Archive for Singer-Songwriter

Marc Cohn

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 | 8:30pm

Marc Cohn
Advance $70.00 / Door: $75.00

After winning a Grammy for his soulful ballad “Walking in Memphis,” Marc Cohn solidified his place as one of this generation’s most compelling singer-songwriters, combining the precision of a brilliant tunesmith with the passion of a great soul man. Rooted in the rich ground of American rhythm and blues, soul and gospel and possessed of a deft storyteller’s pen, he weaves vivid, detailed, often drawn-from-life tales that evoke some of our most universal human feelings: love, hope, faith, joy, heartbreak.

Cohn followed up his platinum-selling debut with two more releases in the 1990s, at which point Time magazine called him “one of the honest, emotional voices we need in this decade” and Bonnie Raitt declared, “Marc is one of the most soulful, talented artists I know. I love his songs, he’s an incredible singer, and I marvel at his ability to mesmerize every audience he plays for.”

Raitt, James Taylor, David Crosby, Graham Nash and Patty Griffin all made guest appearances on Cohn’s early records for Atlantic as his reputation as an artist and performer continued to grow. In 1998, Cohn took a decade-long sabbatical from recording, ending in 2007 with Join the Parade. Inspired by the horrific events following Hurricane Katrina and his own near fatal shooting just weeks before, Parade is his most moving and critically acclaimed record to date.

About his album Listening Booth: 1970, a collection of reimagined classics from that seminal year in music, Rolling Stone said, “Cohn has one of rock’s most soulful croons – a rich, immediately recognizable tenor that makes these songs his own.” In late 2014, Cohn released “The Coldest Corner in the World,” the title song to the documentary Tree Man and his first original song released in more than seven years.

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Jessica Rhaye Presents The Dylan Project

Sunday, November 3, 2019 | 8:30pm

Jessica Rhaye Presents The Dylan Project
Advance $20.00 / Door: $25.00

Nice work with the Dylan tunes… Especially liked hearing Lay Down Your Weary Tune” – Ron Sexsmith

I like it a lot. Very cool project.” – Dr. Rob Bowman, Grammy Award-Winning Professor of Ethnomusicology

Come celebrate the release of Just like a Woman – Songs of Bob Dylan Jessica Rhaye’s sixth full-length album, and first with backing band The Ramshackle Parade.  This rollicking folk-rock interpretation of Dylan’s classics and hidden gems transcends the concept of a simple tribute album. The result is a fun folk-rock album with psychedelic undertones, with folkie ballads, a conversation between rockabilly and swing, and engaging new interpretations of the Master’s works.

Just Like a Woman will be an evening of professionals performing live together – – true to the recording style of Dylan’s earlier work.  Members imagined working in the style of Dylan in Woodstock, the days of the Basement Tapes.

Jessica Rhaye is an award-winning singer/songwriter/graphic artist with a career spanning 20 years, and a list of accolades including a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination, multiple East Coast Music Award nominations, and Music New Brunswick awards. Jessica has graced many prestigious stages including the National Arts Centre, Stan Rogers Folk Festival, Mariposa Folk Festival, Canadian Music Café, Hotel Café, Half Moon Putney and many more.

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Mary Fahl formerly of October Project

Sunday, October 20, 2019 | 8:30PM

Mary Fahl formerly of October Project
Advance: $30.00 / Doors: $35.00

Mary Fahl makes music that feels timeless, esoteric and ecumenical.“ – B.Forman, CSINDY

Sounding like no other singer of her generation” (Allmusic.com), Mary Fahl is an expressive, emotional singer/songwriter who first achieved fame as lead singer and co-founder of the mid-1990s NYC- based chamber-pop group October Project. The hallmark of their sound was Mary Fahl’s awe-inspiring power vocals over gorgeous melodies played with passion and sophistication. As a solo artist, Mary has released several compelling albums, including the fantastic re-working of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” for V2 Records and her wonderful, original studio album “The Other Side of Time” on Sony Odyssey. She has also written and performed songs for several major motion pictures, including the lead song (“Going Home”) for the Civil War epic Gods and Generals. Her most recent album “Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House”, winner of the Indie Acoustic “Album of the Year” award, is a collection of twenty-four tracks recorded live at one of America’s oldest vaudeville theaters that captures the soaring, soul-permeating vocals and musical breadth that makes the Mary Fahl concert experience what the Portland Press called “soul-permeating”. The show was filmed for PBS and is currently airing on PBS affiliates around the country. Fahl’s elegant, cinematic songs draw on classical and world music sources, American art song, as well as thinking man’s folk-pop which she performs with an earthy, viscerally powerful contralto that Boston Globe critic Steve Morse calls “a voice for the gods that can transport listeners to other realms”. Her music appeals to a wide range of musical enthusiasts, including a large, loyal fan base of Mary Fahl evangelists.

