Eliana Cuevas brings Espejo to Western Canada

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April 17 – Wine Oh’s, Calgary

April 18 – Yardbird Suite, Edmonton

April 19 – Pat’s Pub, Vancouver

April 25 – Hermann’s Jazz Club, Victoria

April 26 – The Bassment, Saskatoon

                Newly-nominated for two Independent Music Awards for her latest album, Espejo, Latin-jazz chanteuse Eliana Cuevas will tour Western Canada next month, introducing audiences to her most ambitious and personal recording to date.

                It’s Cuevas’ first Western Canadian run since the album’s May 2013 release, and it will showcase both her extraordinary range as a vocalist and composer, as well as her one-of-a-kind blends of Latin rhythms and jazz.  She will be joined on stage by some of the finest musicians in Canada, all composers in their own right:  Jeremy Ledbetter (piano) George Koller (bass) and Daniel Barnes (drums).  Their chemistry, forged over nearly a decade of playing together, combined with Cuevas’ absolute marvel of a voice, will make for performances that are exciting, spontaneous, original and filled with passion – the perfect vehicle for her stunning new music. Read the rest of this entry »

Ann Vriend’s New Album Captures the Heart of the Inner City with Explosive Retro Soul Beats

Ann Vriend

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Ann Vriend launches For the People in the Mean Time

March 13 – Mikey’s Juke Joint, Calgary, AB
March 15 – The Slice, Lethbridge, AB
March 19 – The Root Emporium, Lloydminister, AB
March 20 – The Artery, Edmonton, AB
March 21 – TBC, Toronto, ON

Ann Vriend’s new album, For the People in the Mean Time, tells tough tales of inner city life against a backdrop of explosive retro soul beats and harmonies, with Vriend’s absolute marvel of a voice – oft-likened to that of a young Dolly Parton or Aretha Franklin – guiding the way.

Crowned “The One” by last year’s Ottawa Folk Fest “She’s the One” talent search, Vriend borrows sounds from the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Sly Stone, P Funk, Ray Charles and the Queen of Soul herself to give her album that old familiar soul feeling. Toronto indie producer Tino Zolfo, meanwhile, keeps the overall sound contemporary to current pop with just a hint of his signature quirk.
For the People in the Mean Time was inspired in part by Vriend’s six years-and-counting as a resident of Edmonton’s McCauley neighbourhood, a place where it’s not uncommon to find discarded syringes in one’s back yard, a homeless person sleeping on one’s doorstep, or even a person in the throws of mental illness breaking into one’s house. And yet it’s also a place where a fierce camaraderie exists among those who live on the streets, and where artists such as Vriend, drawn to the neighbourhood’s affordable rents, come to creatively and beautifully reckon with the forces responsible for the chaos.
Vriend’s response was to borrow from the ethos of the blues. Tell it like it is. Get some grooves on. And play and sing your heart out!! Because you may not be able to solve anyone’s problems, but everyone goes home feeling better for having shared in the process. And indeed, a person would have to be made of stone not to feel great after listening to Vriend’s out and out celebration of the complexities of human suffering. Read the rest of this entry »

Juno-winner Steve Dawson launches Rattlesnake Cage

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Album launch dates:

Mar 20 – Saskatoon, SK / The Bassment
Mar 21 – Calgary, AB / Calgary Folk Festival Hall
Mar 22 – Sherwood Park, AB / Festival Place Theatre
Mar 23 – Fort St. John, BC / North Peace Cultural Centre
Mar 25 – Gibsons, BC / Gibsons Heritage Playhouse
Mar 26 – Cumberland, BC / Cumberland Hotel
Mar 27 – Saltspring Island, BC / Southend Grooveyard Farmhouse
Mar 28 – Victoria, BC / Hermann’s
Mar 29 – Errington, BC / Errington War Memorial Hall
Mar 30 – Vancouver, BC / St. James Hall
Mar 31 – Chilliwack, BC / Bozzinni’s
Apr 24 – Burnstown, ON / Neat Food
Apr 25 – Montreal, PQ / Petit Campus
Apr 26 – St. John’s, NL / LSPU Hall
Apr 27 – Halifax, NS / The Carleton
Apr 29 – London, ON / Aeolian Hall (new!)
Apr 30 – Huntsville, ON / Etwell Concert Series
May 1 – Toronto, ON / Hugh’s Room
May 3 – Innisfil, ON / Music Up Close
May 4 – Picton, ON / Acoustic Grill

