For a fourth year, the Deep Roots Music Co-op is collaborating with the Apple Blossom Festival to present a major concert on Apple Blossom Saturday.
This year, on May 31, two of Eastern Canada’s most beloved artists, Joel Plaskett and David Myles, coming together for one memorable double-bill.
Award-winning musician Mo Kenney will bring her award-winning sounds to a Truro stage later this month. Kenney, a singer-songwriter who released her self-titled debut recording in the fall of 2012, will perform at the Marigold Cultural Centre with Dylan Guthro on May 30.
“I’ll be playing some of my new songs – I have a new record coming out in the fall, and Dylan and I collaborate quite a bit, so I’m sure we’ll play a few songs together,” said Kenney, from the Halifax area.
Halifax’s favourite son and national indie rock icon Joel Plaskett has joined forces with Toronto’s Pheromone Recordings for the followup to his 2012 Scrappy Happiness album. Recording for the new album, Joel’s 8th since launching his solo career post the dissolution of Thrush Hermit, begins shortly at his own New Scotland Yard studio. It is scheduled for release early in 2015.
Joel will also headline Pheromone’s label night at The Horseshoe Tavern on the Saturday of NXNE, June 21.
Pheromone founder Kim Cooke commented, “In 1993 a teenaged Joel handed me a cassette of Thrush Hermit music at the East Coast Music Awards. I had the good fortune to sign him to MapleMusic Recordings ten years later in 2003, and I am over the moon to have him join me at Pheromone now. Joel is a consummate entertainer, be it solo or with his kick-ass Joel Plaskett Emergency, and he is one of Canada’s greatest contemporary songwriters.”
Joel looked up from the Neve Console at his studio, where he is always busy writing, recording and producing, to say this: “I’m really excited to be releasing my next record through Pheromone and to be working with Kim again. He’s been a huge supporter of what I do and he continues to navigate an ever-changing music business with integrity and class.”
Pheromone Recordings is a joint venture with Maplecore Ltd, whose MapleMusic Recordings has released Joel’s albums from Truthfully Truthfully through to Scrappy Happiness.
Joel’s long time manager is Sheri Jones of Jones and Co. in Halifax; his long-time agent is Tom Kemp of The Feldman Agency.
NXNE and Toronto label Pheromone Recordings today announced that five of the label’s artists would come together for a night of disparate musics on the Saturday of NXNE, June 21.
Pheromone founder Kim Cooke has this to say: “I blame Dave Bidini. He’s been on my case to do this for years and this year, Dave, Yvonne Matsell and I made it happen, with the kind co-operation of Jeff Cohen and Craig Laskey at the ‘Shoe.”
The lineup on June 21:
7:30 Steph Cameron
Pheromone’s newest signing whose Sad-Eyed Lonesome Lady debut will surface later this year. Think Bleecker & McDougall ’62, finger picking acoustic folk blues married to a marvellous voice and great songs. Unknown, but not for long.
8:30 Mo Kenney
The Halifax-area siren has a shelf full of awards for her self-titled debut album including SOCAN Song of the Year for “Sucker.” Mo has just finished her sophomore recording scheduled for fall release. New songs are surely on tap.
9:30 The Wilderness of Manitoba
The not-from-Manitoba Toronto-based quartet has had a great run with their CBC Radio 2 supported Island of Echoes breakthrough disc which garnered them a 2014 Roots and Traditional Juno nomination.
Ex-Rheostatic Dave Bidini and his ridiculously great band – Don Kerr, drums, Paul Linklater, guitar and Doug Friesen, bass, release their third and best album, The Motherland on May 27.
11:30 Joel Plaskett Emergency
A brand new signing to the Pheromone roster we’re overjoyed to have Joel play a full electric set with the Emergency to close the night. Arguably Canada’s greatest contemporary songwriter, Joel blesses us with a very rare club show that is not to be missed.
Ticket can be purchased here: http://nxne.com/tickets. Day of show door price is $25 subject to availability or get in with your NXNE wristband.
Mo’s album is released on Star House Collective in Ireland. The video is made by Ambiguous Fiddle Media and features Rachel Sermanni on backing vocals.
Canada has produced some of the world’s most enduring songwriters and Joel Plaskett is hailed as one of the best. With countless awards to his credit, thousands of tour dates, and numerous recording and producing projects under his belt, Plaskett remains one of the most innovative and prolific artists on the scene today.
He will play an intimate solo show at the Meaford Hall Opera House on Wednesday, April 9 at 8 pm. A quickly dwindling number of tickets are available for $35 online at meafordhall.ca or through the Box Office at 519.538.0463.
Sun goes down upon the bay
Looking for somewhere to play
I came here to bring the noise
To the island girls and the harbour boys
– Joel Plaskett, Harbour Boys
Joel Plaskett is a clear-voiced singer-songwriter whose music pulses with tight rhythm and guitar. His songs are alternately packed with hard-driving rock (Lightning Bolt from the album Scrappy Happiness) and searing emotion (the gorgeous Face of the Earth from Ashtray Rock). His lyrics can be poetic, funny and often both: the chorus of an early hit, also from Ashtray Rock, tells of “fashionable people doing questionable things.”
Plaskett built his career in the bars and clubs of Halifax more than 20 years ago, and today is highly respected on the Canadian indie scene. He’s won dozens of awards, including a JUNO and multiple East Coast Music Awards.
When the National Arts Centre asked him to do a show with the NAC Orchestra on April 12 as part of the NAC Presents series, he immediately said yes.
“I’m thrilled to be playing with the orchestra at the NAC in the nation’s capital,” he said. “Gigs don’t get more prestigious. Pressure’s on!”
Joking aside, gigs like this take more people to make them work, he said.
“It’s not about jamming or directing a few musicians to an end result. It’s obviously bigger and requires a lot more people be successful. The songwriter, the performer, the arranger, the conductor, all the musicians and people behind the scenes. It requires a lot of preparation, and everyone involved has to stay on script.”
He said his music changes in many ways when he’s playing with an orchestra, starting with the dynamics.
“Distortion, big drum beats and loud volume aren’t part of the equation, so some of the rockier numbers needed to be deconstructed. Parts that had previously been really loud might change into a quiet part, to give the arrangement room to develop. Other times the orchestral arrangements fit nicely over the basic rock arrangement.”
A big congratulations goes out to Mo Kenney for winning her first East Coast Music Award this weekend. Mo won Pop Recording of the Year for her debut, self-titled album. East Coast Music Week took place in Charlottetown, PEI from April 2-6 and featured dozens of live performances, an industry conference, and gala awards show.
Now that it’s officially spring, it’s time to start looking ahead to the many outdoor folk festivals that will be coming our way during 2014’s sunny months. This includes the Regina Folk Festival, which just confirmed the lineup that it will bring to the Saskatchewan city’s Victoria Park from August 8 to 10.
The initial lineup announcement features a generous selection of artists including Sam Roberts Band, Indigo Girls, Joel Plaskett, Serena Ryder, Los Lobos, Matt Andersen, Elliott Brood, Royal Canoe, Jon and Roy, Saidah Baba Talibah, Geoff Berner, Mo Kenney, Clinton St. John, Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens, the Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer, Klô Pelgag, Blitz the Ambassador, Mexican Institute of Sound and more.
A limited number of early bird weekend passes are on sale now. They cost $106.68 including service fees and taxes (student or senior passes are a total of $95.90). This is the 45th instalment of the festival.