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2017 - Headliners
Dan Stacey and The Black Swans album A 440 spans 3 centuries in 57 minutes.
Once upon a time at the Stratford Slow Food Market, Graham Hargrove, Stratford Festival core percussionist, bumped into Dan Stacey, fiddler and Step Dancer extraordinaire. A band was born. Dan, who had long admired the chops of guitarist and fellow competitive stepper Kyle Waymouth, invited him to join.
The band's debut album A 440 uses centuries-old techniques to create modern compositions. Dan's nine originals demonstrate the sound of "Canadian Trad" – his take on traditional Canadian music. The album’s fearless single is a ten minute tribute to three of Canada's greatest folk instrumentalists Jean Carignan, Donnie Gilchrist and Graham Townsend. Guest musicians include Matt MacIsaac, Caroline Lavelle (De Dannan and Loreena McKennitt), Steve McDade, Ian Harper, Jack Winn and Allistar "Zud" Gaskin.
Dan Stacey and The Black Swans are currently appearing in Shakespeare’s As You Like it at the Stratford Festival Theatre. The band has a natural sonic connection to this year’s production because it is set in 1980s Newfoundland - a locus of traditional Canadian music.
The band’s new album has put them in such high demand that in addition to their 49 performances at The Festival, they are appearing in several more live shows.
These appearances include Stratford Summer Music 2016, with past performances at Stratford Summer Music 2015 and two sold-out concerts with The Stratford Symphony Orchestra.
Live shows will feature cuts from the new album. These include originals and four selections from 17th century harper Turlough O'Carolan's catalogue, deftly splicing live on stage Dan’s modern Canadian compositions to their Irish roots.
High energy and a lot of fun, The Mudmen are a Celtic Rock Band who inspire a party as soon as they hit the stage. Founded by The Campbell Brothers in 1998, The Mudmen have 8 studio cd's building a resume and a legion of fans from young to old.
Their accomplishments include reaching #19 on the Edge Radio, 6 Music Video's on Much Music and signing with EMI Records from 2000-2004. More recently, their accomplishments include, the new CBC "Hockey Night in Canada" theme song; the 1983/84 Edmonton Oilers Reunion with Wayne Gretzky and teammates present, the Commonwealth Stadium with Sydney Crosby present, and a 3 month tour with Johnny Reid, his PBS Special and the CCMA's.
The Mudmen have met and performed for the Queen and have been honored to entertain and share the stage with numerous celebrities over the years including Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Paul Shaffer, William Shatner,The Guess Who, Gordon Lightfoot, etc. Don Cherry and Ron MacLean have featured Music by the Mudmen on Rock'em Sock'em 9,19,20,24,27 Coaches Corner and during the nationally televised making of the new CBC hockey anthem . Ron McLean stated: "The Mudmen... we love 'em" .
The Mudmen Robby Campbell, Sandy Campbell, Jeremy Burton Mike Meacher,Dan Westenenk and Jack McPhee believe nice guys do finish first. Their love for music and performing is as strong as their off stage friendship. With over 2500 shows to date you are sure to feel the same way about the Canadian, Celtic, Rock band known as The Mudmen. .
Jay Semko is known nationally as singer and bassist with multiple JUNO Award nominees and Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame members the Northern Pikes, internationally as an award winning music composer for numerous film and TV productions, including Canada's most successful internationally syndicated series, "Due South", and as one of Canada’s premiere singer/songwriters, with 10 solo albums released. He has co-written and recorded with many of the best songwriters and musicians in music, has instructed songwriting at the University of Saskatchewan and been a panelist, participant, and host at many national events affiliated with SOCAN, the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA), and many others. He is a 2-time winner of the SCMA Award for Roots Album of the Year (2012 "Force of Horses" & 2015 "Flora Vista") and a 2-time Gemini Award nominee and Canadian Screen Award nominee for his work as a music composer for television ("Due South" and "Dust Up"). He has performed across North America, Japan, at SXSW, the International Folk Alliance Conference, NXNE and many other international events. His music is a unique roots/folk/country/gospel hybrid, with tales of love and redemption celebrating life one day at a time - Jay's songs, stories, and live concerts are legendary.
For more info about Jay go to jaysemko.com
Linda has worked all over the world with Magna Carta and is featured on 14 of their albums. She has represented British culture abroad for the British Council and British Embassies. She is accompanied by pianist Ian Diment who is in much demand in the UK for his versatility and arrangement skills. Matt Barnhoorn is also joining Linda, bringing his violin, mandolin and sense of humour. Matt played with Magna Carta for several years and is now working with Sue The Night in Holland.
Linda is on facebook Linda Simpson-Taylor
Described as having "a voice stolen from angels", Tia McGraff is an international touring Americana/Folk artist, who has established herself as one of the genre's most respected singer/songwriter's today.
Performing on main stage festivals, song writing venues like The Bluebird Café (Nashville), and numerous concert theaters, Tia shares her passion for entertaining with (life and stage partner), Colorado native, Tommy Parham.
Together, they have 7 CD releases, 4 videos on CMT Canada, top 10 radio charts, film/tv placements, and songs recorded by major artists, including Lee Greenwood.
