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Winona Wilde announces summer tour dates and releases new video for “Company Town”

Guitar in Woods

Singer-songwriter Winona Wilde, winner of the 2017 Ontario Arts Council’s Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, will be heading out across North America again this summer on a tour that begins May 5 in Montreal and returns to western Canada in June (see full dates below).

She has also released a new Southern Souls video for “Company Town,” originally written and recorded by Ben de la Cour. Although it doesn’t appear on Wilde’s acclaimed latest album, Wasted Time, the song reflects her own biting wit and heartbreaking honesty. Wilde’s approach contains echoes of some of country music’s greatest composers, such as Townes Van Zandt and Billy Joe Shaver, so it’s no surprise then that she was also named a winner of the 2017 Kerrville (Texas) Folk Festival’s New Folk competition.

However, what is revealed in the music tells only part of Winona Wilde’s story. A child of Iraqi parents, she was born Noosa Al-Sarraj and became infatuated with playing classical music on piano at a young age. At the same time, her country music-loving nanny planted the seeds for her future devotion to artists like John Prine, Hank Williams and Loretta Lynn, and by her teens she discovered a natural ability to write songs in a similar style.

Calling her third offering Wasted Time is slightly misleading, as everything she has experienced up to now has gone into this beautiful nine-song collection led by the title track, a bona fide instant honky tonk classic. As Wilde explains, “On my first album, I was too afraid to be good. On my second album, I was too afraid to be real. This time I feel like I am as real as I can possibly be, and the songwriting is infinitely more vulnerable.”

The songs indeed capture Wilde’s musical philosophy of “trying to strike a balance between freaking people out and speaking directly to their hearts,” from the opening track “Pincushion Soldier,” an aching lament for a woman afflicted with post-partum psychosis, to “The Night That Joel Got Shot,” a modern gender reversal of the traditional murder ballad. At the same time, Wilde injects some cutting humour with “Chick Singer,” a song that every female musician will immediately identify with through its sing-along chorus of, “You’ve got to work twice as hard, be twice as good, and get paid half as much as you know you should.”

As a fiercely independent artist, Winona Wilde’s mission is to make country music that sounds both old and new, but with an honest perspective entirely her own.

Winona Wilde 2018 Tour Dates

May 5 – Bar Entre-Nous, Montreal, Quebec
May 6 – March for Moms, Washington, DC
May 7 – The Living Stage, Baltimore, Maryland
May 8 – The Living Stage, Baltimore, Maryland
May 9 – The Kraken, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
May 13 – Rooster’s Wife, Aberdeen, North Carolina
May 16 – P & H Cafe, Memphis, Tennessee
May 17 – Lyric Theatre, Harrison, Arkansas
May 19 – Chelsea’s Cafe, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
May 20 – New World Deli, Austin, Texas
May 21 – Opening Bell, Dallas, Texas
June 2 – Brokefish Barn, Millarville, Alberta
June 3 – Last Chance Saloon, Wayne, Alberta
June 5 – Yard Party, Calgary, Alberta
June 6 – Trish & Stew’s House Concerts, Red Deer, Alberta
June 8 – Rolla Pub, Rolla, BC
June 9 – Whole Wheat & Honey, Fort St. John, BC
June 12 – Mount Lorne Community Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon
June 16 – Klondike Institute of Arts & Culture, Dawson, Yukon
June 18 – House Concert, Whitehorse, Yukon
June 20 – Astrid & Steve’s, Forest Grove, BC
June 22 – Falkland Folk Off, Falkland, BC
June 23 – Chances Casino, Kamloops, BC
June 24 – Old Grist Mill, Osoyoos, BC
June 25 – Checkerboard Bar, Spokane, Washington
June 26 – Checkerboard Bar, Spokane, Washington
June 29 – High Note Cafe, Boise, Idaho


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