Alberta Music Sampler
The Alberta Music Sampler takes the incredibly talented and diverse music of our artists/bands around the world. Through frequent stops at international showcasing/conferences such as NXNE, SXSW, CMJ, CMW and Folk Alliance, we have dropped these cards in the hands of music fans and execs worldwide. It has also been adapted into a shared venture with Alberta Culture, and distributed to hundreds of international students, giving them a taste of our great piece of the cultural fabric of Alberta.
LIVESTOCK Alberta Music Sampler, Volume 3
CORB LUND – Getting Down On The Mountain Goth girls to survivalists, bovines to bibles, antique pistols to vintage motorcycles: Alberta-born honky-tonker Corb Lund’s songcraft covers it all. From a rustic retreat deep in the Rocky Mountain forest, Cabin Fever, Lund’s enthralling new album, evolved from a period of introspection and hard traveling. Just like the prolific Lund’s subjects run the gamut, so do the sonics on the live-sounding long-player, ranging from rockabilly to Western swing, cowboy balladry to country-rock. And, of course, the occasional yodel.
MICHAEL BERNARD FITZGERALD – Alberta Michael Bernard Fitzgerald is refreshing, optimistic and modest. This young man can break hearts playing solo with an acoustic guitar and loop pedal, and equally make venues soar with a full band. In Canada, Michael tours regularly from coast to coast. Michael was the winner of the ATB’s All-Albertan Song Contest with his tune, “Alberta” – making a living as a young musician isn’t easy, says Fitzgerald, so winning the All-Albertan Song Contest is a huge boost. “To be an artist these days, you definitely have high moments and lows. This is definitely a high. It feels like I have the support of my home province.” Michael Bernard Fitzgerald “MBF” has a simple goal – to pursue his craft as honestly as possible – devoid of smoke and mirrors. Positively uplifting.
NUELA CHARLES – Unfortunate Love feat. Darren Frank Nuela Charles is a Canadian, Swiss and Kenyan born singer-songwriter whose music crosses boundaries and unites musical genres. Be it hip-hop, pop, jazz, R&B or soul, Nuela captures the spirit and confidence of them all. This artist is currently based in Edmonton, Alberta but much like her music has lived an extremely diverse lifestyle – calling three continents and four different countries home. Aware, released October 23, 2012, is the culmination of the introspective journey into Nuela’s current state of being and the total surrender of that which cannot be controlled – life. “Unfortunate Love” has been described as “real, back in the day soul – a la ‘I Put A Spell on You’” and is shamelessly becoming the standout track on the album.
Aware was recorded in Edmonton at Mr. Smith’s Studio with Mr. Smith and Freddy B.
SHOUT OUT OUT OUT OUT – This Isn’t Helping Shout Out Out Out Out emerged from the frozen north as an all-rhythm section, high-kicking, collection of local rock stalwarts, diving headfirst into the world of electronic music. They are a formidable force and a live spectacle from the get-go, with two drummers, four bass players, and an entirely appropriate mountain of analog synthesizers. Like in every band’s not-so-secret dream, local support grew to national buzz, national acclaim grew to international buzz, and the upward momentum just keeps pushing on. Their new album, Spanish Moss and Total Loss, has been strongly influenced by classic House music, Techno, Disco, Krautrock, and a variety of cosmic synth music. “This Isn’t Helping” is from Shout Out Out Out Out’s album, Spanish Moss and Total Loss, recorded at The Audio Department in Edmonton, AB.
SIDNEY YORK – Watch Your Back “Part glitzy pop, part avant-pop, and part fun” (More Than a Feeling), Sidney York began as the long-distance relationship of three former band geeks: opera singer Brandi Sidoryk (“Sid”), oboist Sheryl Reinhardt, and bassoonist Krista Wodelet. Brought together in part by high school honor band, and in part by a serendipitous connection on a certain friendly Canadian airline, they join forces to create an avant-pop renaissance of the unusual instruments they grew up with. Sidney York’s three frontwomen deliver a live experience that rollercoasters from bubbly, clap-and-whistle-along pop to sweet and sexy vocal harmonies, and their powerful onstage presence always leaves audiences wanting more.
The album was recorded at Hipposonic Studios, The Warehouse Studio, and Creativ Studios, engineered by Devon Lougheed & Adam Grennholtz, mixed by Howard Redekopp, and mastered by Greg Mindorff.
