Performers

Alpha Yaya Diallo

Official Website: http://alphayayadiallo.com
Alpha Yaya Diallo
Image Source: alphayayadiallo.com

Guitarist and singer Alpha Yaya Diallo, from Guinea in West Africa, is one of the hottest acts on the current world music scene. Now based in Vancouver, Canada, he’s earned a matchless reputation internationally for the excellence of his musicianship and the excitement of his live shows – whether performing solo or with his band Bafing.

Diallo is a uniquely multi-talented artist. His dexterous acoustic and electric guitar-playing, with its fluid melodic lines and compelling grooves, places him in the front ranks of African axemen. In addition, he is a skilled and experienced performer on a variety of percussion instruments, and on the balafon (traditional wooden xylphone). To complete the abundance of riches Diallo writes his own compositions, and sings with a supple and beautifully modulated voice.

By successfully uniting the traditional and the contemporary, Diallo has carved a niche for himself beside such West African luminaries as Salif Keita, Baaba Maal, Youssou N’Dour, and Ismael Lo.

But, if anything, the blend of musical elements to be found in Diallo’s work is even richer and more diverse, a heritage from his childhood years. His father worked as a doctor-surgeon, frequently on the move with his family. Growing up in a number of regions of Guinea, Diallo was accordingly exposed to a variety of cultures, and absorbed musical traditions from the Malenke, Sousou, and his own Foulani people. In addition he spent time in neighbouring Senegal, where his mother has relatives, and picked up the popular and powerful mbalax rhythm there – as well as influences from Cape Verde and the Caribbean.

A self-taught musician, Diallo possesses a fine ear and quickly learned how to transpose for his guitar the melodic and rhythmic patterns he heard played on indigenous Guinean instruments. He was already in great demand as a musician while at school and university, performing with such bands as The Sons of Ra’is, and Syli Authentique.  Eventually Diallo found the opportunity to move to Europe, and became a member of Fatala – a group of West African musicians recording for Peter Gabriel’s Real World label.

Fatala travelled widely, appearing at many festivals throughout Western Europe, including the prestigious WOMAD Festival outside London, and the Festival d’Angoulèm in France. After the band’s North American tour in 1991 Diallo decided to stay, and settled on the West Coast.

Since then he has recorded five highly-acclaimed albums of his own compositions.  Both the acoustic Nene on which Diallo played all the instruments, and the electric Futur were nominated for JUNO Awards- the highest accolade of the Canadian music industry. In addition Futur obtained the Music Africa Award for National Recording of the Year, and the Pacific Music Industry Award for Best World Music Album. Internationally distributed by BMG, Diallo’s The Message won the coveted JUNO in 1999 for Best Global Recording. In 2002, The Journey also won the JUNO Award for Best Global Recording, as well as The Best World Independent. In recent years Diallo has criss-crossed Canada and the United States, garnering rave reviews wherever he goes for his masterful performances. He’s been invited to an ever-increasing number of world music, jazz, folk, and other festivals — sharing the stage with the likes of David Lindley, Thomas Mapfumo and reggae stars Jimmy Cliff, Third World and Burning Spear.

Diallo is increasingly recognized as one of Canada’s leading music performers in any genre.  His musical inheritance is something he always wants to nurture and to build upon. He never strays far from these roots, while at the same time ensuring that his performances and his albums make use of the very latest advances in music technology.

Alpha Yaya Diallo is one of the most inspired and inspirational artists on the World Beat circuit today.

BB and the Backsliders

BB and the Backsliders

The Backsliders have been together for 36 years and performed at every WO&N plus backed up many artists at the festival. The original members include Bill Sylvester on drums who spends his winters sailing and playing in Latin America and Juno award winning Saxophonist Dan McDonald. Eric Martin is a versatile guitarist and singer who has played professionally for 35 years with a repertoire of over 1500 songs and performed in all manner of situations and recording projects. Bob Walker on Bass is a cute guy who has played everywhere. Dr. Glen Halls is an award winning composer and pianist who has played in the Jazz,Rock and Latin idioms for 35 years. He has released over 10 independent recordings and teaches Junior High School for the EPS.

