Lynne Hanson takes a sober look at living hard on River of Sand

For a hi-rez image, right click the photo and select “save target as” or your browser’s equivalent.

River of Sand street date: September 16, 2014

 River of Sand album launch dates:

October 25 – The Moonshine Café, Oakville, ON

November 1 – Fromagerie, Sudbury, ON

November 7 – Dakota Tavern, Toronto, ON

November 8 – The Black Shire, London,  ON

November 14 – National Arts Centre, Ottawa

November 15 – the Branch, Kemptville, ON

November 30 – The Mansion, Kingston, ON

 Long-praised for her raw, confessional songwriting, award-winning Americana artist Lynne Hanson displays a whole new level of artistic courage on River of Sand – her first album in nearly four years, released almost three years to the day she traded in her hard-living ways.
Working for the first time with producer Lynn Miles, Hanson reflects on the chaos of life prior to September 1, 2011, the day she gave up drinking, and on the pain that can drive a person to seek relief any way they know how.

The title track and “Whiskey and Tears” are both sober looks back at life as it was before.

“Heaven and Hell” is a brooding contemplation of depression and “This too Shall Pass” a delicate and courageous confession about its darker moments.

“Foolish Things” is a breathtaking, intimate melody about losing track of one’s priorities. “Colour My Summers Blue” is a tender ballad about drinking to kill the pain of a lost romance. And “That Old House” is a heartbreaking number that finds Hanson feeling the pain of another lost love. Read the rest of this entry »

Canadian roots heavyweights headline the Black Hen Traveling Roadshow

Nov 12 2014 Winnipeg, MB West End Cultural Centre
Nov 13 2014 Saskatoon, SK The Bassment
Nov 14 2014 Edmonton, AB The Artery
Nov 15 2014 Calgary, AB Lantern Community Church, Inglewood Music Club
Nov 16 2014 Swift Current, SK Lyric Theatre
Nov 19 2014 Penticton, BC Dream Cafe
Nov 20 2014 Vancouver, BC The Electric Owl
Nov 21 2014 Victoria, BC St. Andrew’s Church
Nov 22 2014 Whitehorse, YT Yukon Arts Centre

 Three of Canada’s greatest roots musicians will hit concert venues this fall as part of the Black Hen Travelling Roadshow – an all-acoustic showcase of Black Hen Music’s biggest names, performing both individually and collaboratively on stage. Read the rest of this entry »

Fish & Bird launch Something in the Ether

Fish and Bird

For a hi-rez image, right click the photo and select “save target as” or your browser’s equivalent.

Fish & Bird Something in the Ether album launch tour

Oct. 1  Vancouver BC – Biltmore Cabaret.

Oct. 2  Victoria BC – Victoria Event Centre

Oct. 3  Kelowna BC – Streaming Cafe

Oct. 4  Ymir BC – Old School House

Oct. 5  Twin Butte AB – General store

Oct. 7  Calgary AB – Wine-Oh’s

Oct. 8  Edmonton AB – Artery

Oct. 9  Saskatoon SK – Vangelis tavern

Oct. 11 Regina SK – Artful Dodger

Oct. 12 Winnipeg MB – Park Theatre

“Fish & Bird’s carefully planned, creative musical juxtapositions are a delight, all the better given the scarcity of such inventiveness in much of today’s safe, homogenised musical output.”  R2 Magazine (UK)


Raised on equal parts roots music and Radiohead, WCMA nominees Fish & Bird have received praise on both sides of the Atlantic for their refreshingly unclichéd writing. With Something in the Ether the young band continues to reimagine folk music for a new generation.

Founding members Taylor Ashton and Adam Iredale-Gray are once again joined on the new album by drummer Ben Kelly, electric guitarist Ryan Boeur, and upright bassist Zoe Guigueno for a collection of songs that effortlessly fuses their traditional folk influences and experimental leanings into a coherent, modern-day roots opus.   For the first time, all five members took part in writing all of the arrangements, making Ether the band’s most cohesive album to date and the first to fully realize the potential of the full line-up.  Read the rest of this entry »

New Amy Thiessen dates!

For a high rez image, right click the photo and select “save target as” or your browser’s equivalent.

Sep 3 - Lethbridge – Owl Acoustic Lounge

Sep 4 - Kimberly – The Platzl/ Green Door

Sep 5 - Kimberly – BJs

Sep 6 - Nelson – Expressions Cafe

Sep 7 - Kelowna – Neumovement Yoga studio

Sep 8 - Summerland – Private yoga/ concert

Sep 11 - Vancouver – Railway Club

Sep 12 - Vancouver – Cafe Deux Soloeils

Sep 16 - Prince George – Nancy Ohs Read the rest of this entry »

Megan Lane’s Hawksley Workman-produced album heralds an outstanding new queer voice on the indie scene

For a hi-rez image, right click the photo and select “save target as” or your browser’s equivalent.

