Lynne Hanson tours Western Canada with River of Sand

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River of Sand Western Canada album launch dates:

 Feb. 13 – Wild Earth Bakery, Edmonton

Feb. 14 – Gilmour Guitars, Red Deer

Feb. 15 – Good Earth Coffee House, Canmore

Feb. 17 – White Rose Music and Art Society, Leduc

Feb. 18 – Harvest Coffee House, Pincher Creek

Feb. 19 – Wine Ohs, Calgar

Tied with Lucinda Williams on Penguin Eggs’ Top Ten Albums of 2014 list and called “one of the standout country albums of the year” by the Irish Times, Lynne Hanson’s River of Sand has seen its creator duly rewarded for the artistic courage she showed in making the record.

Long-praised for her raw, confessional song-writing, the award-winning Americana artist 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 album was #14 on Stingray Digital’s Top 100 of the year, got a five-star review in R2, and was featured in the Ottawa Citizen’s year-end Ottawa Music Playlist.  It was also featured on The International Americana Music Show’s Best of the Year program.

Now Hanson is preparing to debut the album in Western Canada.

Award-winning Australian indie Ash Grunwald brings hard-driving hip-hop-inspired punk-rock-blues to the Prairies … and back to B.C.!

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Already a major draw in Canada’s West Coast ski resort towns, Ash has signed with the Agency Group and will debut across Canada this year

Seventeen-song self-titled best-of compilation out now!
Western Canadian dates, February 2015:
Feb 7 – Surf and Song Festival, Port Renfrew, BC
Feb 8 – Duncan Showroom, Duncan, BC
Feb 10 – The Fox Cabaret, Vancouver, BC
Feb 11 – GLC, Whistler, BC
Feb 12 – Snowshoe Sam’s, Big White, BC
Feb 13 – The Last Drop, Revelstoke, BC
Feb 15 – Wild Bill’s, Banff, AB
Feb 17 – The Artery, Edmonton, AB
Feb 18 – Vangelis Tavern, Saskatoon, SK
Feb 19 – Festival Hall, Calgary, AB
Feb 20 – O’Hanlon’s, Regina, SK

Australian indie Ash Grunwald first started recording swampy, stomp-box-driven, hip-hop-inspired blues music around the same time R.L. Burnside was teaming up with the Fat Possum crew in the U.S.

Today, he’s a five-time ARIA nominee (that would be Australia’s Juno), whose hard-driving mixtures of punk rock, hip-hip, blues, electronica, rock and soul have earned him performances at the Montreaux Jazz Festival; airplay on Australia’s venerated Triple M; spots on the soundtracks to Moneyball and Limitless; and gigs opening for James Brown, the Black Keys, Jack Johnson and, most recently, Xavier Rudd.

Now, after a decade of taking “working vacations” on Canada’s West Coast each winter, during which the avid snowboarder would board by day and gig at night – drawing crowds of up to 400 in resort towns like Whistler – Ash is getting ready to take the rest of Canada like a fierce winter storm. Read the rest of this entry »

Juno-nominated Montreal indie Michael Jerome Browne reimagines songs of the Deep South

Michael Jerome Browne photo

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Sliding Delta releases January 20

Launch dates:
January 17 – Blues Summit, Toronto
January 21 – Irene’s, Ottawa
January 24 – Petit campus, Montreal
January 25 – The Rivoli, Toronto

Three-time Juno-nominee and two-time CFMA Solo Artist of the Year, Montreal indie artist Michael Jerome Browne is Canada’s living, breathing encyclopedia of the music of the Deep South — and his new album, Sliding Delta, is a tribute to the artists who first ignited his passion for their sound.

With intimate, acoustic covers of lesser-known tracks by Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charlie Patton, Blind Willie McTell and other greats, Michael pays homage to the understated soul of rural blues music.

The title track comes from Mississippi John Hurt, the early 20th century Delta bluesman who was as celebrated for his skills on the axe as he was for his song-writing — his syncopated finger-picking style being credited with influencing John Fahey and a generation of musicians who came after him.

“I Heard Somebody Call” and “Write Me a Few Lines” are both tracks by Mississippi Fred McDowell, a breakthrough artist in the Northern Mississippi blues tradition of hypnotic, rhythmic riffing that would later be popularized by R.L. Burnside and the Fat Possum crew.

And “Frisco Town” comes from the first session Columbia Records recorded with women’s blues pioneer Memphis Minnie and her then husband Kansas Joe McCoy.

All the tracks were recorded live off the floor over three days, and feature Michael on several six and 12-string guitars, five-string banjo, mandolin, and rack harp.
Read the rest of this entry »

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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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

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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 »