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Folk Alliance International 2017 Official Showcases

FAI’s annual event draws 2500 registrants from 20 countries to Kansas City and is known for its community atmosphere, business-networking opportunities, and as an industry hotspot for new talent discovery. The theme for the 2017 conference is Forbidden Folk, which is a celebration of activism in art and will feature Billy Bragg as the Keynote speaker.

#FolkAlliance #ForbiddenFolk #FAI2017

Belle Plaine (SK)

Belle Plaine (SK)

Belle Plaine is a singer/songwriter raised on the Canadian prairies near the hamlet of Fosston, Saskatchewan. Her brand of roots music combines vintage blues and swing tones of the 1940s with country styles made popular in the heyday of The Grand Ole Opry. Honest lyrics are her constant as she weaves together genres, and though it might not seem to work on paper, when you hear it you’ll know why she reveres artists who defy categorization. 
 
Showcases:
 
Thursday, February 16 at 3:00PM - 3:40PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529
Thursday, February 16 at 12:50AM - 1:10AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Friday, February 17 at 1:50AM - 2:10AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic room #554
Friday, February 17 at 11:00PM - 11:20PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529
Saturday, February 18 at 10:30PM - 10:50PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Belle Plaine (SK)
Big Little Lions (BC)

Big Little Lions (BC)

Big Little Lions are the award winning band from Cincinnati, OH and BC, Canada born out of a collaboration that won them a JUNO Award in 2014. Ever since they have been cranking out infectious folk pop songs that are jam-packed with emotion along with tight harmonies that sound like the product of two people working closely and side-by-side instead of living in different countries.
 
"The conviviality and charm that are palpable in these 12 tunes sound like the product of two people working closely and side-by-side. But, then again, the natural pairing of Austin and Otten is an indication that distance is just a number, one that can't hold back real musical camaraderie. Big Little Lions' A Little Frayed, A Little Torn is a jubilant collection of folk-pop songcraft." PopMatters.com

After winning Ensemble of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards for their 2015 debut album they released their sophomore album, Just Keep Moving, which has garnered attention from many CBC and College radio stations as well as blogs and magazines. The album was nominated for two 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards - Contemporary Album and Vocal Group of the Year.

"It's the cohesiveness, too, of Frayed that buoys the album as one of the finest and most organic releases of 2015." - Popdust.com
 
Showcase Times:

Thursday, February 16 at 2:00PM - 3:00PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round” - Governors Suite #529
Thursday, February 16 at 10:30PM - 10:50PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite# 529
Friday, February 17 at 12:50AM - 1:05AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Friday, February 17 at 1:30AM - 1:50AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite# 529
Saturday, February 18 at 2:10AM - 2:25AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Big Little Lions (BC)
Darwin Baker (MB)

Darwin Baker (MB)

A musical and literal jack-of-all-trades, Darwin Baker may be found engineering a record, renovating a house from top to bottom, sitting in as a side man on harmonica or any number of string/slide instruments, building a log cabin, or touring the world with his group The Crooked Brothers (who he also manages). While the Bros are on sabbatical (after 10 years of regular touring), Baker is working on his first solo record with plans to release in late 2017. Hailing from Winnipeg, the middle of the Great White North, his solo set sees him primarily on guitar, combining elements of blues, rock & roll, ragtime, folk, and country into a modern yet timeless blend that can only be called Canadiana. Trying to find a delicate balance while living both a road-man and a working-man’s life, an urban and a country life, is what inspires Baker to keep making music, to keep travelling, and to keep building.
 
Showcases:
 
Thursday, February 16 at 11: 30PM - 11:50PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Friday, February 17 at 2:00PM - 2:40PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529
Saturday, February 18 at 11:10PM - 11:30 PM – BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554           

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Darwin Baker (MB)
Harpdog Brown & The Travelin' Blues Show (BC)

Harpdog Brown & The Travelin' Blues Show (BC)

HE'S BEEN CALLED A BLUES EVANGELIST
 

And Blues Evangelist is a very fitting moniker.  "I speak the blues like it's the truth, and it is" he was recently quoted.  "I do feel like I'm a servant of the people.  And I do heal people if they pay attention to the good messages in the songs I choose."  He delivers those messages in the traditional sound of early electric blues.  Think of the old Chess Records and Sun Records of the late 40's and early 50's.  Harpdog says "Blues has a healing power.  It's a beautiful celebration of our perfectly flawed lives.  We help people forget about their issues of the moment and then they realize that we all have our issues, and that's ok."

Vancouver-based Harpdog Brown was born in Edmonton in 1962, an adopted child who has felt somewhat detached his whole life - "a lifelong battle of not feeling like I belonged.  I think I was born for the circus, you know, born to travel.  The blues tapped me on the shoulder years ago and said 'this is where you belong, son'.  So the blues became my circus and there's no better way to travel than with a classic blues band!"

