Archive for Roots

Ken Whiteley’s Gospel Brunch

Sunday, November 17, 2019 | 2:00pm

Ken Whiteley Gospel Brunch
$25 Advance / $30 Door *

Doors: 12:30pm
Brunch: 1:00pm
Performance: 2:00pm

Once you have experienced a Gospel Brunch with Ken Whiteley, you will want to savour more. Whiteley, one of Canada’s most respected roots musicians and recording producers, always presents an open-ended range of musical styles and forms of spiritual expression at these Sunday afternoon Gospel sessions.

Artists TBA

* All-you-can-eat brunch ($20) not included in ticket price
* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Fergus Hambleton

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 | 8:30pm

Fergus Hambleton
$20 Advance / $25 Door *

Pleased to announce the release of my brand new album NEIGHBOURHOODS, a tour through some musical neighbourhoods… ones I’ve known and ones I can only imagine.

We’ll be celebrating with a special concert at Hugh’s Room on November 6, with a wonderful band, including many of the outstanding musicians that are appearing on the album. I’m especially “chuffed” to announce that I’ll be manufacturing vinyl as well as CDs to do justice to the awesome artwork by Barbara Klunder!

It’s been a labour of love and I want to especially thank Vezi Tayyeb who captured everything so beautifully and George Koller for his awesome vibe and encouragement.

Fergus Hambleton is a versatile singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist who, during his illustrious career, has been a leading performer and songwriter in the folk, pop and reggae music arenas. Fronting the Juno Award winning reggae outfit, The Sattalites and enjoying a successful solo career are among his many musical achievements.

“Written On The Wind” is the latest example of Fergus’ diverse musical abilities. With simple straightforward arrangements produced by George Koller and Fergus at Number Nine Studios in Toronto, “Written On The Wind”

features 10 new original songs that highlight Fergus’ diverse musical abilities, along with a unique take on the Brian Hyland classic “Sealed With a Kiss” that features George Koller on bass.

Fergus is also busy with a variety of band projects, and continues to play live on a regular basis with The Sattalites, his ongoing Tuesday Night Club, and his own jazz ensemble The Jazz Lovers Society. Currently living in Toronto, Fergus has a busy teaching and performing schedule. Armed with a life-long quest for knowledge, Fergus has immersed himself in a wide range of musical interests and has made a keen study of the history of music, the technology behind the music business and the inter-connections between different styles of music.

website: https://www.fergushambleton.com
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uZD50WWeg8

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

John Wort Hannam

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | 8:30pm

John Wort Hannam
$30 Advance / $35 Door

In 2001, John Wort Hannam quit his teaching job and spent 10 months depleting his savings while sat at his kitchen table, wearing a lucky hat, writing his first ten songs.  Those songs would become his first recording Pocket Full Of Holes, released in 2003.

Eighteen years later, the Alberta musician has released seven full-length recordings and has a few feathers in that lucky hat.  Feathers that include a JUNO nomination, a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Album of the Year, A CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award, a Kerrville Texas New Folk win, and numerous Western Canadian Music Award and Canadian Folk Music Award nominations.

Recent years have seen a great deal of change in John’s life – becoming a Dad, turning 50, a move to the big city (Lethbridge), a marital reckoning, a long, deep bout of depression, and episodes of losing his singing voice.  But John has emerged a better songwriter, a better singer, and a better player. On Acres Of Elbow Room, John has further found his lyrical style and has landed squarely on his niche in the folk/roots world. He’s spent years learning the craft of songwriting and is taking those tools to write some of his most personal songs. He has, quite literally, found his voice.

These days John Wort Hannam has a new sound, a new band, a new confidence, and a ton of new songs. And it’s coming across loud and clear in his live show. With his firecracker band – Jason Valleau on upright bass, Jon May on drums, Scott Duncan on fiddle, and Stephen Fletcher on keys – John is making waves in a new soundscape.

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Tom Rush

Thursday, October 17, 2019 | 8:30pm

Tom Rush
Advance $45.00 / Door: $50.00

Tom Rush is a gifted musician and performer, whose shows offer a musical celebration…a journey into the tradition and spectrum of what music has been, can be, and will become. His distinctive guitar style, wry humour and warm, expressive voice have made him both a legend and a lure to audiences around the world. His shows are filled with the rib-aching laughter of terrific story-telling, the sweet melancholy of ballads and the passion of gritty blues.

Rush’s impact on the American music scene has been profound. He helped shape the folk revival in the ’60s and the renaissance of the ’80s and ’90s, his music having left its stamp on generations of artists. James Taylor told Rolling Stone, “Tom was not only one of my early heroes, but also one of my main influences.” Country music star Garth Brooks has credited Rush with being one of his top five musical influences. Rush has long championed emerging artists. His early recordings introduced the world to the work of Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and James Taylor, and in more recent years his Club 47® concerts have brought artists such as Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin to wider audiences when they were just beginning to build their own reputations.

