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Manitoba Hal: ukulele, venison and zombies

Manitoba Hal puts the I in independent. He’s released eleven recordings over fourteen years, many of them homespun at his own studio. He’s carved a well worn groove in the Canadian touring landscape, hauling his gear from house concerts to ...
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Rodney Crowell in gritty detail

The chance to see Nashville wunderkind Rodney Crowell in a setting as intimate as Hugh’s Room was, for me, a dream come true. Grammy-winning songwriting legend cult favourite Rodney Crowell. Accessible, in an intimate setting, no less. And as soon ...
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Canadian contributions to War and Politics

Call me a cynic, but I was skeptical about War and Politics, Volume 1. The CD struck me as a tripod with three shaky legs: a compilation record, with twenty tracks, and every one of them a protest song. I ...
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Jadea Kelly has a taste for twang

Jadea Kelly may not be the typical young woman from Whitby, Ontario. With all due respect to that bedroom community northeast of Toronto, it’s not known as a hotbed for country-tinged female folk singers. Yet here’s Jadea Kelly, making major ...
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Rodney Brown’s William McGillivray project

Veteran Thunder Bay songwriter Rodney Brown has a passion for the fur trade era of Canadian history. His brilliant album The Big Lonely explored the stories of the North West Company under the leadership of William McGillivray. Like many songwriters, ...
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Cowboy Junkies give Vic Chesnutt wings

How do you pay tribute to an artist dogged by demons? That’s the challenge that faced veteran Canadian alt-country ensemble Cowboy Junkies on Volume 2 of their Nomads series, ominously and aptly titled Demons. The late, lost songwriter Vic Chesnutt, ...
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Highlights March 13-20

The Roots Music Canada weekly wrap-up: Juno-winning Québécois folk band Le Vent du Nord visited the shed, shared some songs and did two interviews with Roots Music Canada Executive Producer Andy Frank—one in each official language. A vital part of ...
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Ben Sures, lasting folk singer

The Woodshed Sessions, Episode 10 – Ben Sures It’s been seventeen years since Edmonton’s Ben Sures released his first CD, and he’s on the verge of delivering still another bouncing cellophane baby. Winnipeg-raised Sures is a relentless, creative performer and ...
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Fish & Bird’s shout worth hearing

The first few seconds of any album may just be the most important. On Fish & Bird‘s upcoming new album, Every Whisper is a Shout Across the Void, the first four seconds consist of a raw, lonely a cappella voice ...
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Le Vent Du Nord visit The ‘Shed

“Man, those guys are tight“, said Roots Music Canada co-conspirator and Editor-in-Chief David Newland, as we reviewed the raw footage of Le Vent Du Nord performing in The Woodshed. Indeed, this Juno-winning quartet, heading into their tenth year as one ...