In 2015, Tia released her new cd, Crazy Beautiful (produced by Tommy Parham), and received a first round Grammy nomination for Americana album of the year. The track, The Fire, received an honorable mention at The Posie Music Awards, FL.
Tia and Tommy engage their audiences with an electrifying, yet honest and heart moving, musical experience that is “real and really needed in today’s music industry.”
“ The word is spreading regarding her untamed talent - Tia McGraff's new Crazy Beautiful collection is superb featuring stellar vocals, honest emotion and exceptional songs.“
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Corduroy Road is a dynamic, fun- loving, seven piece Canadian country band that has roots in the Atlantic provinces, but now calls Guelph, home. Formed in 2005, Corduroy Road was short listed for a Juno in 2008 in the Traditional Grassroots category for their first CD," Not From the City”. Their second CD, "All That We Are" was released in 2012. They are presently working on their third album which will again feature the top quality writing of the talented Reg Arthurs! At the heart of Corduroy Road is the multi- talented Reg Arthurs. Reg sings and plays lead guitar! Andrea LeBlanc supports Corduroy Road with her amazing voice, and incredible keyboard skills. Stephanie LeBlanc Grimm, Andrea's sister, sings both lead and harmony, and is the talented percussionist. Janna Pardy adds her powerful lead voice and wonderful harmonies as well as playing guitar! Craig Galbraith,( with his wonderful bass voice) on drums, the renowned Peter Turpin on bass, and the incomparable Brian Ward on guitar, provide the stellar rhythm section which complete this energetic, sure to please band!
Rick Taylor & Barry James Payne team up to focus on their folk roots. Having crossed paths many times over the last several years, they’d been conspiring to work together, but the timing was never right. Finally in early 2015, they found a window where their schedules allowed the required time to collaborate.
Rick Taylor is well know for his high energy live performances, rich, expressive baritone voice, and his quirky and novel song writing styles such as the cult classics "Black Leather Diaper" and "Drunkards Lullaby" as well as his delicately, haunting, well crafted ballads, and unforgettable "guitarnastics". Rick's early chart hit classics "Letters From Jane" and "Soldier in the Rain", released internationally in 1989 on Volunteer Records, remained in "gold rotation" on many radio stations around the world for several years. Rick’s 2005 international CD release entitled Clown River contains 13 original solo guitar compositions. It is a beautifully woven instrumental story where Rick has reached deeply into his influences of the great finger style guitar traditions. Clown River caught the attention of Borealis Records and Rick was invited to be a featured artist on their guitar compilation CD - Six Strings North of the Border Volume 3, released internationally in Feb. 2006 and now available as a 3 CD boxed set. This compilation includes many of Canada’s finger style guitar greats such as Bruce Cockburn, Colin Linden, Amos Garrett, Stephen Fearing, Don Ross, Kevin Breit, Harry Manx and more.
Stepping out of his usual blues genre to perform folk and a Canadian version of Americana, Taylor joins Payne of the popular Celtic-fusion band Rant Maggie Rant (and a prolific folk-country-blues songwriter himself aka String Bone), to explore his folk-roots past, as the two collaborate on country-blues tinged folk songs about everyday life.
Barry James Payne's String Bone solo project has received accolades from music aficionados from Europe to the USA. An Americana-UK CD review headline asks "Lucinda Williams & Gordon Lightfoot's Lovechild?" His record 'nadir' was cited as being influenced by and reminiscent of Dylan's 'Blood On The Tracks', Springsteen's 'Nebraska', Wilco's 'AM' and Lucinda Williams' 'Car Wheels On A Gravel Road'. High praise indeed for a relatively unknown songwriter. His song 'Midnight Train' spent over a year in regular rotation on the ABC National Country radio station in Australia. String Bone released this debut record in 2009 with veteran troubadour Shannon Lyon at the producer’s helm and Bob Egan (Blue Rodeo, ex-Wilco) contributing to several tracks. Payne has played over 250 shows, including a tour in Europe. As a solo artist, he has shared concert bills with Bill Bourne, Luke Doucet, Royal Wood, Melissa McLelland, Craig Cardiff, Jay & Colin Linden, Sultans Of String, Madison Violet, Danny Michel, New Country Rehab, Emma-Lee, Ginger St. James, Mae Moore, Digging Roots, Sweet Alibi and several others of note, mostly with his String Bone Presents! concert series in Stratford, Ontario.
These days, Graham is a travelling minstrel, wandering the globe while his home is finally being rebuilt after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. His normal performance schedule includes New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea and he has made several treks across Canada with Valdy. Graham is a musician of great versatility and his love of balance, harmony and precision culminates in his richness of sound and a unique style of performance. He is known as New Zealand’s finest finger guitarist and has been inducted in the New Zealand Rock Hall of Fame. When not on the road, Graham lovingly handcrafts the instruments he plays.
David Clayton-Thomas began his amazing journey as a homeless street kid and developed into one of the most recognizable voices in music, to date selling over 40 million records. In 1996 he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and in 2007 his jazz/rock composition “Spinning Wheel” was enshrined in the Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame. In 2010 David received his star on Canada’s Walk Of Fame.