They love the traditional early electric blues sound and they perform that style with authenticity.  Some call it a Chicago Blues sound.  Harpdog calls it Classic Blues.  Late 40's and early 50's vintage electric blues.  They perform mostly originals yet they often include great songs of the masters from that era.  Think Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed and of course, Muddy Waters.  Audiences say that they love hearing that lo-fi vinyl sound live on stage.  They do it all while using vintage gear as well.
 

Harpdog Brown is a gifted vocalist and an imaginative harmonica player.  Guitarist Jordie Edmonds plays a lowdown understated style yet has plenty of flash when needed.  Doghouse bass player Pat Darcus drives the engine with his percussive style.  The Travelin' Blues Show sometimes includes other guest musicians that befit the band and situation such as sought-after drummer Andy Graffiti.  Regardless of the incarnation you see, this show is unique, refreshing and leaves audiences feeling good and wanting more.
 

He is a two-time Maple Blues Award Winner (2014 and 2015), Fraser Valley Music Award Winner, two-time Western Canadian Music Awards Nominee, Juno Nominee and the only Canadian to win the coveted Muddy Award.  In case you haven’t heard, he’s been nominated for 3 Maple Blues Awards (Harmonica Player, Male Vocalist and Album of the Year) for his latest release Travelin’ With The Blues.  The album features a duet with Charlie Musselwhite and was produced by the Beale Street Blues Bopper himself, Little Victor with guest appearances from Kid Andersen, Big John Atkinson and more. 

The band is juried to showcase at Blues Summit in Toronto, then off to compete at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, representing the White Rock Blues Society, followed by another juried showcase at Folk Alliance in Kansas. 

His recent album release Travelin' With The Blues is quickly gaining momentum on roots and blues charts and follows his Top 20 charting 2014 release What It Is (Roots Music Report International Blues Albums).

Showcase Times:
 
Thursday, February 16 at 12:30AM - 12:45PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Thursday, February 16 at 2:30AM - 2:50AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529
Friday, February 17 at 2:10AM - 2:25AM: BreakOut West showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Saturday, February 18 at 3:00PM - 4:00PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round” - Governors Suite #529
Saturday, February 18 at 12:00AM - 12:20AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Harpdog Brown & The Travelin' Blues Show (BC)
In With the Old (SK)

In With the Old (SK)

Northern Saskatchewan's In With The Old seamlessly combines raw talent and prairie comraderie with a passion and respect for the music from the past. Young and dedicated, they put a unique twist on folk, bluegrass, classic country and strange 60's sounds through gifted harmonies, outstanding musicianship, and infectious songwriting. 
 
Showcases:
 
Thursday, February 16 at 2:00PM - 2:40PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529
Thursday, February 16 at 2:00AM - 2:20AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529
Friday, February 17 at 11:10PM - 11:30PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Saturday, February 18 at 2:00PM - 2:40PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529
Saturday, February 18 at 1:10AM - 1:30AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554

Artist Website
  • Get Social with In With the Old (SK)
IsKwé (MB)

IsKwé (MB)

Named one of the ‘Top 10 Artists to Watch in 2016’ by CBC Music, IsKwé (which means ‘woman’ in her native language) is fostering an unmistakable sound that weaves together her Irish and Cree/Dené roots with poignant politically charged lyrics, dark soulful R&B rhythms, electronic flourishes, and trip hop breakbeats.
 
Bridging cross-cultural aesthetics while exploring her own struggle to both fit into and breakaway from modern Western archetypes has been an important part of IsKwé’s artistic vision since the release of her self-titled debut album in late 2013. Her debut single “Nobody Knows”, which was produced by JUNO Award nominees The Darcys and is currently being featured in the Netflix series Between, captivated audiences by turning a stark spotlight on the more than 1200 missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. The song, which perfectly paired IsKwé’s signature downtempo tones with harsh reality, revealed an artist whose true beauty and undeniable appeal lies in her ability to find strength in the weight of her emotions.
 
Unafraid to challenge the convictions of her detractors by honouring her heritage, standing steadfast in her viewpoints, and embracing her sexuality, IsKwé’s artistry knows no bounds. Blending soulful, breathlessly delivered lyrics that are coloured by the many shades of human nature with a sonic palette that takes its queue from the shadowy atmospherics of the 1990s Bristol sound, IsKwé’s music revels in her strength of self and that is her true rallying cry.
 
Showcases:
 
Thursday, February 16 at 10:15PM: Washington Park Place II & III (Official)
Friday, February 17 at 12:00AM - 12:20AM - BreakOut West ShowcaseGovernors Suite #529

Artist Website
  • Get Social with IsKwé (MB)
Jake Vance (BC)

Jake Vance (BC)

"At 20 years old, Jake Vance is a young, up-and-coming singer/songwriter whose background is in piano, bass, guitar, songwriting and vocals

Growing up in a musical family in Southern Alberta, Jake is a burgeoning artist in the Canadian music scene.

