Lauren Mann has been delighting audiences with her folk-pop since 2008. After making the decision that gigging as much as possible was the thing to do, she formed a band with some fellow travellers and hit the open road. Lauren Mann And The Fairly Odd Folk released their second album “Over Land and Sea” in 2013. They gained national attention this year as winners of the very popular CBC Searchlight competition. They will be in the Guelph area on August 2 2014 for a show at the Eden Mills Community Hall. Tickets are $30 for adults, and $10 for students and available at the Bookshelf in Guelph or by contacting Kathie Lamie at 519-501-3550. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. (doors at 7:30 p.m.). We caught up with Lauren Mann on the road between Thunder Bay and Sault Set Marie. For more information visit laurenmannmusic.com.
Slide guitarist Dennis Johnson is creating quite the stir with his second album “Slide Avenue”, the follow up to “Slide Show”. Slide Avenue moves effortlessly between genres, from Blues to New Orleans Jazz to Rock to Swing, as it takes you on a ride that stays with you long after the album has finished. Featuring three Robert Johnson reinterpretations alongside a slew of Dennis Johnson originals it’s an album with so many standout tracks its hard to pick one though “She Looks Good”, featuring some outstanding fiddle from Joe Craven, deserves special mention. California based Johnson has a mission to take the slide guitar to points unknown; we’ve no doubt he’ll get there – Slide Avenue definitely delivers. We reached Dennis Johnson at home in California. Music: Dennis Johnson, “She’s So Good” and “Phonograph Blues” from “Slide Avenue” (2014, Self).
Cambridge Live Music is a new group that’s come together to promote live music, of any genre, publicly available in Cambridge Ontario. They’re run by volunteers and funded by donations. They’re looking for enthusiastic volunteers who are passionate about live music and interested in helping out with their website, social media, photography, videography or festival set up. If you can help them out, get in touch at email@example.com. Sounds like a great way to indulge your own interest while helping the group strengthen its promotional efforts to support local and predominantly independent musicians. I think that’s what they call a win-win-win.
Singer-songwriters Stephen Fearing and Andy White will both be playing the Hillside Festival this year. This year’s visit will be a bit different from previous appearances because they will be playing together as Fearing & White, the project they started with a self-titled album in 2011. They’ve just released its follow-up, “Tea & Confidences” and we talked with Andy White from Edmonton. For more information on Fearing & White visit fearingandwhite.com. Music: Fearing & White, “We Came Together” and “Think Of Me Like Summer” from “Tea & Confidences” (2014, Lowdenproud Records)
Canadian powerhouse blues performer Matt Andersen returns to the Hillside Festival this year. Matt released his latest album “Weightless” this past February. Matt is currently on the summer festival circuit in North America, and before heading to Europe for a tour of the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands this fall, we caught up with him at his home in New Brunswick. For more information, visit www.stubbyfingers.ca. Music: Matt Andersen, “Weightless” and “Let You Down” from “Weightless” (2014, True North Records).
Rowdy folksters Union Duke made a big splash at the Mariposa Folk Festival in 2013, this despite having to go through the audition showcase process. That they were invited back in 2014 speaks volumes to the quality of the music and their outstanding live performances. Anyone who saw them lift the roof off the Mariposa Pub Tent in 2014 would know that this band is heading for bigger things – Catch them while you can. Thoughtful lyrics, soaring harmonies, and a foot stomping beat; you might just be checking out Canada’s version of Mumford and Sons! They’ve just released their second album, “Cash and Carry”, the follow-up to 2013′s “Bandits and Bridges”. We caught up with Ethan Smith and Matt Warry-Smith after the pub tent performance. For more information, visit unionduke.com. Music: Union Duke, “That Old Feeling” and “A Little More” from Cash & Carry (2014, Self)
Colorado’s Elephant Revival were one of the highlights of this year’s Mariposa Folk Festival. Their music has been described as transcendental folk because of the way they take elements of celtic folk, traditional folk, bluegrass / country, and occasionally reggae, hip-hop and jazz to create something entirely unique. Good words to describe their performances would be hypnotic and mesmerizing. Accomplished performers all, they should be a must see at the upcoming Hillside Festival. You do not want to miss this band! Their latest album is “These Changing Skies”. We caught up with Daniel Rodriguez and Bridget Law after a workshop at Mariposa. For more information, visit elephantrevival.com. Music: Elephant Revival, “Remembering A Beginning” and “Birds And Stars” from “These Changing Skies” (2013, Itz Evolving Records)
Toronto based band Graydon James and the Young Novelists will be bringing their folk-rock stylings to Guelph on July 18 2014 for a noon hour concert in St George’s Square. Formed in 2011 their first E.P., “A Small Town Eulogy” was released to critical acclaim. They followed that with a live album recorded at Dublin St United Church in Guelph and their first full length long player “In The Year You Were Born”. They are about to head into the studio to start work on their latest release. We caught up with Graydon James in Toronto. For more information, visit www.theyoungnovelists.com. Music: Graydon James and the Young Novelists, “Small Town Hymns” from “In The Year You Were Born” (2012, Self); Graydon James and the Young Novelists, “Hear Your Voice” (Single) (2013, Self)