Fahl, who hails from Rockland County, NY, lives in an idyllic setting in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband. Their 17th century house overlooking the Delaware River – complete with waterfall and surrounded by acres of gardens and woods, inspires Mary’s ongoing songwriting.

Website: http://maryfahl.com
Facebook: https://bit.ly/2T4JyCj
Twitter: @maryfahlmusic
Youtube: https://bit.ly/2T4JyCj

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Dar Williams

Friday, October 11, 2019

Dar Williams
Advance $35 / Door $40 *

Dar Williams has been called “one of America’s very best singer-songwriters” by The New
Yorker. She’s released ten studio albums and authored four books including her latest, “What I
Found In A Thousand Towns,” to be released in September.

Known as much for her staunch progressive ideals as her raw acoustic energy, Williams has
been captivating audiences with her sheer elegance and honesty in her folk-pop songwriting
since the ’90s. Williams’ growth as an individual over her two-decade-long career has gone
hand-in-hand with her evolution as an artist, touring along the way with such distinguished peers
as Joan Baez, Patty Griffin, Ani DiFranco, Loudon Wainwright III and Shawn Colvin among
others.

Dar’s most recent album, Emerald, “deals as bluntly as ever with the shadowy, subtle corners of
humanity” according to Rolling Stone, and was recorded with friends such as Richard
Thompson, Jill Sobule, Jim Lauderdale, the Milk Carton Kids, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Suzzy
Roche, the Hooters and others in various studios across the U.S. It is a sparkling collection of
new original material, inspired collaborations and some surprising covers such as B.A.D.’s
“Johnny Appleseed” making this album one of her best yet.

“Dar Williams, one of America’s very best singer-songwriters… Her songs are beautiful. Some
are like finely crafted short stories. They are, variously, devastatingly moving, tenderly funny,
subtle without being in any way inaccessible, and utterly fresh—not a cliché or a clunker in her
entire songbook.” – The New Yorker

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Madison Violet 

Thursday, September 26, 2019  | 8:30pm

Madison Violet 
Advance $30.00 / Doors $35.00

After 20 years together, Juno nominated singer-songwriting duo, Madison Violet, are as much wanderers as they are musicians. It is a career filled with endless roads stretching into the horizon, winding through changing landscapes, each kilometer traveled carrying with it the promise of inspiration. Perhaps that is the secret of what has made Madison Violet such an enduring band. Because with each new town, each new venue, their curiosity grows, their love of music deepens, their desire to push musical boundaries expands.

It is believed that the spark that ignited Madison Violet’s irrepressible curiosity came from an unlikely source; while sitting in Brenley’s grandmother’s kitchen in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, filled to bursting with family, friends, instruments (and maybe even a foe or two), and miles from their adopted home of Toronto, Ontario, two musicians looked at each over the flickering light of the old wood stove and knew that theirs would be an unconventional journey. Inspired by their heritage, emboldened by their vision, Lisa MacIsaac and Brenley MacEachern decided that they would create a sound that would have it’s roots in their past while continually exploring new sounds. From the beginning, the multi-instrumentalists have carried authenticity with them like a talisman, writing all of their own music and lyrics, believing that the best way to connect to their audiences was to treat them like old friends sharing a secret and a smile. As vocalists they have an innate ability to break your heart, slyly knowing that their soaring harmonies will mend it, often all in the span of one song.

The shared belief in themselves and their fearlessness to follow their dreams did eventually pay off and accolades and awards soon became synonymous with Madison Violet; including a Juno nomination, a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Vocal Group Album of the Year and a Critic’s Choice Award from Country Music People’s Magazine. Their songs have been featured in the notorious music magazine MOJO’s Top 10 Playlist, and received a mass of acclaim from outlets such as the BBC, the CBC, Maverick Magazine and NPR, and have earned the duo the Grand Prize in the Maxell John Lennon Songwriting Contest (which was voted on by a panel of distinguished artists including Elton John, Tim McGraw, Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, John Legend, Enrique Iglesias and Mary J.Blige). Madison Violet were on Germany’s WDR’s list of ‘Best Bands of All Time’ and with a bit of a departure from their rootsy sound, their single ‘These Ships’ was released in 2014 on one of the largest dance labels in the U.S., Ultra Records, garnering over 1,000,000 plays on Spotify. Madison Violet has 9 studio albums to their credit including the new Christmas classic “Sleigh Bells in the Snow” featuring their friend and collaborator Ron Sexsmith, singing on Frosty the Snowman.

