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MARIN PATENAUDE With favourably raucous and precious moments, Marin Patenaude deftly stitches together an urban edge with the waving grasses of country folk. Layered, living and inspirited by wildness, Marin’s voice is strong. A purity in her lyrics pairs with the complexity of her composition, demonstrating poetic restraint and focus. With the 2016 release of her debut album, the self-titled Marin Patenaude and the Follow Through, years of practice are distilled into a potent potion of ‘Confessional Folk’. The Follow Through features Cole Schmidt, Pete Schmitt, and Skye Brooks of Vancouver, often joined by other local treasures in the jazz/country/folk world of big feelings and risk taking including Peggy Lee and Scott Smith. Raised in rural Horsefly BC, Marin’s musical acumen is a family affair. She is the younger sister of Juno-award winning Pharis Romero (Pharis and Jason Romero), and was raised on harmony and sawdust in a family band of Folk and Country. It was as sweet as it sounds, and it set up all four children with a life long relationship to music. Extensive vocal training through the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Capilano College’s Jazz program led to a nationally accredited voice and a style that through phrasing and melody is clearly her own. She’s an accomplished piano player and plays an old guitar like a long lost lover and can find and sing the harmony in anything. Being regarded as a hobby and something unrealistic, Marin didn’t pursue a career in music until 2015 when she returned to Vancouver, formed The Follow Through and recorded her debut album. Marin’s love of nature, magic and the human condition transform under skillful charm. Landscapes of her youth saturate songs like No Sleeping it Off and Take You By Surprise, while the tensions of woe and letting go are found in The Dark and Go Home; structure and form that contain genuine vulnerability. It’s truth and transcendence like an honest drink. Influenced by Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt and Tori Amos, Marin’s affinity with these artists alludes to the full, rich quality of her voice and her compositions. “It’s a rarity to find an artist who is just as comfortable in the green fields of country/roots as they are in the smoky city backrooms of jazz and soul” – Michael Brennan (Ride The Tempo) “Her songs were so pure and deep. Her voice, otherworldly. She was really absorbed in the music and so was I. She got me good.” - Ben Arsenault (Real Ponchos) Georgia Straight “Sinuously seductive earworms to bleakly heartbroken balladry” , “a vocalist with genuine star power”– Alex Varty (Georgia Straight) MARK STUART Mark Stuart tours full-time as a musical artist, bringing his years of experience to the stage. Onstage, his focus is on the songs he has penned and recorded, delivered with a soulful singing voice and highly memorable guitar playing. After many years on the Americana/Folk circuit, Stuart has cultivated a very rounded performance. His show consists of storytelling, flashy guitar chops, and songs that draw from his rock, blues, country, and folk music roots. Mostly, this artist from Tennessee has toured solo or in a notable duo with his wife Stacey Earle. There were stints along the way as a sideman, though (Steve Forbert, Freddy Fender, Steve Earle, Joan Baez). If placed on the bill with a contemporary artist he is usually asked to play guitar on their portion of the show. Just ask Ray Wylie Hubbard or Jimmy LaFave. One can find Mark Stuart on any given night in a small theater, coffeehouse, house concert, festival stage, club, church auditorium, etc. giving it his all. Aside from that, he could be instructing at a guitar clinic, songwriting workshop, or playing on someone's recording session. As co-owner of Gearle Records he has produced or co-produced many albums. Stuart's career has repeatedly taken him to all of the USA, Canada, Europe and the United Kingdom, and has spanned several decades.Find out more »
Mairi Rankin is a legend on the Canadian music scene – she plays fiddle, sings and also step-dances up a storm. Born in Mabou, Nova Scotia, Mairi has been influenced by some of the best Cape Breton traditional musicians and instructors on the island. She has developed her own unique style by being immersed in such a rich musical culture. She has toured nationally and internationally as a solo artist, a sideman and is a member of the Cape Breton Celtic super group Beolach. She has performed with the Rankin Sisters, Unusual Suspects and Bruce Guthro to name but a few. Mairi has recorded one solo album, two CDs with Beolach and has been featured on numerous compilations and recordings. Eric Wright, cellist of The Fretless fame, joins Mairi in an inspired pairing. The duo has been collaborating on several music projects. Eric Wright