The Folkin’ Cat’s Meow 2017
The Folkin’ Cat’s Meow private showcase room takes place in Room 28 during the wee hours (11:20 p.m. – 3:00 a.m.) of Friday and Saturday night at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference, which takes place from October 19-22, 2017, at the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel & Suites, 5875 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON.
Please check out our scheduled performers. Bios and contact links are included below.
We hope you’ll consider joining us!
Jan & Michelle
Ken Dunn – 11:20 p.m.
Award-winning BC singer-songwriter Ken Dunn has just released his seventh album ”Wondrous Beauty” a collection of ten well-crafted, reflective and beautifully arranged songs revealing the passion of a modern day troubadour. Ken’s desire for social and environmental justice and his personal experiences with faith, love and all that life offers is at the forefront of this album in all of its myriad colour, and texture. Contemporary, with hints of traditional folk and dashes of Celtic flare, Ken Dunn weaves magic with this pure Canadiana collection, capturing the spirit and positive messages within each song.
Claire Coupland – 11:40 p.m.
With vocal colours comparable to Brandi Carlile, Joni Mitchell, and Suzanne Vega, Claire Coupland has the ability to silence a room with her pure, clean voice and warm dynamic range, which offers a soft soprano sweetness as well as the ability to belt out in a rich and powerful alto tessitura.
Jack Pine – 12:00 a.m.
Ottawa’s Gareth Auden-Hole grew up with his head in the city and his heart in the northern wild. Enthralled with music, from a very young age he fed his ears a steady diet of Toms [Waits, Yorke, Petty] and just about anything else he could get his hands on. It was not until adulthood that he began writing music of his own, and years later still before he took the name of a tree. By then he’d finished a degree, hitchhiked across his Canadian homeland, played in a handful of bands, and studied music production in Victoria, Ottawa, and London. It was 2011 before work finally began on what would become a self-titled debut album as Jack Pine and The Fire. More recently, Jack Pine took to wandering away from the warm comfort of The Fire …a ‘lone wolf ‘ was born. Jack’s solo “Lone Wolf” EP – a delightfully raw, live-off-the-floor recording was released in 2015. Its 4 songs, feature Jack’s empathy for the underdog, deep-seated respect for nature, and wry sense of humour, as well as his mandolin… playing very furiously, then very softly. It’s intended as a companion piece to the band’s recently released full-length album “Left To Our Own Devices.”
Jeremie Albino – 12:20 a.m.
Jeremy Albino is a storyteller, an old soul with a picture to paint. His youth was spent as a city boy but as the years went by he couldn’t ignore the yearning for a simpler life. So, fuelled by a rambling heart, Jeremie grabbed his guitar and set off for the countryside, where he could nurture the rusty blues buried within. From there, he found himself, found his sound and channeled the folk legends that came before him. Rooted in a classic sound, but constantly gazing forward, Jeremie brings a real slice of modernity to a style that’s slowly slipping away. Jeremy Albino also has an official showcase on Friday, October 20 at 9:30 p.m. in the York Ballroom at Folk Music Ontario.
Ryan Cook – 12:40 a.m.
Blending the nostalgia of classic country music with modern satire, Ryan Cook has developed a progressive sound that is also both traditional and innovative. Leaning on the sounds of Western-swing, Bluegrass, Country and Folk, Ryan’s songbook reminiscences heavily on the early hillbilly and folk pioneers. On stage, Ryan has toured heavily as a solo performer opening for Country purists like Dwight Yoakam, Rosanne Cash, & Travis Tritt. His acoustic live show combines thumb-picking guitar styles, original folk ballads and vintage Country music from the 1940’s and 1950’s. Off-stage Ryan travels extensively and in 2010 began snowbirding to southern Florida, flying eventually as far as south-east Asia where he found new audiences for his brand of Americana music. In 2017, Ryan will embark on his 4th studio album, exploring the lighter side of highway romance, van culture, and all the high spots of beauty found on the open road.
The Andrew Collins Trio – 1:00 a.m.
5x JUNO nominee and 7x CFMA winning mando-maestro Andrew Collins (Foggy Hogtown Boys, Creaking Tree String Quartet) is joined by fellow Trio string-meisters Mike Mezzatesta and James McEleney to showcase a popular collision of folk, new acoustic roots, bluegrass, and jazz, not to mention a dizzying number and energetic interplay of instruments on stage. Their dynamic genre hopping show is propelled even further by Andrew’s captivating lead vocals and James’ soaring harmonies. The Andrew Collins Trio also has an official showcase at 9:15pm on Friday, October in the Mavis Room at Folk Music Ontario.