WOODPIGEON – For Paolo Woodpigeon was coined in 2005 to shelter a revolving cast of Mark Hamilton’s musician comrades as they coalesced around his first songs. Since then, five full-length albums and at least a dozen other recordings have been released into the wild under the Woodpigeon banner. Post-genre in an orchestral folk-pop context, Woodpigeon embellishes with echoes from other forms and eras: a swell of remorseful strings, the distant rousing call of horns, an urgent rhythmic skiffle of frustrated ardour, textural ripples of atmospheric noise.
Recorded at Banff Centre with Terence Deutsch.
DANNY VACON – Gold and Green You may recognize Danny Vacon as the voice of The Dudes or fronting soft-rock troubadours The Dojo Workhorse. The independent rock and roll life has taken him and his musical buddies across Europe thrice and across Canada more times than he can accurately remember. From Tofino to Madrid, from Dublin to George Street to the Arctic Tundra, he’s slept on floors and couches across the globe. It was that longing for home that inspired Vacon to write Gold and Green – a lyrical stunner that won over the judges from ATB Financial, CKUA and Alberta Music/Sony Music and earned him top prize in the 2011 All-Albertan Song Contest.
Recorded at Arch Audio by Lorrie Matheson, and mastered at Infinite Wave by Dave Horrocks.
WOOL ON WOLVES – Medicine Shows Wool on Wolves is the product of an ever-evolving collaboration of five songwriters, a band in which everyone works for the song. In early 2012, Wool on Wolves began working on their sophomore LP Measures of Progress. The band, engineer Nik Kozub (Shout Out Out Out Out), and producer Paul Arnusch (Faunts, the Whitsundays) left no stone unturned in creating a dense and meticulous album with a bold artistic vision. The band continues to innovate as they experiment with new tones, recording techniques, and complex song structures. The end result is a shape-shifting album to be considered as a sum greater than its parts, much like the band itself. From the album, Measures of Progress, recorded at The Audio Department.
DOUG HOYER – Little Things Doug Hoyer is a young man who had dreams of self-discovery & expression that would be become bigger and grander with every coming year. Doug travels across great lands, often with his ukulele at hand, singing his songs and telling his tales of prophetic predictions, love & loss, and a variety of other little things. He has since put out a side project album of 30 songs called Bike Month, and on June 30, 2011, released his debut full-length Walks with the Tender and Growing Night for Old Ugly Recording Co., recorded by Calvin McElroy.
JAY SPARROW – Cold Winter Song Jay Sparrow has made an indelible mark on the Canadian music scene. Sparrow was lead singer for the Edmonton punk rock band Murder City Sparrows; however, he eventually decided to dissolve the band and pursue a different musical direction. He released his first solo EP The Running in 2008, and followed up with two more EPs, Good Days Gone By in 2009 and The Tempest Line in 2010, before releasing his full-length album debut, In Our Time, in fall 2010. Most recently, he began recording with Mr. Smith and new collaborator Freddy B., releasing the record White in 2012, produced in accordance with BMBSHL CMD.
POLITIC LIVE – Pusha Man feat. Jay Stacks & KazMega Politic Live is a 3X WCMA Nominated hip-hop collective from Edmonton, AB that fuses hip-hop with Soul, Jazz, R&B, and Reggae. Receiving critical acclaim for honest and thoughtful lyrics that explore topics not often covered in popular music, Politic Live is refreshing both lyrically and musically. In Edmonton, Politic Live is well known for their community work. In addition to mentoring upcoming artists, Politic Live has raised over 8,000 lbs. of food for the Edmonton Food Bank in 10 years through their initiative Hip-Hop For Hunger. Politic Live is presently promoting their third album, Ellipsis. Recorded at Point Guards Studio by Brendon “Sammy Auto” Richards, Music Box Studios by Deuce Fantastik, & Medeity Multimedia by Jermaine “KazMega” Curtis.
JENNY – How Far Can This Thing Go? Calgary’s own, Jenny’s music can be described as Canadian Folk Punk, blending heartfelt folk, pop and jackhammer punk. Jenny’s music is built around addictive licks from Jarrett Brandt’s Les Paul and howled out by Hamilton’s fiercely unapologetic vocals. Recorded at Evius Studios, engineered by Eric Svilpis & Spencer Kathrens , and produced by Spencer Kathrens & Sean Hamilton.