His 1968 debut album with Blood Sweat & Tears sold 10 million copies worldwide. The self-titled record topped the Billboard album chart for seven weeks, and charted for a staggering 109 weeks. It won an unprecedented five Grammy awards, including Album Of The Year and Best Performance By A Male Vocalist. It featured three hit singles, “You Made Me So Very Happy” “And When I Die”,” and “Spinning Wheel” as well as an irresistible rendition of Billie Holiday’s “God Bless The Child” that became a signature song for David. A 1969 summary in the Los Angeles Times proclaimed that “Blood Sweat & Tears just may be the most important pop music group of the decade”.
He was born David Henry Thomsett in Surrey, England, on Sept, 13, 1941. His father Fred Thomsett, was a Canadian soldier, his mother Freda, a British music student. After the war, the family settled in Willowdale, a suburb of Toronto. From the beginning David and his father had a troubled relationship. By the time David was fourteen he left home, sleeping in parked cars and abandoned buildings, stealing food and clothing to survive. A tough, angry street kid with a hair-trigger temper, it wasn’t long before he ran afoul of the law and was arrested several times for vagrancy, petty theft and street brawls. He spent his teen years bouncing in and out of various jails and reformatories.
David inheirited a love for music from his mother and when a battered old guitar came into his possession, left behind by an outgoing inmate, he began to teach himself to play. Before long he was singing and playing at jailhouse concerts and for the first time in his life, he found acceptance. Now he had a dream and his life had direction… he put the reformatory years behind him and he never looked back.
When he was released in 1962, he gravitated to the Yonge Street “strip” in Toronto. “The “strip” was a bawdy six block long stretch of bars and strip joints populated by a rough crowd of hustlers and hookers, catering to a rowdy clientelle of steelworkers, truckers and miners, in town for the weekend, looking to blow off steam along with their pay cheques. Rhythm & Blues, migrating up from Detroit and Chigago was the music of choice on the strip and Arkansas rockabilly Rompin Ronnie Hawkins, with his band “The Hawks” reigned supreme. Hawkins recognized the formidable talent of the young singer and took him under his wing. It wasn’t long before he was fronting his own bands. The first was called “David Clayton-Thomas and The Fabulous Shays.” By this time David had changed his name to put some distance between his new life and his troubled teenage years.
In 1964 David and The Shays recorded a smoky, funky rendition of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom.” It was only a regional hit but it had a vocal that stopped you in your tracks. This led to the Shays going to New York to appear on NBC-TV’s “Hullabaloo” at the invitation of its host, fellow Canadian Paul Anka. David fell in love with New York City. “We had three days there, and I spent every spare moment in Greenwich Village,” he recalls. “I saw the young Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Havens, Carole King and James Taylor. “I went back to Toronto but life wasn’t ever the same.”
Abandoning the bars on the strip, David began performing on Yorkville Village’s bustling coffeehouse scene, His bar band soon drifted away, there was no money on Yorkville, but David hung in, playing solo, soaking up influences from the great bluesmen, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, Joe Williams and Lonnie Johnson. He immersed himself in the local jazz & blues scene, attracted by the superb musicianship of Lenny Breau, Oscar Peterson and Moe Koffman, jazz players of dizzying technical prowess.
David made his mark more forcibly with his next band, The Bossmen… one of the first rock bands anywhere to incorporate jazz musicians. In 1966, he wrote the explosive anti-war song “Brainwashed” a jazz piano/rock guitar roar of fear and refusal, tougher than any rock recording you can name from the era. It rocketed to number one nationally and dominated the Canadian charts for an amazing sixteen straight weeks.
One night in 1966 after “sitting in” with blues singer John Lee Hooker in Yorkville, David left with him for New York. Hooker soon departed for Europe and David stayed on in New York City. “I survived by playing basket houses” performers were given a few minutes of stage time and then passed the basket.
Folk singer Judy Collins heard David one night at a club uptown and told her friend, drummer Bobby Colomby about him. Bobby’s band, Blood Sweat & Tears, torn apart by infighting, had broken up four months after releasing its debut Columbia album, “Child Is Father To The Man” and the band was being written off by everybody. Bobby invited David to help rebuild his shattered band. “We never heard anyone sing like that” Colomby recalls. They took the reformed group into the Café Au Go Go in the Village. Six weeks later, there were lines of people around the block, waiting to get into a club which only seated about 200 people.
In his 1974 autobiography, “Clive: Inside the Record Business”, Clive Davis, then president of Columbia Records, described his initial impression of hearing David Clayton-Thomas at the Café Au Go Go: “He was staggering… a powerfully built singer who exuded an enormous earthy confidence. He jumped right out at you. I went with a small group of people, and we were electrified. He seemed so genuine, so in command of the lyric… a perfect combination of fire and emotion to go with the band’s somewhat cerebral appeal. I knew he would be a strong, strong figure.”
With David largely dominating the creative output, BS&T continued with a string of hit albums, including “Blood Sweat & Tears 3” which featuring such highpoints as David’s “Lucretia MacEvil,” and Carole King’s “Hi-De-Ho,” and “BS&T 4” which yielded another Clayton-Thomas penned hit single, “Go Down Gamblin’.” Blood Sweat & Tears’ “Greatest Hits” album has to date chalked up over seven million copies in worldwide sales.