Brooke Wylie

Official Website: http://www.brookewylie.com
Brooke Wylie
Image Source: brookewylie.com

Alberta native Brooke Wylie spent her early musical career developing her country-roots sound in Calgary and throughout Southern Alberta.  Brooke spent several years touring across Canada with her former band “Brooke Wylie and the Coyotes” before going solo. Brooke continues to collaborate with various musical friends, and these days you’ll find her performing regularly as part of a trio alongside Winnipeg songwriters Kristopher Ulrich and Sol James. Brooke’s past collaborations have included work with Canadian favourites; T. Buckley Trio, members of Winnipeg’s The F-Holes and Peterborough’s The Weber Brothers Band.

Cousin Harley (Paul Pigat)

Official Website: http://paulpigat.com
Cousin Harley (Paul Pigat)
Image Source: paulpigat.com

One could be forgiven for thinking that up until now Paul Pigat has spent his whole career flying under the radar. Like all those great old Stax records where Steve Cropper stood behind Otis Redding and played his heart out before anyone knew who he was, Pigat has been creating sweet sounds for some of the best artists in the country without getting the attention you’d expect. Still, you’d have to have been hiding under a pretty big rock to have never heard the immediately recognizable sound of his distinctive guitar playing as over the last several years this unassuming Vancouver native has quietly compiled a list of credits that would be the envy of anyone in the music business.

However impressive this list of credits — earned by supporting artists such as Neko Case, Jim Byrnes and Carolyn Mark — it’s when you get to hear Paul on his own that his star really shines. All the ideas that have been percolating for years while he’s been playing in the background have the chance to come out into the limelight and have their moment in the sun.

Called the “Motorhead of Rockabilly” by a delirious fan after a particularly raucous show in Holland, there’s nothing tentative about Cousin Harley’s pedal to the metal approach to this stripped down form of rock and roll. As Pigat notes, “Cousin Harley’s been my main project for 12 or 13 years now, and people think it’s easy to play rockabilly, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Everyone has to be on board from the first note or it just doesn’t work.” And judging from the people who drove or flew hundreds of miles to attend shows on his last European jaunt, everything’s working just fine.

From solos raw enough to melt the door off an old Cadillac to delicate etudes written for the crows to fly home to, Paul Pigat is a guitarist who can truly play it all. Is he a genteel sideman, unrepentant redneck, sensitive singer/songwriter, classical composer or a Mulligatawny blend of all the above? Listen long enough and you’ll realize it really doesn’t matter what he plays. Music this good transcends boundaries and resists any attempts at categorization. And, even if you reached the point where you thought you’d figured Paul Pigat out, by that time he’d have gone and changed on you again. So, perhaps it would be better if we all stopped thinking, buckled up, and held on to enjoy Mr. Pigat’s wild ride for all its worth.

Darren Johnson

Official Website: http://darrenjohnson.net/
Darren Johnson
Image Source: darrenjohnson.net

For the last ten years, Darren has been a fixture on the Canadian blues and roots scene – working with the likes of Amos Garrett, Tim Williams, Jim Byrnes,John Lee Sanders, and The Blind Boys of Alabama to name a few. His music has been described as “somewhere in between Tom Waits and Leon Redbone, Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Nelson”. His songwriting is simple, yet deals with everyday situations for everyday people. His sound is a throwback to yesteryear, one may findthemselves deceived by the contrast between what they are hearing verses what they are seeing…

Emily Ripley

Emily Ripley

Emily Ripley is a Calgary-based performer who caught the arts bug early on and by grade four, there was no looking back. She is graduating from grade 12 this year from the Performing & Visual Arts Program at Central Memorial High School where she’s taken the stage as both a singer and an actor. Emily has performed outside the school in both live theatre projects and musical performances. 

Emily is a singer and songwriter with a wide range of musical influences.

Jim and Penny Malmberg

Jim and Penny Malmberg

Jim and Penny Malmberg are a singer/songwriter duo who have been writing and performing for the past 15 years. Their writing focusses on love in its many forms served up with humour and passion. Who can’t use more love? Acoustic arrangements of guitars and mandolin leave plenty of room for beautiful harmony singing to convey their message.

Joal Kamps

Official Website: http://www.joalkamps.com
Joal Kamps
Image Source: www.joalkamps.com

JOAL KAMPS is a free-spirited singin’, songwritin’, stortellin’ sensation – passionate about connecting with people through the Arts. His honest approach to performing draws listeners in, and by blending storytelling with songwriting, Kamps creates ‘Rocky Mountain Folk-Pop’ songs, filled with rich stories of human experience influenced by Canadian history, his own personal journey, and Rocky Mountain folklore. Joal has already released several full-length albums, won multiple awards for his songwriting, and performed numerous tours and festival dates throughout western Canada, Europe, and the United States – all as a self-taught independent artist.

