Hailing from the Maritime town of Summerside, PEI, Nathan Wiley first earned acclaim for his 2002 debut Bottom Dollar, picking up an East Coast Music Award (ECMA) for Alternative Album of the Year in the process. He made good on the promise of that release with the ECMA-winning follow up High Low two years later. His blend of classic sounds with a modern, slightly world weary perspective struck a chord with listeners, as songs full of subtle melodies and lyrics addressing those unquenchable yearnings inside all of us wormed their way into their ears. The Steve Berlin-produced The City Destroyed Me followed, as well as the recently released Bandits EP and while he's not often seen off the Island, Nathan continues to play and record
Winners of the Best Young Songwriters award at the 2017 Toronto Independent Music Awards, the Under 18 award in the 2018 Canadian Songwriting Competition, and the Best Young Performer award at the 2017 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Moscow Apartment is driven by a mixture of sweet harmonies and belted refrains, acoustic shimmer and electric crunch, and the clever wordplay of multi-instrumentalists and versatile vocalists Brighid Fry and Pascale Padilla. The heart of their work is mature and exquisite songcraft, drawing on a source beyond their fifteen and sixteen years, but still linked to the dreams and worries of youth. Woven through with honeyed harmonies, their songs easily slip and shift through folk, pop, and punk to create a distinct kind of indie folk rock that moves your feet even as it catches in your throat. Following an initial creative explosion in 2017, momentum keeps building for the young duo: they made their Horseshoe Tavern debut as a part of Dan Burke/exclaim! magazine’s Class of 2018 series, and are thrilled to be working under the seasoned management of Jeff Rogers (Handsome Boy Records, Crash Test Dummies, Pursuit of Happiness, Lowest of the Low). This summer, new audiences across the country and the border will be let in on the secret many in Toronto already know, as Moscow Apartment tour western Canada supporting the Good Lovelies, and play in New York opening for Ron Hawkins. They're released the first single from their forthcoming LP in June 2018.
13 year old singing sensation Jody Upshaw Canada's own, from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Pushing the envelope with each performance, cover or track. Jody has performed all over the Halifax area like Nocturne Halifax, Natal Day Esso Youth Showcase, Teens Now Talk Expo and the UNI Gottingen St. Festival and has worked with multiple local artists including J-Bru, Shevy Price, Neon Dreams and Classified.
The eldest of three brothers, Elijah Will was raised in rural Nova Scotia. His may be a new name to those outside of Atlantic Canada but, at 23, he’s been honing his craft longer than most recent arrivals to the global stage. The path by which he has gotten here is as individual as his voice. Following an impulse purchase of a microphone at a dollar store, he and his brothers were soon making their own music. Elijah would reach out to producers and DJs online, receiving whatever free beats, loops, or stems were on offer and would afterward create his own combinations. When still in his teens, Elijah enrolled in Grammy-winner Gordie Sampson’s songwriting camp in Cape Breton. While there, he co-wrote with Kyle Mischiek and Carleton Stone a track titled “All The Time In The World”. Sampson’s manager shared the song with brothers Mike and Luke Boyd (Classified), who connected with the young artist, going on to exchange ideas and collaborate. Elijah would sing on Class’s 2015 track “Beautiful Escape” and, that same year, Mike Boyd’s “Street Lights”. Elijah’s personal connection to his audience is a vital component to being, as he puts it, “an open book” in expressing the universal emotions we all feel. While he draws on personal experience, Elijah resists the temptation to be overly literal or linear in his storytelling, leaving room for the listener to bring their own interpretations to the music. After four years of working with Classified and the Half Life Records team, Elijah Will has the experience, confidence, and backing of a strong musical family to now step out with music under his own banner. “Keep an open mind and be true to yourself,” he says, departing on a worldwide adventure.
If you’re into east coast music, chances are you’ve heard a Chris Kirby song or production lately. The Norris Arm, NL native has songs on recent records by Matt Andersen, The Once, Tim Chaisson, The East Pointers and much more. His song work in 2016 earned Kirby the inaugural MusicNL Ron Hynes Songwriter of the Year award. In 2107 Chris was nominated with co-writers The Once for International Folk Alliance Song of the Year award for The Once’s song “We Are Love." Kirby’s co-write with Matt Andersen, “Honest Man," was ranked #52 on the CBC Radio 2 top 100 songs of 2016. An in-demand producer in Atlantic Canada, Chris has produced award-winning works by Charlie A’Court, Keith Mullins, Kim Wempe, Brianna Gosse, Everglow and more. He has also self-produced two award-winning albums of his own. Kirby travels far and wide to make music: Nashville, Los Angeles, Netherlands, and even to Cuba, where he produced parts of Keith Mullins’“Island Sol” album at the famed EGREM studios. Between touring with Matt Andersen & the Bona Fide and his busy life as writer and producer, it’s no surprise that Kirby hasn’t had much time for his own music lately. But that’s about to change: with a stack of new songs and new inspirations, Chris Kirby promises a new album in the year ahead.
