial is just another gig for Bellstop. Well, they do have good hair.
From China back to Iceland – In fall 2010 the two began loving and living and playing in Reykjavik, working on their album ‘Karma’ which came out in June 2013. Karma tells the story of Runar and Elin’s life for the past 3 years.
Nothing is held back, it’s all there. Just listen carefully. Bellstop is a band, it’s a couple of capital ‘I” individuals, it’s a carnival ride from Iceland. It doesn’t belong in a box…for now let’s call it Folk&Roll!
The Sheepdogs built their name on hard work and determination. Having funded their first three albums and early years of touring on their own, this rock and roll band’s momentum began to build exponentially with the release of the 2010 album, Learn & Burn (which is now certified platinum in Canada). The band would go on to win three 2012 JUNO Awards: New Group of the Year, Single of the Year and Rock Album of the Year. With a list of accolades this impressive the band is on the brink of engaging fans on a wider scale.
“The Sheepdogs,” the self-titled album produced by The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney and Austin Scaggs released in 2012, introduced the band to the U.S. and beyond. The album earned the band three more JUNO nominations for Best Album, Best Single, and Best Group and was certified gold in Canada in 2013.
Hailing from Saskatoon, SK, The Sheepdogs won an international competition in 2011 securing them the cover of Rolling Stone, making the group the first unsigned band to appear on its front page. The win, decided by 1.5 million public votes, also scored them a record deal with Atlantic, which offered up a new EP from the band, Five Easy Pieces, in August 2011.
After the band was introduced to Carney at Petty Fest in New York following the contest, he immediately began offering ideas for The Sheepdogs next album (“He seemed strangely passionate about it,” Currie notes). The hope was that Carney could actually produce the album. In January 2012, Carney invited the band to the studio, where they culled together old material and quickly began laying down new ideas.
“I think different albums have processes and this was a different experience for us, but that’s part of what makes it interesting,” Currie said. “We wanted to just go with the flow and make the album that represented where we are now. We were rushed into the studio, but you can let that pressure destroy you or you can let that pressure galvanize you, and I think it was a positive force. Having that tight time structure, buckling down and doing music all day every day was great.”
Although the band had only spent those two and a half weeks with Carney, Scaggs and studio engineer Roger Moutenot in Nashville’s Haptown Studios, the sessions proved fruitful. From “The Way It Is,” a thumping, blues-tinged track, to rollicking stomper “Feeling Good,” the album embraces a vast range of influences, pulling in various styles and genres to create a collection of raucous, unabashed rock and roll numbers. Both “The Way It Is” and “Feeling Good” took the top slot on Canada’s Overall Rock Chart. A pensive reflection is threaded throughout the album, whether on mid-tempo acoustic track “Laid Back” or on pounding rocker “While We’re Young.”
“I think Patrick has a good sense of no bullshit,” Currie says. “A lot of making rock and roll is about cutting the fat and being a good filter. In the studio, he helped us refine the songs and found the best representation of each one possible. Plus, we wanted to be able to incorporate all different styles and I think our albums run the gamut.”
After touring steadily since 2006 and spending the last year entirely on the road with bands like Kings of Leon, John Fogerty and Robert Randolph & the Family Band, The Sheepdogs hoped to create songs that would lend themselves to their impassioned performances. The band, which has also performed at numerous festivals, including Coachella, Bonnaroo and SXSW, enlisted a keyboard player as the new album features a heavy dose of Hammond organ and Rhodes piano.
In the end it all ties back to the group’s goals, which essentially involve making really good rock songs, and you don’t need a crazy origin story to do that.
“Our goal is two-fold,” Currie says. “We want to make killer albums that people really want to listen to, but we also want to have a really reputable live show. When we come through town we want to be the hottest ticket there. Those two elements are what make a truly great rock and roll band. Really, though, we just want to play to anyone who is willing to give us a shot and who wants to have a good time.”
The SAFMS AGM is coming up 7pm Wednesday, January 29 at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery. All members in good standing are welcome. Come out for the highlights of 2013 and to vote in the election of directors.