Today, Tom Rush lives in Massachusetts when he’s not touring. His voice has grown even richer and more melodic, and his music, like a fine wine, has matured and ripened in the blending of traditional and modern influences. He’s written a number of new songs. He’s doing what he loves, and what audiences love him for: writing and playing …passionately, tenderly… knitting together the musical traditions and talents of our times.

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Lloyd Spiegel   

Wednesday, October 9 ,2019 | 8:30pm

Lloyd Spiegel   
$25 Advance / $30 Door

“A revelation, the consummate performer, an Oz Blues & Roots icon.” – Rolling Stone Australia

Australian blues musician Lloyd Spiegel isn’t here to change the world, just make it a little more bearable. As Lloyd celebrates his 30th year on tour in 2019, he can’t recall a time before playing guitar. Picking up the instrument at age four, Lloyd played his first professional show at age ten and was touring the east coast of Australia at 12.

By 16 he was on tour in the United States, cutting his teeth as a true travelling blues man. Lloyd’s travels not only honed his craft, earned him a swag of awards and brought him to take counsel with the founding fathers of modern blues – it taught him the most important part of being a blues musician: connecting with everyday people.

Lloyd has toured extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, viewing himself as a social worker more than anything else – someone to help people forget about their worries for a few hours and put a smile on their face. His contributions to music have earned him myriad accolades, such as Best Artist and Best Album at the Australian Blues Awards and being named as one of Australian Guitar Magazine’s Top 50 Australian guitarists of all time.

He has also supported the likes of Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Etta James, and sat in with masters of the blues genre such as Brownie McGhee and Luther Allison.

In 2019, Lloyd releases his tenth album ‘Cut And Run’, the final part of an unexpected trilogy about personal redemption Lloyd didn’t even realise he was writing until it was finished. Where previous albums ‘Backroads’ and ‘This Time Tomorrow’ had Lloyd asking questions and begging forgiveness for the sins of his past, on ‘Cut And Run’ he has found the tenacity to face the next chapter of his life.

First taste of the album is lead single ‘Track Her Down’, a deep and soulful blues number about the fleeting, yet precious, nature of connections he makes with people on the road and the fragility of personal relationships for a travelling musician.

Since 2004, Lloyd has been the world-wide demonstrator and premier endorsee for Cole Clark Guitars, an Australian company that designs and builds its guitars with Lloyd’s hard-hitting style in mind.

Somewhere between songwriter, social worker and truth-seeker sits Lloyd Spiegel, guitar in hand and a song at the ready. Don’t miss this incredible talent and charismatic personality when Lloyd Spiegel returns to stages around the world.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

The Stanfields

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 | 8:30pm

The Stanfields
$25 Advance / $30 Door *

The Stanfields are a five-piece rock/roots band based in Halifax NS, Canada. They play what they want, sing what they feel, and leave nothing on the table.

Jon Landry – Vox, Guitar, Harmonica,
Calen Kinney – Violin or Fiddle, Bouzouki, Vox
Jason MacIsaac – Guitar, Vox
Dillan Tate – Bass, Vox
Mark Murphy – Drums, Vox

The Stanfields get right to the point in the first lines of the first song on their new album, Limboland:  “A line was drawn in the sand by a fool with a big stick and tiny hands/He promised a wall, talked about greatness and dared to speak for me.” That has the band fired up, and answering back big-time, plain-speaking, and plain-rocking: “I’m not afraid of the world,” comes the answer. The Stanfields are back, and ready to sing out loud and clear.

“There’s so much going on in the world, there’s so much uncertainty, I think it’s important that we’re speaking in a really clear voice,” says lead singer and songwriter Jon Landry. Limboland is the fifth album for the Halifax-based band, which sees them take an unflinching look at the negative forces that threaten rights and liberties for all, while doing it all with their trademark swirl of guitars, pounding drums, fiddle and rowdy energy.

No, it’s not political, it’s simply trying to be reasonable, like most of us want. “It’s not just Trump, or Rupert Murdoch, it’s Justin Trudeau and others too, everybody’s just grinding their axe, and we’re not listening to each other,” says Landry.  “People are scared to have an opinion lest they be drawn and quartered on social media. The extremist dummies speak the loudest, meanwhile everybody else is in the middle, holding a more moderate view. I like to think that’s where we are, we don’t particularly bang on a drum one side or the other, I like to think we’re in the realm of common sense.”

In other words, screw politics and profit, let’s worry about the big picture:  “Your flag won’t save you anymore/keep the ocean from rising up and washing away the shore.” Strong advice, but at the same time, some of the most exciting and memorable music the group has ever made.

This is the first album for the group since 2015’s Modem Operandi, and the first to be recorded with the two newest members of the band, fiddler Calen Kinney and bass player Dillan Tate.