Baby God is a charming mess of indie rock, alt-country and folk comprised of duo Andrew Murray and Nathan Gill. You may know Andrew from his time with English Words, Sorrey, and Wildcat, and Nathan from Two Hours Traffic and the North Lakes. This project finds the two songwriters away from home having left various relationships and bands. Their self-titled debut album was recorded under string lights in Nathan’s living room in Toronto. It is an album of the idyllic, idols and idling. The song-first approach and lo-fi production values keeps their album candid and direct.
For over a decade, The Mellotones have been bringing their high-octane party to stages around the world. Lighting up dance floors wherever they go, the R&B Funk band is an 8-piece powerhouse. From weddings to festivals, or from sweaty late-night clubs to corporate events, their in-demand, energetic show provides the perfect atmosphere for any occasion. Combining powerful vocals, dynamic horns, and a groovy rhythm section with a catalogue that dives deep into the history of soul, funk, disco, and R&B music, The Mellotones recall an era dominated by the classics of Motown, Stax, and Chess Records. The members – Jeff Mosher (vocals/saxophone), Jody Lyne (trumpet), Eric Landry (trombone), Sean Weber (lead saxophone), Brad Conrad (guitar), Ian Mosher (keyboards), Mike Farrington Jr. (bass), and Damien Moynihan (drums) – are a remarkably tight unit. Equipped with a wealth of experience as road-tested session players and backup musicians for ECMA and JUNO Award winning artists, The Mellotones are a hard-working, well-oiled collection of some of the region’s best performers. Over their long career, the band has not only garnered a devoted fan base, but also the opportunity to sit-in with acts such as David Foster, Dan Akroyd, The Free Nationals, Nathan East, and even Dennis Rodman. In 2015, The Mellotones toured with renowned blues guitarist Matt Andersen as his backing band. Guaranteed to deliver a night of exceptional entertainment for the young and the young at heart, The Mellotones are a sure fire party hit ideal for any event. The Mellotones will act as Jarvis Church's Halifax All Star band at HUFF.
MAJOR LOVE is the moniker of Canadian songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Colleen Brown - and a new album featuring members of Scenic Route To Alaska, Jesse & the Dandelions, Elijah Abrams and producer Aaron Goldstein (Daniel Romano, Altameda). From Edmonton, Alberta by way of Kingston, Ontario, they've made an album of 'soulful pop-rock music for their hoser friends’. With versatile songs and a voice akin to Joni Mitchell, Colleen Brown is relentlessly unafraid. In 2015 she released her 4th solo studio album ‘Direction’ - co-produced by Joel Plaskett - topping college radio charts, and touring Canada, Germany and the UK. Kerry Doole of exclaim.ca says, "she is the rare vocalist that impresses equally on vibrant soul and quiet folk...traveling in Brown's Direction is one very pleasing trek." The self-titled debut album by Major Love will be released on Cowboy Junkies' imprint Latent Recordings Aug 24, 2018. The first two singles 'Tear It Down' and 'So Good' both charted on CBC Radio 2 Top 20.
Mixing pop rock elements with captivating harmony vocals, Fairgale is a mix of Oasis & Kings of Leon with 3-part harmonies that soar like The Eagles. Two lead vocalists with distinctly different voices allow for a fresh sound from one song to the next. Fairgale won the inaugural George Street 'Rock the Block' competition in 2015 and followed that up by releasing their Music NL nominated debut album 'Own the Light' in December of that year. Fairgale were nominated for Group of the Year at 2016's MusicNL Awards, and were chosen as a Regional Finalist in CBC's Searchlight competition. They have toured Atlantic Canada and shared the stage with acts such as Trooper, Sloan and Yukon Blonde. Fairgale released their sophomore album, "Pillars" in May of 2018.
Tanya Davis is a poet, musician, and performer currently based in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal. She has 4 albums and 2 books, including a hardcover by HarperCollins of the widely popular videopoem How to be Alone, a collaboration with Haligonian Andrea Dorfman. Tanya is a past poet laureate of Halifax and was the 2016 artist in residence with Dalhousie University's Faculty of Medicine. She is currently exploring new ways to merge music and poetry while teaching herself the drums and working on a book about union.