“Anyone who can hear Dawson play and not be moved is made of stone!”
– Penguin Eggs Magazine

“One magazine has referred to Steve Dawson as the T-Bone Burnett of Canada. I tend to think of him more as a Canadian version of Ry Cooder… his fine slide guitar and storytelling, everything seeming to flow effortlessly.” – Toledo Blade

Sometimes it’s best to just put up a microphone in a room, sit down and play your guitar…

This is the record that Steve Dawson’s growing number of fans have been waiting for. ‘Rattlesnake Cage’ finally gives them the opportunity to hear Steve interact with his guitar in a way that has never been captured on record before. Until now, hearing the sweet melodies and deep soul of Steve playing solo guitar has been a treat reserved for live audiences in intimate settings. These new simple and unadorned recordings hearken back to the ‘American Primitive’ sound that John Fahey and other artists such as Peter Lang and Leo Kottke recorded on Fahey’s iconic Takoma record label in the sixties – instrumental music informed by the deep traditions of blues, ragtime, jazz and even Hawaiian music, but taking those influences in unexpected directions. The opening track, ‘Blind Thomas at the Crime Scene’ which takes its title from Fahey’s earliest nom de plume is the recording that most clearly communicates Dawson’s respect for the American Primitive aesthetic, and gives the listener the clearest indication of what’s to come. Read the rest of this entry »

Australian indie Ash Grunwald goes back to his roots when he comes “home” to BC and Alberta this winter

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Grunwald drawing up to 400 in ski resort towns

Ash Grunwald winter tour 2014

Feb 12th – The Saloon, Silver Star Mountain, BC
Feb 13th – SnowShoe Sam’s, Big White, BC
Feb 14th – Lorenzo’s, Enderby, BC (Valentine’s Day)
Feb 15th – The Last Drop, Revelstoke, BC
Feb 16th – The Last Drop, Revelstoke, BC
Feb 18th – The Royal Hotel, Fernie, BC
Feb 20th – The Media Club, Vancouver
Feb 21st – GLC, Whistler, BC
Feb 22nd – The Waverly, Cumberland, BC
Feb 23rd – House Concert, Victoria, BC
Feb 26th – Wild Bill’s, Banff, AB
Feb 28th – Spirit Bar, Nelson, BC
Mar 1st – The Minstrel, Kelowna, BC

Australian indie Ash Grunwald has earned five ARIA (Auzzie Juno) nominations, two Australasian Performing Rights Association Awards, and countless other honours for his groundbreaking mixtures of blues, hip-hip, electronica, rock, punk and soul.

But Ash, at his core, is a bluesman. And when he comes “home” to his second home of British Columbia this winter, he’ll be doing so with little more than a guitar, a harmonica, and a repertoire that mixes his original tunes with the songbook of Delta blues numbers he launched his solo career with back in the early 2000s.
Ash is calling this his “back to his roots” tour, and it follows a debut summer tour of BC that saw him showcasing the extreme opposite end of his sound, promoting a collaborative album called Gargantua, made with Australian rock royalty, The Living End.

An avid snowboarder and surfer, Ash began touring to BC early in his career, attracted by its legendary powder, back country, and heli-boarding. Today, BC really is his second home, and Ash’s performances in ski resort towns are sometimes greeted by upwards of 400 enthusiastic fans. For those that were there in the beginning, the new shows will be a throwback to the more intimate performances of the early days and will feature favourites from throughout Ash’s career. Read the rest of this entry »

Indie instrumentalists The Fretless follow up multi-award-winning debut with sophisticated sophomore project

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The Fretless launch self-titled sophomore album…

Feb. 6 – Little Red Church, Comox, BC
Feb. 7 – Errington Hall, Errington, BC
Feb. 8 – Fairfield United Church, Victoria, BC
Feb. 9 – St. James Hall, Vancouver, BC
Feb. 10 – House Concert
Feb. 11 – The Commodore Grand Cafe and Lounge. Kamloops, BC
Feb 12 – Carlin Hall, Tappen, BC
Feb. 14 – Dalhousie Community Centre, Calgary Folk Club, Calgary, AB
Feb. 20 – Elder Citizen’s Rec. Assc., Prince George, BC (new!)
Feb. 22 – United Church St. Andrews, Williams Lake, BC (new!)
Mar. 6 – House Concert
Mar. 7 – Carnduff Theatre, Carnduff, SK (new!)
Mar. 8 – West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg
Mar. 9 – Falcon Lake Resort, Falcon Lake, MB (new!)
Mar. 10 – House Concert
Mar. 12 – Fiddle Jamboree show, Dauphin, MB
Mar. 14 – The Bassment, Saskatoon, SK
Mar. 16 – House Concert
Mar. 17 – The Artful Dodger, Regina, SK (new!)