Multitalented, Jake writes all his own music and lyrics as well as playing guitar and piano.

So far in 2016, Jake has completed the Artist Entrepreneur Program at CMI in Toronto, and played the TD Green Room at the 2016 Juno Awards. He was also a top 10 regional finalist in the CBC Searchlight competition. In September he performed at Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival after being chosen as one of the winners of the Emerging Artist Mentorship Program.

Jake's first EP ""White Elephant"" (2015) charted on several Canadian college stations reaching as high as #4 in both Alberta and Ontario

Jake has just completed his second EP, titled “Eden” with Russell Broom producing. It was released on May 27th 2016. The first single “The Poet” has been receiving airplay in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, it has also been selected as a top 10 finalist in Jango’s Songwriting Contest and a semi-finalist in the Unsigned Only Songwriting Competition. In September, ""Eden""  was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award and ""The Poet"" is currently being featured on TDMusic.com.
 
Showcases
 
Thursday, February 16 at 12:10AM - 12:25AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Friday, February 17 at 12:30AM - 12:50AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529
Saturday, February 18 at 3:00PM - 4:00PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529
Saturday, February 18 at 12:50AM - 1:05AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Jake Vance (BC)
JP Hoe (MB)

JP Hoe (MB)

Ottawa’s National Arts Centre or the Shrewsbury Folk Festival in England. A raucous rhythm section or a deft string ensemble. JP Hoe is a singer songwriter who continues to share his engaging brand of folk rock in one form or another. Over the years he’s brought the show to Australia, the United States, Iceland, Germany, England, and coast to coast in Canada, and he wants more. His hometown Hoe Hoe Hoe Holiday Show has grown to fill the 1600 person historic Burton Cummings Theatre, and his most recent release, Hideaway (Cadence Music Group), is receiving praise across the planet including a year’s worth of daily rotation on CBC Radio 2, with host Tom Power calling Hoe, “The next Gordon Lightfoot”. Though you’ll happily find him in an airport or tour van, coming home to the frozen prairies is his favourite destination of them all.

 

Showcases:
 
Thursday, February 16 at 3:00PM - 3:40PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529
Friday, February 17 at 2:00AM - 2:20AM: BreakOut West Showcase – Governors Suite #529
Saturday, February 18 at 8:30PM: Benton's 20th Floor (Official)

Artist Website
  • Get Social with JP Hoe (MB)
Karpinka Brothers (SK)

Karpinka Brothers (SK)

The Karpinka Brothers third album since 2008, You Can Count On Me, won Best Album of the year in Planet S Magazine’s Reader’s Poll. They recently returned from two weeks in Montreal recording their fourth album, Talk Is Cheap, with Grammy-nominated musician, engineer, and producer Howard Bilerman (Leonard Cohen, Arcade Fire) at his legendary Hotel2Tango studio. 
They have shared the stage with songwriters as diverse as Gordon Lightfoot, Andy Shauf, and Tom Wilson. They’ve performed at the Regina Folk Festival, and Gateway Festival, and completed a coast to coast Canada tour, ending with four shows in New York City. They are currently gearing up for a fall album release and tour. 
 
Showcases:
 
Thursday, February 16 at 11:10PM - 11:30PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Friday, February 17 at 3:00PM - 3:40PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529
Friday, February 17 at 1:00AM - 1:20AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529
Saturday, February 18 at 10:30PM - 10:50PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Saturday, February 18 at 12:30AM - 12:50AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Karpinka Brothers (SK)
Kayla Luky (MB)

Kayla Luky (MB)

Singer/songwriter Kayla Luky lives in Grandview, Manitoba, a small farming community nestled between the Riding and Duck Mountains.  This unique setting gives her country sound absolute authenticity.
 
Luky has played shows all over Manitoba, and toured Western and Eastern Canada a few times over, along with such events as Folk Alliance International, Folk Music Ontario, North by Northeast, Indie Week, Dauphin’s Countryfest, Home Routes, Harvest Moon Festival, Harvest Sun Music Festival, Prairie Winds Festival, and Shine On Festival of Music and Art.
 
After much positive response to Kayla Luky’s last albums The Time It Takes (2011) and Kayla & Ben (2013) she decided to further cultivate her music by working with award winning producer Murray Pulver (Doc Walker, Steve Bell, The Bros. Landreth.) The end result is Back To Dirt (2017) featuring 12 new tracks soaked in alcohol, dirt and sorrow, honouring the roots of real country music.
 