LAB COAST – As Usual Lab Coast is a band from Calgary, formed in late 2008 by David Laing and Chris Dadge (Bug Incision Records, Phil Withers, Bent Spoon Duo, Jay Crocker, etc). After a year’s worth of home recordings were amassed, Dice Parks (Ox, Jane Vain & The Dark Matter) and Scott Munro (Ghostkeeper, Chad van Gaalen, Gunther) joined the band. Their first album, Wilding was initially self-released, and was reissued through Scotch Tapes. Over the summer of 2010, the band recorded two songs for a split 7” EP with Extra Happy Ghost, which was released to critical acclaim on Saved By Vinyl. Their most recent collection of songs, Pictures on the Wall, is out now on Portland’s Eggy Records.
JESSICA JALBERT – Paris Green Jessica Jalbert lives in Edmonton, Alberta where she plays guitar and sings songs with accompaniment from Liam Trimble (Guitar), René Wilson (Drums), Doug Hoyer (Bass), and Mitch Holtby (Keys & Saxophone). She is occasionally joined by Maureen Murray (Trombone) and Jenni Roberts (Drums). Brother Loyola, her debut full length, has received wide coverage and critical praise, peaking at #41 on the CMJ charts.
COWPUNCHER – Get In The Truck The Hooscow 7” is the follow-up to Cowpuncher’s acclaimed 2011 album “Call Me When You’re Single” that sees rifle-scope focus on their signature Northern Rock sound – a blend of stoner rock, honky tonk, country and psychedelica. Renowned for ferocious live intensity, Cowpuncher is dead set at cementing their legacy as timeless songwriters, while furthering their ambitious recording output. Recorded at Electric Park Studios (Ian Dillon) and Pilot Audio (Robbie Josh Gwilliam).
KARLA ADOLPHE – Flying Low Imagine a girl sitting in a box car, feet dangling out the door, she is strumming a guitar, singing her heart out. Karla Adolphe is known as a powerful and dynamic singer, who brings award-winning songwriting and her enigmatic personality to every performance. She is generous with her audiences; pouring her heart and soul into every song and creating special moments of communion. From the album, Honeycombs Tombs, recorded at St. Ida’s, Lafayette, CO, and produced by Latifah Phillips & David Wilton.
OWLS BY NATURE – Heartbreaking Ways Described as “Whiskey-fueled Folk Rock anthems for people who like to party,” Edmonton’s Owls By Nature put on an amazing live show. Since their inception in April 2010, Owls By Nature have been ruffling feathers and making audiences sit up and take notice. Their unique brand of folk rock brings an energy and stage presence that invigorates any crowd. From the album Everything Is Hunted, recorded at one more mile productions with Mr. Smith & Jay Sparrow.
KAT DANSER – Miss Bessie’s Blues Listening to Kat Danser is like travelling with your ears. Her music draws a direct line from the Canadian Prairies to the Mississippi Delta. This Edmonton-based guitarist, songwriter and vocalist has been dubbed “The Queen of The Swamp Blues”. Her style is steeped in tradition yet distills a refreshing approach to roots, blues, and gospel music for the 21st Century. Danser offers a new take on centuries-old premises and is adept at taking jabs at modern-day cultural phenomena.
COLLEEN BROWN – Singing In The Garden Colleen Brown is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based out of Edmonton, Alberta. Brown has just released her 3rd full-length album of originals, Dirt. The new album contains 13 indelible folk/pop gems, including the award winning composition Fight! Fight! Fight! (Harvard Broadcasting/New Music West 2011 Songwriting Award) and a co-write with Pierre Marchand (Sarah MacLachlan’s regular producer/co-writer). The songs are strung together seamlessly with a narrative written by the artist.
100 MILE HOUSE – Last Call 100 mile house will release their 3rd full-length album, Wait With Me, in March 2013. This highly anticipated release is the follow up to their award winning 2011 release, Hollow Ponds. Wait With Me is full of their trademark lyrically driven roots tunes that have gained this band notable momentum in the Canadian music scene and beyond. Throughout 2013, the band will be touring extensively in support of their new release. Recorded at The Bird-Shop, by Peter Stone.
HUTCHINSON ANDREW TRIO – Mountain Rose The Hutchinson Andrew Trio is a unique voice on the Canadian Jazz Scene. Over the past 5 years, this acoustic piano based trio has been bringing their own Western Canadian flair to the Canadian jazz landscape. They are honoured to be joined on their sophomore album ‘Music Box’ by Canadian Jazz legend Ralph Bowen on Tenor saxophone. Music Box was released in January 2008, and immediately hit #1 on CKUA radio. The album continues to climb the jazz charts across Canada. Recorded at Systems Two (Brooklyn, NY) and engineered by Max Ross.