The son of East Coast legend John Allen Cameron, Stuart Cameron is one of Canada's most talented musicians. As well as playing in his own band - Toronto's The Heartbroken - he is a sought-after hired gun guitarist, playing regularly with Crash Test Dummies' Brad Roberts and Matthew Good. Stuart is also a familiar face in HUFF All Star bands, having played with Garland Jeffreys and David Pirner in the past...
Steve Poltz is not normal. He was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada) but lived most of his life in Southern California before moving to Nashville and those geographic poles are quite likely responsible for his unhinged genius. He is a dual citizen - Canada/USA - but has often said that, "should a hostage situation arise, I become conveniently Canadian." Over the course of his life he’s met Elvis Presley (who hugged his sister for far too long), trick or treated at Liberace’s house (each finger had a diamond ring), was Bob Hope’s favourite altar boy (according to him), bravely traveled the world busking before he knew how to do it, famously co-wrote “You Were Meant For Me” with Jewel, pissed off David Cassidy and can count some of the world’s coolest people as fans. He’s also an ex high school wrestler (98 pound class), an obsessed baseball fan, a yoga practitioner, a hopeless romantic, a smart-ass philosopher and a child-like adventurer/observer with an absurdist’s view of this crazy world and the various life-forms that inhabit it. He's interested in it all - the big and the small, the sublime and the ridiculous, the terrestrial and the cosmic. He doesn't just love life, he rides it bareback, naked, at a full gallop with one hand clenched deep in its mane and the other waving to anyone watching as he flies by. Time is ticking and he has work to do... As a recording artist, he’s fronted the semi-legendary Rugburns and is responsible for a critically lauded body of work on his own: One Left Shoe, Chinese Vacation, Answering Machine, The Barn (a children's album), Tales From The Tavern (a performance DVD), Traveling, Unraveling, Dreamhouse, Noineen Noiny Noin, the soundtrack for the acclaimed Sundance-screened documentary film, Running Wild - The Life of Dayton O. Hyde and his most recent offering, Folksinger. As good as his albums are (and they're very, very good), Steve positively owns a crowd when he's on stage, where the proverbial rubber hits the road. His shows are the stuff of legend – no two are alike – and can take an unsuspecting audience from laughter to tears and back again in the space of a single song. He is a master of improvisational songwriting and works without a set list to be free to react instantly to the mood of a room. It's also worth mentioning that he is an astonishing guitar player on top of everything else. He is quite possibly the most talented, and engaging, solo performer on this planet. That's what 250+ shows a year on three continents will do for you. Whether he's Canadian, or American, or simply from space, there's no denying there's only one Steven Joseph Joshua Poltz and to know him is to love him.
Ron Hawkins has long been revered as one of Canada’s greatest contemporary singer-songwriters. As lead singer/multi-instrumentalist and main songwriter of Canada’s legendary Lowest of the Low, Ron Hawkins has collected many accolades through the years: In 1996, 2000 and again in 2005, Chart Magazine honoured the group’s 1991 debut album, Shakespeare My Butt, with spots in the top 10 of the Top 100 Canadian Albums of All Time. In 2000 and once again in 2015, Hawkins was voted Songwriter of the Year by NOW Magazine’s reader’s poll. Also in 2000, Ron received Toronto station 102.1 The Edge’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2008 The Lowest of the Low was inducted into the Canadian Indie Rock Hall of Fame and awarded gold records for Shakespeare My Butt. Over the years, Ron has written and released four LOTL albums, five solo discs, three records with his band The Rusty Nails, and two with The Do Good Assassins. Do The Right Now is Ron’s 16th album of original material. Winnipeg Free Press “…the allure of these songs lies in Ron’s lyrics and conversational, observational storytelling style. Every song harbours a memorable line or three, and his narrators are middle-aged romantics who pine for youth and loves lost and remembered. I get these visions in my head and I go downtown and look for you, is a typical lament, while acknowledgement of what happens when the words you never should say meet the things you can never take back will be an evocation of time and place for many. Producer Joe Dunphy and the DGA do a splendid job of augmenting Hawkins’ tales, with strings, subtle horns, tasteful guitar all bringing colour to the palette without making it muddy, ponderous or overbearing. When Garden Songs is done, as it is all too quickly, you’ll find yourself playing it again to find out what else it might reveal. “ ~ John Kendle Toronto/Winnipeg/Ottawa/Edmonton/Calgary Sun-London