Angelique Francis is a versatile and exceptionally gifted musician. This multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist, multi-genre singer song writer and composer has wowed audiences across the globe with her electrifying performances, instrumental abilities and powerful textured vocals. She is known for her eclectic mix of various musical genres including Blues, Soul, Folk, Jazz, Gospel and Rock. Angelique has shared the stage/opened for a large roster of well-known musicians such as Gary Clark Jr, Beth Hart, Tom Cochran, Burton Cummings, Sugar Ray and the list goes on. Her diversity, passion and love of music can be heard in all of her original compositions.
Formed nearly two decades ago and named after Israeli dub artist/producer Badawi’s 1996 release, Bedouin Soundclash debuted in 2001 with the album Root Fire. Their acclaimed sophomore release Sounding a Mosaic (2004) featured the hit single, “When the Night Feels My Song” and was produced by legendary punk-hardcore royalty Darryl Jenifer of Bad Brains. This earned Bedouin Soundclash their first JUNO Award in 2006 for Canada’s Best New Group. Their follow-up album, Street Gospels (2007) also produced by Jenifer, earned a “Pop Album of the Year” nomination and “Video of the Year” nomination for the single “Walls Fall Down” at the 2008 JUNO’s as well as three Much Music Video Award nominations for their video for “Until We Burn in the Sun” in 2009. In addition to No Doubt, the band has also shared the stage with Ben Harper, Damian Marley, The Roots, The Interrupters, Gogol Bordello, Bad Brains, and Thievery Corporation among others.
The only good thing about not shopping in record stores anymore is you won’t have to figure out what genre to look for Danny under. If that were the case, you could try looking under, rock, pop, folk, world or even classical.
His own self-described musical A.D.D. has kept his music fresh for decades. Maybe it has something to do with being born next to a candy factory, or his ambidextrous brain, but his thoughtful lyrics & charming performances have earned a devoted fan base, multiple nominations for Junos, The Polaris Prize, CBC’s “Heart Of Gold”, and most recently winning the CFMA’s “Producer of the year” and “Oliver Schroder Pushing the Boundaries” Awards.
But Danny considers his career highlights to be the unique real life moments like performing for Jane Goodall’s 85th birthday party, touring with Stuart Mclean and working with charities close to his heart.
Elk Run & Riot
Elk Run & Riot is a folk rock four piece that has been carving out their own unique style of experimental music in the Rocky Mountains of Canada since early 2013. The foundation of songs begin with creative lyrics and catchy melodies. From there Elk Run and Riot deliver intricate harmonies, a tight progressive rhythm section and an electric mix of leads that cover multiple genres of music. The listener is taken through a journey during each high energy performance as the band expands and builds different sections each night.
The Jim Cuddy Band
As one half of one of Blue Rodeo’s songwriting partnership, Jim Cuddy has one of the most recognizable voices in Canadian music thanks to omnipresent hits such as “Try,” “5 Days In May,” and “Bad Timing.” As a group Blue Rodeo has sold over 5 million records world-wide, won countless JUNO Awards, been inducted in to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame and Jim (along with songwriting partner Greg Keelor) was invested as Officers of the Order of Canada.
In 1998, in between Blue Rodeo projects, Jim released his first solo album All In Time and hit the road with the eponymous Jim Cuddy Band featuring Colin Cripps (guitar), Anne Lindsay (fiddle), Joel Anderson (drums), Bazil Donovan (bass) and Steve O’Connor (keyboards). Since that first release the Jim has recorded three more solo albums; The Light That Guides You Home (2006), Skyscraper Soul (2011), Constellation (2018). Jim’s latest release, Countrywide Soul, is a celebration of sorts – a celebration of music and the musicians who join him on stage each night.
Kat Danser & the Tall Tales
There’s a trail that runs from the dead heat of the Mississippi Delta, through the winding alleyways of Havana to the smoky confines of a cigar club in Edmonton. Kat Danser has spent most of her life trawling the backstreets of the blues and her sixth album ‘One Eye Open’ reflects the fruits of her explorations. From an old string band melody passed down from the twenties, to a lyric written the night before the Covid pandemic shut the world down, the past rides shotgun with the present on everything Kat Danser sings and plays. “One Eye Open’ enlarges upon her decades long conversation with the blues and is a testament to the enduring emotional power and relevance of the art form.
