Edmonton-based Jenie Thai has fast made a name for herself playing living rooms, clubs and festival stages in western Canada and now the 20-something year-old classically trained pianist with a love of jazz and blues is ready to fly far with Only the Moon, a beautifully crafted nine-song album of original songs showcasing a voice that has the warmth and beauty of a young Maria Muldaur. The indie album was recorded mostly live off the floor at Edmonton’s top rated Sound Extractor Studio and Stew Kirkwood nails every song with his sympathetic and under-stated production. Labels will be
Since the band’s early starts a decade ago, even before Nettwerk saw the group’s potential, Tony Dekker was the principal songwriter and voice behind Great Lake Swimmers. His new, first proper solo album, Prayer of the Woods, could have easily become an extension of the GLS project, but a few listens reveal the differences; arrangements are less robust, the material a little more introspective. Where the group’s Juno-nominated New Wild Everywhere was delicate, Prayer is even more fragile. Simple, gorgeously sung folk – fits squarely with everything that we’ve come to expect from Dekker.
Troubadour and songwriter’s songwriter, Craig Cardiff was urged to do something different after 2011’s Juno-nominated Floods and Fires. His producers, Ben Legget and Andre Wahl, wanted to broaden Cardiff’s sonic palette; while mellow and introspective work well for him, it’s a blast to hear him branch out on this double-disc: Love is Louder (Than All This Noise), Pt 1 &2. The first disc, Louder!, is rich and expansive, uplifting without resorting to being saccharine. Part 2 - Gentler! is more intimate and representative of his sound at the house concerts he regularly plays. But it’s the...
East Coast-based songsmith Marc Lacelles showcases an appealingly eclectic style on Remember When, his debut album that capably fuses modern folk, Celtic and country genres.Lacelles will perform on a bill at the Cape Breton Fudge Co on December 7.The event, to be streamed live, can be viewed online at CapeBretonTV. Lacelles is donating $5.00 from all CDs purchased at the Fudge Co. show to the Children's Wish Foundation. A great promotion and a praiseworthy act of charity.
Like two of his obvious musical reference points, Steve Earle and Fred Eaglesmith., Brock Zeman is a hardcore country-folk troubadour. A prolific recording artist (Rotten Tooth is his tenth album) and performer (250 dates a year on average), he has earned fans in Europe, the U.S. and Canada, but remains worthy of much wider recognition. His talent as a lyricist and gritty-voiced singer are neatly showcased on fine new offering, Rotten Tooth. We especially dig the title track, “Day Before Tomorrow”, and “There Will Always Be A Right Now”. He has plenty of Ontario dates in December and
The debut recording from Duane Andrews and Craig Young, Charlie's Boogie is a delightful instrumental guitar record. It draws from Django-style gypsy jazz, bluegrass and traditional Newfoundland music, and the two very fluent players convince in all styles. Andrews has won ECMA and Independent Music awards, while Young has won multiple CCMA Awards as a guitarist. Together they create roots music magic. The duo are now touring across Eastern Canada, kicking off Nov. 21 in London. Join their mailing list to receive a free mp3 of “Tennessee Blues”.
Stratford-based singer/songwriter Lara MacMillan impressed with her 2009 debut album, Miss Mercury. The potential shown there is fully realized on this compelling self-titled sophomore album. MacMillan has a persuasively dramatic vocal style and is an eloquent wordsmith. She is musically eclectic, drawing on cabaret, pop and folk elements here, and using horns and strings. Assisting the cause is producer/guitarist Dean Drouillard (Royal Wood) and an elite grouping of T.O. players including Mark McIntyre, Roger Travassos, Drew Jurecka, and Bryden Baird. MacMillan launched the disc at Hugh’s
Mark Berube sounds nothing short of a veteran songwriter on his latest record, Russian Dolls. While a decade’s worth of albums both solo and with his backing band, The Patriotic Few, could leave him short of ideas, he finds comfort in exploring exotic sounds, pulling from South African music, psychedelic pop and storytelling styles drawn from modern folk. Jace Lasek (Besnard Lakes) recorded Berube at his famed Breakglass Studios in Montreal, skillfully adding “analog organs, echoey upright pianos, synthesizers, small boxes with many knobs, rotating overdriven speakers, marimbas and reverby...
It has been five years between solo albums for highly accomplished country-folk singer/songwriter Rae Billing, but Walls & Fences proves to be well worth the wait. It's Billing's fourth solo album; prior to that she fronted Crybaby, an undervalued alt-country band well ahead of its time. Billing has one of those goose bumps-inducing voices a la Lucinda Williams, and she writes powerfully poetic songs. Highlights include the timely social conscience of "Sacramento River" and haunting "And Pretend". As ever, she's surrounded by great musicians, including guitarist Andrew Aldredge and
The Little Suns sound is a vibrant blend of folk, pop and world music, and debut record Normal Human Feelings is surely poised to create a splash. The Montreal alt-folk unit downplays the fact, but we hear that vocalist/multi-instrumentalist John Aaron Cockburn is the son of folk icon Bruce. The core quintet is augmented by guest horn and string players (including trumpeter Brownman). Super-talented producer/musician Leon Taheny (Dusted, Germans) plays several instruments here too. Cockburn and clarinetist Robin Meyer-MacLeod recently explored Romania and Hungary, accounting for the authentic