Showcases:
 
Thursday, February 16 at 1:10AM - 1:30AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Friday, February 17 at 10:50PM -11:10PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Saturday, February 18 at 3:00PM - 3:40PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529
Saturday, February 18 at 1:00AM - 1:20AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Kayla Luky (MB)
Ken Stead (AB)

Ken Stead (AB)

Ken Stead is an artist whose goal is to connect with people.  Ken Stead is an Edmonton-based folk-roots singer/songwriter whose fan base has been growing rapidly since the release of his latest album “Fear Has No Place Here”. Ken has toured Canada extensively in support of the album, and has been an  artist at the Edmonton Folk Festival, Canmore Folk Festival, North County Fair and Come By The Hills. Ken has also garnered extensive radio play on CBC Radio and College Radio nationally.  Kens vulnerability and willingness to give everything he has on stage is what sets this singer/songwriter apart.
 
Showcase
 
Thursday, February 16 at 1:30AM - 1:50AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529
Friday, February 17 at 10:30PM - 10:50PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529
Saturday, February 18 at 1:30AM - 1:45AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Ken Stead (AB)
Kimberly MacGregor (AB)

Kimberly MacGregor (AB)

"Kimberley MacGregor is an Edmonton, Alberta-based singer-songwriter who believes that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that whisky is a health tonic. She lovingly crafts and passionately performs songs that will move your heart, change your mind, and stomp your feet. With her band, she can rock a festival crowd at any time of day or night; solo, she can deliver an intimate acoustic performance that never fails to captivate an entire room. Reminiscent of Susan Tedeschi and meeting Etta James head-on, her voice and energy will change how you experience modern music.

Kimberley started 2016 with a triumphant bang, winning Female Artist of the Year at the Edmonton Music Awards for the second consecutive year. She delivered several noteworthy performances in 2016, including The Mayors Celebration of the Arts, The Works Arts and Design Fest, Late Night Cabaret at Edmonton Fringe Fest, the EMA’s at The Winspear Centre and Folk Alliance in Kansas City.

Kimberley released her sophomore album, “I Am My Own”, in October 2015 and garnered national press coverage, and great reviews. In addition to being heard on CBC and CKUA, the album charted across Canada, holding steady for several weeks in the Earshot National Top Ten Folk/Roots/Blues Charts.

Kimberley is committed to getting her music in front of new audiences, and has been on the road for much of 2016, including a Western Canadian tour, in which she played 20 shows in 18 cities over 18 days.  She will be completing a 5 week Musicians Residence at The Banff Centre for the Arts in late fall 2016. The focus of the residency will be material for her next album, with plans to return to the studio in 2017.
 
Showcase
 
Friday, February 17 at 11:50PM - 12:05AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Saturday, February 18 at 2:00AM - 2:20AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Kimberly MacGregor (AB)
Leanne Goose (NT)

Leanne Goose (NT)

Leanne Goose, is a big voice from Canada's Arctic town of Inuvik. She is a multi-nominated Indigenous singer/songwriter, entertainer and arts/cultural manager. 

She grew up playing music since the age of 12 and is committed to a thriving and diverse musical landscape of live performing artists telling our story.

What’s different about Leanne is her brand of Canadian Country-Blues that is a reflection of contemporary culture and geographical obstacles that have been a both a barrier and a catalyst in her career.

Leanne’s style is a combination of storytelling and music with influences of contemporary Inuvialuit (In-oo-vee-al-oo-it) and Dené culture, a style that is reflective of the Canadian Western Arctic.
 
Showcases:
 
Friday, February 17 at 10:30PM – 10:50PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Leanne Goose (NT)
Leonard Podolak (MB)

Leonard Podolak (MB)

The musical resume of Canadian banjo virtuoso Leonard Podolakis impressive. His well-crafted showmanship has placed him performing live shows with internationally acclaimed acts such as Oyster Band, Show of Hands, Los Lobos, Bela Fleck and more. As a founding member of Canadian acclaimed eclectic roots music band, The Duhks, he picked up a JUNO Award and Grammy Awards nod as. But after 15 years of heading The Duhks, the band members are pursuing individual and exciting new projects.

2016 was busy for Podolak, with tours of the U.S., as well as stops in Ireland with New Road (featuring piper Leonard Barry and multi-instrumentalists Seamie O'Dowd and Rick Epping). Podolak is busier than ever juggling new fatherhood, multiple musical projects that include Dry Bones (trio project with JD Edwards and Nathan Rogers), as well as a violin and banjo duo with Irish fiddler Matt Gordon, not to mention taking the helm as executive director of innovative Canadian not-for-profit, Home Routes / Chemin Chez Nous

Showcases:
 
Thursday, February 16 at 1:50AM - 2:10AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Saturday, February 18 at 2:00PM - 2:40PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Leonard Podolak (MB)
Leonard Sumner (MB)

Leonard Sumner (MB)

Leonard Sumner (aka Lorenzo) is an Anishinaabe MC from the Little Saskatchewan First Nation located in Interlake Region of Manitoba. He provides perspective from a voice often unheard and over-looked in the traditional music communities: truthful, insightful, and providing a new sound straight from 'the Rezzy'. His music is best described as a fusion of hip hop, country and rhythm & blues. His lyrics are both intricate and honest, combined with his heart, message into a raspy flow that growls with the bittersweet existential angst of Reservation Indian. On stage, he captivates crowds with a guitar slung over his shoulder, singing and rhyming to the beats, allowing his style to be enjoyed by people who typically 'aren't into rap'.