Free Press-24 Hours-Vancouver “Armed with a sheaf of the Lowest of the Low leader’s bittersweet odes, lovelorn laments and sharp-witted ballads, they cut this disc live off the studio floor and mixed it all within a week. And why not? With songs and performances this magnificently magnetic, anything more would have been a waste of time.” ~ Daryl Sterdan Waterloo Record “Here he is with his other ace band, offering a live-off-the-floor collection of ballads and mid-tempo material. It’s what Hawkins does best, where his lyrics are given space to sink in, where the richness of his voice really shines, where cellos and accordions bring out more in his material than loud electric guitars do. The new material shows that he’s certainly not in a slump.” ~ Michael Barclay Wildy’s World/Amherst, NY“The album was recorded over the course of one week, and highlights Hawkins’ brilliance as a songwriter and lyricist. It also shows off The Do Good Assassins ability to bring those songs to life….listeners newly introduced to Hawkins will be stunned by what they hear. Garden Songs is a must have album. I’ll give it 5 stars, without reservation.” ~Wildy Haskell Exclaim! “The songs on this album were arranged and recorded in the space of a week, recorded live; it shows in the confident and laid-back energy of the band…an excellent ensemble. The intimacy of this album feels real, too; it’s a visit to Ron Hawkins’ musical neighbourhood.” ~Emily Zimmerman
Founded by singer/songwriters Paul Boudreau and Barry Walsh in 1992, by 1995 – after numerous personnel changes and a brief hiatus – Halifax quartet Cool Blue Halo found its firm footing with the arrival of bassist and vocalist Jason Ives and drummer Glenn MacCulloch. In 1996, with Halifax-based producer and engineer Laurence Currie behind the board, the band took to Idea of East Studios (where Currie was concurrently recording Sloan’s landmark “One Chord to Another” album) to record its first – and, to date, only – full-length album, Kangaroo, for Halifax indie label No Records. Released in June of 1996, the album appeared in the top 20 charts of campus radio stations across Canada and generated glowing reviews, with AllMusicGuide’s Gina Boldman, in her four-star review, calling it “one of the most refreshing power pop albums to surface in the past few years.” Videos for "Sweetie Said," “Too Much Kathleen” and “Take It Back Now” received considerable airplay on Canada’s music television cable network, MuchMusic and, rare for an indie band without major label backing, the singles also received strong airplay on commercial radio across Canada, with “Too Much Kathleen” appearing on the top 15 of Toronto FM station Q107, as well as hometown FM station Q104 in Halifax. Performing across Canada, the band would eventually sell close to 2,500 copies of Kangaroo before breaking up, with each member moving on to new musical projects, and various members moving away from Halifax. Now, just over 20 years after its initial release, Kangaroo has received a new lease on life via Toronto-based DWRecordings. Home to Michelle McAdorey’s Polaris Prize long-listed solo album, Into Her Future, the label has released an anniversary edition of Kangaroo on vinyl, on CD and through digital outlets. The band reunited for a special hometown show during the 20th anniversary edition of the Halifax Pop Explosion in 2012, and will do so again for the 2018 edition of the Halifax Urban Folk Festival - Cool Blue Halo's second gig in approximately 21 years!
" If Rock and Roll was walkin' down the street....it would be wearin' a Carmen Townsend T-Shirt" - Matt Andersen. Cape Breton's own Rock and Roll Valkyrie, Carmen Townsend, is a 4 time Music Nova Scotia Award winner. She was named Female Artist, New Artist Recording, Rock Recording and Album of the Year in 2011 and took home the ECMA for Rising Star Recording of the year. Upon the release of her debut album she was selected to support Heart on their 2011 Cross Canada Tour. She has performed her music all over the world. She is currently in Cape Breton laying low, playing shows and heading back into the studio to record some long-awaited new music.
Black Umfolosi were formed in 1982 by school friends in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, who named themselves after the Umfolozi Omnyama River in South Africa - to where their ancestors can be traced. In 2009 The Black Umfolosi 5 continue to present their spectacular songs and dances thrilling audiences worldwide with a NEW LINE-UP. Their performances are energy driven and completely engaging, mixing a great gentleness of spirit and song with an exuberance in dance. Their trademark harmonies mixed with intricate rhythms, clicking and clapping are highlighted during their brilliantly choreographed shows with a full range of movements from subtle to vibrant stomping and leaping! Their famous Gumboot Dances showcase the traditional styles and rituals of the South African mining regions and are a particular crowd-pleaser.
