Live Music Fri., Sept. 20th The Sheepdogs The Sheepdogs THE SHEEPDOGS – CHANGING COLOURS Ewan Currie – vocals, songs, guitars, clarinet, drums Ryan Gullen – bass, backing vocals Sam Corbett – drums, backing vocals Shamus Currie – keyboards, trombone Jimmy Bowskill – guitars, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, pedal steel For a new album that The Sheepdogs didn’t initially set out to make, Changing Colours is a stunning achievement. Proud purveyors of guitar-driven modern-day retro rock, the triple Juno Award-winning Saskatoon-based quintet has expanded its sound on Changing Colours to encompass more styles and hues to enhance the Sheepdogs’ trademark beef-and-boogie twin-axe riffs, hooks, shuffles and long-haired aesthetic. “We identify strongly with rock ‘n roll, but there’s definitely some branching out,” says Ewan Currie, The Sheepdogs’ singer, guitarist, songwriter and occasional - and yes, you’re reading this correctly - clarinetist. “The sounds we use on this – there’s more keyboards featuring Shamus and more stringed instruments. It’s still rock ‘n roll but there are more colours.” It’s also great, passionate music born out of spontaneity: first resonating in the 17-song album’s euphoric opener “Nobody” and continuing to flavour such invigorating numbers as the electrifying “Saturday Night” and the driving “I’ve Got A Hole Where My Heart Should Be,” the record’s infectious first single. But The Sheepdogs haven’t only stretched their sonic palate: they’ve also expanded stylistically, tastefully embracing other genres as well. There’s the country-lite feel of “Let It Roll,” the Stax-soul aura of the mid-tempo anthem “I Ain’t Cool” that features trombone -- and the resplendent Latin-rock vibe that fuels “The Big Nowhere.” This is what occurs when The Sheepdogs are left to their own devices: when the band completed its global responsibilities in promoting its fifth album, 2015’s Future Nostalgia, the band took a busman’s holiday, renting Toronto’s Taurus Studio and hiring its owner, Thomas D’Arcy, to engineer and co-produce whatever emerged from their creative loins. “It was very low key,” says Currie. “We didn’t have a clock. We would work until we were bored or tired. Then we would stop.” Drummer Sam Corbett said the music that eventually evolved into Changing Colours benefitted from the relaxed approach. “Most of the records we’ve made have been under a short time constraint,” Corbett explains. “This one was done over six months, with some songs sitting around for two months. Then we’d come back and try different things, so I think that as a result, some of the songs took a different shape. “In some situations, there’s more of a ‘jamming’ feel because we could experiment.” The Changing Colours sessions also marks the recording debut of the newest Sheepdog: guitar wiz Jimmy Bowskill, parachuted into the lineup as a live, last-minute replacement. “He joined us on tour, learned our whole set basically in one rehearsal and has been with us ever since,” says bass player Ryan Gullen. “He gave us a new sensibility – he plays a bunch of instruments as well – mandolin, steel, banjo and fiddle.” The band honours Bowskill’s addition with an instrumental tribute to his Bailieboro, Ontario hometown in the folk-flavoured “The Bailieboro Turnaround,” part of a six-song medley that begins with “Born A Restless Man” and concludes with “Run Baby Run.” Medleys, in general, have become something of a Sheepdogs signature. “We like having those medleys that run together at the end of the album,” says Currie. As far as the songs themselves, Currie says Changing Colours songs like “Nobody” to the one-two combo of “Cool Down” and “Kiss the Brass Ring” cover topics like the freedom of a good road trip and compromises in the pursuit of success. But the subject matter is never pre-planned. “I don’t know where my lyrics come from,” Currie confesses. “It’s sort of sub-conscious thing. I try not to write deliberately. I’ve never been a guy who sits down and says, ‘okay, here’s a subject I’m going to write about.’ It’s always been music first.” In the six years since The Sheepdogs claimed Rolling Stone magazine’s one and only Best Unsigned Band contest – earning them a U.S. record deal and a fervent endorsement from The Kings of Leon – the platinum-selling group has tirelessly criss-crossed the planet. Touring in support of critically acclaimed albums Learn & Burn, The Sheepdogs and Future Nostalgia has only honed the band’s workhorse ethic, generating hits like “I Don’t Know,” the gold “Feeling Good” and “The Way It Is” along the way and transforming them into a highly disciplined live attraction. It’s a calling that they have never taken for granted. “We could never sit back and rest on our laurels,” notes Corbett. Changing Colours is a testament of The Sheepdogs’ never-ending desire to follow their muse, become increasingly prolific and deliver thrilling evenings of thundering, organic rock to their devoted audiences. The rest just takes care of itself. “Do good work and the people will find you,” notes Ewan Currie. “Let the work speak for itself. That’s our big philosophy.” n Nick Krewen The Sheepdogs Johnson Crook From the moment Toronto roots rock band Johnson Crook played together, they knew they not only had harmony in their voices, but a deep personal connection that made the idea of forming a group a foregone conclusion. What the quartet— Noel Johnson (rhythm guitars/vocals), brothers Nathan (lead guitar/mandolin/vocals) and Trevor Crook (drums/vocals) and Jared Craig (bass/vocals) — share is a love of pure, honest music stemming from their small-town backgrounds. Drawing inspiration from groups like the Eagles and the Avett Brothers, each member of Johnson Crook contributes equally, injecting their unique personalities into the overall sound built on four voices. That special chemistry is heard on their self-titled debut EP released through Coalition Records, to be followed by a full-length album later in 2017. Both encapsulate a whirlwind initial two years of live gigs and recording sessions that began almost immediately after that first encounter. Teaming with acclaimed producer Bill Bell, they began shaping a collection of songs laid down at his home studio and at Metalworks near Toronto. The first taste, the single “Minnedosa,” came out in the summer of 2016, coinciding with the band’s multiple festival appearances. Named after the Crook brothers’ Manitoba hometown, it deftly displays the group’s intention to stand apart from crowded field of contemporary country artists. Other tracks on the EP came about just as naturally. “Canada Heartbreak” was the result of Johnson and Craig taking part in VIA Rail’s Artists On Board series, written as a reflection of their journey. Another highlight, the plaintive ballad “Mr. Nobody,” was given a boost in the studio through the participation of Bell’s close friend Tom Cochrane, whose voice fit in seamlessly. Expect to see Johnson Crook in your town at some point in the wake of the EP and forthcoming album. Every stop brings with it a story that could become a new song, and as a group founded on the principles of equality, Johnson Crook’s creative potential is limitless. Johnson Crook Kate Boothman Hailing from the Northumberland Hills, in 2017, horse trainer turned rocker, Kate Boothman emerged with debut rock and roll venture, I Am An Animal. “ I Am An Animal’ is about letting go. Relinquishing the reins and honouring those parts of ourselves that can sometimes seem insane. It’s all a part of the ride” says Kate. Produced by Loel Campbell, and recorded at Greg Keelor’s, Lost Cause Studios, title track, I Am An Animal, saw extensive air play nationally on college, satellite, and mainstream radio. The premiere of I Am An Animal, and accompanying video ( directed by Ryan Gullen and Mat Dunlap), received shimmering reviews across North America and Europe. Second single, God Willing, received the same attention from radio and press, and half of the song was featured in award-winning animated series, Winston Roundtree’s, People Watching. Since releasing I Am An Animal, Kate has played countless shows, on a variety of stages. And even in the corner of a vacation hamburger restaurant. The show is the same. Personal and untamed. And sometimes it even comes with a shake. Kate’s rock n roll band has been thriving since the release of I Am An Animal. Kate has gained a reputation as a strong performer both with and without the band, playing repeatedly as the invited opener for established songwriting talents like Blue Rodeo, Robyn Hitchcock (The Soft Boys), Wilco, Joe Pernice (The Pernice Brothers), Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star), Jonathan Wilson, Ana Egge, Kathleen Edwards, and Jolie Holland. KATE HAS JUST COMPLETED A NEW FULL LENGTH RECORDING. SLATED FOR RELEASE, SPRING OF 2020. MY NEXT MISTAKE. Kate Boothman Also Featuring: Conor Gains Buy Tickets Now! Sat., Sept. 21st Lemon Bucket Orkestra "With equal parts exhilarating precision and reckless abandon, Lemon Bucket Orkestra’s live shows are