BS&T headlined at major venues around the world… Royal Albert Hall, The Metropolitan Opera, The Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden and Caesar’s Palace, as well as the Newport Jazz Festival and Woodstock. It was the first contemporary band to break through the Iron Curtain with its historic 1970 tour of Eastern Europe.
In the early years David lived on the road, traveling all over Europe, Australia, Asia, South America, the US and Canada with BS&T. But the constant touring began to take it’s toll… David left the band in 1972, exhausted by life on the road. By the mid-70’s the founding members began to drift away to start families and pursue their own musical ambitions. One by one they were replaced by such notable jazz players as Joe Henderson, Jaco Pastorius and Mike Stern.
His departure left a gaping hole in the group, which fumbled through personnel changes. The fans simply would not accept a BS&T without David Clayton-Thomas.
“No matter how interesting we tried to make the music, audiences still wanted to hear David Clayton-Thomas” BS&T guitarist Steve Katz told Downbeat Magazine at the time.
After a three year hiatus he returned and the band came storming back to the concert stages of the world. Headlining international jazz festivals, concert halls and casino show rooms with David and a line-up of top-notch New York City session musicians. He was the only one left from the glory years, but it was David Clayton-Thomas that the fans came to see, and he continued to tour successfully under the BS&T name until 2004.
Today, living back in Toronto, his boyhood turf and the place where he still feels most at home, David has launched a 10 piece band under his own name.
Through the years, he has lost none of the attributes that have made him one of the greatest vocalists of his generation. That unmistakable voice now soaring and sunny, now a dark, somber shade of blue. He still just sings the hell out of a song.
“People like me don’t retire,” says David with his face in a wide grin around those storied, steel-blue eyes.”This is what I was put here to do”. With the BS&T years now behind him, look for an outpouring of new music from this gifted and fiercely creative artist.
2017 - Musicians
Bernie Gilmore, singer, song-writer, guitarist and banjo player is always looking for a good story to make into another song. Bernie combines his passion for international development (recipient 2001 Lewis Perinbaum award for excellence in development in rural Africa) with an enthusiasm for song writing and performing. Bernie has recorded two solo cd's - “another path,” songs of personal inspiration and “OIL BOOM,” celebrating Canada's history of oil discovery and a third “SEA FEVER” with his band Scallywag. Bernie has twice received nominations in the London Music Awards for best singer-songwriter in the folk/roots category.
YouTube link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmPqi2rBw1Y&t=7s
3TíR is a phenomenal international trio of Celtic musicians from Canada and Ireland. The group features Franco Ontarian fiddler Pierre Schryer, Irish button accordionist Dermot Byrne, and European influenced guitarist Adam Dobres from British Columbia. A tour de force of versatility, fine musicianship and technical dexterity, this trio brings together three diverse and successful music careers laden with awards and nominations including JUNO, Canadian Folk Music, TG4 Irish Traditional Musician of the Year, and the Grammy Awards. Connected by traditional music of various styles, the group name reflects their unity with “TíR” meaning “land or country” in Irish Gaelic. Indeed these superstar musicians represent their individual land and heritage proudly, and together they have a magic that is undeniably inspiring. The connection started in 1999 with the recording of Pierre and Dermot, entitled “2 Worlds United.” This CD was released on the New Canadian Records label and in Ireland for worldwide distribution by Claddagh Records, and was the catalyst for the two musical comrades to perform together at festivals in Germany, Ireland, and North America. Several tours later and adding Adam to the mix, the trio is now appearing on festival stages from the Pacific to the Atlantic and beyond. You can find their recordings on iTunes and performance dates on their Facebook page.
Bernie Pierre Schryer is one of Canada’s leading traditional fiddlers. A recipient of numerous titles and awards including Canadian Open Fiddle Champion, Grand Masters Champion, Violoneux Championnat, and North American Irish Fiddle Champion, Pierre truly captivates an audience with his energy and genuine warmth. His ability knows no bounds, covering styles from Irish, Scottish, Québecois, and Cape Breton to Canadian Old Time, American Swing and more. As leader of his self-titled group, Pierre Schryer Band built an international reputation as one of Canada’s most well respected traditional music ensembles by touring throughout Canada, the USA, Ireland, Europe and the UK since the mid-90's. Pierre has shared the stage with dozens of internationally renowned colleagues in the traditional music scene and has performed with numerous orchestras across Canada with his acclaimed Symphony Pops show. Of his six recordings released on his own label New Canadian Records,“Blue Drag” was nominated at the 2004 JUNO Awards for best Roots and Traditional (Group) Album of the Year, “Mélange” at the 2008 Canadian Folk Music Awards for Instrumental Solo Album of the Year, and “2 Worlds United”, a brilliant duo album with top Irish button accordionist Dermot Byrne, was distributed by Claddagh Records. Pierre’s talents extend beyond his musical abilities. An accomplished luthier and artist, he currently performs on one of his own violins and creates the cover art and design for his recordings. Pierre is the creator and artistic director of “Canadian Celtic Celebration”, a three-day June festival presented in Thunder Bay, Ontario for 16 years. Dedicated to passing on the tradition, Pierre teaches at numerous fiddle camps and is committed to creating community through traditional music sessions wherever he resides.