Not only does your $12 membership allow you to participate in the vote (must purchase by Tuesday, January 28th), it also allows a member to purchase up to four tickets at the special earlybird member price (until February 28th or while quantities last).
The Roots & Blues Festivalis proud to announce ‘Cinema Under The Stars’ an outdoor extravaganza of live music & film. This year featuring the musical stylings of the brilliant Herald Nix & Pacing The Cage a fascinating documentary following 2013 Roots & Blues headliner Bruce Cockburn.
RJ Haney Heritage Village & Museum – SASCU Amphitheatre Saturday, July 20th 2013 Gates Open @ 7:30 PM Music Starts @ 8:00 PM Film Begins @ 9:00 PM
Pacing The Cage follows Bruce as he performs in sold out shows, records his live Slice O’ Life CD, and participates in a series of benefit concerts. Documentary cameras also follow Bruce to his home for a candid conversation about his views on everything from religion to parenthood. The documentary sheds new light on Bruce’s spirituality, and his thoughts on activism, politics, writing, and his amazing 40 plus years in the music industry. Also featured are never before seen live performances of songs from his 40 year plus catalogue of music.
Tickets are $10 at the gate, online Click Here or by calling 250-833-4096.
Limited tickets available… Get yours today!!
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Having rocked the bar many times, Skratch Bastid is now ready to raise it. The Bastid has become one of Canada’s most in-demand DJs and respected producers but don’t think it happened overnight. From his humble beginnings a decade ago as a teenager in Halifax- pumping out mixtapes from his bedroom and earning a loyal following already back then- he slowly spread his skills first at DJ competitions like DMC, ITF, and Scribble Jam and now around Canada and the world as a widely recognized go-to guy for party-rocking. The illest redhead on turntables has since gone viral. Seriously, youtube him…
The Bastid’s new 5 track collaborative EP collection “The Spring Up” marks a moment in time for pairing Skratch Bastid & Canadian hip hop artist Shad; embodying the spirit of Spring it features a production assist from DJ Jazzy Jeff, and a turn on the mic from compatriot Cadence Weapon. “We had a lot of fun in the studio making these songs and we hope that you enjoy listening to them.”
Since he is increasingly recognized for his comfort and versatility in different styles- hip hop, funk, disco, rock, club and just about every other genre that will make you dance – more and more people are getting hip to his style. That’s what keeps this Bastid working so hard. Touring city-to-city with a relentless drive, he’s wowed crowds from coast to coast in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and all over Europe as he averages close to 200 shows a year.
For Skratch Bastid, all that energy is brought back to the studio and heard in his music. As a producer, he takes that experience from the stage and lays it down on hard-hitting original music with a wide range of sounds. The formula earned him a Juno Nomination as Producer of the Year for his work on Buck 65’s Situation album. You can hear his own music often elevate his live sets along with yesterday and today’s best.
In the past year, the young lad landed in Toronto- after five fruitful years as a Montreal resident- bringing new flavor to the city and making his first mark with a big bang. His new “Skratch Bastid Presents” quarterly event, kicked off with a blockbuster collaboration including DJ Starting from Scratch and world-renowned beatboxer Scratch formerly from the Roots. The inspiring first party was a huge success as it breathed new life into Toronto’s night scene. The three noisemakers are hoping to take the show on the road for the world to see.
If the next decade is anything like the previous one, you’ll be hearing a lot more about Skratch Bastid. As he continues to find new fans worldwide, his catalog of sounds, styles and tricks will leave a lasting impression.
What’s next? Just like in his electric sets, that’s the exciting part! Get down with the sound.
Bursting forth from Canada’s capital, First Nations Producer/DJ crew A Tribe Called Red is making an impact on the global electronic scene with a truly unique sound. Made up of three members, DJ NDN (Ian Campeau), Bear Witness (Thomas Ehren Ramon) and DJ Shub (Dan General), the group has created a distinctive style, a mix of traditional pow wow vocals and drumming with cutting-edge electronic music.
The group began in 2008 when DJ NDN, noticing that there were dance nights in Ottawa for every culture except his own, teamed up with Bear Witness to create a monthly dance party, the Electric Pow Wow, that quickly started drawing aboriginals searching for a place in Ottawa’s nightlife scene. “We just wanted to have a party,” says DJ NDN, “But soon, there were people from rural communities — reserves that were super-isolated up north — who were coming to Ottawa for school and never felt comfortable going out.”
