Mexican Son Jarocho mixed in with Irish Jigs and Reels and a good dose of Country and Bluegrass. Music that has healthy servings of Ska, Soca and African Highlife throwing in a little White Boy Reggae. Of course it also has strains of Soul, Pop and Funk although by no means a funk band. It is mostly Acoustic although the band also likes Electric guitars. It is Singer-Songwriter based but not the coffee house variety. It is definitely FOLK music, but not in the Kumbaya style. It has a deep respect and appreciation for tradition (Bluegrass, Old Time, Celtic, Son) but it’s by no means Traditional. It Rocks incredibly hard and is extremely danceable, but that is not to say it can’t be mellow and slow and beautiful. It can be heart breaking, but also joyous. It is never dark or angst ridden, and always full of hope – but not in the ‘Up With People’ kind of way. It’s not Jazz, although the band likes Jazz a lot. It’s not heavy metal or punk or grunge, although the band loves Rush and AC/DC. It is World Roots Music. It’s POP music. It is GOOD music. It has a tendency to connect people and means a lot to many folks the world over, and for that we are very grateful. It is the only multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-generational, multi-lingual, multi-instrumental, genre bending, co-ed band you will hear today!!
Folk powerhouse pair The Small Glories are Juno award winner Cara Luft & JD Edwards, a dynamic duo planted on the Canadian Prairies. A self-professed “study in contrasts,” Luft’s folkie yin proves a perfect match for Edwards’ rocker yang. Thrown together purely by accident for an anniversary show at Winnipeg’s venerable West End Cultural Centre, The Small Glories is a partnership that could almost make you believe in fate.
Straight out of the gate these two veteran singer/songwriters built a buzz around their tight harmonies, authenticity, visceral live performances and equally well-matched guitar prowess that doesn’t come around often. Luft packs a mean banjo as well. The Winnipeg Free Press asks, “can two singer-songwriters be better than one? Yes, emphatically, yes, if the two in question are Cara Luft and JD Edwards… It’s our loss they didn’t [join forces] sooner… It’s magic.”
Their 2016 debut album “Wondrous Traveler” is steeped in classic song structure, delivering instantly appealing melodic Americana with first-rate playing. The album found its way onto many critic’s Top 10 lists across North America and Europe, and The Small Glories are finding themselves on stages from Vancouver to London and beyond. Together, Luft and Edwards are a musical tour de force, a case of 1 + 1 = 3.
LEELA GILDAY BAND
A passionate singer/songwriter and soulful performer, Leela Gilday has a voice that comes straight from the heart. Confessing her stories to her audiences with a gutsy voice and open stage presence, Gilday weaves her experiences as a northerner, a member of the Dene nation, and a traveler into a beautiful world that transports the listener.
With four full-length recordings and a long touring history, Gilday has numerous awards to her credit, including a Juno, two Western Canadian Music Awards, Aboriginal Female Entertainer of the Year to name a few. Above all, she seeks connection with her audiences through music, and with each record brings more unique stories to the world. Whether it’s an anthem for the oppressed, or an upbeat song about mortality, she infuses her songs with a sense of humour as well as a sense of social justice, and an ironic appreciation of human folly.
Based out of Yellowknife, NT, Leela has toured festivals and concert halls with her four-piece band through every province and territory in Canada. She has also played internationally in several countries including Japan, US, Greenland, Denmark, and New Zealand. Her live shows, and many appearances on television and radio have earned her an important place in the Aboriginal music scene, as well as a loyal mainstream following.
Her new record “Heart of the People” (fall 2014) resonates with the heartbeat of the earth and the connection we all have to it as human beings.
California’s Folsom State Prison occupies a hallowed place in the history of roots music. As the location of several Johnny Cash performances and the subject of his song “Folsom Prison Blues,” it has become a symbol of the “outlaw” element of outlaw country. Now, some 60 years the California State Prison complex has had a transformational impact on another singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist roots musician: Canada’s Linda McRae.
After answering a call to host a song-writing workshop at New Folsom in 2011, McRae and her husband, James Whitmire, were moved to develop song-writing workshops for at-risk youth – to try and prevent them from ending up behind bars in the first place. Her new, Steve Dawson-produced album, Shadow Trails, is inspired by that work.
Though perhaps best-known for her eight-year tenure as a member of the platinum-selling band Spirit of the West, Linda McRae had already raised a daughter and performed for more than ten years with west coast punk and roots outfits before joining Spirit.
Performing on banjo, guitar and accordion her warm and world-weary voice, unforgettable melodies and thought-provoking lyrics, make McRae a captivating and sought-after artist. Promoter Fernando Pinto says “One song breaks your heart, the next one puts it back together”.
