Hailing from the small Canadian town of Saskatoon, SK, The Sheepdogs won an international competition in 2011 securing them the cover of Rolling Stone, making the group the first unsigned band to appear on its front page. The win, decided by 1.5 million public votes, also scored them a record deal with Atlantic, which offered up a new EP from the band, Five Easy Pieces, in August 2011. The Sheepdogs built their name on hard work and determination. Having funded their first three albums and early years of touring on their own, this rock and roll band’s momentum began to build exponentially with the release of the 2010 album, Learn & Burn. The band would go on to win three 2012 JUNO Awards: New Group of the Year, Single of the Year and Rock Album of the Year. With a list of accolades including a self-titled album, produced by The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney and Austin Scaggs, this impressive the band is on the brink of engaging fans on a wider scale.
Lee Fields & The Expressions
There aren’t too many artists making soul music today who had a release in 1969. Lee Fields, however, is one such artist—or maybe he’s better labeled a phenomenon. Since the late sixties, the North Carolina native has amassed a prolific catalog of albums and has toured and played with such legends as Kool and the Gang, Sammy Gordon and the Hip-Huggers, O.V Wright, Darrell Banks, and Little Royal. With a career spanning 43 years, releases on twelve different record labels, and having toured the world over with his raucous-yet-tender voice, it’s mind-blowing that the music he’s making today with Brooklyn’s own Truth & Soul Records is the best of his career.
Those who have followed Ruthie Foster’s varied musical history know that she can burn down any stage with her combustible blend of soul, blues, rock, folk and gospel. Ruthie’s astonishing voice has taken her on an amazing ride. She came from humble church choir beginnings in rural Texas, followed by a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy Band, and ended up in Austin, Texas. Ruthie’s list of achievements include Best Female Vocalist in 2007, 2008 and 2013 from the Austin Music Awards, a 2012 and 2009 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album, the 2010 Living Blues Music Award Critic’s Poll for Female Blues Artist of the Year, the 2013 Living Blue Music Award Critic’s Poll for Blues Artist of the Year (female) and recent Blues Music Award wins for Best Contemporary and Best Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year.
Nathan & The Zydeco Cha-Chas
Growing up in a Creole-speaking home in St. Martinville, Nathan eagerly sought out the music of Zydeco originators such as Clifton Chenier. Later, while recovering from a serious illness, Nathan decided to dedicate himself to learning the accordion. That dedication blossomed into an illustrious career, which now spans three decades. The music of Nathan and The Zydeco Cha-Chas is the expression of a remarkable South Louisiana family. Dennis Paul Williams, Nathan’s brother, brings his jazz-influenced guitar chops to the band. Rub-board player Mark Anthony Williams (aka ‘Chukka’) is their first cousin, and has been with the band since its inception. The eldest Williams brother, Sid ‘El Sid O’ Williams, is a Lafayette legend unto himself, and Zydeco would never have survived into the new millennium without him.Nathan formed The Cha-Chas back in 1985, and since then has brought his unique take on this regional South Louisiana music to all corners of the globe. From Lincoln Center in New York to The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Nathan’s music has crossed all barriers to speak to the very heart of his audience.
Eagle Rock Gospel Singers
The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers began as a collective of friends getting together in the summer of 2010. A choir of up to 15 revived the old gospel spirit with songs like “I Shall Not Be Moved”, “12 Gates”, and “In My Time of Dying”. Slowly they evolved to a band of 9, committed to keeping the spirit of gospel music alive. Influenced by both past gospel musicians such as The Dixie Hummingbirds, Washington Phillips and Sister Rosetta Tharpe as well as current bands like The Black Keys, Wilco, and Calexico, the band is creating a unique style of blues, indie rock, folk, and bluegrass.
Harpdog Brown & the Travelling Blues Show
Harpdog Brown is a singer and harmonica player who has been active in Canada’s blues scene since 1982. Hailing from Vancouver he crossed tens of thousands of miles playing club dates and festivals in Canada, the northwestern United States and Germany.