Julia Nicholson

Official Website: http://julianicholson.ca/
Julia Nicholson
Image Source: julianicholson.ca

Seventeen year old Julia Nicholson is a singer-songwriter from St. Albert, AB.  She showed a keen interest in music at a very young age.  Julia learned basic chords on her first guitar at the age of 7 and dedicated countless hours to perfecting her skill independently, by the age of 9, writing her own music and lyrics.  At 13 she performed five cover songs on a stage set up on the back of a flatbed truck, parked on Main Street in Wainwright, AB.  It was her first time performing in public and from that moment, she knew entertaining was something she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

Julia has left her country roots to create a unique R & B inspired sound that is as full of life and energy as she is.  Julia is a natural born entertainer who plays guitar with unbridled passion and technique well beyond her years.  She is driven by her love of music and connects easily with all audiences, big or small. Julia commands the stage with confidence and performs with an ease that makes her a pleasure to watch.

Julia was a 2015 “Artist to Watch” nominee at the Edmonton Music Awards, and placed 2nd in the Sonic Youth Calgary Folk Festival Ship and Anchor Songwriting Contest for her song “Black Camaro.”

Julia has finished working in the Hands Up Music studio on her first EP, available June 2015.

Kirby Sewell Band

Official Website: http://kirbysewellband.com
Kirby Sewell Band
Image Source: kirbysewellband.com

The Maple Blues Award winning “Kirby Sewell Band” is an electrifying Canadian Blues Rock experience from Calgary, Alberta. Reaching out with modern interpretations, the 5-piece band tells melodic heart pulling stories that come from the depths of an old soul, while breathing new musical life into a genre. Their arrangements are amped up, invigorating, and play against the grain.  

Kirby, known to break a sweat performing, commands the stage, sharing nuances of his own life in unforgettable vocal performances, leaving audiences little doubt that the Blues has spent some time with him.  Backed by an incredible band, led by producer/guitarist Neil Gunhold, who has cooked up a genre bending, sonic union, colored by the Rock, Country, Blues overtones of Morgan Turk (lead guitar), along with Jim Johnston (drums) and Jae Cho (bass), who dynamically underpin Sewell’s deeply textured, Soul filled, R&B/Rock voice.

Mike Bell of the Calgary Herald says, “Sewell’s powerful vocals and unflinching front man presence are magic as he belts the songs out like an R&B bat out of hell.”

KSB’s stereotype breaking Blues has received critical acclaim from Nashville to Germany, playing stages from the San Jose Jazz Festival, to Salmon Arm Roots & Blues, to the Beaches International Jazz Festival in Toronto, to the Ottawa Blues Festival.

 

Lalo

Lalo

Lalo Neltner has been a musician for decades.  His band Jr. Cadillac is the stuff of legends in the Seattle area, celebrating their 46th birthday this summer.  They toured the (then) Soviet Union in 1989 and have backed the greats through the years, including  15 concerts with Chuck Berry.  In Mexico for much of the time now,  Lalo performs mostly solo in the bars around Bahia Navidad.  Jr. Cadillac has many albums and singles released over the years, and Lalo has 10 cds as a solo artist.  This is his third time at Oats and Notes… and he’s stoked to be back!

Lucas Chaisson

Official Website: http://lucaschaisson.com
Lucas Chaisson
Image Source: Reggie Photography

Telling Time, Lucas’ latest release, made its debut at #2 on the CKUA Charts, and remained in the Top 30 for over a month. Lucas was pleased to recently receive a 2015 WCMA nomination for “Roots Solo Recording of the Year” as well as a place on the Edmonton Music Prize Short-List.

Both of Lucas’ previous full-length recordings Growing Pains, and No Loitering,  received Canadian Folk Music Award nominations for “Young Performer of the Year”. And, in November 2012, Lucas became one of only seven Alberta artists to win a Canadian Folk Music Award.