a truly immersive experience - ranging from the ecstatic to the cathartic, and all points in between. Tracing their genesis back to their busking days on the streets of Toronto, an original quartet of street troubadours quickly amassed a battalion of like-minded musical souls, and the full-blown dozen strong “Balkan party-punk-superband” was born! The award winning ensemble has since been heralded as a groundbreaking, genre-bending phenomenon by fans and media alike, and over the past 9 years they’ve performed on streets and stages around the world, leaving a trail of dedicated fans in their wake.” "Amazing, frenetic, gloriously anarchic and ultimately joyous!” — Winnipeg Free Press "When Lemon Bucket Orkestra ditched the stage and jumped in the crowd, they cemented themselves a place in WOMAD lore!” — Taranaki Daily News, New Zealand Lemon Bucket Orkestra DJ NDN Ian Campeau, also known as Deejay NDN, is the co-founder & former member of the music group A Tribe Called Red (ATCR). Through a powerful combination of art and activism, he uses his notoriety to draw attention to issues of racism, gender based violence, stigmas of mental health, and other forms of oppression. He is Ojibwe, Anishinaabe from the Nipissing First Nation. DJ NDN Elliott Brood Elliott BROOD is a three-piece Folk Rock Alt Country band based in Hamilton, Canada. Their brand of fuzzed-up roots music has always made for a captivating, and frenetic live performance. That energy has always translated onto the band’s five previous critically acclaimed records. In 2013 the band won a Juno Award for their World War One inspired album “Days Into Years”. Over the course of their career they have been nominated for a total of five Juno awards. In 2009 they were shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize and in 2012 the band found themselves nominated for a Genie Award for their original song “West End Sky” that was featured in the film “Grown Up Movie Star”. Their style has been called everything from ‘blackgrass’ to ‘death country,’ but those descriptions don’t capture the transcendent heights of their unique approach to roots music. Fall 2017 will see the band release their sixth full-length studio album “Ghost Gardens” via Paper Bag Records. The title “Ghost Gardens” alludes to a phenomenon whereby the perennial gardens of houses and buildings having been abandoned or forgotten for years or even decades, continue to grow and reappear year after year, despite their original caretakers' absence. Elliott Brood's “Ghost Gardens” began with the rediscovery of lost demo songs from a decade and a half earlier, the beginning of the bands career to be exact. The misplaced hard drive had long been forgotten in a garage, just sitting dormant in an old suitcase. The recordings were demos and rough pencil sketches of song lyrics and melody ideas. Not often in life does a band get to step back in time to rediscover their lost younger selves and get to amend or alter that existence, in an odd way this is the band rediscovering their former selves while simultaneously being years wiser both musically and lyrically. Elliott BROOD are Mark Sasso, Casey Laforet and Stephen Pitkin Discography2004 Tin Type (weewerk records)2005 AMBASSADOR (Six Shooter Records)2008 Mountain Meadows (Six Shooter Records) 2011 Days Into Years (Paper Bag Records)2014 Work And Love (Paper Bag Records) Elliott Brood Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar 2018 has proven to be the break-out year so long deserved by Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar. In November 2018, it was announced that “Run To Me” has been nominated for 4 Maple Blues Awards at the 2019 edition (Album of The Year, Songwriter of The Year, Entertainer of The Year, and Female Vocalist of The Year). The group’s latest recording, entitled Run to Me, was released in April 2018. Produced by Darcy Yates, the album is a massive step forward for both Martin and Delta Sugar. Over the course of the project’s ten tracks, everyone written by Martin solo or in tandem with Curtis Chaffey or Suzie Vinnick, the album explores the full range of the vicissitudes of love: desire, betrayal and, at times, emotional and sexual satisfaction. As a collective, the songs reflect remarkable growth on Martin’s part as a songwriter. The lyrics are incisive, the melodies are constantly arresting and the harmonies and arrangements call up the best of the soul and blues sounds of Stax Records and such contemporary artists as Leon Bridges, Sharon Jones and Lee Fields. The record is has received massive airplay in North America reaching #2 on Earshot, #1 on Roots Music Report, and #1 on Stingray’s Blues channel radio charts. The album has also crossed overseas and managed to sneak into the UK Blues Radio Top40 charts as well as receiving dozens of rave reviews. With over 500 shows under their belt in the last 4 years, Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) has honored Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar with the certification “Road Gold.” CIMA certifies Canadian artists as “Road Gold” when they have sold over 25 thousand tickets to Canadian fans over a twelve-month period. Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar’s debut release, 2015’s Send the Nightingale, was a stripped down affair consisting of Martin, her two co-singers, and guitarist Mikey McCallum. For Run to Me, Martin elected to record her emotionally wrought material with an expanded band, augmenting the core of Delta Sugar’s gospel-infused harmonies with a full rhythm section, piano, organ and an ever-so- soulful horn section. Send the Nightingale was a stunning achievement which garnered four Maple Blues nominations in 2016, was regularly featured on the CBC, topped the blues charts on Stingray radio and propelled the group onto the stages of all the major Canadian festivals and clubs coast to coast. Subsequent to the album’s release, Martin has been nominated three years in a row as Female Vocalist of the Year at the Maple Blues Awards. Continuing to build on the group’s steam rolling momentum, in the fall of 2017, Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar were selected by a panel of blues experts to represent Toronto at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, a platform that has served to launch any number of careers in both Europe and the United States. Martin is the lead singer, songwriter and focal point of the group. A dynamic front woman, she possesses a stunning voice that is capable of summoning up tidal waves of spine-tingling emotion in one instance while delicately bringing out the nuances of a gut wrenching lyric in the next. A torrid force of nature, night after night she takes audiences to emotional peaks while leaving them stunned with her sheer pin-you-against-the-wall power. While Martin is a powerhouse unto herself, the vocal alchemy of Delta Sugar is not the work of a single talent. In combination with what she likes to term her “co-vocalists,” Sherie Marshall and Mwansa Mwansa, the vocal blend Delta Sugar produces is pure, unadulterated gospel-tinged, neuron-tingling magic where the sum is even richer than the already soul-melting parts. Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar Northern Hearts Northern Hearts is a powerful blues pop duo whose songs are at once playful and soulful. They recently performed at the Cobourg Waterfront Festival, showcased at Folk Alliance International in Montreal, and reached the Top 100 of CBC Music's Searchlight Competition. Their debut EP, of all these flames, is available now everywhere you buy and stream music online. Northern Hearts Also Featuring: Andrew Queen Ganaraska Sheiks Buy Tickets Now! Sun., Sept. 22nd Tanika Charles & The Wonderful Since emerging on the international scene in 2017 with her debut Soul Run, Tanika Charles has revealed herself to be one of the best kept secrets in soul music. Both on stage and off, Toronto-based Charles presents an immutable charm, at times endearingly abrasive and honest in her vulnerabilities. Tanika returns in 2019 battle tested and ready to reveal the latest chapters of her life since graduating from local favourite to international success. “Tanika Charles modernizes classic soul.”— AfroPunk Tanika Charles & The Wonderful Craig Cardiff For the past six years, Craig Cardiff has been passing around a Book of Truths during his shows and asking his fans to share something truthful in it — a story, a confession, a hope, a secret. The book gives fans a chance to write down something they might be too afraid to say out loud, and it gives Cardiff an opportunity to connect with the people who come to his shows. Those entries aren’t always easy to read. The stories can be heartbreaking, and they can leave Cardiff wanting to do something, to find the person who wrote in his book and tell them to hold on for tomorrow, that things will be OK. Cardiff’s newest releases, amongst them the cheekily named ‘Novemberish’, a series of albums and EP’s, have earned him label and management interest from NY-based label Anti-Fragile