ears to the ground
Call it prairie noir, or Canadiana desert rock: Abigail Lapell sings haunting, gorgeous modern folk songs, mapping epic natural landscapes and deeply intimate, personal territory. The Toronto vocalist, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist has released three acclaimed solo albums. Hide Nor Hair, her Chris Stringer-produced sophomore LP, won a Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Album of the Year in 2017. Since then, Lapell has been on the road, touring across Canada, the U.S. and Europe, and playing at festivals like Pop Montreal, Mariposa, In The Dead Of Winter, Tiny Lights and Folk On The Rocks.
"Hamilton is blessed with a wealth of great blues guitarists. None is better than Alfie Smith when it comes to the acoustic slide and he's got a voice to match."
~Graham Rockingham The Spec
Ben Sures is one of Canada's most entertaining and engaging singer/songwriters great lyrics, stories and songs about everything from Rayguns to tropical fish to cooking and heartbreak.
Truly one of Canada's best-loved singer/songwriters, Ben is the 2005 winner of the John Lennon songwriting contest in the folk category (out of 15 000 entrants) . He has performed at many of Canada's folk festivals and has been featured on CBC Radio (Canada's public broadcaster) on many occasions.
Photo Credit: Malu Baumgarten
“Bill Heffernan is a brilliant and versatile songwriter in the tradition of a Woody Guthrie or a Bob Dylan. His songs straddle the boundaries between folk, blues and country. His lyrics are compelling and his tunes memorable. He presents his music with a charismatic, energetic, engaging and completely natural manner. Having had the opportunity to listen to him over the years, I have always thought that he belongs in the category of great Canadian songsters, among the Gordon Lightfoots, Stompin’ Toms and Bob Snyders.”
– Julian Fauth, Juno Award Winning Blues Artist
This iconic rocker's roots go back to the sixties as a founding member of Capitol Records' group, Edward Bear. After a span as a journey man session musician throughout the seventies, Danny settled in to the club scene, establishing a cult following as a genre bender in music and humour.
Photo by Zoe Gemelli
Donné Roberts is a passionate performer. When he hits the stage he carries with him an energy that immediately exhilarates the crowd - even if they've never heard his music before.
Donné performs mainly in Malagasy his mother tongue from his birthplace of Madagascar.
Yet this never proves to be a barrier to the audience, providing living proof that music truly does transcend language.
Andrew Craig - CBC/Radio Canada
Photo by Hilary Gauld-Camilleri
GATHERING SPARKS is the graceful collision of Eve Goldberg and Jane Lewis—musical friends who bonded over finely tuned harmonies and the craft of songwriting. Their inclusive approach embraces folk, pop, blues and gospel influences tastefully played on acoustic guitar, piano, accordion, and ukulele.
photo credit: Adrian Armstrong
For 46 years or roughly a couple million miles, bluesman, guitarist, singer, song writer, Jack de Keyzer has been hitting the road, rail and air to bring his brand of guitar driven blues across Canada and around the globe.
“…a remarkable Canadian performer. His body of work is truly original.” –Penguin Eggs
Jerome Tucker, born in the Philadelphia area, is a lead vocalist/ bass player who joined the US Navy as an electronics instructor and ended up in the Gulf Coast playing for various blues and Cajun artists while moonlighting. After the Navy and co-writing a couple of tunes with Ivan Neville, he moved to Chicago where the bulk of his career was formed playing bass and singing for the likes of Otis Rush, Dickey Betts, Warren Haynes, Larry McCray (credited on Larry's "Believe It" album), Eddie Clearwater, Byther Smith, Teenie Hodges, Phil Guy, Melvin Taylor, Lonnie Brooks and too many more to name.
"For those of us lamenting the decline of the protest song in contemporary folk, Toronto troubadour Jon Brooks is a refreshing tonic. He’s an acerbic commentator on social and political issues" Kerry Doole Exclaim!
Ken Whiteley is one of Canada’s most respected “roots” musicians. Drawing on his incredibly rich background in blues, gospel and folk styles, this 7 time Juno award nominee is always a wonderful addition to any festival or concert series. He has played at virtually every major folk festival in Canada.
Whiteley’s music communicates themes of freedom, love, spiritual aspiration and social comment. His performances are presented with participatory humor, grace and energy.
Noah Zacharin is a widely acclaimed guitar master, multi-genre songwriter, and dynamic performer. He was given his first guitar at age 9, wrote his first song at 13, and began performing at 14. In December 2015, Zacharin became a full-time recording and touring musician, and is more thrilled than ever to be doing what he has always done. Born in Montreal, Zacharin splits his time between Toronto, the road, and an off-grid cabin on the Canadian Shield.
Award-winning jazz singer, songwriter and recording artist Ori Dagan is taking jazz to new and exciting places. His rich baritone voice and impressive abilities as an improviser produce an instantly recognizable sound. In live performance, he surrounds himself with Canada’s finest musicians, performing an engaging mix of material which is always fresh and in the moment.
Although Sue and Dwight were born too late to be part of the folk revival of the 1960’s their music embodies the spirit of that time. Both are songwriters whose work focuses on themes of peace, courage, and social justice. At their live shows they share, without pretension, their stories of the prairies, life in the big city, and travels in East Africa. Their warm harmonies, nesting on a bed of acoustic instrumentation, create a warm, intimate and memorable experience.
Photo: Stepanie Gibson
Vivienne Wilder is a Canadian singer, writer/poet, multi-instrumentalist, and visual artist currently living in Toronto. Her music can be heard not only on CBC’s rotation but on TV shows like ‘Kim’s Convenience’, in award-winning short films like ‘O Negative’, and in Netflix series ‘Northern Rescue’. Her voice and sound have been described as “literature punk”, “prairie punk”, and “jazz punk”. Equally at ease fronting her 5+ piece rock band The Vice Presidents, laying down a 2-hour solo acoustic set, or trading jazz solos on upright acoustic bass, she is a proudly versatile artist, who defies being pegged down to any one genre.
Wendell won the "Guitar Player of the Year" so many times (7) they retired him. He's no longer eligible.
Lynn Miles is one of Canada’s most accomplished singer/songwriters with ten albums to her credit including the stark Unravel, winning Miles a 2003 Juno Award for Roots & Traditional solo album of the year and Love Sweet Love earning her multiple Canadian Folk Music awards (best English songwriter, best contemporary singer).