Feature

Songwriters’ Speakeasy Profiles Pt.2

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 at 12:30am (technically early Saturday)

John Wort Hannam

John Wort Hannam’s many accolades could fill the stretch of Alberta prairieland from which he hails. A repeat Grand Prize winner in the Calgary Folk Music Festival Songwriting Competition and the 2007 New Folk Winner in the Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition, John has also received multiple nominations at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, the Western Canadian Music Awards, and at the North American Folk Music Alliance. His latest record, Queen’s Hotel, was nominated for a Juno Award in the Best Solo Roots and Traditional category in 2010. Singing the songs of aching bones, longing hearts, and devoted lovers, John tells the stories of tireless workers and quiet Canadian heroes with a warm and inviting stage presence. Video: “Lucky Strikes”

Friday, October 15 at 1:00am (technically early Saturday)

Allison Brown

Riding the country rails through the night, Allison Brown holds a hatful of broken hearts and a big cuppa hope and brings it to her audience with striking conviction and a powerful voice. Allison’s second release, Viper At The Virgin’s Feet, reveals deep explorations of gospel and roots music surrounding originals forged from the fires of folk tradition. There’s an uplifting quality to Allison’s songwriting, with images of birds taking flight, climbers scaling mountains, and spirits taking to the open road. A mainstay in London, Ontario’s folk music scene for nearly ten years and host of the long-running radio show “For the Folk”, Allison is bringing a little bit of the countryside to the big city, with a recent move to Toronto, in addition to a summer of folk festival stops and a tour with ukulele bluesman Manitoba Hal and chanteuse Leah Morise as part of “Dr. Pinkham’s Medicine Show”.Video: “All the Birds”

Friday, October 15 at 1:30am  (technically early Saturday)

Jory Nash

One of the friendliest guys in folk music, Jory Nash has an irresistible charm that weaves its way through all his onstage banter. While you’ll be laughing along with his extended song introductions, Jory’s music will leave you reflective, relaxed, and comforted. It’s no surprise that he’s a past recipient of the OCFF Songs From the Heart Award. He has toured North America several times over and released 6 CDs, including the most recent, New Blue Day, which was named 2009 Album of the Year by Penguin Eggs Magazine. Jory was just nominated for a 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Producer for his fine work on the record. He regularly commands the attention of audiences from intimate house concert attendees to crowds of festival-goers, all on his own, with his warm voice and a guitar slung over his shoulder. strong>Video: Covering Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind”

Friday, October 15 at 2:00am (technically early Saturday)

Miss Emily Brown

CBC favourite Miss Emily Brown tangles with a variety of whimsical instruments, playing not only the guitar, but also the autoharp, banjo, pianet, and music box, accompanying her wistful, smooth voice, reminiscent of the grassy, natural tones of Sarah Harmer. Her songs come with trails of history behind them. Emily’s latest offering, the Canada Council-funded In Technicolour, is a collection of songs exploring her grandmother’s journal from World War II and was just nominated for a “Pushing the Boundaries” Canadian Folk Music Award. Melodies wind and wander, easing in on jazz notes and hitting all the right spots. An enchanting solo performer, she can also be found duetting with Corbin Fox in Morlove and collaborating with the likes of Jeremy Fisher and Tobias Meis out on the BC coast where she makes her home. Video: “Immobilize”

Friday, October 15 at 2:30am  (technically early Saturday)

Janine Stoll

Janine Stoll sounds like she writes from the dark alley behind the hockey arena – the place where treasures are found, where cards are flipped, where sneaky deals are made. Her new album Melancholia is appropriately titled and it’s a deliciously indulgent listen. Janine knows what you’ve been through and she’ll sing it back to you in a wail that cuts through your already tender heart. Her resonant voice will send shivers up your spine. Janine also brings that voice to the front of the innovative Toronto folk/pop band The DoneFors and often lends her talents to her wide network of musical friends. Personable and passionate, Janine sweeps her audience up in her dynamic live performance. Video: “Red Fish” (with The DoneFors)

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