In 2006, McRae found love and much more with James Whitmire, a retired American rancher who had recently discovered his voice as a poet. Whitmire – who she pays tribute to on the album with the song “My Man” – became her manager, collaborator, and constant source of moral support while she’s out on the road. A recovered addict, who’s been clean for more than 28 years, Whitmire has life experience that many incarcerated individuals and at-risk youth relate to, and that has helped the couple build trusting connections through their therapeutic Express Yourself Writing Workshops currently being presented in detox centres, alternative schools, and youth and adult correctional facilities across North America.
That work, in turn, has inspired McRae, whose new album is chalk-full of raw, honest reflections on hardship delivered with a rough-hewn authenticity.
Shadow Trails has received high praise from international media.
No Depression reviewer John Apice “Sounds like something The Rolling Stones could sing now, today — if Leonard Cohen was their lyricist.”
Penguin Eggs’ Mike Sadava “In three words, this album kicks. She’s never sounded better”,
The Georgia Straight’s Alexander Varty “It’s a wiry, charged record ant finds McRae telling stories that have risen from the streets, from prison cells, and from her own generous heart”
LINDA IS A 2016 BC ENTERTAINMENT HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
and winner of the 2017 Family Folk Chorale Songwriting Contest
“Honest & affectionate, with a little bit of whimsy,” is the sentiment behind songstress Lauren Mann’s latest album Dearestly (Wildwood, 2016). The songs are a poignant narrative of dark and light set against the backdrop of different landscapes, and chronicle years of touring and personal joys and struggles. Musically, the album travels from moments of sparse simplicity to bombastic choruses, anchored by Lauren’s vocal prowess and beautiful melodies.
The Calgary native, who has recently put down roots in British Columbia’s Southern Gulf Islands, started touring full time in 2011 with her first album Stories From Home, a collection of self-produced home recordings. She followed this with the 2012 release Over Land and Sea, produced by Aaron Marsh (Copeland, Person L) and called “a sonic tapestry saturated by sunlight,” by Exclaim Magazine. The diverse instrumentation and beautiful harmonies centered around Lauren’s gift of songwriting garnered the attention of listeners and critics alike, with the songs Weight of the World, Over Land and Sea, and I Lost Myself going into regular rotation on CBC Radio 2 nationwide. In 2014, Lauren and her band affectionately known as the Fairly Odd Folk, were the winners of the CBC Searchlight contest, rising to the top of over 4500 bands across Canada and named Canada’s best new emerging artist.
Since her start in 2011, Lauren has captivated audiences with an impressive live performance at over 650 shows across Canada and the United States. She has shared the stage with bands such as July Talk, Reuben and the Dark, The Strumbellas, Rusted Root, The Matinee, Balkan Beat Box, Phox, among others, and has set herself apart not just as a songwriter, but as an engaging performer. Washington Post named Lauren “one of the best indie-folk rockers that you’ve never heard of,” which is sure to change with the release of Dearestly and the 50 date cross-Canada releas tour in the fall of 2016.
Dearestly, released with a pay-what-you-feel digital download on July 8, 2016 and CD and vinyl on August 19, 2016, was produced by Josh Rob Gwilliam (Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Cowpuncher) and Howard Redekopp (Tegan and Sara, Mother Mother) and recorded at OCL Studios in Calgary in September 2015. The album explores dynamic and organic soundscapes and textures creating a sound that hints at influences from Kate Bush to the Beatles but at the same time is completely unique. It’s an expertly crafted journey through moments of joyous elation to haunting darkness, providing a depth and maturity to the foundation that was laid in the 2012 release Over Land and Sea. The songs are an honest insight into Lauren’s personal journey and experiences in the past four years, and establish her as an adept songwriter and performer.
Rae Spoon is an award-winning Canadian musician, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and author. They have released eight solo albums spanning folk, indie rock and electronic genres over the past twelve years and have toured across Canada and internationally. Rae was the subject and composer of the score for the National Film Board–produced musical-documentary My Prairie Home, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2014. They have been nominated for two Polaris Prizes, a Lambda Literary Award, a Western Canadian Music Award, a CBC Radio 3 Bucky Award and a MOTHA Transgender Musician of the Year Award.
Armour, Spoon’s eighth solo album, is the highly anticipated follow-up to Polaris Prize–nominated My Prairie Home, a musical about Spoon’s fraught childhood in Alberta. As much as My Prairie Home was about Spoon’s upbringing as a queer youth in a Pentecostal household, Armour is about their view of the future. Moments of reckoning with trauma and self-preservation mingle with messages of hope and survival. Armour explores the idea that there is no instruction manual for healthy adulthood, asserting that the attempt to construct meaning is itself the point of life. The album is a tribute to the intimate space where both hope and despair have space to share the same voice. The ten new songs hold all of the lyrical depth indicative of Spoon’s compositions while showcasing their distinctive voice. Armour’s self- produced enigmatic soundscapes blur the lines between organic and electronic instruments. Analogue synthesizers, electronic drum programming, drum kits, percussion, electric bass, cello and guitar carry the album through pop refrains and danceable beats.