“Bringing the new guys into the band really gave myself and Jmac (guitar player Jason MacIsaac) and Murph (drummer Mark Murphy) the license to take a stop and reflect on what we had done musically up to this part,” says Landry. “To say okay, let’s go full-circle here, let’s harness these young guys’ energy to be okay doing three minute songs again, and be forthright about what we’re saying instead of trying to mask it behind some kind of artsy facade. Let’s be comfortable with who we are.”

As fans of The Stanfields’ dynamic live show know, that means bringing a message, and bringing the noise. “Our thing has always been, since day one as a band, trying to find that sweet spot where entertainment and art can co-exist,” says Landry.

You’d never call The Stanfields traditional, but being from Nova Scotia, they can’t help soaking up those influences, especially the storytelling. “It’s in my blood,” confirms Landry. “Somebody told me that I sound like I write songs from 100 years ago, which is a fantastic compliment for my sake. John Prine has been my hero since I was a kid, but I also liked Nirvana.”

Those East Coast images show up in ‘Lantern In The Window.’ “That song’s about making sure that we actually have a place in our hearts and our minds for people who are homeless or people who are being repressed. It’s sort of a warning shot, if we continue down this path, our civil liberties are going to be degraded.”

Another highlight is ‘Total Black,’ which features Celtic duo Cassie and Maggie MacDonald, winners of this year’s Traditional Album of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.  Maggie joined Landry for shared lead vocals, while Cassie played twin fiddles with Calen.

The Stanfields have been road-testing the new songs and are thrilled with the reception. “We have the Blacktop Ball festival that we do every year on the North Shore of Nova Scotia in August, and the first night we played the record front to back,” says Landry. “This is the party faithful showing up for the event, and it went over really well. We’ve been playing them here and there and they’ve been going over gangbusters.”

Fired up, speaking out and rocking harder than ever, Limboland sees The Stanfields at their very best.

website: https://thestanfields.ca/ 
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcF09JzClmU

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

David Francey

Sunday, October 6, 2019 | 8:30pm

David Francey
Advance $40.00 / Door: $45.00

David Francey is a Scottish-born Canadian carpenter-turned-songwriter, who has become known as “one of Canada’s most revered folk poets and singers” (Toronto Star). Born in Ayrshire, Scotland to parents who were factory workers, he moved to Canada when he was twelve. For decades, he worked across Canada in rail yards, construction sites, and in the Yukon bush, all the while writing poetry, setting it to melodies in his head and singing it to himself as he worked.

A truly authentic folk singer, Francey is a documentarian of the working person who never imagined earning a living from his music. But when he was in his 40s, his wife, artist Beth Girdler, encouraged him to share his songs and sing in public. The reaction was instant. His first album Torn Screen Door came out in 1999 and was a hit in Canada. Since then, he has released eleven albums, won three Juno Awards and has had his songs covered by such artists as The Del McCoury Band, The Rankin Family, James Keelaghan and Tracy Grammer.

Francey also had the honour of receiving the prestigious SOCAN Folk Music Award as well as taking home the Grand Prize in both the International Acoustic Music Award and in the Folk category for the John Lennon Songwriting Award.

“David’s straightforward songs tell honest stories of real people and real places. Poetic perception and a keen eye for the heart of the matter are trademarks of the man and his music. His songs and stories are a direct connection for audiences seeking depth and meaning in the day-to-day.” Shelter Valley Folk Festival

David Francey was born in Ayrshire, Scotland where he got his first taste of the working life as a paperboy. At age 10 he was devouring the newspapers he delivered, establishing a life-long interest in politics and world events while developing the social conscience that forms the backdrop of his songs.

He was twelve when his family immigrated to Toronto. He says he can trace his love of the land, the history, and the people of his adopted country to weekend family drives exploring southern Ontario. Music played a large part in these family outings. They sang traditional Scottish tunes as they drove through the Canadian countryside. Dad and sister Muriel sang melody, while mother and David sang harmonies.

His attachment to Canada grew with travel. He hitched across the country three times, then thumbed his way to the Yukon. This attachment surfaces in his songs of rail lines, farms, and the St. Lawrence Seaway. He grew to understand the people while working in Toronto train yards, the Yukon bush, and as a carpenter in the Eastern Townships. These experiences colour his first CD, Torn Screen Door, with songs like Hard Steel Mill, Gypsy Boys, and Working Poor and his second, Far End of Summer, with Highway, Flowers of Saskatchewan and February Morning Drive.

In concert David is a singer and a storyteller. His wry humour and astute observations combined with his open-hearted singing style have earned him a loyal following.