 

Showcases:
 
Friday, February 17 at 7:00PM: Perishing South Ballroom (Official)
Friday, February 17 at 12:10AM - 12:30AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Saturday, February 18 at 11:00PM - 11:20PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529
Saturday, February 18 at 1:50AM - 2:10AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Leonard Sumner (MB)
Lion Bear Fox (BC)

Lion Bear Fox (BC)

Vancouver’s Lion Bear Fox, who derived their name from connection with their “spirit animals”, Christopher Arruda, Cory Woodward and Ryan McMahon craft compelling, honest stories that they convey with passionate commitment.

Described as “a musical force of nature” that’s sure to “be around for a lifetime” (Nanaimo Daily News/Terry David Mulligan), the three men, known initially for solo careers, joined forces in 2012 and were soon after selected as one of the top 20 unsigned bands in British Columbia by the Peak Performance Project.

In the fall of 2013 the band released their self-produced breakthrough EP We’d Be Good Men. “We knew we wanted to use the opportunity to mould the sound and aesthetic from scratch using the songs we’d decided to record,” Cory (The Bear) explained in an interview in BC Musician. “A decision was made very early on to remove all ego from the production process. Nothing was taken off the table; we tried everything, no matter how silly, crazy or counterproductive it seemed…we really wanted to stand apart, sonically speaking.”

They toured relentlessly for the next two years, with appearances at Canadian Music Week (Toronto), Contact East (PEI), OSAC (Regina), the Mission Folk Festival and The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, amongst many others, and they’ve shared stages with artists including Tom Wilson, Good For Grapes, Elliot Brood and Kim Mitchell.

“All three artists are known for the passion they bring to their performances and the honest songs they write,” enthused the Ladysmith Chronicle, “and they have succeeded in creating gripping, dynamic songs while capturing a sincerity rarely heard this side of the 2000s”.  

In 2016 Lion Bear Fox further cemented their growing status as a new Canadian band to watch, and with the help of friend and producer Nygel Asselin (Half Moon Run), the trio spent ten days in the Vancouver Island wilderness crafting ‘the record of their lives’, a collection of songs steeped in character and full of warmth.  

One part folk, one part rock, with a pinch of gospel and a dash of growl, their self-titled LP is a testament to the trio’s strength as songwriters.  Lush acoustic guitars are bookended by buzzing electrics and screaming organs, anchored by rich percussion and three voices in thrilling harmony; it’s a sound that harkens back to an era when the song was paramount.

Christopher (The Lion) says, of the album’s genesis, “At the beginning we definitely took a softer, more ‘folk’ approach because we were three dudes singing with acoustic guitars.  As our touring began to refine our roles and our live show became more explosive, we thought we’d be a heavier bluesy-rock act.  More recently, we had taken a really polished full-band pop-approach during some demos last year. This growing process was interesting, exciting and at times, painful.”  

When asked how he perceives the new album, Ryan (The Fox) responds “This was a big undertaking for us all - our producer Nygel included - and it certainly marks a shift in sound and seriousness for Chris, Cory and myself.  When we use the phrase ‘record of our lives,’ we’re not kidding.  It’s the most important work I’ve ever been a part of in 17 years of calling myself a musician, and I’m very proud of the result that has come from the hard work we all put in.”

Showcase Times:

Thursday, February 16at 10:50PM - 11:05PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554

Thursday, February 16 at 12:30AM  -12:50AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529

Friday, February 17 at 2:00PM - 3:00PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round” - Governors Suite #529

Friday, February 17 at 11:30PM - 11:50PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529

Saturday, February 18th 

Saturday, February 18 at 11:30PM - 11:45PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Lion Bear Fox (BC)
Maria Dunn (AB)

Maria Dunn (AB)

A true preserver of the spirit of folk music, past Juno nominee Maria Dunn is often compared to Woody Guthrie for her keen social awareness and unvarnished songs about ordinary people.