“One Eye Open” continues Kat’s ongoing collaboration with veteran guitarist and producer Steve Dawson, and features an ensemble of North America’s finest roots musicians. The core band, comprised of Dawson (guitars), Gary Craig (drums) and Jeremy Holmes (bass) were not able to record in the same room together, virtually live off of the floor as is their preference, but – as a concession to the times we are living through – had to assemble the album remotely. Yet, even with Kat recording her vocals in Edmonton, and other musicians located around the continent while Dawson directed traffic from his studio in Nashville, the results are as organic, intuitive and in the moment as anything these veterans have ever recorded.
Since releasing her acclaimed debut album, Failer, in 2003, Edwards has been a critical darling with a steady growing cult following. Her sweet-horse holler drew countless comparisons to Lucinda Williams, but her songwriting has a droll, observant, and unsparing tone that is all her own. In the yers since her retreat, Edward’s reputation only grew among her peers like Caroline Spence and Courtney Marie Andrews, who cite her as an influence. Kathleen Edwards made her long-anticipated return to music in 2020 with Total Freedom, her fifth studio album, and music lovers around the world could not be happier.
Kobo Town continues to redefine calypso music and pushes the boundaries of the Caribbean sound with its fourth album, CARNIVAL OF THE GHOSTS. Founded and fronted by émigré Trinidadian songwriter Drew Gonsalves, Kobo Town’s music has been variously described as “an intoxicating blend of lilting calypsonian wit, dancehall reggae and trombone-heavy brass” (Guardian) and a “unique, transnational composite of rhythm, poetry and activist journalism.”(Exclaim!) From their home in Toronto, the JUNO-nominated group has brought their distinct calypso-inspired sound to audiences across the world, from Port-of-Spain to Paris and from Montreal to Malaysia.
At once brooding and joyous, intensely poetic and highly danceable, Gonsalves’ songs betray deep roots in Caribbean folk music, while the band delivers them with an indomitable energy that has earned them a considerable following far beyond the niche of world music enthusiasts and calypso fans.
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.
Quote the Raven
An impromptu trip to Nashville in 2019 set the wheels in motion for the sophomore record from Americana Folk duo, Quote the Raven. The sounds filling the Nashville airways reinvigorated the Newfoundland duo’s inspiration and they found a new home in the Americana genre. Their upcoming record titled Can’t Hold the Light, is a summation of the journeys that the pair have experienced over the past three years.
Collaboration has always been at the forefront of everything Quote the Raven has done. Similar to their first record Golden Hour, Can’t Hold the Light features an A-list of Canadian collaborators including Chris Kirby, Charlie A’Court, Blake Reid, Andrew Waite, Jessica Pearson, Andrew Sneddon, Nick Earle, and so many more.
In the past two years, Quote the Raven have reached over 650,000 streams, been added to the prestigious “Folk & Friends” playlist on Spotify, and earned showcases and award nominations at the East Coast Music Awards. They’ve performed at the 2019 AmericanaFest in Nashville, been featured regularly on Stingray’s Folk Roots channel, charted on the Canadian Country top 100 and received multiple sync placements, including the CityTV drama “The Wedding Planners”.
Rainbow Girls are an eclectic folk trio hailing from the golden countryside just north of California’s Bay Area. Vanessa May, Erin Chapin, and Caitlin Gowdey seamlessly combine soul-touching harmonies, vari–textured instrumentals, and poignant, lyrical content into a beautiful sonic tapestry. Throughout their performance, voices are paired with an ever-changing amalgamation of acoustic and slide guitar, keys, upright bass, harmonica, and an array of vocal techniques creating an engaging and often emotionally moving live show. Their music delves deeply into themes of the human experience: hopeful love, honest self-reflection, and pursuits of social justice.