In early 2019, Madison Violet will release their latest album “Everything’s Shifting”. The album is a heartfelt examination of how memory can splinter a heart, how loss shapes perspective and how sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t have love without regret. It is an album to be listened to on the open road, with the windows rolled down: a love letter to their fans, from two wanderers who continue to follow the melodies wherever they lead.

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Shari Ulrich with Special Guest James Keelaghan  

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 | 8:30pm

Shari Ulrich with Special Guest James Keelaghan  
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00

Shari Ulrich
Shari Ulrich is a veteran award winning touring recording artist and multi-instrumentalist (violin, mandolin, piano, guitar, dulcimer, & harmonica). From Pied Pumkin through The Hometown Band, (“Fear of Flying”) and on as a solo artist and multi-instrumentalist has led to 25 albums – including her collaboration with Bill Henderson and Roy Forbes (UHF), Barney Bentall & Tom Taylor (BTU), and The High Bar Gang, a 7 piece bluegrass band with Barney Bentall. Her work has garnered 2 Juno awards and several nominations, an induction into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, and a 2014 CFMA for English Songwriter of the Year. She recently released her 9th solo album – “Back to Shore” on Borealis Records, her third engineered and co-produced by her daughter – multi-instrumentalist Julia Graff.

James Keelaghan
Called Canada’s finest singer-songwriter by one of the most respected and lauded music journalists of the last 50 years, James Keelaghan is an artist who has proven to be a man for all seasons.

As the calendar pages have turned, for almost a quarter of a century now, this poet laureate of the folk and roots music world has gone about his work with a combination of passion, intent and intensity, and curiosity.

Fusing his insatiable appetite for finding the next unique storyline Keelaghan also forges his pieces with brilliantly defined craftsmanship and a monogrammed artistic vision, making him one of the most distinctive and readily identifiable voices of not only the Canadian scene, but as a member of the international singer-songwriter community.

Armed with a songbook that has enlightened and enthralled and been embraced by audiences around the world, Keelaghan’s life as an artist is one that is a perpetual journey on so many levels.

Most importantly it’s a journey that has invited fans of literate and layered songwriting to be a part of his artistic expeditions, some that weave their way through marvelously etched stories of a historical nature with underlying universal themes, and others that mine the depths of the soul and the emotional trails of human relations.¨His masterful storytelling, over the course of nine recordings, has been part of the bedrock of his success, earning Keelaghan his share of nominations and awards, and acclaim from  Australia to Scandinavia.The necessity to write has always been a double-edged sword.”

“I’ve always had the urge to write.  Some things weren’t being said in the way I wanted to say them. Then there are the different sides of what I write about. The narrative writing, the historical material, as well as the personal, where you have to take responsibility for what you are saying,” says the Calgary native who has been calling Winnipeg home for the past few years.A disciplined visionary, Keelaghan’s aces have long been a love of language, and history, as he earned a history  degree years ago, his skills as a thespian that he acquired at an early age, that explain his ability to make an immediate connection with audiences in a live setting, and an ear for a memorable melody, and harmonies that make those melodies glisten.

“I’m good for 80 or so books a year, mostly history, non-fiction, but inspiration can come in many forms, I’m always on the lookout for a good story or idea. My sister told me the story that became Kiri’s Piano. It was such an image,” says Keelaghan “that visits a dark chapter in Canadian history, Japanese internment camps in the Second World War.” Not only does his deep catalogue include timeless originals like Fires of Calais, Cold Missouri Waters, Jenny Bryce, Hillcrest Mine, and Kiri’s Piano.  Keelaghan is also a possessive interpreter of outside material, a fine example being his gripping take on Gordon Lightfoot’s epic Canadian Railroad Trilogy on the Lightfoot Tribute disc Beautiful. There are a number of illustrations of his interpretive skills on his 2006 recording A Few Simple Verses. The closing tune on that spellbinding set, My Blood written with Jez Lowe, is one of many examples in Keelaghan’s career, where he has invited collaboration into his creative process.

