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Mo Kenney

Since the release of her self-titled debut recording in September 2012, Mo Kenney has toured the country selling record numbers of CDs off-stage and gleaning outstanding reviews. She has played the prestigious Iceland Airwaves, The Great Escape and Green Man Festival in the UK; won the 2013 SOCAN Songwriting Prize; a Canadian Folk Music Award for New/Emerging Artist of the Year; and three Music Nova Scotia awards for Pop Recording, New Artist Recording, and Female Artist Recording of the Year. The buzz on Mo Kenney started before the release, fuelled by her quirky songs, unique voice, and the admiration and support of industry veterans such as Joel Plaskett, Ron Sexsmith, and Gordie Sampson. Plaskett produced and played on the album, as well as contributing a couple of co-writes, and his label New Scotland Records released the recording in partnership with Pheromone Recordings. Working around his busy schedule, Joel and Mo began their collaboration in April 2011. Plaskett’s studio Scotland Yard is a humble setting in which he weaves real musical magic. The album is the happy outcome of a true tandem operation. “Joel and I are the only musicians playing on the album,” says Mo. “He definitely influenced the production.” Plaskett may still be best known as a prolific and popular Juno-winning rock and role veteran, but his bona fides as a producer are now well-established. Such acclaimed artists as Two Hours Traffic, Sarah Slean, and Steve Poltz have all made good use of his studio skills. She may be only 23, but Mo Kenney is far from being a novice songwriter. She began writing in her early teens, and by the age of 14, she’d already done some recording in a small studio in Bedford, Nova Scotia. “I was totally into Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Ozzy, all the classic rock stuff. When I started guitar I was really into the electric and I remember coffee houses at high school where I’d go on stage with my electric and just rip solos.” Having influences and inspirations drawn from classic and alt-rock artists rather than the traditional singer-songwriter pantheon helps account for the bracing freshness of Mo Kenney’s style. Fitting her sound into a neat box is an exercise in futility, though, if pressed, Mo can settle for “pop music with a folky twist.”

Hometown:
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Emerging chart position: 262
Connected sources:
7
of
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