David lives with his wife, artist Beth Girdler in the quiet but charming Lanark Highlands in southern Ontario. They are visited often by their son Colin, daughters Amy and Julia and grandkids Tristan, Alice and Millicent.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Martin Simpson

Friday, October 4, 2019 | 8:30PM

Martin Simpson
Advance $25.00 / Door $30.00 *

There is no doubt that after 45 years as a professional musician Martin is, right now, better than ever. Widely acknowledged as one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world, his interpretations of traditional songs are masterpieces of storytelling. His solo shows are intense, eclectic, spellbinding and deeply moving.

There is no-one who has more successfully combined the diverse elements of British, Afro-American and old-timey music than Simpson. His 15 years living in the US were well spent. In addition his own songwriting has produced some real gems, from the truck-stop epic, “Love Never Dies” to the profoundly moving “Never Any Good” and “One Day”.

His career includes collaborations on stage and record with Richard Hawley, Richard Thompson, June Tabor, Kelly Joe Phelps, Jackson Browne, Danny Thompson, Danú, Martin Carthy, Cara Dillon, David Lindley, Roy Bailey, Martin Taylor, David Hidalgo, Steve Miller, Dick Gaughan, Dom Flemons and many more.

Martin has been nominated an astounding 27 times in the fifteen years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – more than any other performer – with 9 consecutive years as nominee for Musician of The Year, which he has won twice. The year 2008 saw an incredible 5 nominations for “Prodigal Son’ and 2 wins, whilst in 2010 he had an unprecedented 6 nominations for his CD, “True Stories” and a win for Best Traditional Track, “Sir Patrick Spens”. 2012’s nominations for Martin include, Best Album for ‘Purpose & Grace”, Best Traditional Track for “The Lakes Of Ponchartrain” and Best Musician. In 2014 his album, ‘Vagrant Stanzas’ was nominated for Album Of The Year, but it was a member of The Full English that he collectively took home awards that year, for Best Group and Album Of The Year. 2015 saw him working in a new trio with the wonderful Andy Cutting and Nancy Kerr and they also released an album together, ‘Murmurs’, to wide, critical acclaim. He is currently working on new material for his next solo album.

Whether playing American old-time music, blues, a Dylan song or his own material, Martin Simpson is unpredictable, individual and a guitarist of immense subtlety.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Matchedash Parish CD Release

Monday, September 23, 2019 | 8:00pm

Matchedash Parish CD Release
$25 Advance / $30 Door
Every ticket purchase includes a FREE copy of the debut self-titled album

Matt Weidinger and Lance Anderson have formed the Matchedash Parish with 12 of the country’s top blues and roots music artists. It is a powerhouse soul and gospel/roots show guaranteed to bring the house down.

Juno award-winning producer Lance Anderson (leader of Mariposa’s An Evening of Blues and Gospel and The Last Waltz – the hit closer of Mariposa Folk Festival 2017) has brought together another wonderful roster of BLUES ALL STARS, but this time to perform original songs and masterful arrangements some of the greatest soul and gospel tunes. Along with Kitchener phenom Matt Weidinger and and three background singers led by the amazing vocalist Quisha Wint, and featuring Michelle White and Jill Zahdeh. Matchedash Parish will create a tent revival atmosphere with this ‘congregation’ of talent.

Backed by a nine-piece band including two drummers: Memphis born Shamakah Ali (Al Green, The Barkays) and Ben Rollo (Lucky Peterson, Danny Michel), percussionist Art Avalos (Manteca), horns Gene Hardy, sax (Bourbon Tabernacle Choir), William Sperandei, trumpet (Harry Connick Jr., Colin James), Hammond organ, piano, mandolin (Weidinger), piano, accordion (Anderson), guitarist Mackenzie Jordan, (Jackets) and on bass Mark Mcintyre. The rhythm this group creates is a freight train that will pick you up and drop you down in the swamplands of the south.

Matt Weidnger: http://mattweidinger.com
Quisha Wint: http://www.quishawint.com
Lance Anderson: http://makeitrealrecords.com

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Andy Irvine

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 | 8:30pm

Andy Irvine
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00

Andy Irvine is one of the great Irish singers, his voice one of a handful of truly great ones that gets to the very soul of Ireland. He has been hailed as “a tradition in himself.” Musician, singer and songwriter, Andy has maintained his highly individual performing skills throughout his over 50-year career. From Sweeney’s Men in the mid 60s, to the enormous success of Planxty in the 70s, his duo with Paul Brady in the later 70s and then from Patrick Street to Mozaik, LAPD and Usher’s Island, Andy has been a world music pioneer and an icon for traditional music and musicians.

As a soloist, Andy fills the role of the archetypal troubadour with a show and a travelling lifestyle that reflect his lifelong influence, Woody Guthrie. To quote The Irish Times, “Often copied, never equalled”, his repertoire consists of Irish traditional songs, dexterous Balkan dances and a compelling canon of his own self-penned songs.

www.andyirvine.com/index.html

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