Dermot Byrne hails from Buncrana, the most northerly part of Donegal Ireland, where he had the good fortune to meet and play with all the greats of Donegal music, including Johnny Doherty, Con Cassidy and Tommy Peoples, Danny Meehan and more. Dermot went on to develop a unique style of his own and is now considered a Donegal master himself. His effortless playing, combined with great subtlety and a sensitive ear, makes him one of the great accordion players of his generation. In addition to his mastery of the Irish repertoire, Dermot can turn with ease to other styles and traditions such as French musette, or South American choro music. He guested on two Altan recordings ”The Red Crow” and ”Island Angel” before joining the Irish supergroup in 1994, which led to touring and recording over many years. Dermot has collaborated with many great musicians including Seamus and Manus McGuire, Sharon Shannon, Tim O’Brien, Brid Harper, Steve Cooney, Dezi Donnelly, Jim Murray, Frankie Gavin and the late jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli. A guest on countless recordings, Dermot has released several solo albums including his first eponymous solo recording “Dermot Byrne”, “2 Worlds United” recorded with Canadian fiddler Pierre Schryer, and most recently a popular duo collaboration with Parisian harpist Floriane Blancke featuring traditional Irish music and more. In 2012 Dermot was selected as the recipient of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Traditional Musician of the year. Dermot is a musician who is revered for his virtuosity on the accordion and melodeon, and has a profound sensitivity rarely heard on the instruments. Not a man to be tethered by musical boundaries, Dermot has had great fun learning some rock’n’roll and salsa while guesting on tours with two great bands, the Stunning and Salsa Celtica.
Adam Dobres is a highly accomplished guitarist with a natural ability to embody any style of music. He is equally at home with Bluegrass, Celtic, Jazz, Gypsy, Country, Folk, Old Time, Rock, Blues, and more. His love of the electric and acoustic guitar has taken him around the globe, performing throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. With a taste for experimenting with personal style and a love of touring, Adam has embarked on living his dream. From playing Celtic music with some of Canada’s finest fiddle players including Daniel Lapp and Pierre Schryer, Adam has branched out to Pop Rock with Grammy Nominee Toni Childs (including an Australian tour were they opened for the legendary Jackson Brown), performed with renowned musicians playing exotic instruments such as the Sitar, Turkish Lira and African Kora, and toured North America with Old Time string band Outlaw Social. Adam was part of The Dustin Bentall outfit when they performed at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics and supported Blue Rodeo on their 2010 Canadian tour. In 2011 Adam joined the Ruth Moody Band, and along with this dynamic folk vocalist and her all-star band has toured Europe, Canada and the US, and has released several albums. Well versed in the recording process, Adam was the musical engineer and producer for a meaningful project with Sarah Van Borek in creating the "One Voice" video. The video was part of the SFU Public Square "Alone Together" conference focussing on bridging the gap of cultural isolation and disconnection within the Vancouver community. Adam recently released his self-titled, first solo album - an eclectic mix of his own compositions revealing his many influences and his absolute grace and superb versatility on the guitar.
Bob was raised on a farm in Dublin Ontario and grew up playing piano accompaniment for his father who played Don Messer style fiddle. Bob has shared the workshop stage with most of Canada’s great folk musicians including Stan Rogers and Jackie Washington. He has toured for over 40 years, but always returns to his local roots. Some of you may remember him from the 1970’s and the Perth County Conspiracy. Bob plays a multitude of instruments, including a 22” pipe wrench! You can’t help enjoy his wit, clarity and beautiful story telling.
Great songs come from great stories. But great stories come from the lives, experiences and
relationships of everyday people, like you and me. Everyone has a story, and Bill Needham
(singer, and chief songwriter for Broomsticks & Hammers) has a love of interpreting those
stories. “I really enjoy the challenge of the minimalist approach to song writing. Simplicity
carries magic with it.” says Bill, who claims Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and John Lennon as some
of his biggest song-writing influences. “After a simple elegance is established, you can dress it
up however you choose.”
The relationships that dress up these stories include David Jury (bass guitar, formerly of The Privateers), James Lefave (rhythm guitar) and Jeff Gee (mandolin) - all longtime friends and collaborators of Needham. Rounding out the rhythm section is Breck Campbell (drums & vocals, formerly of Acid Mud Flower). The most recent additions to the Broomsticks & Hammers family are Paul Aitken on lead guitar (Kevin Greene & The Awesome Sauce, Kevin’s Bacon Train, Marty Kolls, and Jim MacDonald) and Michael Bonnell on keyboards (also of Buffalo Brothers & has played on records by Great Lake Swimmers, Garnet Rogers, and shares a co-writing credit with David Merritt for a Rheostatics album)
“Bill takes a few simple details of someone’s life and turns them into romantic, voyeuristic musical paintings, delivered in a simple, melodic way. David Jury invited me out to witness this three years ago, and that’s what got me hooked. I think that’s what makes everyone stay & listen. I love working on, and playing these songs with these people.” says Campbell, who was born and raised in Ingersoll.