Winners of the 2012 Western Canadian Music Award for Instrumental Album of the Year and the 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards for Instrumental Group and Ensemble of the Year, Canadian indie string quartet The Fretless follows up its attention-getting debut album with a genre-defying sophomore effort that marries the 20-something musicians’ love of early Canadian and Irish fiddle tunes with their passion for classical music, global roots and contemporary pop.
The players – one a decorated Canadian fiddle champion, one an honours Berklee grad, and two who are BOTH of the above – perform everything from a Radiohead cover to a set of original reels with breathtaking virtuosity and a gripping sense of emotional nuance.

If their much lauded debut, Waterbound, wasn’t enough to turn heads, with its stunning blend of folk music warmth and flawless classical technique, two years of performing together have fused the players into a mature and cohesive unit, resulting in compositions and arrangements that are even more diverse, more technically sophisticated and more emotionally complex than those on the first collection. Read the rest of this entry »

Lindsay May Shows Music Fans What She’s Made of on Girl with Grit

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Lindsay May album launch tour:

January 25 – St. James Hall, Vancouver, BC
January 26 – Victoria Folk Guild, Victoria, BC
January 27 – Two Eagles Lodge, Courtenay, BC
January 28 – Char’s Landing, Port Alberni, BC
January 29 – House Concert, Denman Island, BC
January 31 – House Concert at Beyond Audio, Kelowna, BC
February 1 – Art We Are, Kamloops, BC
February 2 – Benoit’s Wine Bar, Revelstoke, BC
February 3 – The Ironwood, Calgary, AB
February 5 – Alta Vista Ristorante, High River, AB
February 6 – Inspire Studio and Café, Medicine Hat, AB
February 7 – Good Earth Café, Canmore, AB
February 8 – Mocha Cabana, Lethbridge, AB
February 9 – Fratters, Red Deer, AB
February 12 – Cha Island, Edmonton, AB
February 13 – Café Haven, Sherwood Park, AB
February 17 – The 555, Winnipeg, MB (new!)

Two years ago, in the span of three months, Kerrville New Folk finalist Lindsay May lost her mother, her grandmother, and the beloved fur-child who’d been helping her get through the first two passages.

Gripped by the realization that life can be fleeting, the business graduate who had long supported her artistic growth with a corporate paycheck, walked away from her account exec gig to devote herself full-time to the music career she’d
been building for a decade.

Though her new EP, Girl with Grit, was already written before tragedy struck, its prevailing themes of perseverance and women’s empowerment make for the perfect “come-back album” for Lindsay, after a period during which she battled through grief and boldly launched herself into the wildly insecure world of the music business.

The album’s characters – all women – are strong, adventurous, resilient, and self-aware, if flawed. And Lindsay belts out their stories in a voice as powerful as they are, backed by polished, Nashville-style production and instrumentation, minus the twang. Read the rest of this entry »

PEI’s Ashley Condon tours to promote David Francey-produced sophomore project

Nov. 14 – Good Earth Café, Canmore, AB
Nov. 17 – Twin Butte General Store, Twin Butte, AB
Nov. 20 – Cha Island, Edmonton, AB
Nov. 21 – United Church of Athabasca, Athabasca, AB
Nov. 22 – Calgary Folk Club, Calgary, AB
Nov. 26 and 27 – The Company House, Halifax, NS
Nov. 28 – The DeCoste Centre, Pictou, NS
Nov. 29 – The Shannon Centre, Port Hawkesbury, NS
Nov. 30 – Harmony House Theatre, Hunter River, PEI

ECMA nominee Ashley Condon is hitting the road later next month to introduce fans in Alberta and the Maritimes to her beautiful, David Francey-produced sophomore album, This Great Compromise.
The album, which has her nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award for Emerging Artist of the Year, hit #1 on the Galaxie folk and roots charts and has been holding steady in the Top 20 on the folk charts.
What’s more, the East Coast leg of the tour will see Condon opening for her mentor himself. It’s the latest chapter in the budding working relationship between the songwriter and her song-writing idol, the story of which is enough to leave a skeptic believing in kismet. Read the rest of this entry »

Amanda Rheaume fall album launch dates

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Sept. 11 – The Red Herring Pub, St. Andrews, NB