Rae’s first book, First Spring Grass Fire, was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2012. The book was a finalist for a Lambda Award in the Transgender Fiction category and was shortlisted for an Expozine Alternative Press Award. In the spring of 2014, Rae was awarded a Honour of Distinction by the Dayne Ogilvie Prize, presented by the Writers’ Trust of Canada. Rae’s second book, co- written with Ivan E. Coyote and titled Gender Failure, was published in 2014. Gender Failure was on the 2015 Over The Rainbow Reading List and was translated into German.
“Rae Spoon is one of the most important musicians working in Canada today.” – Now Magazine
“The mark of a gifted songwriter is the ability to create the most emotion with the fewest notes. Rae Spoon is a master of restraint, conveying both hope and hurt at once through simple melodies.” – Exclaim!
“Armour: synths and electronic percussion alongside guitars and Spoon’s evergreen vocals, melodic pop and sharply drawn verses, hope and despair.” – The Toronto Star
“With Armour, Rae Spoon has recorded one of the best albums of the year, and made a very strong case that they’re one of best, and most important, songwriters in Canada. Perfect electronic pop songs that groove, tear at your heart, and seek to create real change.” – Silent Shout
“One of Canada’s best songwriters.” – Aesthetic Magazine
“Spoon’s poignant, raw musicality paired with their evocative, powerful vocals have spoken to Canadians across the nation.” – The Gateway
“The album, Spoon’s eighth solo release, is another stellar electro-based offering of dreamy, rounded and sweetly pleasing pop with, as always, an aftertaste of pretty melancholia.” – Calgary Herald
“Steeped in personal themes and experience, Spoon’s body of work is truly singular.” – The Concordian
“Spoon is an ever-evolving, distinctive experimental artist.” – The Overcast
“The haunting, lovely tunes speak for themselves.” – British Film Institute
“Queer-positive, electronic-pop-infused.” – The Stranger
HOPE BAY COMMON
DEER AND COYOTE
As self-taught artists, both Chanda and Danny’s musical roots go back to their childhood where they found themselves always singing, whether in the rain or the sun or on the road in their 1974 Volkswagen van affectionately called “Little Fern”. Deer & Coyote continue to surprise those who stumble upon this down-to-earth and truly in love duo! They are slowly and unassumingly making their way into the independent music scene. Chanda Bosch (ne: Cooper) and Deer & Coyote have shared the stage with such talented performers as Andy Shauf, Josh Garrels, Cara Luft (former Wailin’ Jenny), grammy-winner Bryan Torwalt and more! When you support the music of Deer & Coyote you can rest in the assurance that you are supporting truly independent artists and helping fuel the ever-growing fire of quality independent Canadian music.
The story begins with a shy bearded woodsman who falls in love with a sweet songstress. The possibility of winning her heart was enough to inspire him to begin the arduous process of building his own cello and at almost 30 years of age teaching himself to play. For the better part of three years while working seasonally in a firetower, he has created multiple cello prototypes and has continued to master his craft, the efforts of which have more than paid off! His third firetower season was spent with his new wife by his side, making music together. How can one resist the madness of a true love story. They spent four years of dating, engagement and honeymooning while working seasonally at their Lookout Tower to finish the songs they share in ‘A LOVER FLIES SOUTH’.
Chanda and Dan live on the West Coast of Canada, where they love to build and create together, not only with music but with wood. Check out the many beautiful creations of Bosch Timberframe (www.boschtimberframe.com). Also, Dan and one of his cello prototypes are the subject of the short film “The Wood And Wave Each Other Know” (2011) by long time friends Jason de Haan & Miruna Dragan. It was recently exhibited in the Art Gallery Of Alberta as a part of the 2013 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art. This film has also been exhibited at the Khyber Center in Halifax, NS, at Dynamo Arts Association in Vancouver BC and featured in Canadian Art magazine
‘Force of Love’, Whitebird’s debut studio album released on October 7th, 2016. The album is focused on carrying the message of Love and Unity to all with the ears to hear. The Pender Island husband and wife duo Mathew and Sherry Anne Des Roches, along with their three year old ‘tour manager’ son, are excited to be releasing what they’ve called, “a little journey through the polarity of human experience”.