In 2010 they added 2 time Canadian DMC Champ, DJ Shub to the crew, completing a signature sound made up of a wide variety of musical styles ranging from Hip-Hop, Dance Hall, Electronica, and their own mash-up of club and Pow Wow music. The trio quickly garnered a local following — not just urban First Nations teens, but also dubstep fans drawn to the group’s eclectic mix of beats.
Working to reclaim the stereotypical aboriginal image, DJ Bear Witness doubles as the crew’s visual artist and creates stunning, political and sometimes humorous videos that incorporate film and pop culture references to First Nations people. “I was raised in a hardcore activist environment,” Witness says. “My mom is seriously political and was part of the American Indian Movement in the 70’s. But by the time I was in my late teens, I was burnt out. I felt like I was banging my head against a wall. I said, ‘Forget this, I just want to party and forget about all this stuff I’ve had to deal with my whole life. I became a full-on raver kid for years, and that’s how I got into DJing. Somewhere along the way, though, I started to realize that you could do both. You can get people when their backs are down. You get people when they’re not looking for or expecting a fight. You get them when they’re having a good time.”
The message must be getting through. A Tribe Called Red’s new album Nation II Nation entered the !earshot Canadian college charts with a bullet and now sits at number two. The band continues to use its high profile to bring global attention to the Idle No More movement and the aboriginal political struggle in general. As NDN has said, “… After what happened in the last hundred years, the simple fact that we are here today is a political statement. As First Nations People, everything we do is political.”
A true audio-visual and cultural phenomenon catch A Tribe Called Red at the 21st Annual Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival.
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American rockers, The Bright Light Social Hour first gained attention in Austin for their incendiary live performances & innovative vision of rock and roll. Melding southern rock, hard dance, psychedelic blues and deep soul, their debut full-length album has led to heightening critical acclaim, national touring and a rare sweep of six awards at the SXSW 2011 Austin Music Awards, including Band of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year.
Born out of a university art-rock collective, Jack O’Brien (bass), Curtis Roush (guitar), A.J. Vincent (keys), Joseph Mirasole (drums) funded their self-titled debut album entirely independently. Jack’s Moustache was set up by the band & offered TBLSH fans a chance to buy personalized love songs & videos, private meals cooked & served by the band, spanish lessons, homemade cookies, full house/apartment cleaning, canoe rides & car washes by the band (in jean cut offs, no less!!) Sounds amazing right? Well the album is too…
Serving up a sizzling combination of rock ‘n roll musicianship, the R&B infused album was an incredible success – boasting solid song-writing, inspirational harmonies and just the right amount of sexy, gritty, southern psychedelica.Producer Danny Reisch utilized the best elements of vintage and modern recording to achieve a sound both forward-looking and evocative of 1970s hi-fi.
The first track, “Shanty,” pairs southern rock with hard disco, featuring the searing slide licks of guitarist Curtis Roush. Following the lean, exuberant stomp of “Bare Hands Bare Feet,” the band settles into the dark psychedelic funk of “La Piedra De La Iguana,” led by keyboardist A.J. Vincent’s dusky vocal and Farfisa organ work.
Throughout the middle of the record, the solemn rhythm and blues of “Detroit” is juxtaposed with “Back And Forth,” a four-on-the-floor disco-funk romp.
On “Garden Of The Gods,” the album’s penultimate 10-minute epic, the band evolves from stately ballroom Americana to an expansive, ensemble anthem, conjuring up their limber and unrelenting live sets. The fiery “Rhubarb Jam” closes out the record with the agile, booming funk of bassist Jack O’Brien and drummer Joseph Mirasole.
Following their album release, The Bright Light Social Hour has embarked on a heavy touring rotation, playing over two hundred shows throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.Latest news on the touring scene features the band at the Tortuga Music Festival & Lollapalooza. Chronicling their adventures, the band has released a series of self-produced tour documentaries depicting life on the road.