Telling Time, produced by Grammy winner Colin Linden,  highlights Lucas’ strong songwriting, and very distinctive vocal delivery. Combining a seamless blend of folk, roots, blues and country flavors throughout, Telling Time has a Canadiana feel with an Americana sound. This recording illustrates Lucas’ unique sound and features the versatility of his tasteful guitar stylings filled with texture and dynamics.

Marco Claveria

Marco Claveria
Image Source: www.marcoclaveria.com

Marco Claveria was born in Santiago Chile, to a musical family. Prompted by his parents, Marco started guitar lessons at the age of ten, learning to play the basics of Chilean folk music then moving on to study different styles such as Cuecas, Tonadas, and the Resbaloza as well as the Argentinian Samba.  When his family immigrated to Canada in 1982, he re-immersed himself in music and began taking part in different musical ensembles in the city of Edmonton. In 1989 he enrolled in the Music Program at Grant McEwan University for a year, before relocating to Montreal to further broaden his musical horizons.

In 1994 after attending AFROCUBANISMO! In Banff, Alberta, Marco was inspired to travel to Cuba to rediscover his passion for the music he grew up listening to in his parents’ home in Chile and in 1996, he made up his mind to return and study with some of Cubas’ musical masters including Carlitos Gonzales (Afrocuban All-Stars) Angel Rivero and Alejandro Maximo Duany.

Marco has been an integral part of various musical projects that have toured South America, USA and all across Canada and has had the privilege of playing the prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival as well as the world renowned Edmonton Folk Music Festival.  As a founding member and main writer-composer of the popular local group Bomba! Marco had the chance to open for such luminary acts as Cubanismo, Angelique Kidjo, Mayra Valdes, Al Green and Aaron Neville, they also accompanied Jose Seves (Inti-Illimani) and Elizabeth Morris on one of their performances. And most recently, with his new ensemble, he had the chance to open for Alex Cuba, Charanga Habanera and Havana D’Primera.

Mayhemingways

Mayhemingways

Mayhemingways are an eclectic and full-sounding duo from the musical hotbed of Peterborough, Ontario. Their music drifts timelessly between traditional music and something brand new. The band has been described as folk-rock with Cajun, bluegrass, and Celtic influences.

Lead singer Benj Rowland switches between accordion, banjo, guitar, and tenor guitar while holding down the bass with foot pedals. Josh Fewings plays drums, percussion and adds back-up vocals.

Mayhemingways have toured Canada relentlessly since forming in 2013. Coast to coast tours have become common place for the group, making new friends and fans across the nation with each tour. The duo will tour almost every province and territory in 2016.

Their first full-length album will be released early in 2016 and was produced and engineered in Nanton, AB by Steve Loree (Ian Tyson, Corb Lund, Petunia). The album is a follow up to their first EP (2013) engineered by James McKenty (Blue Rodeo, Cuff the Duke, The Weber Brothers).

Rebecca Lappa

Official Website: http://www.rebeccalappa.com
Rebecca Lappa
Image Source: rebeccalappa.com

Whether playing an intimate concert or on stage at the Edmonton Folk Festival, 18 year old Rebecca Lappa is loving every minute of her journey into the world of music. With a haunting voice and elegant lyrics she delivers a musical renaissance inspired by history and life events spun with romance, fantasy and intelligent wit. In short, Rebecca is resurrecting the art of the ‘Folk-tale’ and making it accessible and hip again!

Rebecca was honoured to win Young Performer of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards for her CD “Tattered Rose”. In June she was awarded with “Adult Alternative Recording of the Year” at the 2015 Edmonton Music Awards for the song “Queen of the May” from her CD, Ode to Tennyson. Currently she is pursuing her bachelor’s of Music at MacEwan University and continues to explore her love of all things music.

Ridley Bent

Ridley Bent

Whether it’s a high school drug sting gone bad, or an aging road racer catching one last “whiff of the glory days comin’ from the back seat,” Ridley’s characters don’t compromise. They get what they deserve and take what they can get, straight up, with a shot of whiskey on the side. No matter how wild his characters get, though, Ridley Bent’s own life and experiences shine through. “When I first started writing I was singing from my heart, and those songs are always harder to sing for people. So I kinda went completely the other direction and wrote from character’s points of view. But no matter what, there’s always going to be things that are you.”