Reuben and the Dark with the Bullhorn Singers
Reuben and the Dark is the spirited folk-rock outfit led by Reuben Bullock, whose music blends introspective lyrics with the irrepressible pulse and complicit harmonies of his band. On the Calgary-bred frontman’s third studio album, un | love, Reuben opens a breathtakingly honest window into one of the most dramatic times in his life, baring the emotional depths encountered at life’s crossroads. Reuben and the Dark’s music is a heartrending yet free-spirited confrontation of that place, a spiritual meeting that Bullock conjures with his audience nightly, revealing more with each transformative performance. Rising from his painterly, ashen lyrics, dancing on a tightrope of exultation, is the beauty of catharsis: the crystallization of psychic resonance between band and audience, shared through music.
“The essence of it is songs that connect people to the intangibles of our collective emotions,” says Bullock. “Together we get carried away, lost and found in the alchemy of the music.”
Produced by Reuben and the Dark with Marcus Paquin (The National, Timber Timbre, Local Natives) and Kevin Drew (of Broken Social Scene), un | love mines this raw, unfettered emotion from within Bullock. The hard-wrought songs of Arms of a Dream (2018) and earthbound textures of Funeral Sky (2013) have become unshackled by spontaneity, with Reuben’s soulful voice emerging unbridled and fallible. On the new album, the bond with his band – core of Brock Geiger and Sam Harrison on guitars, Brendan “Dino” Soares on drums, Nathan Da Silva on bass – has unlocked the kinetic energy of songs like “rising,” refuting gravity on the soaring and anthemic “faultline,” and navigating hardship on the album closing “dancer.” With friendships dating back to early childhood, the band intuits the evolution of the songs, tapping into Reuben’s soul-searching intonations at the helm of each thrilling performance, each vibrational sing-along. Through his dense imagery, perhaps for the first time truly, shines a clear light, shot straight from Reuben’s heart – wide open, blown away, singing out, together untangling the pain.
Sam Polley and The Old Tomorrows
Being the youngest member of a musical family, Sam Polley grew up in the music industry, but took his own time to join the family business. Forming Sam Polley and The Old Tomorrows in downtown Toronto in 2017, Sam Polley surrounded himself with local musicians he knew had similar musical interests, recruiting brothers Tally and Gianni Ferraro (bass and drums), and veteran players, Fraser Melvin (Electric Guitar) and Jeff Giles (Piano/Keyboard). The band quickly meshed and played their first show to a sold out Cameron House Crowd.
At the beginning of 2018, the band headed to the studio to record their first EP, which they recorded in one long day at Pacha Sound Studio in Toronto (leading to the name, EP in a Day). With the new EP in hand, Sam Polley embarked on a cross country tour as a featured artist on the Jim Cuddy Band Constellation tour. Once back, Sam Polley and The Old Tomorrows continued to tour the EP through the rest of the year, and into 2019, playing both festivals and cities throughout Ontario.
Now, Sam Polley and The Old Tomorrows have finished their debut album, Time Forgot, drawing their sound from 50’s and 60’s rockabilly licks, old country twang, and Motown swing, blending genres to create an upbeat boogie with groovy hooks. Scheduled to be released at the beginning of 2020, this new album is sure to get everyone up and dancing.
On August 30, 2018, Shaye Zadravec, a 25 year old musician from Calgary, Alberta, released a black and white video of her studio performance of the song “Lilac Wine”. The song, written in 1950 by James Shelton, had been recorded by many, including Nina Simone (1954), Elkie Brooks (1981), Jeff Buckley (1994), and Jeff Beck (2010). The video for this beautiful song resonated with people around the world. Tens of thousands of people reacted to the simplicity of the video presentation and the beauty of Shaye’s honest and understated vocal performance.