Over the years he has issued seven CDs. In 1995 his Home Is Where the Harp Is won the Muddy Award for the Best NW Blues Release from the Cascade Blues Association in Portland, Oregon. As well that year it was nominated for a Canadian Juno for the Best Blues/Gospel Recording. Teamed up with Graham Guest on piano, his CD Naturally was voted #1 Canadian Blues Album of 2010 by The Blind Lemon Survey.
He was just awarded The Maple Blues Award in Toronto, for best harmonica player in Canada, 2014, and was honored with a life time membership to the Hamilton Blues Society.
Harpdog Brown is bringing the Travelin’ Blues Show. They lay down the early 50’s Chess studio sounds…Upright bass, low down guitar and greasy harp and vocals.
Devin Cuddy’s music has a style its own, one that shouldn’t work, but somehow does. His unique blend of New Orleans Blues and Country effortlessly marries the two musical ideals with a distinctive element of Canadiana so eloquent, that it leaves one pondering why no one has done this before. In Toronto’s rowing pseudo-country scene Devin’s new take on the genre pushes the limits of what people think they want to dance to on a Saturday night.
Starting the guitar at six years old, Jesse Roper soon mastered songs of heroes like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin by ear. Battling with stage fright, he was thrown out onto the stage with sweaty palms and a queasy stomach, which was quickly overshadowed by the audience’s overwhelmingly positive reaction. Incapable of holding back, Jesse always delivers the show of his life whether it be headlining at major festivals in front of thousands of fans such as Sunfest, Rifflandia and Rock the Shores, or touring across the country during his residency as a CN rail musician. Jesse has shared the stage with many great artists, awards have been won, but his musical existence is more than that; it is purely about performing, touring and loving it until the day he joins that great jam session in the sky.
At any given moment, there are so many sounds competing for our attention that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and hear nothing. But, every now and then, a voice comes along that cuts through all the random noise and clatter, a voice that makes you stop and really listen because whatever you were doing up until that point isn’t as important as listening to it and letting it take you where it wants to go. Colleen Rennison has a voice like that. A voice that channels power, tenderness and a range of emotions that seem like they couldn’t possibly come from a singer who’s only 25 years old. Colleen has a voice that can floor you, and envelop you, and bring all of the pain and struggles of your life crashing down on you like a tidal wave
Jim Byrnes & Sojourners
Jim Byrnes’ fame as an actor has grown immeasurably from his too-numerous-to-mention TV and movie roles, highlights including television’s Wiseguy and Highlander series, and his national variety show The Jim Byrnes Show. Jim’s first love, however, is the blues. His evocative, smoky vocals are found in a truth that doesn’t come overnight. In 1981 he released “Burnin’”, followed in 1987 with “I’ve Turned My Nights into Days” and 1995’s Juno-Award winning “That River”.
Whether you’re talking about her as a songwriter, guitarist or vocalist, one thing is indisputable: Hamilton’s Terra Lightfoot is a ferocious talent. Her songs tap into the raw emotion of hearts supercharged by love, lust, loneliness and temptation. Her playing melds expert finger-picking and distorted, hook-heavy melodies. And her elemental voice commands attention and awe, whether on slow-burning soul ballads or hard-charging rock numbers.
Sibel Thrasher was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, and now resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. As both a singer and actress, she enjoys an accomplished career in music, theatre, film, and television. In August 2004, Sibel was inducted into the B.C. “Entertainment Hall of Fame” and in “Starwalk” on the sidewalks of Vancouver’s “Theatre Row” for her lifelong contribution to the arts, and her never ending contribution to the community, and music. Her extensive studio credits include work with legendary recording artists Roy Ayres, Long John Baldry, Donna Summer, and Linton Garner, and her live performance credits include tours as a featured singer with the and world renowned R&B/Gospel singer Etta James.