“I was at the Celtic Colors Festival in 2008 and the producers locked six of us in a house for a week, and the company included Dave Gunning, David Francey, and Rose Cousins, it was an amazing experience. We had to come up with enough material for a show at the end of it.“To go along with a lifelong accumulation of influences, there have been these opportunities to work with equals, whether it be Oliver Schroer, Hugh McMillan, or Oscar Lopez. The sparks of collaboration, batting melodies back and forth, whatever, have produced some wonderful results,” says the artist who ties it all together with a powerful voice, delivery, and a commanding presence where he finds a balance between examining the lighter and heavier sides of life.

For Keelaghan staying at the top of his game comes down to a very clear rule, “never stop accumulating.”

“I want my audiences to know that I am open enough to try new things and push their bounds.”

It was Dave Marsh, the award-winning American music critic and historian who not so long ago stated that James Keelaghan is “Canada’s finest songwriter,” and those few but powerful words of praise say it all about an artist who continues to set the bar at a lofty height.

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Kalon Hart CD Release

Thursday, July 11, 2019 | 8:30PM

Kalon Hart CD Release featuring Ben Heffernan
Advance: $15.00 / Doors: $20.00

Kalon Hart
Kalon Hart’s gentle acoustic songs connect to the spirit, but are rooted in the earth, and forged in the crucible of human experience. Using his songwriting as a personal healing tool, he is a disciple of “emotional judo”, redirecting traumatic memories into parables of light. Kalon Hart is the alter ego of composer, multi-instrumentalist, and four-time JUNO nominee Rob Teehan (Lemon Bucket Orkestra, The Heavyweights Brass Band, The Boxcar Boys), who moved to Los Angeles from Toronto four years ago in search of transformation and growth, and has since been working on major TV shows including “Elementary” and “Jessica Jones”.  This show celebrates the release of his debut album, “Love Is Surrender”.

Ben Heffernan
Ben Heffernan is an 18-year-old singer-songwriter from London, Ontario. After winning the Taylor Mitchell Bursary at Folk Music Ontario around the release of his first EP, Different Wars, Heffernan followed it up in 2018 with the release of another 3-song collection, “Home”, his first Ontario tour, and appearances at various Canadian folk festivals including Winnipeg Folk Festival. His cover of Tom Petty’s Angel Dream was included on the Canada Covers Tom Petty compilation, alongside artists such as Terra Lightfoot, Matt Mays, and Royal Wood. Angel Dream received airplay on CBC, Sirius XM, and acclaim from Spill Magazine, who called the cover “incredible”. The future appears to be bright for this young artist, who is determined to continue to build his name and to establish himself as an exciting emerging singer-songwriter.

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The Abbey Elmore Band

Saturday, July 10, 2019 | 8:30pm

The Abbey Elmore Band
Advance: $20.00 / Doors: $25.00

The Abbey Elmore Band, fronted by singer-songwriter Abbey Elmore, delivers a blend of Indie Pop and Soulful Rock. Ranging from laid-back grooves to high energy jams, their repertoire consists of original music as well as progressive versions of modern pop songs.

Follow them on our socials and keep up with the music. The band is making their debut performance on our stage and tickets are available right now.

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Ariana Gillis

Saturday, June 29, 2019 | 8:30PM

Ariana Gillis CD Release
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00 *

Ariana’s soulful talent has taken up elite residency in what constitutes the very best that songwriting has to offer. On the cusp of 20 years old she was composing material that was outrageously original, melodic and passionate. Now under the wing of multi-talented Americana everyman Buddy Miller the stars are aligned and Ariana Gillis will prove through these recordings that she is no flash in the pan flavor of the month but a force to be reckoned with now and for a very long time.”  -Bernie Taupin (Lyricist of Elton John)

Hailing from just outside Toronto, Ariana Gillis began taking singing lessons at the age of six, but she was hardly thrilled. So, her father encouraged her to write her own material and learn to play the guitar. An award-winning songwriter himself, he gave her invaluable insight into the process.

Gillis made an immediate impact on the Niagara music scene, and the Canadian Folk music scene, winning Songwriter of the Year at the 2009 Niagara Music Awards, followed by Female Vocalist and Album of the Year in 2010, as well as 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award, Young Performer of the Year. She networked at music conferences, which led to a quick, two-song performance for Dave Marsh in a stairwell in Memphis, following the release of her second album, Forget Me Not. Marsh then played Gillis on his Sirius XM radio show, which caught the attention of Elton John’s songwriting partner which in turn, led to Buddy Miller.