Shaye is a singer, a sometimes songwriter, but a full time singer, and an exceptional one – a throwback to the era when great singers lent their voices to the best material and built their careers on the backs of these great songs. To see and hear Shaye Zadravec in concert is (as one noted radio personality commented) “like listening to the greatest radio show you ever heard”. Her repertoire is familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, including songs written by Bobby Darin, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Lynn Miles, Willie Dixon, Shelby Lynne, Gus Kahn, Chip Taylor and Doc Pomus, just to name a few. She sings with an ease and comfort that washes over the listener…. so subtle, so graceful – no big notes, no overwrought star search theatrics, just pure, unaffected performance beauty.
The Slocan Ramblers
The Slocan Ramblers (2020 IBMA Momentum Band of the Year Award Winner & 2019 Juno Award Nominee) are Canada’s bluegrass band to watch. Rooted in tradition, fearlessly creative and possessing a bold, dynamic sound, The Slocans have become a leading light of today’s acoustic music scene. With a reputation for energetic live shows, impeccable musicianship and an uncanny ability to convert anyone within earshot into a lifelong fan, The Slocans have been winning over audiences from Merlefest to RockyGrass and everywhere in between.
On their new album Up the Hill and Through the Fog, the all-star Canadian roots ensemble channels the past two years of loss into a surprisingly joyous collection of twelve songs intended to uplift and help make sense of the world. Bluegrass music is nothing short of catharsis for The Slocan Ramblers.
Though the past few years have brought the group accolades, that same momentum was abruptly halted by the pandemic’s brutal impact on live music. Over the next year, bandmates Adrian Gross and Darryl Poulsen both lost close family members and their bassist decided to step back to spend more time at home. They channeled these tumultuous changes into some of their most honest and direct compositions yet. Up the Hill and Through the Fog showcases the breadth of their varied influences while staying true to their roots in the rough and tumble bluegrass scene of Toronto’s no-nonsense bars and dancehalls. From Frank Evan’s classic, dusty vocals, to John Hartford-inspired lyrical musings, it’s all buttressed by impeccable musicianship, and emotionally raw songwriting from the three core members. This is roots music without pretension, art powerful enough to cut through the fog of the past two years and chart a more hopeful course forward.
The Small Glories
Roots powerhouse duo The Small Glories are Cara Luft & JD Edwards, a musical tour-de-force partnership planted on the Canadian Prairies. Thrown together purely by accident for an anniversary show at Winnipeg’s venerable West End Cultural Centre, The Small Glories could almost make you believe in fate.
With a stage banter striking a unique balance between slapstick and sermon, these veteran singer-songwriters have a way of making time disappear, rooms shrink, and audiences feel as they are right there on the stage with the band — writing the songs, living the songs, performing the songs. It’s not uncommon for listeners to find themselves laughing, dancing, crying, or caught up in a good ol’ fashioned sing-along. “We’re folk singers, we try to write stuff that people can relate to,” says Edwards, whose looming stage presence and penetrating eyes find him the yin to Luft’s petite, snort-laughing yang. The material of a Small Glories concert is welcoming in terms of subject, folk-pop melody and instrumentation — songs of love, loss, and environment, delivered with soaring, interwoven vocals on various combinations of stomping clawhammer banjo, guitar and harmonica. However, a Small Glories performance is really about what happens in-between the songs. “The feedback we get from a lot of audiences is that it’s not just about the music for them,” Luft says. “It’s the whole package.
Having wowed huge festival stages over the past few years, moonlighting with Irish dance band ‘King Kong Company’ and accompanying the queen of traditional music Sharon Shannon on her international tours, Susan has spent the last few years honing her craft as a solo performer. A songwriter of hidden depths, with a timeless voice that is equal parts balm and blowtorch, she is audacity personified, a free spirit; a real performer. As of now she is Ireland’s best kept secret, however with the release of ‘In The Game’ that is guaranteed to change.