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A contemporary troubadour, Cam Penner explores new textures and bolder sounds on his newly released album To Build a Fire. An album about departures and new beginnings, To Build a Fire is as full of hope as it is full of love. It’s also electrifying and provoking, and speaks of things the human heart longs for on the road of life.
Roads are something Penner knows about. At eighteen, Penner left small town life to wander the highways and back roads of North America. Eventually he found himself in Chicago serving mystery soup and stale bread to two hundred and fifty homeless men a day. Next, a women & children’s shelter, then youth shelters and detox centers. For thirteen years he immersed himself in this subculture of the disenfranchised, absorbing as much raw humanity as he could. When a shift was over he would spend endless cathartic hours writing and playing his guitar, exorcising heartache through music, a practice that ultimately lead to a full time career as a touring and recording artist.
To Build a Fire is Cam’s seventh recorded album and there are moments on the disc that will surprise and amaze even the most devoted Cam Penner fan. The symphony of sound and lyricism showcase the inevitable evolution of a growing artist; this album is a new start. The lush beauty of the opening brass track lures you in but leaves you wondering what is to come…then it begins. Ukuleles, guitars, banjos strummed. Floorboards stomped. Kick drums kicked. Feet stumbled. Thighs, knees, hands slapped and clapped. Voices strained and bent. Fingers gripped, grabbed and picked. Arms and hands flung. Body and sound thrown against wood and metal. It’s folk. It’s rock n’ roll. It’s Cam Penner, breathing fire into every note and lyric, carving his own path with music born from the soil and sin of this world. Catch him along with an electrifying 2013 line-up at the 21st Annual Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival.
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It’s a birds and the bees or maybe a chicken or the egg sort of question… What came first the rosined violin strings, major falls, classical theory or the smashed guitars, split finger tips and sweaty bodies?
At what point did their university-learned mastery of classical theory give birth to their understanding of rock and roll energy and pop structuring? Hence the whole chicken-or-the-egg conundrum…
The Balconies are a band with a story. Siblings Jacquie and Steven Neville lead from their perches at the front of the stage, with Jacquie’s wide-eyed guitar strums and Stephen’s lanky bass lines tumbling in a dryer filled with Liam Jaeger’s rhythmic peppering.
For those well-versed in indie-rock archetypes, the Balconies’ beginnings – boy meets girl in university while studying classical music; girl drags brother out of school and into the basement; boy, girl and younger brother pound out rock jams to the outstretched arms of Ottawa bars. But beginnings are just that – the roots that sprouted.
And now the Balconies stand before you – teeth barred, eyelashes batting, clothing and hair drenched in sweat. In the blink of an eye, the trio has grown from a humble indie pop band to a leather-clad three-headed rock and roll monster, punctuated by 80s hair metal flair.
They’ve shared the stage with Cold War Kids, Mother Mother, Devo, Sloan, Stars, and, most recently, Wide Mouth Mason and Big Sugar while touring in Fall 2012.
But The Balconies aren’t satisfied.
They’re out for blood and hungry for fresh ears– as indicated by the video for the single “Kill Count” (a single which garnered the band extensive major radio play and media attention), and the video for the haunting single, “Do It In the Dark” (which premiered on Much Music in October 2012).
The trio is hard at work on their upcoming full-length album. Coupled with a European Tour, including the MIDEM Festival in France, and slots on the North American festival circuit, which saw them in Austin for South by Southwest, the future looks bright.
So, if you fancy a riot of gargantuan rhythmic proportions, swing by. Oh…and be prepared – this will get loud.
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Dubbed “the goddess of Canadian Blues” highly acclaimed roots & blues artist Rita Chiarelli has struck again! Home-grown from Hamilton Ontario, Rita has just been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Heritage Award of Distinction for Arts, Culture and Entertainment by Festitalia Hamilton.
Over the past decade Rita has won every major Canadian blues award, including multiple Maple Blues awards, CBCs Great Canadian Blues Award, Toronto Independent Music Awards, Hamilton Music Awards, Manitoba Blues Society and the Hamilton Blues Society’s Lifetime Achievement Awards. Most recently Rita was awarded the prestigious Maple Blues ‘Blues With A Feeling Award’ for Lifetime Achievement.