Megan Lane Sounding the Animal album launch tour

With an edgy, club-friendly indie pop sound – courtesy of producer Hawksley Workman — guitar goddess-like skills on the axe, and songs that speak to our most primal relationship with the natural world, Megan Lane makes music that offers something for every LGTB2S musical taste. …and plenty of non-LGTB2S ones too!

Her driving beats and anthemic melodies are the stuff of dance floor magic.  Her lyrics — about the visceral relationship to land and self — will resonate with women who value self-awareness and environmental consciousness.  And her prowess on guitar, well let’s face it, that’s just sexy.

Did I mention that the first single from Sounding the Animal, “Someday We will Leave this Town,” is a co-write with trans icon Rae Spoon?  And it’s a veritable theme song for rural small-town queers.

A prodigious blues guitarist from her pre-teen years on, Megan has, over the course of three previous demo-like albums, worked feverishly to hone her song-writing chops.  Animal is the fruit of that dedication, the first recording to fully realize Megan’s artistic vision.

“Cabin in the Woods” and “Make Me an Animal” are both songs about conquering one’s fear of the natural world, in which the natural world is something of a metaphor for our own untamed impulses.  Both were inspired by Megan’s frequent journeys into the backwoods of Northern Saskatchewan.

Megan describes “She Ran Away” as a song about “the ghost of someone who’s still alive.”  It was written while subletting an apartment in Montreal and gradually piecing together the story of the previous tenants – a lesbian couple who broke up – from the artifacts and the “energy” left behind.

“Coyote/Wolf” was inspired by a surreal encounter Megan had one New Year’s Eve with a so-called coywolf – before Megan knew that coyote-wolf hybrids were an actual thing. Read the rest of this entry »

The Raven’s Sun sheds light on Catherine MacLellan’s brighter days

for a hi-rez image, right click the photo and select “save target as” or your browser’s equivalent.

Catherine MacLellan launches The Raven’s Sun August 19

Halifax album launch concert August 26, 9pm, at the Carleton
Tickets $15 Info: 902-422-6335

Charlottetown album launch concert August 30, 8pm, at the Mack
61 University Ave., Charlottetown
All ages. Tickets $27
Tickets at, 1-800-565-0278, 902-566-1267 or in person at the Confederation Centre for the Arts box office.

In the creation stories of many Pacific Coast First Nations, the raven is the being who brings light to the world.

For Catherine MacLellan, the allusion to light-into-darkness was so perfectly suited to the theme of her new album that she borrowed the reference for its title.
The Raven’s Sun is a collection of songs that reflect the brighter place Catherine finds herself in these days, thanks in part to her happy musical and personal partnership with guitarist Chris Gauthier and an emerging sense that she’s gaining the upper hand in her lifelong battle with depression. Read the rest of this entry »

VENTANAS Brings World Music Dance Parties to Western Canada and Quebec

For a hi-rez image, right click the photo and select “save target as” or your browser’s equivalent.

VENTANAS Magic Carpet Tour of Canada
Summer 2014

July 17: DUNCAN, BC – 39 Days of July
July 18: HARRISON, BC – Harrison Festival of the Arts
July 19-20: VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Folk Music Festival
July 22: VANCOUVER, BC – Sephardic Music Workshop
(at Gandharva Loka World Music Store)
July 24: KELOWNA, BC – Minstrel Café
July 25 – FOREST GROVE, BC — Hootstock Festival
July 27: CALGARY, AB – Calgary Flamenco Workshops
July 28: CALGARY, AB – Café Koi
July 29: EDMONTON, AB – The Artery
(with guests Jane Ogilvie and Deborah Ibach)
July 31: PRINCE GEORGE, BC – The ArtSpace
Aug 1-4: WELLS, BC –ArtsWells Festival
Aug 5: CHEMAINUS, BC – Music in Waterwheel Park
Aug 6: CHEMAINUS, BC – Barefoot Flamenco on the Beach Workshop
Aug 7: DUNCAN, BC – Duncan Garage Showroom
(with Camille Miller)
Aug 11: VICTORIA, BC Victoria Flamenco Festival
Aug 12: MONTREAL, QC – Casa del Popolo
(with Quique Escamilla)
Aug 13-14:SHERBROOKE, QC – Festival Traditions du Monde
Aug 15-17: OWEN SOUND, ON –Summerfolk Festival

“VENTANAS! A group that can get the party going, take you on a whimsical journey and lure you in…” – Pascale Wilmot, Koerner Hall

Born out of Toronto’s Fedora Upside Down urban folk movement, Ventanas brings together musicians, dancers and audiences from the city’s diverse ethnic folk scenes. Balkan, Turkish, Sephardic and Flamenco music and dance are fused into a high-energy world music and dance show tailor-made for everything from the street to the greatest folk festivals across the country, to the international stage. Read the rest of this entry »

Ash Grunwald tours B.C. to launch new, exclusive-to-North-America best-of album

For a hi-rez photo, right click the image and select “save target as.”