Born in Halifax and transplanted to California at a tender age, he combines an astonishingly talented fingerpicking and an indescribable imagination with the goofy sweetness of Owen Wilson and the darkly comedic songwriting skills of Warren Zevon. A founding member of the semi-legendary indie-rock band The Rugburns, he tours up to 250 days a year – which seems extraordinary, until you see him on stage and realize … the dude just can’t sit still. He’s collaborated with the likes of Danny Michel and Joel Plaskett, the latter resulting in the album Dreamhouse, critically acclaimed around the world. He’s perhaps best known for his work with singer Jewel, particularly the 1996 single You Were Meant for Me, which reached billboard’s number 2 in the US. His music has appeared on movie soundtracks, including Notting Hill. While 2021 could have found him adrift, faced with a tour moratorium, it opened a door – literally his friend Oliver Wood of the Wood Brother’s door – literally – to creating an exuberant, thoughtful batch of songs that celebrate life in all of its stages. The resulting album is called Stardust & Satellites
William Prince approaches the big questions with humility and curiosity. Prince’s influences, from the gospel of his childhood to the pantheon of classic outlaw country singers, baseball and the great beyond, shape his approach to songcraft, a masterclass in skilful simplicity. Prince’s JUNO Award winning debut Earthly Days introduced the songwriter’s poignant philosophy and rich baritone to the world. His breakout song “Breathless,” found audiences worldwide. Prince followed up with Reliever, released February 2020. For this album, Prince began with a single word, Reliever, which informed a collectionthat explored how peace is found. Relievers come in all forms; for Prince, it is song. Prince surprised fans with a second new album in 2020. Gospel First Nation, released in October, is a “21st Century Northern Interlake Country Gospel” collection that tells stories of family and faith in the age of grief. The album explores Prince’s own family tree, the places and music that shaped his childhood, and explores the extremely complicated relationship of faith and colonialism with grace and empathy.
School of Song
The Canadian music scene welcomes its newest emerging artist, Chelsie Young – originally from the Bigstone Cree Nation in Northern, AB now making her presence felt in Edmonton, from where she continues to wow audiences everywhere with her natural vocal talent.
Chelsie is a singer-songwriter with a natural gift to write meaningful and touching songs. In her spare time, she engages with her thousands of followers on social media by sharing videos of her favourite cover songs. Her songs and life, touch on the realities many Indigenous women face, such as domestic violence, addictions, depression, suicide, single parenting, family
Although she graduated with a teaching degree, Danielle Dayton has been in hot pursuit of her music career for as long as she can recall. She practices her craft daily and has been eagerly awaiting the end of the pandemic so she can release her unbridled energy on stages across Alberta. Engaging, sassy and talented, Danielle Dayton taps into the bluesy side of all of us. “I tell performers all the time that I don’t want to hear your song, I want to feel your song. I felt Danielle’s song.” – Bill Werthmann (Northern Lights Folk Club)
John Hewitt was born the day Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” was left within his grasp. Learning the best of songwriting from his musical heroes ranging from Dylan, Petty, The Doors, the Grateful Dead and others he has maintained a prolific repertoire through the years. Born in Northern Ontario, John now makes Edmonton his home.
Since arriving in the capitol of the Wild Rose Province he began producing and engineering his own music, releasing an EP and 2 non album singles, four music videos and a skit show performed on Facebook Live. John continued writing and recording music for two 2021 releases, one focusing on his rock and 60’s pop influences and one focusing on his Folk/roots influences. Gritty, raw, authentic and captivating, the music of John Hewitt is a feast for the soul.
Emerging from the melting pot of Edmonton’s music scene, Kyle Mosuik and Nataya Nolan have formed a duo that embodies everything a fan could crave in a musical act. Exquisite vocals, harmonies for days, outstanding musicianship and really solid songs.
Kyle is a consummate guitarist with versatile vocals and Nataya earned her chops touring and singing back-ups for her brother Joe (Nolan) and sister Jenie Thai. As sweethearts and soulmates, it’s another match made in heaven and the result is a rare and special rendering of song and soul. True Blue has just finished recording their debut album which is in the process of being mastered. Within the next week, their Bandcamp page will be up and running as will their website. In the meantime, please listen to their recordings in the dropbox folder below. (P.S. The musicianship, harmonies, songwriting and energy of this duo is stellar. If selected, they will bring down the house at the Pub and festival stages.)