Raine Hamilton String Trio – 1:20 a.m.
Expect to laugh, expect to cry, expect string quartet inspired arrangements that push and pull, that move as they console. Alongside an upright bassist and cellist, with Raine Hamilton on violin or guitar, Raine’s voice rings out, powerful and agile, and hits you where you live. Raine is a charming and funny storyteller, pairing her vulnerable tunes with engaging story intros. An experienced educator, she also offers workshops in songwriting and fiddle tune writing. Raine’s upcoming second album, “Night Sky”, is due out March 2018 and copies will be available at the conference. Raine will be joined by – Bill Simms: Double Bass and Amahl Arulanandam: Cello.
Campbell Woods – 1:40 a.m.
Campbell Woods pays attention. He’s been doing it for years in bars, festivals and halls everywhere from Halifax to Victoria. Campbell’s debut album “Oxford Street” produced by Brian Kobayakawa, was released in the spring of 2017, garnering critical acclaim both nationally and internationally, and debuting at no. 4 on national folk radio charts. A recent finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, he toured Canada in 2016-2017 and will be extending his touring into the US in 2018, and including some international showcases.
Peter Willie Youngtree – 2:00 a.m.
Peter Willie Youngtree‘s award-winning sound has been compared to Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, and Eric Bachmann. Amidst finger picking and sometimes-gritty, sometimes-soaring vocals, he exudes strong musical and lyrical sense, a deep connection with his audience, a flair for storytelling, and a world-weary demeanour. His forthcoming album “Ten Million Ways to Decay” deals with the subject of death and is produced by award-winning producer and songwriter Chris Kirby.
The Lifers – 2:20 a.m.
The Lifers, led by sisters Liv and Anita Cazzola, an art-folk/rock collective from Guelph, Ontario. Their intertwined voices dynamically convey vulnerability and strength. Softly plucked strings, accordion swells, and lush cello and upright bass arrangements give way to rip-roaring drums, soaring melodies and overdriven frenetic strums. Their stories juxtapose tenderness and explosive energy, sometimes within a single breath. The Lifers explore notions of home, family and community, highlighting the beauty, vulnerability and power of nature, challenging both genre and audience.
With influences like Feist, Dan Mangan and The Staves, The Lifers have released LP “Out and In” (2016) and EP “Set the Sails” (2014). Whether in an intimate duo arrangement or with the thunderous six-piece band, The Lifers have been an unexpected gem at festivals such as Hillside and Summerfolk (2016), on Canada’s East (2015, 2017) and West (2015) coasts, and in listening rooms and on the radio waves around Southern Ontario. “Sister”, the single from their forthcoming second LP (May 2018), will be released in October 2017.
Kristine Schmit w/ Jesse Corrigan – 2:40 a.m.
Kristine Schmitt writes songs that make you feel strong! Country blues, old-time, and early jazz sounds, all infused with a playful love of rhythm and language. Whether performing with a rowdy stringband, an intimate duo, or roving into the audience a cappella, her big voice and joyous presence are simply transformative.
Kevin Roy – 11:20 p.m.
Everyone loves a good story. Winnipeg Alt-Country troubadour, Kevin Roy, shares his songs as if telling a story for the first time over morning coffee. He delivers poignant folk ballads, wry wit toe-tappers, and barn-burners with the right balance of aw-shucks honesty and unbridled enthusiasm. His debut LP Heartworn Highways has a clean kick that sounds like classic Country through brand new speakers.
Erin Costelo – 11:40 p.m.
Erin Costelo mines the truth – through writing, arranging, producing and masterful live performance. With a voice unlike any other in Canada, she has the ability to successfully float between genres and stages, her unwavering vision continuously offering the best sound and voice to a feeling, idea or story. “Down Below, The Status Quo” (2016) follows on the heels of “We Can Get Over” being named R&B/Soul Recording of the Year at the 2014 East Coast Music Awards. In the wake of that triumph, she shared stages with Mavis Staples, Dr. John, and Bettye LaVette, has recently performed with Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band, appeared on Joel Plaskett’s latest solo release, “The Park Avenue Sobriety Test”, and joined him for his performance with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Erin Costello also has an official showcase on Saturday in the York ballroom at 11 p.m.
Chris Ronald – 12:00 a.m.