In April 2016, Maria released her sixth album, Gathering, produced by Shannon Johnson (of Juno-winning band The McDades). In keeping with Pete Seeger’s words (1994), “The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known”, Gathering highlights stories of love—not typical songs of romantic love, but songs of family, community, humanity and the love that knits us together and fires our actions to make the world a better place. The songs range from historical and narrative to personal and immediate, inspired by social justice stories both global (Malala, When The Grandmothers Meet) and local (How I Live, When I Was Young).

Maria performs (solo, duo, trio) at theatres, folk clubs, conferences and festivals across Canada and internationally. She has been featured on Canadian TV, CBC National Radio, CKUA Alberta Radio, BBC Radio Scotland, and her original songs published in Sing Out! and Penguin Eggs magazines and the Rise Again songbook (2015). Other artists, including Niamh Parsons, The Outside Track and Bob Bossin, have recorded her original songs.

Recent performance highlights include a three-week tour of UK folk clubs in November 2015, following her Irish debut in October 2015, opening three concerts for the legendary Andy Irvine (Sweeney’s Men, Planxty, Patrick Street).
In Summer 2016, Maria Dunn Trio performed at Canmore and Bear Creek Folk Festivals.

An arrestingly powerful singer-songwriter who writes great historical and social commentary. -  WFMT Chicago

A wonderful collection of new songs from one of our most important and vital songwriters… Essential listening, then, this Gathering. – Roddy Campbell, Penguin Eggs Magazine

Showcase

Thursday, February 16 at 10:30PM - 10:45PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554

Saturday, February 18 at 2:00PM - 3:00PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Maria Dunn (AB)
Mariel Buckley (AB)

Mariel Buckley (AB)

"Buckley's clear vocals shine with honesty and a touch of darkness, establishing her as an original and confident voice on the alt-country scene." - Anna Alger, Exclaim!

Few performers combine the lyrical heartfelt authenticity of classic country music with a steely eyed intensity that compels an audience’s attention like Calgary, Alberta’s Mariel Buckley. Amidst a sea of neon-Nashville superstars, Buckley offers a crunchy, roots alternative.

A veteran live performer, with an appearance at Calgary Folk Music Festival to her credit, Buckley deftly matches her stark and haunting narratives of real-life struggle with a brassy wit that sets her apart from her contemporaries in its fearlessness. Her strengths as a songwriter are exemplified by her self-titled EP, and full-length debut Motorhome, hailed by No Depression as, “a new Loretta Lynn, speaking her mind, joking, flirting, ruminating, like Loretta did on some of her classic songs.”

Currently in pre-production for a new full-length album with producer Leeroy Stagger, Mariel Buckley’s skills as a songwriter and performer continue to impress new listeners while her long-time supporters look on with an assured understanding that they knew the depth of her talents from the beginning.
 
Showcases
 
Thursday, February 16 at 11:50PM -12:05AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Friday, February 17 at 2:30AM - 2:50AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529
Saturday, February 18 at 1:30AM - 1:50AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Mariel Buckley (AB)
The Northern Beauties (AB)

The Northern Beauties (AB)

Wielding an unmistakable brand of Western Folk, CalgaryAlberta’s Northern Beauties have now carved their name into the western Canadian musical landscape. The vocal harmonies of Todd Stewart and Craig Aikman are as big as their ambitions, the band capped off a remarkable year since releasing their debut EP in the spring of 2015. The EP charted on National College stations and Alberta’s CKUA Radio in 2015 which kicked off a series of local shows that built the band a reputation as a must see live act in Alberta.  This attention soon earned them a spot in the Calgary Folk Music Festival’s 2016 Block Heater Winterfest; a showcase in Music Calgary’s “SoundOff III”; a live performance broadcast on CBC’s Key of A, a feature performance for JUNO Fest and inclusion in the 2016 Calgary Folk Music Festival. The band was also honored with a 2016 Western Canadian Music Award for Roots Group/Duo of the Year and a pair of Calgary Music Award nominations for Singer/Songwriter of the year and the award for Roots/Folk recording of the year. The second full length album will be recorded in the early winter of 2017 with a summer release and Western Canadian tour to follow.
Showcase
 
Thursday, February 16 at 1:30AM - 1:45AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Friday, February 17 at 11:30PM - 11:45PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Saturday, February 18 at 11:30PM - 11:50PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529

Artist Website
  • Get Social with The Northern Beauties (AB)
Over the Moon (AB)

Over the Moon (AB)

Over The Moon came to be when multi-instrumental/vocalist Suzanne Levesque (ACMA Award winner...bassist/vocalist for The Travelling Mabels) & Craig Bignell (multiple CCMA Award winner...music director/percussionist for Susan Aglukark), met, fell in love, got married and discovered that their voices blended so well together that people often teared up when hearing them sing. Musician friends and colleagues encouraged them to pursue this duo project as their music was so unique and moving.