Wyatt C. Louis
A recent Calgary transplant, Louis has made an impact with songs built from soaring melodies, railroad-like consistent finger picking paired with quiet, haunting vocals and lyrical phrasing.
Louis’s dark, rustic tales meld folk and soulful blues to tell tales of love, loss and the journey home. His songs beautiful, subtle creations that juxtapose emotions, striking imagery and experiences that charm and envelope listeners.
With the sweet and intimate EP On a Journey for the Long Run, Louis shows why CBC Music’s weekly “Reclaimed” series named him “one to watch” in 2021. This thoughtful nêhiyaw recently released a single called “Dancing with Sue” as a warm, huggy dedication to the supportive arts community that he has found in Alberta
Andrew Ibanez began playing guitar at an early age and has been performing, composing and recording guitar music for over 30 years. Blending a mix of guitar styles from all over the world and incorporating many musical forms including Latin, Jazz, Rock, Blues and Classical, he creates his own style and sound.
Andrew’s music encompasses many guitar styles including Rock, Jazz, Blues, Latin, Classical, Folk and Reggae. This has afforded him the opportunity to appear on stage with many great musicians of note including Bo Diddley, Dutch Mason, Murray Mclauchlan, Amos Garret, Nana Mclean, Russell Jackson and Sam Cockrell to name a few.
The Cave Arcade
The Cave Arcade is a Canadian indie rock group. Dragging the tones and guitar themes from spaghetti western scores over which to lay unique and sometimes comedic pulp inspired lyrics. Considering their land locked Canadian roots it is perhaps ironic that they reach for the west-coast vibes of which their music at times reflects. Laying this over the base of classic folk roots endemic to their home of Canmore, AB creates a unique style. The Cave Arcade are familiar faces around the Rockies performance scene, having played diverse venues from local bars to the top of the Sulphur Mountain Gondola, the Blue Heron Music Festival in Revelstoke as well as opening for Del Barber at artsPlace. Participants in the 2021 Mentorship Project, mentoring with Juno winning producer Steve Dawson. They have recently released their second album.
Eileen & Gord March
Gord March and has been playing in bands as well as solo around Canmore for the past 25 years. As an original member of local favourites Sully’s Garage, he has played the festival three times with the band. As a solo artist he has graced Stage 4 twice as well as having played at Art Speak, TOC Arts Awards, Songs for Shelter, and other fundraisers. His writing shows the influence of John Prine, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, and Hank Snow, among others.
Eileen March and was born and raised in Canmore with music in her blood. She grew up attending the Canmore Folk Fest and listening to her dad play the guitar and picked up the instrument herself at 14 years old. She has dabbled in songwriting ever since. Eileen played Art Speak in Canmore and has been the opening act at Cafe Koi in Calgary. Her singer-songrwriter musical style has been influenced by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Jewel, and Taylor Swift. It has been her great pleasure in recent years to join her father on stage in song.
Kyle Pullan is a Canmore local who has been apart of the music community since 2013. Bringing bright melodies and percussion on the acoustic guitar, Kyle has enjoyed bringing the world of instrumental Fingerstyle Guitar to the Bow Valley. Treating his acoustic guitar as a 1 man band Kyle has performed all across Canada and has won the ears of the locals. Kyle has released 4 Instrumental Albums and even won the Banff Battle of The Bands in 2017 as the first solo act to do so and opened up the competition to more solo acts. Kyle strives to introduce the beautiful genre of Fingertyle Guitar to everyone he can.
Mari Rosehill often reflects on life’s subtleties and expresses it best through song. Ranging from soft, operatic highs, to full low tones, her introspective styled lyrics invite you to take a look into how she thinks. Insecurities that have held her back and beautiful moments that propel her forward. The now sober songstress continues on this search for ones self and her artistry helps along the way. A regular at the Canmore Market and venues about town. Mari was a participant in the 2021 Mentorship Project, mentoring with festival alumna Ndidi O, and recently opened for Catherine MacLellan at artsPlace.