Shortly after relocating to Whistler, BC in the late 90’s, the Halifax born, Alberta bred singer/songwriter ditched his dream of being a pro skier, picked up a guitar and taught himself to play. It wasn’t until he moved to Vancouver and took a job as a security guard that he really began developing his unique lyrical style. With nothing but his guitar and a pile of books for company, he started spinning his own tales to kill time. Gradually, John Steinbeck, Louis L’Amour, and Cormac McCarthy became as important to his distinct style as his musical influences.

Fed by a steady diet of westerns, and recent collaborations with housemates and sometime writing partners, Dustin Bentall and Cam Latimer, Ridley’s renewed interest in country music came to a head during a long, unplanned detour on Vancouver Island. He had a grand total of five records on hand, but never got past George Jones’ Super Hits and Brad Paisley’s Part Two. Those albums got Ridley to thinking, not just about what kind of music he wanted to record, but what kind of band he wanted to  record it with… a ferociously wicked country band.

Alone, or paired with guitar wizard Chris Gunn, or with his full band, Ridley Bent is no less ferocious live. He brings a level of commitment to his performances so complete, the audience can’t help going where he takes them. More and more, people can’t help but notice — nominated for 5 consecutive years as the CCMA’s Roots Artist of the Year, and winner of 7 BCCMA awards , Ridley has also toured with Corb Lund and has played a fistful of major Canadian Folk Fests.  This will be his first appearance at Wild Oats, and we’re pretty damned stoked to have him.

Scenic Route to Alaska

Scenic Route to Alaska

Growing up together in Edmonton, Trevor Mann (lead vocals and guitar), Murray Wood (bass) and Shea Connor (drums and vocals), have been friends for as long as they can remember. Each member began learning their respective instruments around the age of 13 and soon after formed a band and began practicing together. Initially, the band played R&B and rock and roll covers for hall shows and weddings. They became a kind of session band, backing up local artists of varying genres and accumulated the valuable performance experience that made them stand out as a mature young group. After several years of this and having performed at nearly every venue in Edmonton, the trio created Scenic Route to Alaska in the summer of 2010.

With new direction and inspiration, Scenic Route to Alaska quickly developed their indie-folk rock sound as the trio shaped Mann’s new material into a unified concept. The band worked toward writing and recording their first EP in the Fall of 2010. Mann and Connor traveled to Montreal to meet with Wood who was attending McGill University for jazz double bass performance. They booked three overnight recording sessions with masters students at McGill, which resulted in three of the six songs off their first EP. The remaining three songs were recorded at Norwood Studios with James Murdoch and Chris Wynters (Captain Tractor) back in Edmonton when Wood came home for the summer. In 2011, the band toured throughout Alberta and British Columbia and released their debut self-titled EP before playing the Canmore and Edmonton Folk Music Festivals.

With Wood completing his degree in Montreal, Mann and Connor continued to play as a duo, remaining increasingly active. They toured to Toronto for Canadian Music Week, returned to McGill to record their first full length album (All These Years), became Edmonton’s Sonic 102.9 Band of the Month for February, in 2012. After releasing their first full-length album, All These Years in June of 2012, they began playing festivals and showcases, touring from Vancouver to Halifax to extensively promote the release. The Album was nominated for three Edmonton Music Awards. Shortly after, they began the pre-production for their next album in August of 2013.

Their sophomore album Warrington, recorded by Brad Smith and produced by Jay Sparrow in Edmonton, builds on their distinctive “prairie-indie” sound, and captures the positive energy that the trio brings to their live performance. It’s also the first album recorded after being reunited in their hometown. Inspired by lead singer Trevor Mann’s English war bride grandmother, Dorothy, this deceptively cheery indie-folk album puts an optimistic spin on dealing with love and loss. Since the release, they have been nominated for Pop Recording of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards, made top 12 for the Alberta Peak Performance Project and have been on radio charts throughout North America. Furthermore, the band received the Cruz FM Emerging Artist award at the 2014 Edmonton Folk Music Festival.