Chris Ronald‘s “keenly luxuriant voice and immaculate songcraft” have won him many accolades including a nomination for CFMA “Songwriter of the Year”. Emigrating from England to Canada in 2002, his music has been described as Canadian folk with British roots. 2017 saw Ronald’s fourth album, “Fragments”, released on esteemed Canadian folk label Borealis Records. In live performance, Chris draws on his abilities as a highly skilled singer, storyteller, and musician to deliver a captivating show.
Piper Hayes – 12:20 a.m.
Piper Hayes is a backward jivin’ forward thinkin’ Canadian pop folk duo based in Hamilton, Ontario. Carson Ritcey-Thorpe met Piper back in 2014 and they’ve been going strong ever since. They have toured extensively across North America, Europe, the U.K., and Nepal. They teach workshops on mental health, vocal empowerment, and songwriting. For the last two years they’ve teamed up with the Canadian Mental Health Association, using contact education to reduce stigma around mental illness. Piper was nominated in the top eight for Ontario Arts Council’s 2016 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award and in October 2016, she released her sophomore EP, “Goodbye Mister Nice Guy”, produced by Dean Drouillard. As a duo Carson and Piper are set to release their debut full length album in November of 2017. They create social conscious change with their music, picking up followers and creating community wherever they go.
Shari Ulrich – 12:40 a.m.
A multi-instrumentalist, (fiddle, mandolin, guitar, piano & accordion); two time Juno Award winner; and inductee in the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, Shari Ulrich has released 23 albums to date including her work with Pied Pumkin, Ulrich Henderson Forbes (UHF), Bentall Taylor Ulrich (BTU), and the bluegrass band, The High Bar Gang. Her latest release “Everywhere I Go” garnered her a CFMA for (English) Songwriter of the year.
Lonesome Ace Stringband – 1:00 a.m.
Get ready for an old-time stringband with bluegrass chops that plays really good folk music. Featuring Chris Coole on banjo, John Showman on fiddle and Max Heineman on standup bass, this amazing trio connects to the heart and ear through their shared love of Appalachian mountain music. With haunting melodies, buzzing vocal harmonies and driving rhythm, you’ll soon be drawn into the groove of the Lonesome Ace Stringband.
Glenn McFarlane – 1:20 a.m.
Glenn McFarlane hails originally from New Brunswick and now makes his home in Brampton, Ontario. A veteran performer, Glenn is an award winning songwriter, a multi-instrumentalist and President and co-founder of the Brampton Folk Club. He has toured his native province of New Brunswick twice and has just released his third CD, “Time to Kill” (featuring his anthemic sing-a-long “Hey Canada!”). His well-crafted originals have a sing-a-long familiarity to them that gets the audience involved. He will be joined by his brother Keith.
Karen Morand & Bosco 1:40 a.m.
Songwriter Karen Morand casts power to stir the storm in your soul and part the dark clouds hovering over your heart. Karen drives the engine through songs that clang, grind and chug with bold defiance, shaken faith and cryptic warnings; breathing steam around embraces of the wounded and outcast. In concert, Karen performs original songs spanning her three album releases, alongside folk classics and new favourites from her songwriter friends. She appears live both as a versatile soloist and accompanied by the Bosco acoustic duo.
The New Customs – 2:00 a.m.
Creativity. Chemistry. Captivating. No three words could better describe Indie folk duo The New Customs. Through their command of the many instruments they bring to the stage, along with sublime harmonies, thoughtful storytelling and razor-wit banter, Emma Cloney and Dale Brown are leaving audiences across the country wanting more. Capable of going from foot-stompers to tear-jerkers, ballads to barnburners, The New Customs are doing their home city of Winnipeg proud tour after tour, album after album.
Jabbour – 2:20 a.m.
Guillaume Jabbour (Lachute, QC.), Carl Rufh (Ormstown, QC.) and Bill Collier (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) are the members of Jabbour. Having played in various bands prior (Grouyan Gombo, Les Perroquets, Durham County Poets), the three combined their creative abilities forming a project focused on original works. Walking the line that often separates Canada’s two solitudes is what drives Jabbour’s songwriting. Expect dramatic waltzes, tales reminiscent of Quebec chansonniers, swinging rhythm and toe-tapping two-steps.
Moonfruits – 2:40 a.m.
Accompanied by a banjo and a parlour guitar, Moonfruits soaring harmonies captivate listeners and celebrate common ground. Partners on and off stage, they summon music from a place where ideals and imagination intertwine.