The Maze

Fast forward a year later — Buddy witnessed Ariana perform at the City Winery in Nashville experiencing first hand the conviction and power of her song writing, singing and stage presence.  This led to further conversations and ultimately brought them together to create the album, “The Maze”. Recorded live-off-the-floor in Nashville at Buddy’s studio – this album features lyrics and performances that feel both natural and strangely unique all at once.

I’ve never seen an unknown performer with more power as when I saw Ariana. I couldn’t stop talking about her. She may be the best new emerging artist anywhere.” – Writer – Rock Critic – Historian, Dave Marsh

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Christine Campbell and Braden Gates

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 | 8:30PM

BRADEN GATES

With the release of his fourth album Pictures of UsBRADEN GATES has proven himself to be deserving of a wider audience and worthy of the attention he’s received in five short years as a performer. Writing layered songs that bounce from those that brim with emotional depth and stark imagery to those that find the humour in life, Gates has quickly created a body of work that is impressive for its sheer volume. More importantly, his growing audience is moved by the poignancy and the poetic turns that bind his material. The touchstones of his talents are many and his influences run from traditional roots music to contemporary singer-songwriters, many of whom he continues to study.

Gates is no hummer and strummer as his guitar playing can earn him as much praise on a given night as the songs that his playing cradles. His foundation came from his father’s love for, and talent as an old-time fiddler. Music is in Gates’ DNA and his early memories of being moved by music are the strong melodies which he would fall asleep to, sometimes as a child nestled side stage or in the kitchen of a funky prairie community hall. Fast forward to his late teens and Gates was impressing audiences with his songs plus a stage demeanour that hangs on a quick wit and a sly grin. In short order Gates was playing roots music haunts like The Blue Chair and the Uptown Folk Club in Edmonton while accepting sought after gigs at regional festivals like Pembina River Nights and the Beaumont Blues Festival. He was invited to play the prestigious Edmonton Folk and Vancouver Island Music Festivals before hitting his 22nd birthday.

Gates has benefitted in his musical education from mentors such as Miles Wilkinson, who produced some of Guy Clark’s best work (Boats to Build & Dublin Blues.) Wilkinson, who has worked closely with Gates on previous studio outings, says, “that his obvious writing and performing talents, stand beside his understanding of roots, in older acoustic music. That’s a rare thing for a young musician. His heroes are Clark, John Hartford, and Townes Van Zandt, all great singing story tellers. And I feel Braden is destined to join them.” High praise indeed.

With talent and dedication to his craft, it is no surprise that Gates was nominated for the 2017 ‘Emerging Artist of the Year’ and ‘Contemporary Album of the Year’ at the Canadian Folk Music Awards – his showcase performance at that event created buzz. With a new album set for release in 2018 on Canada’s premier folk / roots label Borealis Records, this inspired singer-songwriter is destined to win over new audiences at every opportunity.

Christine Campbell
Advance: $15.00 / Doors: $20.00

Christine Campbell launched her second album, Roller Coaster, in March 2017. It is a true representation of her diverse influences – from hard rock and 70’s rock to roots and blues. Christine has attracted top-calibre artists like Jeff Burrows of The Tea Party to add their musical talent to the songs. And Classified’s co-writing and co-production pumps up the radio-ready element. Roller Coaster offers a narrative of a small town Prince Edward Island girl who has become a powerful performer, known for her unapologetic mastery of guitar, piano and rock vocals.

“I’m married to music. It is my life.”

As a musician dedicated to her craft, discerning fans are thrilled by Christine’s live shows, offering a unique mix of old and new original songs in each performance, as well as a bonus cover or two from her rock heroes and impressive jams and solos. Whether playing intimate acoustic shows with her wingman, Blake Johnston (formerly of The Stogies), or rockin’ out, fully electric with her five-piece band, Christine’s live performances always attract loyal fans.

Since her first self-titled solo project in 2013, Christine has gained a devoted following, with the attention earning her opening spots for Bob Seger, Steve Earle, Jann Arden and Lou Gramm of Foreigner. After a successful Indiegogo campaign in 2016, she was able to gather the resources and support necessary to produce this album and make it her proudest work to date.

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