Broomsticks & Hammers regularly perform throughout London and Oxford counties, supporting a number of non-profit agencies at community events, have opened for artists such as Elliott Brood, Sarah Smith and Doghouse Rose, as well as headlining at venues throughout London. Just this past April the band was honoured twice at the Jack Richardson London Music Awards 2016, when nominated for ‘Fan Favourite’ and won for the ‘Best Folk/ Roots Group’ category. This summer, they will fulfill several more of their musical dreams: playing at Canterbury Folk Festival in Ingersoll (Friday, July 8th), Home County Music and Art Festival in London, Ontario (Saturday, July 16th) and Grand Bend’s Summer Sunset Concert Series (Sunday, August 21st).
Broomsticks & Hammers first album “Postcard” has been charting steadily at CHRW since it’s release in January of 2016. It is now being picked up at college stations across Canada, recently charting at #2 on the roots charts at CFBX in Kamloops BC. Pre-production on the next full length album started in April. Stay tuned…
• • •
Bill Needham bio: Bill Needham, singer, guitar player and chief songwriter for Broomsticks & Hammers, was born and raised in London, Ontario. While this is Bill’s first ever ‘live-performing’ band, he somehow knew from a young age that writing songs was his calling. He has developed a love of scribing about people, their experiences, intricacies and unique traits, and interprets their stories in as beautifully simple a way as is possible. “Simplicity carries magic with it.” he says of his minimialistic approach, while crediting Cohen, Dylan and Lennon as some of his biggest influences.
• • •
Paul Aitken bio: Paul Aitken is a London-based guitarist. He is a graduate of both York and McMaster University music programs. Paul is an in-demand session guitarist who has been active in many musical projects in the London area for the last 25 years. In addition to Broomsticks & Hammers he also plays with Kevin Greene & The Awesome Sauce, Kevin’s Bacon Train, Marty Kolls, and Jim MacDonald. His many styles range from Classic Rock, Folk, and Country to Bluegrass and Jazz. He counts among his biggest musical influences Duane Allman, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and too many more to list.
Photo by Geoff Dale
We are pleased to welcome Denal Soares back to our stage. She has been studying under a vocal coach since age 12. Denal made her debut in theatre at age 15 and has been performing at weddings and events with her guitarist Dan Davis. She has had the honor of singing the national anthem in Woodstock for the Under 17 World Cup and for the Blue Jays on Woodstock Day. Denal sings all genres of music from contemporary to classical.
Hearts of Praise" bring to their listeners a blend of Contemporary Gospel Music with harmonies,
guitars, bass and keyboard.
For the past 16 years this hard working Gospel group shares vocals and lyrics that touch the soul. "Hearts of Praise" have opened the Canterbury Folk Festival on Sunday Morning in the past 14 years, leading a Worship and Praise Service with songs of conviction and expressions of God's grace. Their music is uplifting as they proclaim God's Gospel of Love to all His creations. Besides Canterbury Folk Festival they can be found sharing their music in a variety of Churches, Nursing Homes, Legions and Charity Fund-raising Events for Parkinson's and Cancer, They pray that the message they share brings Hope and Peace to their audience. Current members include Vocalist Lin Carr, Carolin French, Amy Nordstrum, and Hallie Bloxsidge, with Kristy VanKooten Bossence on keyboard, Greg McDonald on guitar, Bert O’Quinn on drums and Jim Carr on bass.
Photo by Geoff Dale
Jimmy Lee was born into a musically talented family in Texas, but has called Newfoundland home for many years. He has won many gospel awards and has been nominated for the East Coast Music Awards. His musical ministry takes him throughout Canada and the U.S. and he generously shares his talents with a variety of charities. Jimmy Lee has been featured on the CBC, radio and the internet.
Photo by Geoff Dale
Jim Gonder is a former teacher who lives in Ingersoll. He is active in the music program at St. James’ Anglican Church. In his spare time, Jim plays keyboard and banjo with several local groups, and freelance solo keyboard work. Jim is a versatile musician and his keen sense of humour makes sure no one takes themselves very seriously.
Ingersoll born Ken Archer started playing guitar in the band Eternal Creations with Mike James when he was 12 years old; then he graduated to the ‘real’ band Wayne Knight and the Branded Men. More recently, he toured Belgium, Holland, and France (where he played in a castle built in the year 900). With the band Doghouse Rose, he won a Jack Richardson award for country artists of the year in 2014. Currently he can be found playing with local favourites Kiley Joe Masson, Aaron Allen, and Scott Doyle.
Kiley Joe lives in Ingersoll, Ontario and has been on the Canadian music scene for over two decades.! His inﬂuences range from Oldies Rock & Roll (Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Dion) to Vocal Jazz (Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett) to Country Music from the 50’s through to the ’90’s (Hank Williams, Mickey Gilley, Merle Haggard, Garth Brooks). He also enjoys playing Ragtime Piano, Big Band, and songs from music pioneers like The Mills Brothers, The Ink Spots, and Al Jolson.! His music career has included several releases to Canadian and European Country Radio with several top-10 hits overseas on the European Country Music charts and two top-50 hits on the Canadian Country Music charts. Though he spent the ﬁrst 15 years of his career playing as a “single-act” in bars and Legions across Ontario, he now has a 5-piece band including himself on Piano. He has released three Country albums to date and has recently completed his Gospel album, “Sunday Meeting Time”.! His summers are spent playing at several music festivals across Ontario and Quebec. When he’s not performing his own shows, he is the piano player in the “Sweet Dreams” band for Amberley Beatty’s, “Legendary Patsy Cline” tour and a member of the Butcher Holler Boys with Amberley’s “Loretta Lynn Show”. Kiley Joe is also playing piano and harmonica in the back-up band for Robert Gill’s “Waylon Jennings / Highwaymen Tribute Show” and “George Jones Tribute Show”.! He loves what he does and if you see his entertaining and energetic show, you’ll surely want to see it again in the very near future!
m.e. law, with 4 CDs to her credit, has played for everyone from miners and lumberjacks in
northern BC to Japanese royalty and iconic rock stars Eric Clapton and Gene Simmons.
