It's not the time to hibernate - but wrap-up warm and head to TLR for an epic winter programme of the best folk and roots in the North.
20th January 8pm, Lonesome Ace Stringband (CAN) TICKETS
The Lonesome Ace Stringband (Header Image) is an old-time band with bluegrass chops that play some righteous folk and country music. There's a depth of groove and sense of space not often heard in bluegrass today, a level of instrumental interplay and vocal blend uncommon in old-time, and an on-stage rapport that transcends all of this.
Three Canadians lost in the weird and wonderful traditional country music of the American South, the band members Chris Coole (banjo), John Showman (fiddle) and Max Heineman (bass) are each journeyman musicians and veterans of some of Canada's top roots music acts (New Country Rehab, The David Francey Band, The Foggy Hogtown Boys, Fiver).
Instrumentation alone instantly sets LAS's sound apart: consisting of just fiddle, clawhammer banjo, and upright bass, the band moves freely between having a sound so powerful that it doesn't seem like it should be coming from a trio, to a sparseness and fragility that draws the listener in and refreshes the ear. All three are compelling lead singers, each with his own character and range. This allows for the vocal texture to shift depending on how the song needs to feel - and what the song has to say. When those voices come together the power of the harmonies is unshakable. It's clear to anyone who's heard LAS that they just don't sound like any other band.
As of 2019, the band has toured internationally, been engaged at some of the largest festivals in North America and Europe (including Merlefest, Rockygrass, Wintergrass, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Gooikorts, John Hartford Memorial), and recorded 4 albums. On the first two albums, Old Time (2014), and Gone For Evermore (2016) the band leaned heavily on the traditional old-time cannon to express what it needed to say musically. In 2018, with the release of When the Sun Comes Up, the band showcased its songwriting and studio savvy, offering up a more progressive interpretation of old-time music, and taking it's sound to new places. All three albums have been embraced by both fans and critics alike.
‘….these are three powerful musicians playing and singing some powerful music’ - Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine
‘This is 21st century acoustic music at it’s stripped-down, sharply-rendered best!’ - Songlines Magazine (UK)
22nd January 7pm, Sierra Hull & Justin Moses (USA) plus support Rachel Baiman (USA) TICKETS
In her first 25 years alone, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Sierra Hull hit more milestones than many musicians accomplish in a lifetime. After making her Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 10, the Tennessee-bred virtuoso mandolinist played Carnegie Hall at age 12, then landed a deal with Rounder Records just a year later. Now28-years-old, Hull is set to deliver her fourth full-length for Rounder: an elegantly inventive and endlessly captivating album called 25 Trips.
Revealing her profound warmth as a storyteller, 25 Trips finds Hull shedding light on the beauty and chaos and sometimes sorrow of growing up and getting older. To that end, the album’s title nods to a particularly momentous year of her life, including her marriage to fellow bluegrass musician Justin Moses and the release of her widely acclaimed album Weighted Mind—a Béla Fleck-produced effort nominated for Best Folk Album at the 2017 Grammy Awards.
Justin Moses is an award winning multi-instrumentalist celebrated as one of the most versatile musicians in all of acoustic music. A prominent Nashville session musician, he has appeared onstage or in the studio with an endless list of diverse artists such as Alison Krauss, Del McCoury, Garth Brooks, Emmylou Harris, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Bruce Hornsby, Béla Fleck, Peter Frampton, Rosanne Cash, Marty Stuart and Barry Gibb among many others. In 2018 and 2020 he was named Dobro Player of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association.
Moses began his musical journey at the age of six after becoming interested in the mandolin. He soon developed a lasting passion for making music. He started to hone his skills playing in his family's band as a child. Since then, he's toured with bands such as Blue Moon Rising, The Dan Tyminski Band, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Blue Highway and The Gibson Brothers.
‘She plays the mandolin with a degree of refined elegance and freedom that few have achieved’ - Bela Fleck
‘I think she’s endless. I don’tsee any boundaries. Talent like hers is so rare, and I don’t think it stops.’ –Alison Krauss
'Fall Like Rain is, and will be,one of the best albums of the year.' - No Depression on Justin's latest album
29th January 7pm, Madison Violet (CAN) TICKETS
Madison Violet is a Canadian Juno-nominated female musical duo, consisting of Lisa MacIsaac and Brenley MacEachern.