Jarvis Church bio History Gerald Eaton a.k.a. Jarvis Church is a Canadian R&B singer-songwriter and music producer, originally from Jamaica, currently living in Los Angeles. He is the lead singer for the R&B-pop group The Philosopher Kings, which reached its peak popularity in the late1990s. During the group's 7-year hiatus, Eaton began a solo career, releasing the album Shake it Off in 2002 under the stage name Jarvis Church, derived from two parallel streets in Toronto, Ontario. In 2008 Jarvis released his second solo album called "The Long way Home". In 2012 he released his 3rd solo album The Soul Station Vol 1: The songs of Sam Cooke, A Tribute. As a producer, in 1999 he discovered Nelly Furtado at the Honey Jam showcase in Toronto Canada and in 2001 he co-produced Nelly Furtado's debut album Whoa, Nelly! with his Philosopher Kings bandmate Brian West. In 2001 they were nominated for the producer of the year Grammy and went on to produce a variety of different tracks under the production name Track and Field. In 2004 Jarvis also discovered Canadian/Somalian rapper K'naan in Toronto and co-wrote and co-produced his first two albums, the Juno award winning, The Dusty Foot Philosopher and his sophomore release, Troubadour. The Philosopher Kings have reunited once again in 2018. They have a new single out called Still the One and are releasing a new album in In the fall with a national tour to follow in late 2018. Awards and Honors 1995 Juno award for best new group. The Philosopher Kings. 1996 Socan award for best urban music. The Philosopher Kings. 2001 Grammy nomination for producer of the year for Whoa Nelly, Nelly Furtado. 2002 Juno for producer of the year for Whoa Nelly, Nelly Furtado. 2005 Juno for best hip hop album, The Dusty Foot Philosopher, K'naan. 2005 Socan award for pop music, Powerless (say what you want), Folklore, Nelly Furtado. 2010 Socan number one award for Take a Minute, Troubadour, K'naan
PAPER BEAT SCISSORS w/ 6-PIECE CHAMBER ENSEMBLE Critically-lauded Halifax old-boy Tim Crabtree returns with his project Paper Beat Scissors to perform a one-off show supported by a 6-piece orchestral ensemble of Halifax's finest musicians performing arrangements written during a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in the winter of 2016. Paper Beat Scissors is the expanding and contracting experimental folk project of Montreal's relocated-Brit Tim Crabtree. His haunting voice, dynamic live shows and fusion of classical and electronic elements have been heralded on both sides of the Atlantic. Following the release of the highly-acclaimed self-titled debut album with Michael Feuerstack (Snailhouse/Bell Orchestre) producing and Arcade Fire drummer Jeremy Gara mixing the music found its way onto BBC and CBC airwaves and the cover CD of Rolling Stone Magazine in Germany. PBS has toured Canada and Europe, headlining festivals and sharing the stage with the likes of Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon/Red House Painters), Owen Pallett, Tanya Tagaq and Great Lake Swimmers. Since 2015 Crabtree has been performing with locally-based chamber ensembles and full symphony orchestras from coast to coast, most recently releasing a live album backed by a specially-commissioned 7-piece chamber ensemble recorded at Montreal’s Sala Rossa with musicians who have played with the likes of Björk, Rich Aucoin and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry.
With vocal stylings haunted by the soul singers of yesteryear, Laura Merrimen's songwriting is bona fide and captivating. She is an old soul who wears her Americana-drenched heart on her sleeve. Keeping true to her roots, she blends rock and roll know-how with catchy country/soul melodies and the result is a smokey, wistful trip down memory lane. Merrimen has a new self-produced album set for release this fall. She recorded in it Toronto's east end with engineer Brian Murray and band mates Jordan Nieuwhof and Jeff McClellan. "It's like Emmylou, T-Rex and Crazy Horse had a love child."
Dustin Bentall has made an indelible impression on the Canadian music scene touring extensively with icons Blue Rodeo, Sam Roberts Band, Matt Mays and many others as well as touring North America supporting internationally renowned folk legend John Prine. His latest album "You Are An Island" "breathes fresh air into the alt country back room... no small thanks to the whiskey-soaked, punk-dusted fiddling of Kendel Carson".. and the result is, "a tougher, more flamboyant breezing down a Prairie highway kind of album.. studded with quality lyrics in which Bentall becomes totally invested." Dustin has an energy and charm that is compelling, magnetic and completely authentic.
For nearly 30 years, Brad Roberts has been, "one of the most famous voices in Canadian rock and roll" (CBC). As the frontman for the JUNO Award-winning group Crash Test Dummies, Roberts underpinned the group's biggest hits such as "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" and "Superman's Song" with his unmistakable timbre and delivery. He has since struck out on his own for performances that include a healthy a dose of fan-favourites as well as new solo material. Brad will be accompanied by the HFX All Stars and the show will kick off with the Opening Songwriters' Circle featuring Lilly Hiatt, Tim Baker, and T. Thomason.