"We love to write and record our own songs and to create arrangements of covers in a way that they focus on our vocal blend and the beautiful sound of our many acoustic instruments".  "During our shows, we like to approach the audience as if they were a room full of friends, rather than a slick overly staged show, by sharing humorous  stories of our adventures on the road and sometimes the even bigger adventures of our life at home on a ranch south of Longview AB" "It's funny, that by then end of the show, most of the people are new friends :)"

Now with the simplicity offered by two people/ two vocals/ an array of acoustic  instruments, playing roots-based songs that feature their blending vocals, they’re quickly becoming a highly regarded and sought after act here in Alberta and beyond.

Over The Moon... Uncluttered, Simple and Sweet
 
Showcase
 
Thursday, February 16 at 3:00PM - 4:00PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529
Saturday, February 18 at 12:10AM - 12:25AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Over the Moon (AB)
Poor Nameless Boy (SK)

Poor Nameless Boy (SK)

Poor Nameless Boy leaves a piece of himself on stage every time he performs. His mellow sound is personal, singing honestly about love, life, and our changing hearts in a busy world. His third album “Bravery” has turned industry and music lovers’ heads, debuting nationally at #2 on Canadian folk charts. 

 Showcases:

 Thursday, February 16 at 2:10AM - 2:30AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Thursday, February 16 at 12:00AM - 12:20AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529
Friday, February 17 at 2:00PM - 2:40PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529
Friday, February 17 at 11:50PM - 12:10AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Poor Nameless Boy (SK)
Rebecca Lappa (AB)

Rebecca Lappa (AB)

Whether playing an intimate concert or on a Festival stage, 5X CFMA nominee Rebecca Lappa is loving every minute of her musical journey. With a haunting voice and elegant lyrics she delivers story songs inspired by history, poetry and life events, spun with romance, fantasy & intelligent wit.  In short, she’s resurrecting the art of the 'Folktale' and making it accessible & hip again! Rebecca was honored to win Young Performer of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards for  “Tattered Rose”.   She’s also won Adult Alternative Recording of the Year @ the 2015 Edmonton Music Awards, Sonic Youth @ the 2013 & 2015 Calgary Folkfest Songwriting Contests, Shine My Demo @ 2015 SongRise Conference & the CN Youth Artist Award @ the 2014 Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts.  

Rebecca is excited to release her Folk-Rock CD, Reckless Heart, produced by Russell Broom in November 2016.  It was funded by Factor Juried Sound Recording Grant.  She is in her 2nd year of a Bachelor of Music program at MacEwan University.  She performs as a soloist or as Rebecca and The Revelry, with a bassist and drummer.   She’s managed by Laurie Brown of Porch Swing Entertainment.
 
Showcase
 
Thursday, February 16 at 2:00PM - 3:00PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529
Saturday, February 18 at 10:50PM - 1:05PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Rebecca Lappa (AB)
Roger Roger (MB)

Roger Roger (MB)

Roger Roger is a sibling folk/roots duo from Winnipeg, Canada. Twins Lucas and Madeleine Roger are both singer/songwriters who have joined forces, each playing guitar and shamelessly harmonizing all over each other’s songs. The offspring of producer/engineer/musician Lloyd Peterson, the twins have a knack for songwriting that must have something to do with growing up in a recording studio.
They each bring their expansive creativity to the project, wholeheartedly embracing their differences by fusing her magnetic sweetness alongside his unruly charm. Roger Roger is easily remembered for the blend of their vocals, their genuine vibe, and their exquisite storytelling.

Their debut album Fairweather (released January 2016) reached the No. 1 spot on the Canadian folk/roots/blues charts, and saw them zigzagging across Canada for the year, playing over 90 shows at Canadian folk festivals, house concerts, and folk clubs.
 
Showcases:
 
Thursday, February 16 at 2:30AM - 2:50AM: BreakOut West showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Saturday, February 18 at 2:30AM - 2:50AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Roger Roger (MB)
Scott Cook (AB)

Scott Cook (AB)

"A roots balladeer with a rare personal warmth, Canada's Scott Cook has managed to distil the stories collected over a decade of near-incessant touring across Canada, the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia into straight-talking, keenly observant verse.  Road-worn, painfully honest, and deeply human, his tunes weave threads of folk, roots, blues, soul and country over spacious fingerstyle guitar and clawhammer banjo arrangements.  His fourth release, One More Time Around, was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, and its opening track ""Pass It Along"" won the Folk and Acoustic category in the 2013 UK Songwriting Contest, with UK magazine Maverick Country naming him ""one of Canada's most inspiring and imaginative storytellers"".  He's currently touring around the world in support of his fifth album, Scott Cook and the Long Weekends Go Long, and preparing to release his sixth album, Further Down the Line, in early 2017.  Cook is one of the hardest-working DIY troubadours on the road today, averaging over 160 gigs and a dozen festivals every year since 2007.  All the hard miles notwithstanding, he still believes that songs can change your life, and your life can change the world.