The pair, who grew up on rural Cape Breton Island, came together musically in the late 1990s, over many evenings in Brenley’s grandmother’s kitchen, which was always bursting with food, family, friends, and instruments.
Influenced by their maritime heritage, the East Coast musicians began creating music together that had roots firmly planted in their past, but with contemporary and modern elements generously overlaid. Categorizing Madison Violet’s music is an impossible task, in that one can hear elements of folk, singer-songwriter, pop, indie, bluegrass, and country flawlessly interwoven throughout.
MacIsaac and MacEachern are exceptional story tellers, skilled multi-instrumentalists, and together, perfect harmonists. Their voices soar, perfectly complimenting each other, as they sing lyrics that will both mend and break your heart.
MacIsaac and MachEachern have released more than 10 albums together. Their latest record ‘eleven’ was self-recorded and produced, ranking MacIssac and MacEachern among the less than 2.1% of female-identifying music producers in the industry.
‘Eleven’ is considered their most candid album to date, filled with deeply personal stories of love and loss.
The musicians have received dozens of notable accolades for their work, including a JUNO nomination for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year. They have brought home a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Vocal Group Album of the Year, have reached the top 5 on the Canadian iTunes download charts, amassed over one million streams on Spotify, and have placed on CBC’s Top 20 multiple times throughout their career.
Their music is consistently played across Canada and throughout the world, and the internationally acclaimed artists are no strangers to receiving glowing reviews for both their studiowork, and live performances.
MacIsaac and MacEachern currently live in and around Toronto, Ontario, tour internationally, identify as members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, and are fervent advocates for social justice.
5th February 7pm, Del Barber Band (CAN) TICKETS
With nominations for JUNO Awards, Western Canadian Music Awards, and Canadian Folk Music Awards - Del Barber has shaped the folk music canon in Canada with five critically acclaimed studio albums under his belt, as well as a myriad of fans. His new album 'Easy Keeper’ (acronym Records), recorded in a cabin during the pandemic, has received critical acclaim from Rolling Stone Magazine and The Bluegrass Situation.
As the follow up to his 2020 Juno-nominated album Easy Keeper, Stray Dogs finds Del Barber bridging his past and present. Conceived during pandemic isolation at his rural Manitoba home, the eight songs on Stray Dogs are drawn mainly from Del’s large stock of previously unfinished demos, given renewed focus and polish by his longtime band and producer Scott Franchuk.
Paring things down to the bone, the acoustic-based Stray Dogs captures the essence of Del’s art, of which Rolling Stone wrote, “Like John Prine (one of his primary influences), Barber writes the types of songs his characters might listen to themselves.”
From the first single “Meantime”— a show of support to his favourite venue in Winnipeg — to the heart-swelling closer “Just A Little Heat,” written with his father, Stray Dogs is a powerful reflection of the resilience we have all displayed over the past year. It also shows how Del has emerged even stronger, and how he truly deserves a place among Canada’s most celebrated singer-songwriters.
17th February 8pm, Jocelyn Pettit & Ellen Gira (CAN/USA) TICKETS
From Canada and the USA, Jocelyn Pettit & Ellen Gira are a dynamic fiddle & cello duo. Fusing traditional and contemporary music styles, they create a powerfully uplifting and soulful performance, weaving a rhythmically driving and textured sound. Complemented by lively step dancing, they bring life and fire into original tunes, songs, and high-energy repertoire from Scotland, Ireland, North America, and Scandinavia.
Each an accomplished musician in their own right, with extensive performance history and accolades, Jocelyn & Ellen first joined forces in Scotland in 2018. Since then, the duo has been gracing stages and captivating audiences in both North America and the UK. They have been featured in live broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and performed at festivals including Celtic Connections (UK), Harrison Festival of the Arts (CAN), Sutton Traditional Fiddle Festival (CAN), New World Festival (USA), and Northwest Folklife (USA).
Released in 2022, Jocelyn & Ellen’s new album ‘All It Brings’ is a 10-track celebration of hope and resilience, with nuanced fiddle-cello interplay, and vocal harmonies. For this performance, Jocelyn & Ellen will be joined by a fantastic guest guitarist.
‘Wonderful, captivating... Jocelyn and Ellen have the magical knack of striking a shower of glittering sparks to their whole performance.’ - Folk Wales Magazine