Frank Kocher reviewed her most recent CD "Peace, Love, Death and Chocolate" for the San Diego Troubadour: "her voice can paint both dark and delicate while her wordsmith skills composing absorbing amusing lines matches or exceeds her ability to nail a melody hook".
For the past 15 years m.e. has lived/performed in NYC, San Diego and Baja, CA gathering new fans at every show. Recently she has been a feature performer at singer/songwriter showcases with such San Diego luminaries as Lisa Sanders, Gregory Page, Shawn Rolf & Berkley Hart at the popular coffeehouse/venue Java Joe's. This past April m.e. was a headliner at "The Meeting of the Mindless" in San Felipe, Baja for the third year, along with pals Christopher Dale and Charlie Imes. Summer 2016 sees m.e. release her 5th CD, titled "Laughing my A.O" - a 5 song dramedy album as she returns to Canada for her third consecutive Canterbury Folk Festival, some club dates and house concerts in the Toronto area.
Photo by Geoff Dale
Canterbury is very pleased to have Magoo return as our Saturday night emcee and workshop participant. People of all ages get caught up in his original songs, energy and participatory style. He’s a witty, lyrical writer and his tunes will stay in your head and heart for days. You never know what to expect from Magoo – he has hats and instruments to suite every song! Magoo is spontaneous, surprising and entertaining. He has been playing at concerts and festivals since 1975 and has opened for Joe Cocker, The Band and Taj Mahal, just to name a few!
Featuring inventive solo work, driving rhythms and three part vocal harmonies, New Cumberland’s musical integrity and joy in playing together resonates in every performance.
Guitarist Tom Burns and multi-instrumentalist Blair Heddle began playing together 40 years ago and connected with banjo player Paul Hurdle shortly thereafter. After various musical adventures, they added bass player Tom Rutledge to form New Cumberland. Years of playing together as musical friends gives New Cumberland a natural, intuitive group dynamic which is apparent to audiences as they watch the group interact on stage. Combining the straight ahead bluegrass of Bill Monroe and Jimmy Martin with material from other traditions - both old and new, New Cumberland casts a wide net - capturing and captivating audiences of all generations and musical tastes.
Tom Burns – guitar, vocals
Blair Heddle – mandolin, dobro, vocals
Paul Hurdle – banjo, vocals
Tom Rutledge – string bass
“Refreshingly tuneful, New Cumberland has everything I love about roots music; seamless harmonies, timeless tunes, and a whole lot of things with strings - Allison Brown, former Program Director at CHRW, London and host of the popular radio show ”Southern Ontario Comfort”
Paul has performed for over 35 years for people of all ages. He began by performing in a country-pop dance band in the late 70s, then forming his own rock band in the 80s. In the mid-90s, Paul began writing children's songs and recorded 4 CDs of original children's mucic. Some of the performances during that time were with his band, Picks and Sticks. Paul has had the opportunity to perform across the province over the last 20 years with both his children's music, and his covers of popular folk and rock artists at pubs and house concerts in the area. He has performed numerous times at Home County folk Festival in London, and at Summerfolk Festival in Owen Sound. Paul is delighted and honoured to host and perform at the Children's Stage at this years's Canterbury Festival!
I just saw the best band in Canada!” said Tom Wilson in 1993. History suggests that he was wrong. What happened? While their friends the Gandharvas went on to produce one of the great Canadian songs of the 90′s, “The First Day of Spring,” Safe As Milk tragically descended into a vicious cycle of adjusted family life. While they continue to suffer from raging addictions to sleeping in their own beds and watching their kids play sports, their longevity is a by-product of that fateful day when they sat despondent around Doug Breen’s kitchen table in 1995. Planning to end it all, they ultimately concluded; “Why???” Not necessarily because Tom Wilson was right, but guitarists Bob and Doug Breen were stuck with each other for eternity as first cousins anyway. When you might be the best band in Canada, the least you can do for your country is play a few shows a year. Somewhere along the line Rob Blanchette, the guy who co- wrote and played bass on “First Day of Spring,” joined them. So did drummer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Weston (The Dyadics). Arguably, they got even better. In 2015 and 2016 they were seen performing with members of Arcade Fire and The Beauties. Bob sang with Garth Hudson of The Band. They found themselves playing Toronto clubs again and appearing on main stages at summer festivals, including the Canterbury Festival where they are excited to return this year. So what does that make them now? The best band in the universe? We don't know but we hope you enjoy the show.