Scott Cook and The Long Weekends

Official Website: http://www.scottcook.net
Scott Cook and The Long Weekends
Image Source: Oscar Sun

A roots balladeer with a rare personal warmth, Canada’s Scott Cook has managed to distil the stories collected over a decade of near-incessant touring across Canada, the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia into straight-talking, keenly observant verse. Road-worn, painfully honest, and deeply human, his tunes weave threads of folk, roots, blues, soul and country over spacious fingerstyle guitar and clawhammer banjo arrangements. His fourth release, One More Time Around, was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, and its opening track “Pass It Along” won the Folk and Acoustic category in the 2013 UK Songwriting Contest, with UK magazine Maverick Country naming him “one of Canada’s most inspiring and imaginative storytellers”. He’s currently touring around the world in support of his fifth album, Scott Cook and the Long Weekends Go Long. Cook is one of the hardest-working DIY troubadours on the road today, averaging over 160 gigs and a dozen festivals a year. All the hard miles notwithstanding, he still believes that songs can change your life, and your life can change the world.

Scott Cook has distilled his travels down into songs powered by a sharp eye for imagery, a healthy dose of humanity, and that unforgettable voice, that at the same time intones the rigours of the road and the most comfortable couch you have ever slept on.” -David Francey, 3x Juno-winning songwriter

Shred Kelly

Official Website: http://shredkelly.com
Shred Kelly
Image Source: MKuhnPhoto.com

Since the inception of Shred Kelly, the Fernie, BC based band has been re-defining what folk-rock means. Through their individual pan-Canadian backgrounds, Tim Newton, Sage McBride, Jordan Vlasschaert, Ian Page-Shiner, and Ty West have amplified the traditional sound of folk music with a more contemporary approach.  Pushing the boundaries of the genre, they have incorporated a wide range of influences to create a sound that is uniquely called ‘Stoke Folk.’ The band is best known for their dynamic, high-energy and engaging live show that leaves no dance floor vacant.

Shred Kelly has garnered themselves sold-out shows across Canada, performed at some of the Nation’s premier festivals, and received a growing list of awards and recognition. They recently won ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best Live Act’ at 2015 Kootenay Music Awards and won a 2015 Western Canadian Music Award for ‘Best Music Video’ for their latest single ‘Sing to the Night.’

Shred Kelly released their 3rd album – ‘Sing To The Night’ – in early 2015. The new material shows the growth and depth the band has explored throughout the creative process, and once again demonstrates their signature claw-hammer banjo riffs, layered ambient synth, powerhouse rock, and sweet vocal harmonies. Their acclaimed producer John Critchley (Elliott Brood, Dan Mangan, Amelia Curran, The Once) from Green Door Studios was a master at creating an album that pushed their creativity and gave Shred Kelly a new take on their signature sound, which translates perfectly onto an album, or a packed dance floor.

Shred Kelly’s ‘Sing to the Night’ breaks from the pack and demonstrates a fresh, distinct sound. With great consistency, compelling tone, and overall fantastic music”– Aesthetic Magazine

Soap Box Duo

Official Website: http://www.soapboxduo.com
Soap Box Duo
Image Source: www.soapboxduo.com

Meet Alexander and Jenesia MacMullin, a newlywed couple with a true gift and passion for music; together they are Soap Box Duo.  They met in 2013 while studying at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton — Alex as a guitarist and Jenesia as a vocalist.  After spending a few hours in a practice room talking about life, it was clear they shared many of the same passions and were deeply moved and inspired to action by the many social injustices surrounding them.  They became very close friends and made a decision to perform as a couple and write an album together with their vision in mind.

Soap Box Duo’s vision is to have fun with their music as well as create a beautifully simple and genuine sound.  They are difference makers who want to inspire change as they sing about why they’re passionate — they believe the social justice issues our world faces can be fixed by a community of people united in a revolution of truth, love and action.

Terry Morrison & John Gorham

Terry Morrison & John Gorham
Image Source: www.terrymorrison.net

Singer – Songwriter Terry Morrison is a well loved member of the Canadian music scene. She has been described as “…one of the most intellectually compelling songwriters in town…” by Edmonton music reviewer Roger Levesque. An accomplished guitar player, Morrison’s unique sense of melody and phrasing create her own inimitable brand of contemporary roots music. Delivered in a rich sensual voice, her songs reflect a compassionate and innate intelligence. Spanning the range from jazzy folk to country, her music hits home.

John Gorham has stumbled around the music scene in central Alberta for a long time, pretending to be a cat-skinner, two-bit rancher, carpenter and prospector, playing the old taverns and hall dances with a variety of country bands as a singer and bass player. During this time he has met some great old-time fiddlers and musicians and developed an abiding love of bluegrass, hokum, early country music and western swing. Not greatly enamoured of ‘New Country’ or Nashville, he believes far more good music has come out of Texas. John’s been known to drive a long way to play a few fiddle tunes and drink beer.

