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Colleen Peterson award winner Alise Marlane

The Ontario Arts Council has just announced the winner of the 2011 Colleen Peterson Award. Alise Marlane is a jazz & folk singer-songwriter born in Montreal, now based in the Outaouais. She performs solo as well as with her trio, ...
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The Wheat Pool: Saying goodbye to a favourite

Why do we love a band? As soon as that question is asked, one’s heart rushes for a private image, the cover of your inner jewel-case. You know who you love. Their flag is always there, waving, even when the ...
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Mark Berube sets his music free

Though he’s been called a “young Leonard Cohen” for his lyrical skill, Mark Berube‘s true calling goes beyond words. He’s a multi-instrumentalist, a curator of many-layered compositions and a master of marrying pop, Afro-beats and strings. He comes by the ...
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Folk music, the novel: Scott Alarik’s “Revival”

Scott Alarik knows the folk music world from just about every side. He’s a singer-songwriter with five albums to his credit, he’s been the principal folk music writer for the Boston Globe for over 20 years and is a regular ...
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Creative immersion at Winter Folk Camp

As March rolls into Toronto with a casual, spring-like confidence, I’m thinking back to my weekend in Haliburton, where winter still means wind and snow, and provides the perfect backdrop for a gathering of music-makers. I was attending Winter Folk ...
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Fresh pie & folk music: symbols of togetherness

With a very cold, mid-February wind blowing off the lake in small town Port Hope, Ontario, I was warmed by the music, generosity, and freshly baked pies at singer-songwriter Catherine MacLellan’s Pie-Off. Catherine has been hosting her yearly Pie-Off, a ...
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Al Lerman’s got the Crowe River Blues

Al Lerman did exactly as he sings — he moved out into the woods, but for different reasons than the protagonist in the song “Suitcase Blues”. His album Crowe River Blues is largely the by-product of this move — the ...
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Friendly dueling: annual event shows best in banjo

Oh, you know the old joke: “How can you tell if there’s a banjo player at your door”? “They can’t find the key, the knocking speeds up, and they don’t know when to come in.” There’s a million jokes like ...
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Toronto’s Winterfolk X reaches milestone

It’s a winter’s day here in the big city. Slush is piled up beside the street car tracks, tiny flakes of snow are rapidly falling, and the sky has been the same shade of grey for what feels like weeks ...
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David Newland, live at Hugh’s Room

Thursday evening at Hugh’s Room in Toronto, I had the honour of introducing my Roots Music Canada partner, singer-songwriter David Newland to hundreds of his fans. That included those gathered at the famous venue, as well as folks watching live ...