Sept. 12 – Colin’s Log Cabin Diner, Woodstock, NB
Sept. 13 – Plan B, Moncton, NB
Sept. 14 – Red Shoe Pub, Mabou, NS
Sept. 16 – Paddy’s Pub, Wolfville, NS
Sept. 18 – the Company House, Halifax, NS
Sept. 19 – Creekview Restaurant, Gagetown, NB
Oct. 25 – La Fromagerie, Sudbury,ON
Oct. 26 – Lavigne Tavern, Lavigne, ON
Nov. 1 – Keraganos, Moose Jaw, SK
Nov. 6 – Stables, Fairmont Lake Louise, Lake Louise, AB (new!)
Nov. 7 – Ironwood, Calgary, AB
Nov. 8 – General Store, Twin Butte, AB (new!)
Nov. 10 – The Auditorium, Nanton AB (new!)
Nov. 13 – Café Deux Soleil, Vancouver, BC (new!)
Nov. 15 – Bozzini’s, Chilliwack, BC
Nov. 16 – Riverfront Pub, Grindrod, BC (new!)
Nov. 17 – Elk and Oarsman, Banff, AB (new!)
Nov. 20 – Good Earth Café, Canmore, AB (new!)
Nov. 21 – the Blue Chair, Edmonton, AB
Nov. 22-23 – Bell Petroleum Centre, Peace River, AB
Nov. 27 – Grassroots Regina, Regina, SK
Nov. 28 – West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, MB (new!)
Nov. 29 – The Foundry, Thunder Bay (new!)
Nov. 30 – Loplops, Sault Ste-Marie, ON

From Alberta indie country artist Cori Brewster to Texas singer-songwriter Tom Russell, roots artists have been known to make their most inspired albums by turning their attention to their own family histories. Now award-winning roots-pop-Americana artist Amanda Rheaume is adding to the canon with Keep a Fire, a varied and evocative collection of mostly story-songs about her ancestors that more than lives up to the tradition of epic family-of-origin albums. Read the rest of this entry »

Joe et Joël Fafard – A Tune To Art: Sculpture and Song

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Un sculpteur récipiendaire de l’Ordre du Canada et son musicien de fils finaliste  du prix Juno joignent leurs efforts  pour présenter un concert et une exposition d’art visuel  en un spectacle inoubliable! 

Octobre :
Le15 octobre – Slate Gallery, Regina, SK
Le 16 octobre – Slate Gallery, Regina, SK
Le 18 octobre – The Bassment, Saskatoon, SK
Le 19 octobre – Roots Emporium, Lloydminster, AB
Le 20 octobre – Festival Place, Edmonton, AB
Le 22 octobre – Festival Hall, Calgary, AB
Le 24 octobre – Headbones Gallery, Vernon, BC
Le 25 octobre – Summerhill Winery, Kelowna, BC
Le 28 octobre – Heritage Hall, Vancouver, BC
Le 30 octobre – Gibsons Public Art Gallery, Gibsons, BC

Novembre :
Le 8 novembre – Mayberry Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
Le 12 novembre – Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON
Le 14 novembre – Cube Gallery, Ottawa, ON
Le 15 novembre – Cube Gallery, Ottawa, ON
Le 16 novembre -Château Ramezay, Montréal, QC
Le 19 novembre – Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke, QC
Le 20 novembre – Musée canadien des civilisations, Québec, QC

Les beaux arts rencontrent la musique authentique du peuple lorsqu’un sculpteur récipiendaire de l’Ordre du Canada et son musicien de fils finaliste du prix Juno présentent un des spectacles les plus originaux de ces dernières années – un événement unique qui se compose d’un concert et d’une exposition d’art visuel. A Tune To Art: Sculpture and Song présente les nouvelles oeuvres de Joe Fafard et des duos de Joël Fafard (prononcer JO-ELLE) avec le guitariste de Toronto, Joel Schwartz (prononcer JOLE).

Joe Fafard crée les œuvres publiques les plus reconnaissables du pays, notamment Running Horses qui accueille les visiteurs à l’extérieur de la Galerie nationale du Canada, Royal Sweet Diamond, sculpture d’un taureau de bronze de grandeur naturelle, qui garde l’entrée du bâtiment de BC Turf à Vancouver. Ses vaches de bronze paissent tranquillement à l’extérieur du Centre Toronto Dominion à Toronto. Do ré mi fa sol la si do représente des chevaux découpés dans de l’acier qui courent dans le centre ville de Calgary et le long du fleuve Saint-Laurent à Québec. Joe a obtenu l’Ordre du Canada, l’Ordre du Mérite de la Saskatchewan et la médaille des arts connexes de l’Institut royal d’architecture du Canada. Les universités de Régina et du Manitoba lui ont aussi décerné des grades honoris causa. En outre, son travail apparaît sur une série de timbres postaux.