The Big River Band

The Big River Band

Oats & Notes is pleased and honoured to have these guys back in the yard. Rooted in this very corner of the world, David James was exposed to country and western music throughout his childhood. His father (Gabe Pittet, familiar to many Tofield folks) made it his mission to introduce Dave to artists he referred to as “the real deal,” the King of them all being Johnny Cash. Years later, Dave was performing cover songs in bars and clubs throughout Western Canada and beyond. After a show one night, he picked up his guitar and sang “Ring of Fire” to a small after-hours gathering. After strumming the last chord, he looked up. Everyone present was speechless…. stunned. Dave was worried he’d lost his touch until someone asked “Are you Johnny’s twin? Because dude… this is what you should be doing.” Now one of the most convincing tribute artists in the music business, Dave is a living prodigy to one of history’s true originals — he is Almost… Johnny Cash.

The Carolines

Official Website: http://thecarolines.ca
The Carolines
Image Source: thecarolines.ca

The Carolines are a 6 piece band fronted by 3 incredible voices. Chloe Lynn, Katie Louise and Lesley Yvonne met in the ‘ol college days and have been singing together for a decade. Their blend of humour and awe inspiring harmonies will have you smiling and singing along all night. With repertoire ranging from Patsy Cline to Buck Owens to the Dixie Chicks this classic country sound will have you tapping your toes to old familiar tunes.

The Carolines aim is to bring back a sound that is rarely heard now a days. These three phenomenal voices bring an authentic yet original show to any stage.

Chloe Lynn was nominated for a 2014 Juno Award and had a baby!

Lesley Yvonne also made a beautiful baby!

Katie Louise got married and finished her long awaited music degree!

What exciting adventures are next…?

The Rockin’ Highliners

Official Website: www.rockinhighliners.com
The Rockin’ Highliners
Image Source: rockinhighliners.com

In the span of eight years the Rockin’ Highliners produced and released four recordings, three of which were signed to the major record labels such as Square Dog Records and Stony Plain Records/Warner Records Canada. The Rockin’ Highliners were fortunate enough to have producers such as Merik and Duke Robillard on board for the albums “What Were You Thinking” and “Oh My”. The band toured throughout Canada, USA and Europe doing 200 + shows a year. The Highliners were nominated and presented with numerous awards including the Juno’s, PMA’s, COCA, ARIA’s, WCMA’s, Real Blues Magazine and Maple Blues Awards. They recorded two videos produced by Joel Stewart which were featured on Much Music Canada, Country Music Television as well as many national television stations. The Highliners appeared on a number of live television shows and have been on rotation with mainstream/college/public/internet radio throughout Canada, USA and Europe.

The  comeback of the award winning band The Rockin’ Highliners is very exciting to everyone involved and the band is currently booking shows, writing new songs and preparing for a new album.

The Weber Brothers

Official Website: http://weberbrothers.com
The Weber Brothers
Image Source: www.thewalleye.ca

There are bands for which rock and roll is a lifestyle, and then there are bands for which it is life.

To many, The Weber Brothers are the baddest band in the land.  To others, their history quietly holds its treasures like an ancient volume in an old bookstore, dust covered, tucked away behind hundreds of newer, shinier books. Untouched… waiting to be discovered. Regardless what side you’re on, there’s an undeniable truth. In the rough and tumble world of rock and roll, The Weber Brothers have been around the block.

Ryan and Sam Weber left their Baltimore, MD, home one night as teenagers, with the aim of meeting their idol, rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins, and ten hours later showed up at his doorstep. “The Hawk”, the elder statesman of rock whose former protégés (Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Levon Helm, et al.) went on to reshape music history as “The Band,” was impressed by the pair’s immense raw talent, and promptly invited them to audition for his storied backing band, The Hawks. Mere months later, after surviving the intense musical apprenticeship of his fabled “Rock ‘n’ Roll Bootcamp,” they were in: full-blooded Hawks. By the ages of 18 and 21 they had already performed alongside Kris Kristofferson, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Jeff Healey and David Wilcox to name a few.