Album launch date:  July 17

Album launch tour:

19 July - Fusion Festival, Surrey, BC - Sat 4:30 – 5:00pm Main Stage

20 July – Fusion Festival, Surrey, BC - Sun 7:15-7:45pm Chevron Stage

24 July – GLC, Whistler, BC - 10:00 pm showtime, doors 9pm Tix $15 adv / $20 at the door

26/27 July – Kispiox Music Festival, Kispiox, BC

30 July – Duncan Cowichan Festival Society, Duncan, BC – FREE SHOW outdoors

31 July – The Rainbow Room, Port Alberni, BC - Tix $18 adv / $20 at the door

2 Aug – Hope Bay Camp, Pender Island, BC (changed!)

3 Aug – Nanaimo Entertainment Centre, Nanaimo, BC - 10:30pm showtime.

Aug 8 – Morningside Organic Bakery, Café, and Bookstore, Saltspring Island, BC (new!)

Aug 10 – Uptown Live!  New Westminister, BC (new!)

For cose to ten years now, five-time ARIA-nominated Australian rocker – and die-hard surfer and boarder! — Ash Grunwald has been quietly sneaking out of his homeland for a couple of weeks each Canadian winter for a “working vacation” of gigging and snowboarding in B.C.

Now he’s making his second summer trek to the West Coast to launch an album produced specially for his North American fans.

The self-titled seventeen-song compilation is a “best of so far,” designed to introduce the hundreds of resort-town-dwellers who have adopted Ash as their own in recent years to his complete body of work. Read the rest of this entry »

Musician and yogini Amy Thiessen showcases her grounded folk-pop on In Between Goodbyes

For a hi-rez image, right click the photo and select “save target as” or your browser’s equivalent.

Amy Thiessen launches In Between Goodbyes

May 31 – Festival Hall, Calgary

Doors: 7pm    Start: 8pm

Early Tickets $25 (includes album)

Tickets (after May 15) $30

Tickets at:

June 7 – Prana Yoga Studio, Edmonton

The artsy, vegetarian offspring of a conservative Alberta farming family who was championed by a free-spirited older sister who died of cancer impossibly young, Amy Thiessen has devoted her life to both the creative and the healing arts.

Those worlds fuse subtly on her sophomore album, In Between Goodbyes, in the form of captivating folk-pop songs that showcase a seemingly-effortless authenticity and an ease with exploring the depths of one’s spiritual and emotional life.

Amy’s calling card is her powerful, versatile pop voice, which defies easy comparison to other artists but that at times recalls many:  the dreaminess of Dido, the jazzy sophistication of Joni Mitchell, and the raw fragility of Basia Bulat, to name but a few.  Her arrangements straddle the divide between indie folk and pop.  And her song-writing, sparklingly original and free of clichés, is reminiscent of the mature, sophisticated pop song-craft of artists such as Jann Arden …only with decidedly rootsier production.     Read the rest of this entry »

Colleen Rennison launches See The Sky About To Rain June 3

For a high-rez image, right click the photo and select “save target as” or your browser’s equivalent.

July 31 at St. James Hall

With Steve Dawson and the Black Hen Band

Doors 7pm.  Show 8pm.

Tickets $24 ($20 Rogue folk Club members)

Available at Highlife, Rufus’ Guitars and at

Info/reservation:  604.736.3022


At any given moment, there are so many sounds competing for our attention that it’s easy to get

overwhelmed and hear nothing. But, every now and then, a voice comes along that cuts through all the random noise and clatter, a voice that makes you stop and really listen because whatever you were doing up until that point isn’t as important as listening to it and letting it take you where it wants to go.


Colleen Rennison has a voice like that. A voice that channels power, tenderness and a range of emotions that seem like they couldn’t possibly come from a singer who’s only 25 years old. Colleen has a voice that can floor you, and envelop you, and bring all of the pain and struggles of your life crashing down on you like a tidal wave. It’s a voice and phrasing that took Etta James decades to properly control, that Aretha Franklin had to go to Hell and back to even go

near. Yes, it can hurt to listen to Colleen sing, but it’s a hurting you’ll want to go through over and over again because of how much you feel better, lighter, cleansed, every time you hear it. Read the rest of this entry »