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Songwriters’ Speakeasy, Profiles pt.1

Roots Music Canada is proud to present Songwriters’ Speakeasy in The Moose Lounge (Room 524, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ottawa, Oct 15 and 16) at the OCFF conference. It is hosted by RMC’s  Andy Frank and David Newland, and they are responsible for selecting this year’s remarkable lineup of songwriters.

The purpose of these profiles is to spotlight the invited performers, musicians who rank among the very best on the Canadian scene today.  Please note you must have a conference pass to attend.

Friday, October 15, 11:00 PM

Kirsten Jones

Toronto-based singer-songwriter Kirsten Jones has had an exciting year – she was selected as a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk Contest, the Canadian Country Music Awards invited her to perform at the prestigious Songwriter’s Cafe, and her song “Bittersweet Grand Canyon” was chosen as one of the finalists in the International Songwriting Competition. Kirsten’s Juno-nominated recent release, The Mad Mile, should be nestled comfortably in your CD-changer beside your copy of Emmylou Harris’ Wrecking Ball, since the transition between the two discs will sound seamless. With a sweet, country-tinged voice and songs that come with a side of whiskey, Kirsten kicks off the Songwriters’ Speakeasy and proves why she was named as one of five acts to watch out for in 2010 by Billboard Canada.  Video: “Bittersweet Grand Canyon” (feat. Oh Susanna)

Friday, October 15  11:30pm

Raghu Lokanathan

Multi-instrumentalist Raghu Lokanathan has lived on both of Canada’s coasts and now makes his home in British Columbia. Raghu’s music was featured on CBC’s Vinyl Café and he has taken the stage at some of Canada’s largest and most-respected folk festivals. His new album, Blue Girl, produced by Corwin Fox, is a collection of songs that integrate all the shifting attitudes and styles of his last seven years of writing and learning. That he has shared stages with the likes of Corin Raymond and Yael Wand is further testament to the good company he keeps. You’ll want to know more about the quirky characters that run through Raghu’s prose. He is a captivating storyteller with a calm, canny voice that leaves you eager to hear what will happen next. Video: “Ramona”

Friday, October 15 at Midnight

Alejandra Ribera

Performing a mix of folk, jazz, and Spanish styles, Alejandra Ribera shape-shifts as she moves smoothly across genres, revealing poetic lyrics strung across the melodic twists and turns of her many musical influences. Her 2009 release NavigatorNavigateher is a cabaret that takes you from alt-pop, to aching ballads, to Cuban jazz, with a traditional Mexican tune thrown in for good measure. Characterized by her unmistakable voice, which draws comparisons to Edith Piaf, Tom Waits and Joan Armatrading, Alejandra is transformed, almost possessed, when she sings. Whether appearing with the acclaimed Art of Time Ensemble or holding her own at Toronto’s legendary folk club, Hugh’s Room, Alejandra proves that her soulful pipes stand out in the scene. Get under Alejandra’s spell and experience her rattling live show. 

Next installment: John Wort Hannam,  Allison Brown,  Jory Nash

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