Over the past 15 years they’ve recorded 10 independent albums and toured extensively throughout the US, Canada and Europe. These days they are joined onstage by “The Browne Sound”, young hot-shot drummer Marcus Browne and his multi-instrumentalist brother Rico Browne, alongside extraordinary guitarist Emily Burgess and 3-time Canadian National Poetry Slam Champion, Prufrock Shadowrunner, creating a group dynamic that is as unique as it is powerful.

In October 2012 the brothers were invited to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame American Music Masters Tribute to Chuck Berry in Cleveland where they shared the stage with Merle Haggard, Lemmy Kilmister, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Rick Derringer, Joe Bonamassa, Earl Slick, Steve Jordan and the father of Rock and Roll himself, Chuck Berry.

Between their renowned musical ability, high-energy, awe-inspiring performances and lessons learned firsthand from rock n’ roll pioneers, a reputation as the “baddest band in the land”, “heroes of this generation” and “the future in the big shoes of the past” now precedes them.

“If it’s looked at as a passing of the torch or a keeping of the flame,” says Ryan.  “Then we’re the guys to do it.”

Tin & The Toad

Tin & The Toad

Tin is about 5’11″ I think, with a full Jesus beard and broader shoulders than the average man his size due to wrassling calves in his formative years. He plays acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, lead and harmony vocal.

Toad is slightly taller but not nearly as intelligent or articulate. He is, however, an avid fly fisherman with intimate knowledge of the South Saskatchewan drainage basin. He plays acoustic guitar, lead and harmony vocal.

These two turds have been writing songs and playing music together since their high school years and have family histories going back generations on their Vulcan County farms. Taking early influence mainly from outlaw and alternative Country and Western songwriters like Townes, Steve Earle, Waylon Jennings, Neil Young, and Ian Tyson, it grew to include a new generation of closer to home greats like Corb Lund and John Wort Hannam. They began writing their own Southern Alberta into song, and put together a band of merry mates to help make the sound.

Ryan Shearer plays the drums, drives about 70,000 km annually, and prefers pike and walleye for the most part.  He is also, occasionally, Brad Brouwer- who is most definitely a rainbow trout proponent.

Peter Loughlin is the tallest man in the universe, a bass player, banjo player, anything the hell else player and reggae jibberish expert. He sings harmonies like Emmy Lou and has been known to do so for up to 11 consecutive hours.

Steve Loree is Steve Fucking Loree and he does what he’s going to do.  In all seriousness, we try to create music that tastes and smells like the lives of those living and working here on the foothills and plains of southern Alberta, with a slight bit of derangement. Authenticity is the point, but so is tequila and sausage on the barbeque.  Once in a while, we gather ourselves and venture to the big ol’ city to share the tunes with the fine folks that frequent the good watering holes.

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks
Image Source: twinpeaksmusic.ca

Rich harmonies, a piano, a guitar, two ukuleles and unlimited wit are at the heart of Twin Peaks – an emerging duo that embraces roots music with undertones of country and contemporary blues. Naomi Shore and Lindsay Pratt – although very diverse in their musical histories – have successfully combined individual experiences into a unique blend of genres. It is eclectic, creative and clever. Born and raised in northern BC in the city of Fort St. John, their music reflects small town wisdom with lively humour and songs that immediately capture an audience.

Lindsay and Naomi’s onstage chemistry is totally infectious. They provide their audience with the whole meal deal: undeniably catchy tunes, adorable eye candy and a good laugh. They manage to combine all of these attributes into a genuinely endearing act.

Over a span of only four years the duo have covered a lot of ground. They have released two albums, their EP Twin Peaks (2012) and their full length album Trouble (2013). Extensive touring has taken them all over Western Canada playing charming, intimate venues to large outdoor festivals.

The band has had amazing opportunities for having their music played on CBC radio through various contests. In 2012 they made the top ten for CBC Radio 3’s Tracks on Tracks, and in 2014 the group rose to the national finals in the CBC Searchlight contest. They’ve taken home a Vancouver Island Music Award for BC Wide Artist of the Year, both albums have been nominated twice for a Western Canadian Music Award for Roots Duo Recording of the Year and in 2015 Trouble won the WCMA in that category!  Most importantly, the duo sold more merchandise than any other act at the 2014 Wild Oats & Notes festival.  We repeat: bring cash!

“Twin Peaks is poised to become one of the most interesting and dynamic faces of British Columbia folk, and Canadian music in general.”

— Jesse Cole, Caledonia Courier