""Scott Cook has distilled his travels down into songs powered by a sharp eye for imagery, a healthy dose of humanity, and that unforgettable voice, that at the same time intones the rigors of the road and the most comfortable couch you have ever slept on."" -David Francey, 3x Juno-winning songwriter

""There's nothing flash about Canada's Cook. He sings his heart and soul, and in doing so lets light flood into your own... He has a good eye for imagery, a gentle human touch, a wry sense of humour, a whole lot of integrity, a warm, rugged voice and a bunch of memorable lines... Truly one of Woody Guthrie's children."" -David Burke, R2 Magazine"
 
Showcase
 
Thursday, February 16 at 11:00PM - 11:20PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Friday, February 17 at 2:30AM - 2:45AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554

Artist Website
  • Get Social with Scott Cook (AB)
The Doll Sisters (AB)

The Doll Sisters (AB)

"Hailing from the rolling foothills of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, The Doll Sisters are a fiery Celtic Americana duo who weave haunting harmonies and stellar songwriting together to create a high-energy live show for their audience. As skillful multi-instrumentalists on guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and bodhrán, Jenna Leigh and Shelby Doll tirelessly strive to push the boundaries of female musicianship. Fusing influences from their rich Irish and Scottish heritage with elements from roots and rock, they have created a signature sound that is uniquely their own. The girls' music and performances have drawn them comparisons ranging from Heart to Alison Krauss to The Civil Wars. Audiences everywhere are smitten with the sweet and salty juxtaposition the Doll Sisters present. Rankin-esque harmonies, unorthodox bodhran and unbridled vocals are only a few of the show stopping moments that fans have come to expect from this fierce duo.

The Doll Sisters are honoured to have been awarded the 2015 Edmonton Folk Music Festival’s 'Emerging Artist of the Year' Award, and are two-time nominees for ACMA's Duo/Group of the Year award in 2013 and 2014. As past Canadian Folk Music Award nominees, they have had the honour of sharing stages with the likes of Paul Brandt, Clayton Bellamy, The Good Lovelies, Coig, Cindy Church, & Lisa Brokop, to name a few. Their growing resumé consists of multiple folk festivals, including the acclaimed Edmonton Folk Music Festival and Canmore Folk Music Festival along with many folk clubs, concerts and house concerts. The girls have brought their music into BC, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Halifax and have crossed the border into the US, showcasing in Kansas City, New York and Florida. The duo was recently scouted and cast on the first season of CMT's new TV Series 'Ice Racer Showdown’ hosted by Clayton Bellamy, airing in October and November 2015.

Their sophomore record, ""Off the Edge of the Earth"", is a milestone project that showcases the duo's multi-dimensionalism as both artists and songwriters.
 
Showcase
 
Friday, February 17 at 3:00PM - 4:00PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529
Friday, February 17 at 1:10AM - 1:25AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554

Artist Website
  • Get Social with The Doll Sisters (AB)
William Prince (MB)

William Prince (MB)

William Prince is a storytelling singer/songwriter from Peguis First Nation who sidesteps clichés to provoke thought and facilitate discovery. His baritone vocals pay tribute to his late father and his genuine delivery acknowledges the hundreds of hours he’s spent on stage. Prince’s debut album, Earthly Days, produced by longtime collaborator Scott Nolan, was released in December 2015 to critical acclaim and features JUNO-winner Lynn Miles.

 A founding member of the Aboriginal collaborative Indian City, Prince helped release two albums which garnered him the Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year award at the 2014 Indigenous Music Awards.

 Stepping out on his own as a country-folk singer-songwriter, his lead single “The Carny” hit No. 1 on Sirius XM’s National Aboriginal Music Countdown Top 40.

 2016 saw Prince opening for the likes of Amelia Curran, Susan Aglukark, Marty Stuart, and Buffy Sainte-Marie while holding his own on folk festival stages across Canada. Rounding out a year of travel with two Canadian Folk Music Award nominations (Contemporary Singer of the Year and Aboriginal Artist of the Year) and a Western Canadian Music Award win for Aboriginal Artist of the Year, Prince has his sights set on touring in 2017.  

 Showcases:

 Thursday, February 16 at 11:30PM - 11:50PM: BreakOut West Showcase - Governors Suite #529

Friday, February 17 at 3:00PM - 3:40PM: BreakOut West “3 In the Round”- Governors Suite #529
Friday, February 17 at 1:30AM - 1:50AM: BreakOut West Showcase - Acoustic Room #554
Saturday, February 18 at 7:45PM: Liberty Ballroom (Official)
Saturday, February 18 at 12:30AM - 12:50AM: BreakOut West Showcase – Acoustic Room #554

Artist Website
  • Get Social with William Prince (MB)
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