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Songwriter Sessions | December 2018
December 12, 2018 @ 8:30 pm - 10:30 pm EST
SONGWRITER SESSIONS | December 12, 2018
Piper Hayes | Kirsten Jones | Ken Yates | David Storey
$20 Advance | $25 Door
Hugh’s Room Live loves a good songwriter and is home to many a concert featuring Canada’s best. Our new Songwriter Sessions series explores songcraft in a round robin format with players peeling back the stories behind their work. Crossing genres and tapping into the natural Canadian gift of open, honest lyrics and tunes, we’ve invited some of our favourites to delve deeper and share their songs with you.
Born in New York, raised in Toronto, and now residing in Hamilton since 2015, critically acclaimed folk singer, songwriter and social activist Piper Hayes is truly authentic. On December 8, 2017, Hayes celebrates the release of her first full-length album ‘Piper & Carson’.
Hayes got her start in legendary venues in Toronto including The Horseshoe Tavern, The Rivoli and The Cameron House (playing with artists including Abigail Lapell, Julian Taylor and Kevin Hearn). She has toured all over Canada and the USA, headlined three international tours (visiting Nepal, India, Holland, Scotland, Ireland, England, Iceland, Denmark, Italy, France, Spain and Greece), performed many times on VIA Rail’s national ‘Artists on board’ program and played many folk conferences. Nowadays, Hayes (who is a two-time nominee for the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, 2017 and 2018) performs and writes closely with her partner Carson Ritcey-Thorpe and, after a 2017 western Canada tour, many prime showcases at Folk Music Ontario, Folk Alliance International and South East Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA), they have become beloved darlings of the folk music scene.
Piper also teams up with the Canadian Mental Health Association (going into schools, conferences and outreach programs to dispel stigma around mental illness), she established a music-therapy-based class for Hamilton Adult Community Support Program and gives workshops on mental health, well-being, music and songwriting.
Nominated for CCMA’s Roots Artist of the Year, Kirsten Jones’ subtly melancholic songs include warm campfire-like toe-tappers, barn burners, and personal storytellers that breathe deep from the traditions of her Americana heroes like The Jayhawks and Patty Griffin. With her heartbreakingly lovely vocals and soaring harmonies, she comfortably walks the line between country and folk. Kirsten Jones’ last release, the Juno-nominated CD The Mad Mile, was produced by alt country legend, Gary Louris (The Jayhawks, The Sadies) and includes guest appearances by Oh Susanna, Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy and Bob Egan, and pedal steel great Greg Leisz. She was a John Lennon Songwriting Award finalist in the country category and a finalist three years in a row in the International Songwriting Competition in the Americana category. You may have seen her here at Hugh’s Room as a headliner or opening for folks like Dar Williams and Bob Snider.
Since first planting roots within the Canadian music scene in 2011, Ken Yates has steadily grown a reputation as one of the country’s brightest singer/songwriters. His sound offers the complete package—unforgettable melodies, emotionally charged storytelling, and top-notch guitar chops—all gloriously displayed on Yates’ new album, Huntsville, which received two Canadian Folk Music Awards for Songwriter of the Year and New Artist of the Year.
Produced by Jim Bryson (Weakerthans, Kathleen Edwards, Oh Susanna), Yates’ second full-length effort is a major stylistic step forward, with its 11 tracks capturing his artistic evolution amid extensive touring over the past three years. Along with handling production duties, Bryson’s abilities as a multi-instrumentalist were fully deployed during sessions at North of Princess Studio in Kingston, Ontario, leading a band that included Brian Dunne on guitars/vocals, James Preston on bass, Marshall Bureau on drums, and guest vocalist Amanda Rheaume.
Ken Yates is a rare example of someone who, from the beginning, had clear intentions when he embraced the troubadour life, and the combined drive and talent to make it a reality. With Huntsville, he has now closed the chapter on those early days, and is ready to open a new and exciting one, without any limits holding back his artistic ambition.
After nearly 25 years of achieving excellence by applying his wit, sensitivity and artistry in the service of others in the fields of directing and production for videos and television, David Storey is coming home to his first love: music.
His debut full-length release, Comin’ Home, contains all the aspects of Storey’s musical gems that fans have loved the most since he resumed composing and performing: wry wit and penetrating insights about life’s changes, characters and passions humorously and powerfully delivered. Although not strictly autobiographical in nature, the title of his debut full-length album Comin’ Home, being released this summer, is an apt summary of where he stands today. An early musical career saw him get airplay, rave reviews and award nominations for his Roots-Rock songs, which were compared to John Prine and Steve Earl.
After leaving music to raise a family for 20 years, he initially helmed award-winning videos and tv specials for the likes of Tom Cochrane and Stompin’ Tom and Anne Murray. He then moved into comedy productions, eventually developing, producing and directing the hit television show and movie “Corner Gas” before going back on stage with his own songs in 2011 after the series wrapped.