‘Force of Love’ contains the title track and lead single, which was written after the world’s attention was brought to the Syrian refugee crisis and plays like a social anthem. The album also contains the gospel inspired ‘Like Firelight’, dramatic spiritual ‘Orphaned Heart’, the stripped down and intimate love song ‘By Choice’, hip-hop influenced story of redemption ‘Very Bad Boy’, world beat ‘Old Ways’, and the melancholic moody album closer ‘Need to Breathe’.
2016 saw WhiteBird film and release a live session three song ep., go into the studio to record their seven song debut studio album and tour through Alberta, BC and a quick visit to Saskatchewan. While touring western Canada they played in Brooks, Alberta and received a wonderful show review from local journalist/ photographer Ryan Kiedrowski, “WhiteBird, Mathew and Sherry Anne Des Roches simply perform beautiful music. Insightful lyrics with profound meaning and fantastic melodies are a tie that binds their blossoming repertoire. We will no doubt be hearing more music from them soon…”.
“Let the Force of Love be all that stands between us” ~Mathew Des Roches
Maureen Washington Canadian/International Jazz singer, Maureen Washington is one of Vancouver Island’s most sought after vocalists. Her rich tones and captivating emotions have cultivated large audiences with her styling that encompasses the soul of Etta James, Carmen McRae and the modernity of Holly Cole. And yet she remains a voice of her own.
Maureen began her musical career in her home town of Prince George, British Columbia. Her vocal diversity lent itself to performances of blues, swing, jazz and funk with BOP, a band widely acclaimed as the best dance band in the Prince George region. Their versatile repertoire, ranging from Jazz and R&B classics to lively originals, brought them sold out crowds.
Now based in Victoria, British Columbia, Maureen continues to create new musical avenues and is blessed with a growing entourage of fans as she performs with duos, sextets, and solo artists, including singing back up on Canadian Folk legend Valdy’s 2011 album, Read Between the Lines.
Having had the honor of working with some of BC’s best musicians, Maureen is an accomplished jazz and blues vocalist, songwriter, and instructor. In the winter of 2016, Maureen released her ninth album, “Harvest Moon”, working alongside West Coast producer, Joby Baker, who is known for his Juno and Grammy award-winning tracks
Daniel Cook is a singer songwriter who fuses contagious melodies with timeless stories creating a fresh brand of Original West Coast Roots Music, and a guitarist who blends melody and minimalism into a sweet mix of jazz and country guitar traditions.
For over twenty-five years Daniel has performed, written and recorded with a multitude of original BC bands, including: Ngoma, East Vancouver’s quintessential hippy dance, drum, party ensemble; Bangers, one of Vancouver’s first instrumental acid jazz collectives; Lawnmower, a subterranean power punk trio; Solid 7, Victoria’s funk odyssey with Kia Kadiri & friends; Washington & Cook, a Funkified Urban Jazz partnership with Maureen Washington; and Daniel Cook & The Radiators, an all-original roots band.
As a singer songwriter, Daniel released his first solo album, Comfy Couches, in 2013. It was produced by Joby Baker and the title track was nominated for Roots Song of the year at the 2014 Vancouver Island Music Awards. Recognised as a talented songsmith, ‘Penny’ received second place at the 2014 Islands Song Writing Contest. Daniel continues to make a powerful musical mark as a singer songwriter in the West Coast Roots tradition.
Decades After Paris is a music project by Danton Jay & Heather Lynn that explores the issues brought on by climate change. Their music is engaging and thought provoking; climate fiction at its funkiest – Beyond the music, their efforts involve educating and facilitating dialogue about the issues at schools and festivals.
THE LAKE MEN
Growing up as a young child with house concerts, festivals, and non-stop live music, no-one was surprised that Benedict would become a musician. At the age of 14, he joined his first band Solar Cubes. While playing music with different bands, Benedict began to hone in on his solo music career. In recent years, he has pursued duel interest in music and Religious Studies, while attending the University of Victoria. Never one to shy away from discussions on life, God, social justice issues, Benedict has embraced Starfields to its core. Bossa nova meets balaeric indie chillwave.
Since an early age, Liz Dieleman has been singing and composing, cutting her harmonic teeth on the Psalter and her father’s folk songs. She recently moved to Victoria from the States with her 7 year old son, joining the Emmaus Community as a novice, and working as Music Director at the Abbey Church. In 2014, Liz was ordained through the New Seminary in Manhattan as an Interfaith Minister. She is also a birth and death assistant, editor-in-chief of the online ministry Promisebiblestudy.com, and is currently working on a graphic novel. You can find her selling local artisan crafts and food at the Local General Store, and can listen to a selection of her songs at lizdieleman.bandcamp.com.