Soft violin gently starts this album with the soothing hum of singer Raine Hamilton over top of it. Before you can fall into the melody, the violin turns to a jagged sort of snap and the story of Night Sky begins to unfurl. As the same song, “Starlight”, carries on, the acoustic folk sound offers vibes akin to wandering through a forest, the intervention of light a hopeless wish. Continue reading “Raine Hamilton :: Night Sky”
Well, friends, it’s that time of year again — holidays albums are coming out of the woodwork, family get togethers spill into boozy bar nights, and the lucky ones have time off of work to get wild. If you’re in Winnipeg this holiday season, there’s plenty of holiday hoedowns abound to keep you rocking into the New Year. Continue reading “Hillbilly Highway – Holiday Hoedowns Abound”
What kind of artist would go to Mexico during the height of the bird flu to record an album in a vintage Mexican recording studio? Fucking Chuck Prophet, that’s who. This album is absolutely fantastic and I feel honored to review it, even though it was released in 2009. For all of you Folk Fest goers, you know what a show this man can put on as he absolutely killed the Little Stage on the Prairie this year. The first two opening tracks are great and draw you in, nicely paving the way for the punk driven “Where the Hell is Henry?” and the unreal title track. Let Freedom Ring has a perfect mix of up-tempo tracks and slower rock jams reminiscent and on par with all the great Americana artists such as Petty, Dylan and Springsteen. The music is amazing but the real strength lies in Prophet’s amazing ability to song write, these songs have some strong lyrics. His ability to have a sense of humor while still being political, yet still being able to tell a story forms an orgy of awesomeness that make Prophets music fun and timeless. How is this man not one of the big names in Rock?! (Yep Roc Records, yeproc.com) Scott Wolfe
It’s a near perfect August evening – hot without being sweltering, vanilla ice cream in a cup and conversation about music, travel and inspiration with one of the city’s newest and arguably most talented groups, Bog River.
“In the ninth grade, I had a really awesome band teacher who just made me want to go to band camp every year. He just made me love music,” Ben Hadaller of the local folk trio tells me as the four of us sit around a picnic table at Sub Zero Ice Cream. Carly Dow, lead vocalist of the group, jokes that the extent of her family’s influence in her musicality came from the occasional inebriated family member banging on a piano at parties. On her left, Dave Barchyn, former associate at a music store, explains that, “If you work at a music store long enough, you end up owning a music store.” Continue reading “Bog River – Muddy and Simple”
There aren’t a lot of bands who can hop from playing a gig in the dingy nonchalance of the Times Change(d) to a children’s festival, or from a wedding reception to a university restaurant. But local band the F-Holes, who have a versatile sound that could be called jazz or blues as much as it could be country or swing, are doing just that. Continue reading “The F-Holes”
Ryan Boldt walks into the Winnipeg Folk Festival media tent wearing a fedora, his blond locks sticking out the sides, and big, black shades. It is a long time before he takes off the glasses. He sits down and speaks in a deep drawl.
On the strength of their self-titled debut EP, Winnipeg roots quartet Oh My Darling are going places, fast. So fast that I couldn’t nail them down in person and had to conduct our interview on Facebook while the band was touring western Canada. Fiddle player Rosalyn Dennett—who is joined in the band by Allison de Groot on claw-hammer banjo, Marie-Josée Dandeneau on upright and electric bass and Vanessa Kuzina on vocals, guitar and mandolin—filled me in on the past, present and future of the group. Continue reading “Oh My Darling”