The Nico Tobias Band
The Nico Tobias Band is a project that started in 2014 under the original name Abbey Rodeo. The members of the band met while studying in MacEwan University’s Music program and and quickly fell into playing together after finding a shared-love for classic rock and country music. In 2015 band-leader Nico Tobias was honoured by his hometown (Canmore, AB) with an emerging artist bursary which ended up funding the recording of the group’s self-titled debut EP which was released in the fall of 2016. After finishing school and choosing to change the name to The Nico Tobias Band, the project kept working on original material as well as putting together bar sets fo regular shows around Alberta and Saskatchewan. In 2018 they recorded the song “Anthracite” which went on to win the 2018 Canadian Songwriting Competition for Canadiana. That song would then be included on the first full-length album by the group – “No More Mr. Nico Guy” – which was produced entirely by the band and released in July 2019. The Nico Tobias Band has developed a following in the Edmonton music scene for their wild, outlaw country narratives, creative covers of classic tunes and throwback sounds.
Northern Quarter hail from the charming Albertan mountain town of Canmore. The indie-pop group formed in 2017, and their varied influences have created a genre-spanning band with songs ranging from Indie Folk to Jazzy lounge-style vibes.The centrepiece to this lineup is vocalist Kerry Hunter. The Fort McMurray-born singer and lyricist weaves beautiful imagery with fascinating, sometimes stark tales about her own life experiences. Starting as a solo artist and playing these songs acoustically, the evolution to band songs has been an exciting journey. Carlos Nadeau’s guitar skills cover every single Northern Quarter song. Carlos’ unique style and highly expressive solo abilities leave their mark on everything he touches. Backing all this up are Wendy Crewe on bass and Dave Crewe on drums and samples. The use of samples played via a drum pad adds an extra dimension to the band. This is best demonstrated in ‘Searching For Freedom’, an almost orchestral, angelic opening combined with Carlos’ wonderful guitar riff and arpeggiated synthesizers make this a band favourite. The past two years have been challenging for all, but the band has gone from strength to strength, the pinnacle of which was winning the 2020 YYC Music ‘Group Of The Year’ award, which was a humbling and unexpected achievement. They were also selected to be part of the soundtrack for the virtual reality video game ‘Groove Gunner’. In addition, their latest single ‘Perfect Fit’ was launched into space with William Shatner!
Philip Alexander Nugent
The seeds of Phill Nugent’s folk-rock sound – sometimes whimsical and sometimes gritty – took root in the northern Canadian wilderness where he was raised. The Yukon-born artist’s background in musical theatre (he first took to the stage at age 5) later evolved into songwriting and self-taught guitar.
The juxtapositions that inspire Phill’s songs, like the comfort of family and the freedom of travel, or the solitude of nature and connection with an audience, weave rich storylines into his lyrics. Many of the songs on his first studio EP, self-titled Phillip Alexander Nugent and released in the fall 2019, are inspired by his wife Michelle and his sons Miles and Beck.
Girl in London, one of the album’s quieter, acoustic tracks, reflects on Phill’s journey to the U.K. to propose to Michelle. The ethereal Stargazers harks back to their travels in France and nights spent by campfire. The EP’s first single, Almost Perfect, was inspired by Gord Downie – one of Phill’s major musical influences, among others like Paul Simon, Neil Young, Foo Fighters and The Lumineers.
Now as a father, moving his career as a recording artist forward and showing his sons we can all pursue our dreams means even more to Phill. Over the next year, that includes playing music festivals, setting up a tour, and getting back into the studio to record his first full-length album.
TrebleMakers are an acoustic quartet that plays a variety of music genres ranging from roots, folk, country, rock, and pop with a focus on entertaining audiences. Instruments include guitar, bass, fiddle, sax, flute and percussion. Band members have extensive musical backgrounds with combined performance experience of 80 over years. The TrebleMakers have previously performed at the Canmore Folk Festival (Miner’s Hall).
In its current configuration, The TrebleMakers have played numerous venues in Canmore and Calgary including the Canmore Folk Fest (2018), the Mineshaft Tavern, The Canmore Hotel, Angel’s Cafe and The Ironwood.