For over forty years Paul has been well-known as an award-winning producer of folk music recordings. He has produced over 200 records by various folk artists including Stan Rogers. All but one of Stan’s records were produced by Paul. He has also worked with other well-known artists such as Sharon, Lois and Bram, Natalie McMaster, Ron Hynes and April Verch. This year, Paul was named a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his life’s work. Paul is delighted to be once again producing the annual Stan Rogers Tribute at Hugh’s Room Live now in its fifteenth year. He will be leading a first-class house band consisting of Tom Leighton on piano and accordion, David Woodhead (a former Stan Rogers bass player) on bass, and Andrew Bryan on Fiddle.
Raised in London, Ontario, Laura headed to Toronto in 1975, and was fortunate to make the definitive move to Cape Breton in 1984, where, encouraged by a vibrant music scene, she was able to make strides in her desire for a life on the stage as a singer songwriter and actress.
Until 2012, Laura’s body of work consisted primarily of three, full-length recordings of original songs. She received two East Coast Music Awards for her second project, “B’tween the Earth and My Soul” and several nominations for the next recording, “It’s A Personal Thing”. There were a couple of Juno Nominations, a Gemini award for the televised performance she gave to honour Peter Gzowski at The Governor General’s Awards, as well as, an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Mount Saint Vincent University to honour her songwriting.
After having to take an enforced hiatus due to some debilitating accidents in the last ten years, Laura released “Everything Is Moving” on the Borealis label on April 23rd, 2013. Of her first album in 16 years, Peter Goddard of The Toronto Star wrote, “Like Joni Mitchell, Smith extends her traditions with such creative dynamism that the traditions will now be forced to keep up.”
Bill Craig is an Irish performer based in Hamilton. He has appeared at Festivals, folk clubs and pubs throughout Canada the U.S. including Mariposa and the Caledon Festival. After 10 years of Rock n Roll and hair which included a year (1976) as the last guitarist for Edward Bear, Bill formed the Foggy Duo with multi instrumentalist Don Garbutt, then Skyboat (album “Ship in Distress on Plantlife”), then following a long solo stint he joined the Irish Rovers(97-98) and with them performed in 40 plus states and provinces in the U.S. and Canada. In Europe Bill has played some of the best European Festivals including Tonder and Skagan in Denmark. He has appeared on PBS radio on the shows Live from Aribica Coffee House and Standing Rock U. His love for Stan’s music shows on his recent tribute album “The Road Back Home Again”
Ariel is a familiar face at Hugh’s Room – one of her favourite venues in Toronto. She has overseen the legacy left behind in the wake of Stan’s tragic death and is pleased that Borealis Records will continue to nurture his music on the same firm ground. A musician in her own right, she has spent many years on stage and behind the wings in countless productions for community theatre in the Hamilton-Wentworth area. She has four very talented children who have also brought her much joy in the gift of four wonderful grand-daughters. Ariel is married to singer-songwriter Scott Cameron Smith.
Doug cut his teeth in the hyper intensive Southern Ontario songwriter scene of the early ’70’s. His contemporaries include Stan Rogers, Willie P. Bennett, Ian Tamblyn, Joe Hall and many others. He became known for his crafted songs and for a sometimes over the top comedic presentation that helped to set him apart. Doug’s songs were covered by Valdy, Stan Rogers, Colleen Peterson, Garnet Rogers and others.
Although he has continued performing and released new material, in more recent times he was known as as a folk festival Director (Festival of Friends, Winnipeg, Eaglewood, etc) and as a board member and eventually President of the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals.
Doug now lives in Wakefield Quebec where he partakes of the lively local music scene and runs a successful recording and video studio, Wakefield Sound and Light. Most recently he has produced a web series on the rebuilding of the West Block of the Parliament Buildings (“Stonehands” with Bobby Watt) and has been involved in productions in Ireland.
This January saw the release of his 10th CD : “Tears Like Rain” and a series of successful concerts in Ontario and Quebec in support of that CD.
Beth is very happy, once again, to be performing at Hugh’s Room for the Stan Rogers tribute. Each year brings new faces and talents to the line-up, and always proves to be a new and wonderful experience. Beth has been an avid performer for over 20 years now, and is very involved in Hamilton’s Musical Theatre scene. She is supported by her loving husband, Roger and her teenage daughter, Violet.
Trevor Mills has been a singer-songwriter and a bass player for many artists including Aengus Finnan and Digging Roots. He has three albums to his credit. Trevor is no stranger to the annual Stan Rogers tribute at Hugh’s Room. He has, many times, been the bass player in the backup band. He grew up around his father and, by extension, around folk musicians like Stan. He knows and loves the music and is thrilled to join the show as a singer this year.