JUNG PEOPLE – Orient B Jung People is an instrumental duo based out of Calgary, AB. Musical partners for almost a decade, the duo formed in late 2010 after founding members Bryan Buss and Giordano W. Bassi studied abroad at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA. They have been classified under Progressive/Post-rock but blur the lines between many genres as far as Folk, Jazz, and Experimental. Bassi and Buss, inspired by the Brown Dog Riots and the state of the “environment vs. humanity”, released their second LP titled Tenterhooks on Dec ember 10 2011, dedicated to animals hurt by or lost to the human path. The future of Jung People is to donate all income from album sales in order to create a residual income for an environmental or animal rights society.
FIST CITY – Caveman’s Lunch Fist City is a four piece; a pack of earnest weirdos with a penchant for churning out music that screeches and rings with the blood-rush of a night crime yet charms with sugary sweet pop jangles and cool surf sleaze. They are of Alberta small town bummers and British Columbia wild hide-outs. Their music has been described as “raggedly elegant … stripped down challenging punk”, “pop songs clouded in a lo-fi basement show sheen”; a blend of post-punk and dark-surf, with a twinge of pop.
SMALLTOWN DJS – Love Decoy If your ears work, you can’t not have fun at a Smalltown DJs gig. That’s a scientific fact. Look it up. The Canadian duo’s uncanny ability to make crowds feel like schoolkids at recess stems naturally from their focus on maximizing fun for themselves. As a duo, Smalltown DJs have upcoming releases slated for Top Billin, T&A Records, Sol Selectas, and Bigfoot (their own label). Not surprisingly, the squad’s production style resembles their approach to deejaying – polymorphous, party-focused and pretension-free.
SCENIC ROUTE TO ALASKA – Sidewalk Chalk Scenic Route to Alaska is Trevor Mann, Murray Wood, and Shea Connor of the brutal & beautiful Edmonton, Alberta. Best friends, bringing emotion-filled, fun indy folk-rock to your ipods, boom boxes and your parents car stereos! Scenic Route to Alaska is proving that less is more. The band’s distinct, heartfelt, and catchy indie-folk-rock is as tight as their unshakeable friendship. From the album, All These Years recorded at McGills MMR Studios.
PEAR – This Ain’t A Love Song After fronting one of the most successful fiddle acts in the world, Lynae and Denis Dufresne toured the country with some of the biggest names in Canadian music. In 2005, they took time off the road to settle in Calgary, AB. They quickly became antsy and formed PEAR. With Lynae as the songstress and Denis as the musical backbone, PEAR quickly developed a grassroots following in both Canada and the US. Their first full-length album, Sweet N Gritty, features collaborations with a few musical heroes and a number of good friends and was produced on Nashville’s famed Music Row by Noah Gordon. Recorded at BIG Studios in Nashville.
JOE NOLAN – High As The Moon Joe’s beautiful combination of sweet, sad lyrics and haunting vocals come from a deep well that shows a young man’s heart and an old man’s soul. Protest songs, love songs, songs with questions and songs with answers created a collection that has the listener wanting more. His live performances are mesmerizing and the audience connects to Joe’s soft, honest and heart-felt delivery. Praise for his album Goodbye Cinderella came from many directions. Joe has been performing non-stop over the past few years building an ever growing fan base. Recorded at The Rendering Plant (Nashville, TN) and produced by Colin Linden.
HEY ROMEO – It’s A House Since forming in 2002 and cutting their teeth in the highly competitive Alberta country music scene, Hey Romeo have grown from a hard-touring regional success to a national sensation in waiting; earning a reputation, not only as one of Canada’s hardest working country acts, but as one of the hardest working bands in the country, period. Ten years on, they remain as tight on stage as off, a family who share as deep a connection personally as they do musically. Over time, Hey Romeo have shared the stage with artists including Sugarland, Darius Rucker, Gord Bamford and Johnny Reid and have become regular fixtures on stage at Las Vegas’ annual National Finals Rodeo. From the album Twist of Fate, recorded at County Q Studios (Nashville, TN), and MCC Recording Studios (Calgary, AB), and produced by Byron Hill & Hey Romeo.
MADDISON KREBS – Tick Tick Maddison’s vocal style has often been compared to Patsy Cline. Miss Krebs has an uncanny, nuanced and very real sensibility for writing and singing in a classic country form. At only 15 years old, she has a detailed awareness of a sound that hasn’t been in the mainstream for at least fifty years. From the EP, Your True Love recorded at The Station Recording Company in Calgary.