As if creating beautiful music wasn’t enough, Rita has entered the film world & has recently released the soundtrack for her award winning documentary, Music From The Big House – which is her 9th recorded album.
Music From The Big House takes Rita on a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the blues, the Angola Prison Louisiana State’s Maximum Security Penitentiary. This musical journey is a glance into what used to be the bloodiest prison in America, but now gives lifers something to live for through the power of music. In contrast to sensational stories of convicts, we witness remarkable voices of hope as their love of music radiates humanity and redemption on their quest for forgiveness.
Rita never imagined that her love of the blues would lead her to a historic jailhouse performance with inmates serving life sentences for murder, rape and armed robbery. But their shared bond of music, and Chiarelli’s vivacious personality draw striking revelations from the inmates.
“It’s a beautiful film and one that all music lovers, regardless of preferred style, can appreciate because the music speaks to something deeper in our souls. It speaks to love, redemption, forgiveness and understanding.”
Showing no signs of slowing down, Chiarelli continues to tour in North America & Europe and is a veteran & featured artist at this year’s 21st Annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival. Rita’s many albums include Road Rockets, Just Gettin Started, What a Night Live!, Breakfast at Midnight, No One Is To Blame, Cuore: The Italian Sessions, Uptown Goes Downtown and Sweet Paradise.
Rita is currently ‘road testing’ material for her up coming album ‘Back to Blue’.
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This has been a fantastic year for Steve Strongman. On the heels of winning three Maple Blues Awards, the
Hamilton based artist has just won his first Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year for his CD A Natural Fact.
A Natural Factcontinues to garner accolades and rave reviews, with the latest recognition coming via the International Songwriting Competition. “Leaving”, written by Steve Strongman and producer Rob Szabo, features multiple Maple Blues award winner Suzie Vinnick singing with Strongman.
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Synonymous with Jamaican royalty, the Marley name is recognized around the world, the legacy of a pioneer of a cultural, political and social revolution. Reggae icon and legend Bob Marley blessed the world with his timeless, brilliant and message filled sound which continues to inspire and influence audiences today. With such a living past, Bob Marley’s conviction and passion for music unintentionally, though perhaps inevitably, was passed to the lives of his offspring, which has allowed the Marley name to remain relevant amongst the hierarchy of contemporary reggae sound.
Born on February 26, 1976, Ky-Mani Marley is the son of Bob Marley and table tennis champion Anita Belnavis. Ky-Mani is the second youngest of Bob Marley’s eleven children. While bearing the Marley name, Ky-Mani’s childhood told a different story. Born in Falmouth, Trelawney, Jamaica and settling in Miami, Florida at the age of seven, he was raised in the inner-city in a small two bedroom home along with eight other family members.
Being exposed to a hard edged urban lifestyle, Ky-Mani adopted the attitude that all people are equal – no one is above or beneath him. This attitude has become the motto for the way he lives his life today. It has guided Marley to success in music, film, television, and literature yet still he remains humble, soft spoken, sincere, loyal, honest and genuine. These are the makings of Ky-Mani Marley.
Remaining true to his Jamaican culture, Ky-Mani’s fondness for all genres of music influences the work he creates. He is an artist with no limits. Incorporating world music, hip hop, blues, rock, and a grass roots sound into his music; the end product is the pure representation of life for Ky-Mani. With four studio albums, Billboard chart success, and a Grammy nomination, his musical style transcends cultural and creative boundaries and prohibits him from being categorized as solely a reggae artist. His raw, unadulterated, gruff sound captures the listener and reverberates with the essence of Ky-Mani’s life story. His latest album, Evolution of a Revolution, will drop later this year.
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The flipside of Neo-Medieval super group Corvus Corax – brings a distinctly different sound to the Festival this summer. This ain’t no medieval faire, this is an explosive cocktail of street music, club sounds, and Berlin slang belting out stories about the city at night – its smells, its ladies and retired belly dancers, its wild, frenetic, extremely danceable music, music that makes you get up and ‘move yo’ ass’. Strap on your dancing shoes and drink plenty of water – this music is red hot!
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