picked up the cello at age 7, and began his musical career as a classically trained musician. By 13, he was teaching group and private lessons in Vermont, while playing in numerous chamber groups and orchestras. While he loved classical music, his father’s background in Irish and Old Time American fiddling was what really drew him in. Eric attended the Berklee College of Music where he studied folk styles and graduated Magna Cum Laude as a Professional Music major, focusing on Irish Cello Performance. Eric has since joined forces with the multi-award winning group, The Fretless, a contemporary traditional fusion group, and has been touring all over Canada, the US, and Europe ever since. When not on tour with the Fretless, Eric is the Celtic/Old Time cello, guitar, and banjo teacher at many music camps.Find out more »
Like the powerful mandolinist and composer at its helm, John Reischman and the Jaybirds fashion a stylish take on bluegrass that seamlessly blends original songs and instrumentals with Appalachian old-time music for a truly unique band sound. Now in their 20th year, with seven acclaimed albums and two Juno nominations, the Jaybirds are simultaneously innovative and unadorned, sophisticated and stripped-down, happily old-fashioned and 21st-century contemporary. Bluegrass Unlimited calls John Reischman “one of the world’s undisputed masters” of the mandolin, famed for outstanding tone and taste. Many of his dozens of original instrumentals have become popular favourites for sessions and covers, such as the jam standard Saltspring. He has three critically-acclaimed solo instrumental albums and has recorded on many other projects, including the Grammy-winning True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe. John also plays Latin-based jazz and choro music with highly regarded finger-style acoustic guitarist/composer John Miller; the duo has released three superb albums. John began his career in the San Francisco Bay area in the early ’80s with the eclectic Good Ol’ Persons bluegrass band. He was an original member of the legendary “new acoustic” quartet, the jazz-influenced Tony Rice Unit, renowned for highly skilled instrumentals. John moved to Vancouver in the early ’90s and in 1999 formed the Jaybirds. Of their latest album, Folk Radio UK said “On That Other Green Shore showcases an accomplished, experienced band at the peak of their powers, with musicianship of the very highest order.” Peghead Nation called it “one of the most beguiling bluegrass-rooted recordings of 2017.” Los Angeles, CA-based guitarist Patrick Sauber joined the Jaybirds in 2017. The veteran performer has played with, among others, Doc Watson, Richard Greene, John Jorgensen, Peter Rowan, Tim O’Brien and John Fogerty. He played on the 2016 Grammy-nominated album The Hazel and Alice Sessions by Laurie Lewis, and appeared in the film A Mighty Wind with Christopher Guest. Bluegrass Unlimited describes Patrick’s playing on John’s tune Daylighting the Creek as “a glorious flatpicking solo that hews back to the glory days of early bluegrass guitar.” Chilliwack, BC-based Trisha Gagnon is portrayed by Sing Out! as “one of the most versatile” and “irresistible” lead vocalists in bluegrass, her strong and distinctive style ranging from “mournful and plaintive” to “hopeful and yearning.” Trisha anchors what Dirty Linen magazine calls “gorgeous three-part harmonies.” She’s also known for songwriting, dating back to her early days with the award-winning B.C. bluegrass band Tumbleweed. Her solo album includes guests Vince Gill and Peter Rowan. Nanaimo, BC-based Nick Hornbuckle has developed his own voice on the five-string banjo – a two-finger roll unlike other contemporary banjo players. “Nick Hornbuckle’s banjo can be downright spine-tingling,” said the L.A Daily News. His solo album 12×2 ( /-1), was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award in 2015, and Nick is a composer who also digs for rare old-time gems. His sprightly instrumental Wellesley Station on the new Jaybird album “showcases Nick’s sharp picking and sense of melody,” said Green Man Review. Spokane, WA-based Greg Spatz is hailed as a “world-class bluegrass fiddler” by Fiddler Magazine. Audiophile Audition says Greg’s “virtuosic playing is flawlessly delivered time after time,” while Bluegrass Unlimited says he “lays down some seriously fine bluegrass fiddle” on the latest Jaybirds release. His strong chops have made him a popular fixture down through the years on the West Coast, where he’s played with iconic mandolinist Frank Wakefield, resophonic guitar master Rob Ickes, and many others including Laurie Lewis, Bryan Bowers, and Eli West and Cahalen Morrison. Greg also plays and records with Mighty Squirrel, has a solo album called Fiddler’s Dream and a duo recording with his wife called All Along the Sea, and is an award-winning novelist.Find out more »