Music and management group Esther Creatives Tom Sarig. Since founding Esther Creative Group, Sarig has worked with some of the most exciting musical artists in contemporary history, including Lou Reed, The Gaslight Anthem, Bryan Ferry, CAKE, the Violent Femmes, Miranda Cosgrove, Twin Atlantic, Blonde Redhead, Bebel Gilberto, and Against Me!, among others. With a voice described as “warm, scratched, sad and sleepy,”Cardiff sings songs that expose the human condition, putting a magnifying glass to the clumsier and less proud moments. He can turn any setting into an intimate affair, infusing his music and lyrics with an uncompromising humanism. Cardiff makes it a point to keep the relationship with his fans personal, inviting and accepting any opportunity to make his audience as much a part of the performance as he is. Armed with an extensive catalogue of songs, his Book of Truths, sharp wit and soft voice, Cardiff is considered a pioneer in alternate venue touring, often appearing in churches, camps, prisons, basements, festivals, kitchens and even taking to the streets, bringing his fans with him. Over the years, he has played with and opened for artists such as Glen Phillips, Lucy Kaplansky, Dan Bern, Natalia Zukerman, Andy Stochansky, Sarah Harmer, Kathleen Edwards, Blue Rodeo, Gordon Downie (Tragically Hip), Hawksley Workman, Sarah Slean, Skydiggers, 54-40 and more. When not performing, Cardiff blends humour, honesty and enthusiasm as he offers workshops at schools, camps, festivals and churches throughout North America. He is passionate about encouraging others to be more open and to try new things even if it means making mistakes, and in June 2011, he gave an address called Fear is the Cheapest Room in the House during the inaugural TEDxUWO at the University of Western Ontario. Press Quotes“[Craig is] a songwriter who needs to be heard.” — Gordon Lightfoot "In some ways, it's too much of a good thing, but Cardiff can't be faulted for going the extra mile for his audience. It's what's gotten him to this point, and is sure to carry him further with this effort that puts him solidly in the upper echelon of Canadian folk artists.”— Jason Schneider, Exclaim “From the majestic loops of The Very Last Night Of The End Of The World to the feel-good caress of Safe Here, the cello-enhanced lullaby Gate and a sprinkling of starting-over songs, it’s a gorgeous album that seems to find a balance between heartbreak and joy. Listening to Cardiff’s gentle, expressive voice, you can imagine that Paul Simon is whispering in one ear and Van Morrison in the other.”— Lynn Saxberg, Ottawa Citizen “There is a warm and inviting feeling to the end of the world. In Craig Cardiff’s Floods and Fires, the seemingly apocalyptic crises life throws at our solemn narrator are met with a measure of hope and the promise of shelter to wait out the storm ... The result is a soothing swell of harmonies that never overwhelm the taut emotion carried through Cardiff’s soft, whispery voice.” - Ellen Keeble,Calgary Sun “What I’ve found to be the essential key in his songs is versatility between the tracks. It’s Craig’s soft demure in vocals that tells the story; the melody that keeps you hooked. When you finish listening to a track or one of his albums as a whole, listeners realize that they and Craig speak the same language. It’s that truth that keeps Craig’s fans hungry for his next release.” - Care Humphries, Velvet Rope Craig Cardiff Hill & Landing Hill & Landing are a young duo making a significant impact on the Northumberland music scene. Amy Brady and Liam Roesch formed Hill & Landing in 2016, and have since graced the stages of Victoria Hall, The Cobourg Waterfront Festival, and Cultivate: A Festival of Food & Drink as well as numerous fundraisers and private events. The duo was also honoured to perform at The Shelter Valley Folk Festival (as winners of the 2017 Local Songwriters Competition). Amy’s soulful voice paired with Liam’s eclectic guitar style creates a captivating live performance. Hill & Landing draw influence from a wide range of artists, resulting in creative interpretations of country, blues, and folk rock tunes. Their debut EP ‘Wherever It Leads’ was released in 2018. With lyrics beyond their years, the six original songs on their EP speak to forgiveness, perseverance, nostalgia, and coming of age in a small town. In 2019, the duo aspire to produce a music video and break into the Peterborough scene. Hill & Landing Also Featuring: David Newland Kim Doolittle & Emily Burgess Buy Tickets Now!