Au cours de presque deux décennies, Fafard junior a su faire évoluer une carrière musicale unique qui comprend des périodes comme auteur-compositeur-interprète de roots rock, instrumentiste de guitare acoustique et plus récemment, comme agent de renouveau du roots et du blues du Sud des États-Unis. Or, le public l’accompagne toujours lors de ses méandres artistiques, car Joël possède des aptitudes peu communes comme artiste de scène et ce don rare de magie technique et de communication émotionnelle comme guitariste. L’engagement constant de Joël dans ses passions musicales, quelles que soient les tendances du jour, lui ont valu d’être finaliste du prix Juno, du prix de Musique folklorique canadienne et de l’International Acoustic Music Award et d’obtenir un prix du Western Canadian Music Award.

Ensemble, le père et le fils ont un pied dans le monde de la musique indépendante et l’autre dans les arts visuels, un pied fermement planté dans le peuple et l’autre dans la haute société. Pourtant leurs œuvres respectives sont nées du même paysage dénudé des Prairies et semblent aussi complémentaires que le père et le fils eux-mêmes. Read the rest of this entry »

Joe and Joël Fafard – A Tune to Art: Sculpture and Song: An Order of Canada-winning sculptor and his Juno-nominated musician son combine a concert and visual art show into one unforgettable event!

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October:
15th – Slate Gallery, Regina, SK
16th – Slate Gallery, Regina, SK
17th – Slate Gallery, Regina, SK
18th – The Bassment, Saskatoon, SK
19th – Roots Emporium, Lloydminster, AB
20th – Festival Place, Edmonton, AB
22nd – Festival Hall, Calgary, AB
24th – Headbones Gallery, Vernon, BC
25th – Summerhill Winery, Kelowna, BC
28th – Heritage Hall, Vancouver, BC
30th – Gibsons Public Art Gallery, Gibsons, BC

November:
8th – Mayberry Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
12th – Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON
14th – Cube Gallery, Ottawa, ON
15th – Cube Gallery, Ottawa, ON
16th -Château Ramezay, Montréal, QC
19th – Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke, QC
20th – Museum of Civilization, Québec City, QC

High art meets deep roots as an Order of Canada-winning sculptor and his Juno-nominated musician son present one of the most unique Canadian concert tours in recent history – a combination concert and visual art show all rolled into one.  A Tune To Art: Sculpture and Song showcases new works by Joe Fafard and a new duo project by Joël Fafard (pr. Joe-ELL) that sees him teaming up with Toronto guitarist Joel Schwartz (pr. JOLE)

Joe Fafard has created some of the most recognizable public art in the country, including the Running Horses that greet visitors outside the National Gallery of Canada.  His life-size bronze bull sculpture, Royal Sweet Diamond, stands in front of the B.C. Turf building in Vancouver. His bronze cows “graze” outside the Toronto Dominion Centre in Toronto. And “Do re mi fa sol la si do,” a herd of steel-cut horses, runs through downtown Calgary and along the St. Lawrence River in Quebec City. Joe has been awarded the Order of Canada, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and the Medal in Allied Arts from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He has also been presented with honorary degrees from the Universities of Saskatchewan, Regina and Manitoba, and his work has appeared on a series of postage stamps.

Over the course of nearly two decades, the younger Fafard has carved out a one-of-a-kind music career that has included stints as a singing, song-writing roots rocker, an acoustic guitar instrumentalist, and, most recently, a southern roots and blues revivalist.  What keeps audiences sticking with him through these artistic twists and turns is Joël’s uncommon skill as a stage entertainer and his rare combination of technical wizardry and emotional communication as a guitarist. Joël’s steadfast commitment to his musical passions,  regardless of industry trends, has been rewarded with a Juno nomination, a Western Canadian Music Award, a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination and an International Acoustic Music Award nomination.

Together, father and son straddle the worlds of independent music and visual art, of grassroots and “high society.”   And yet, their respective works, both born out of the barren prairie landscape, seem as natural a compliment to one another as the father and son themselves.   Read the rest of this entry »