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Scallywag’s wonderful multi-part harmonies and the engaging personalities of its members keep audiences thoroughly entertained. With a repertoire that includes original material, and songs from Celtic lands, England, South Africa, Canada, and the USA, audiences are treated to a musical potpourri delivered with skill and a zest for living. Scallywag members Barry Nunn, Bernie Gilmore, Doug Long and Bob Cunningham received a nomination in the Folk/Roots Category for 2016 Jack Richardson London Music Awards. They have recently launched their first full length CD “Sea Fever” produced by Paul Mills at The Millstream studio in London.
With his feet planted in Ontario and his heart forever tied to the rugged shores of Newfoundland, Scott Doyle is a songwriter who expresses his words with an honest approach. He writes from the experiences he has had and draws influence from the people and places he has encountered on the way.
Ted Comiskey Junior has been playing the fiddle since he was 5 years old. He came by it honestly for his Grandfather, Thomas Comiskey, was an accomplished fiddler throughout Oxford County for many years. Ted likes to just have fun with the fiddle and the university crowd greatly enjoyed it when he and his guitar playing friends would strike up a song on the Lake Head campus in Thunder Bay. Ted has how completed his science degree from Lakehead and we’re pleased to have him back at Canterbury.
Photo by Geoff Dale
Ted has been singing and entertaining as long as he can remember. He performs solo and with a variety of friends in the community, for charity events and within his church. Ted has two CD’s, one of Irish ballads and east coast favourite. The second is a collection of his original writings. His song “Red Petaled Flower” in honour of our veterans made its way to CBC Radio! Ted is also the Musical Director of the Canterbury Folk Festival.
The Honey’s feature Independent Recording Artists Kate Ashby-Craft on piano and vocals and Caroline Burchill on acoustic guitar and vocals. They perform Inspirational Country / Folk music everything from Traditional to Contemporary with a focus on their own original compositions.Come join Kate and Caroline as they take you on a musical journey through songs to make you laugh, songs to make you cry but mostly songs that will inspire and uplift. Oh and be sure to bring your singing voice as The Honey’s love to throw in a couple of sing-alongs.
Kate and Caroline have been professional artists for well over 30 years and have toured both in Canada and the US. Kate is also known for her song writing and has had music award nominations along with songs being in the top 10 on the Canadian Country Charts. Presently she has song placements in half a dozen American TV Shows. Caroline is also a gifted songwriter and musician having started on piano at the age of 6 moving on to Ukulele and ending up on guitar. A few years ago she released her first full length CD.
2017 - Other Performers
Photo by Geoff Dale
Crossroads is a community of people who seek to connect with God and other in a meaningful way. They try to integrate the teachings of the Bible into their everyday lives and do their best to serve others as Jesus did, while sharing his message of hope. Crossroads will be presenting one of their fabulous shows on the children’s stage.
Diamond Dance Centre is located in Ingersoll and offers a wide variety of dance classes and instruction. Classes run in RAD ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop and pre-dance. They offer classes for beginners and advanced dancers of all ages. Whether you are interested in our Pre-Dance program, our Ballet Company, our Competitive Team, or our Adult classes, there is something for everyone!
Photo by Geoff Dale
Oyez! Oyez! Doug is the official town crier for the Town of Ingersoll and the Township of Zorra. He is the former past-president of the Ontario Guild of Town Criers and has hosted many competitions. He proudly represents the two communities at various events across North America, placing 4th in the Ontario Championships in 2009 and more recently 11th on the world stage. Doug has been a Town Crier for over 20 years.
Gail has become a part of the Canterbury Folk Festival for the last few years as our Sunday host on the Main Stage. Many of you will recognize her in her day job as Program Services Coordinator at the Ingersoll Library. Gail’s passion is singing, reading, volunteering, helping people and has taught preschool for 22 years. She is also certified in Laughter Yoga and shares this gift with the community. Gail loves to connect with folks and help them find the perfect book to read!!
Photo by Geoff Dale
The Ingersoll Pipe Band was formed in 1910 by 3 Scottish immigrants. The pipers and drummers can boast both a street and competitive band for 102 years. They regularly perform at the Indianapolis 500 race and parade. They have also played in many parts of Canada, the US and Taiwan.
Oxford School of Dance has been successfully training dancers since 1971. It is accredited by the Royal Academy of Dance and offers recreational dance as well as professional dance training in Ingersoll. Oxford School of Dance is best known for its high standard of ballet and quality dance instruction. Dance programs are available for students ages 2 - adult in the styles of Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Acro, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, and Hip Hop.
Oxford School of Dance
Dance Extreme is London’s most popular dance studio. The updated facilities, high tech equipment and superb faculty all contribute to its success. Dance Extreme currently has over 11,000 square feet of space with every square foot built with the dancers and parents in mind. The video system is an excellent teaching tool for teachers to record and play back class to students real time. Parents love the ability to view their children’s class from the comfort of the lobby from start to finish. Wifi is available for free to all in the studio.
Established in 1991, the Sim School of Highland Dance enrolls dancers ranging in age from 3 to adult.
Classes are offered in Embro for both recreational and competitive dancers.
Many dancers have become successful at the pre-championship and championship level.
We train to complete annual exams; amateur and professional. A great number of our dancers complete theory exams and are chosen to represent the studio at the BATD North American Scholarship Weekend held each year.
The studio operates upon the basic principle of personal goal setting and respect for others.