Broken Social Scene is the Canadian indie rock band. A musical collective including as few as six and as many as nineteen members, formed in 1999 by Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning. Most of its members currently play in various other groups and solo projects, mainly based around the city of Toronto. The band refuses the label “super group”, based on size or the ubiquity of their members, claiming that in the indie scene everyone is involved in more than one project. They have won two Junos on 4 nominations as well as twice been nominated for the Polaris Prize. Broken Social Scene has played every major festival around the world and their 2010 recording, Forgiveness Rock Record was an American top 40 album.
The Weakerthans – Sunday
The Weakerthans write and perform songs with voices, guitars, and drums. Critically hailed and impossible to categorize, they have developed a strong and dedicated following that crosses the boundaries of genres and fashions. Labels like Punk or Alternative or Rock may seem appropriate, but they would hope Honest would do. “We write the only songs we know how to write: songs that reflect the place we come from, musically and geographically, the community we live in, and the struggle for any one person to connect with another in a meaningful way.” TheWeakerthans appeal to a broad audience with musical influences including punk, folk, country, show-tunes, union hymns, rock, nursery school anthems, etc., and so on. Something to please or annoy everyone. Lyrically, Samson concentrates on issues of alienation, hope, and survival within a society riddled with injustice and a culture commodified in every possible way.
A gifted singer and songwriter, Andrew is not to be missed at this festival. He released his first independent recording last summer. Catch him on the workshop stages and follow him to see the seeds of an artist bound for highways and stages for years to come.
Jean Guy ‘Chuck’ Labelle
Originally from Mattawa, Chuck Labelle has released many records over the last 25 years, keeping him at the forefront of the Francophone country music scene in Canada and Europe. He has based most of his career just outside of Sudbury and continues to play for schools throughout the North Eastern area in between tours. He has also recorded with Robert Paquette. Jean Guy released a new CD earlier this year.
Armed with a high-energy stage show full of audience participation, Ukrainia is without a doubt one of the most exciting live acts around today. Their sound is transforming the foundation of Ukrainian music as we know it, and bringing it to an explosive new level. It’s loud, passionate, in your face, and not for the weak. No banduras here – just three guitars, drums, and a whole lotta vodka fuel this musical juggernaut. The younger generation has embraced Ukrainia for the way they have transformed traditional Ukrainian music into a rock’n'roll floor-shaking party for the senses.
Murray McLauchlan, Cindy Church, Marc Jordan, and Ian Thomas – Lunch at Allen’s – Friday
In full circle… Murray McLauchlan was the featured performer at the very first Northern Lights Folk Festival in 1972. We’re very happy to have him return to headline our Friday night program for our 40th festival. Lunch At Allen’s is an extraordinary musical revue by internationally renowned artists Murray McLauchlan, Cindy Church, Marc Jordan, and Ian Thomas who perform together as a band — the stage show is an intimate and humorous performance by some of Canada’s finest individual performers.
Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, sideman, innovator, recording artist, award winner. His names are many, but underlying that is a young man with an ancient soul who has traveled the world for the past 25 years bringing his unique brand of joy to audiences wherever he goes.
He spent ten years doing sessions in Nashville, appeared on the Grand Ole Opry many times and just has done too many things to squeeze into a short bio… suffice to say… you don’t want to miss ANYTHING that J.P. Cormier and his backing musicians The Elliott Brothers get into this weekend.
Kevin Breit and The Sisters Euclid
Kevin returns to the festival with his four piece group, The Sisters Euclid. After his show stopping performance with Folkalarm three summers ago, we’re all looking for greatness. Kevin has recorded with Norah Jones, Rosanne Cash, Susana Baca, Bill Frisell, k.d. lang, Cassandra Wilson, Holly Cole, Amos Lee, Jane Siberry, Jeb Loy Nichols, Dal Bello, Molly Johnson, Serena Ryder, Lou Reed, Ani DeFranco, Natalie McMaster, Marc Jordan, Carlos del Junco, Jane Bunnett, Janis Ian, Barra MacNeils, the Rankins, Suzie Vinnick,Wailin’ Jennies, Lynn Myles, Ian Tyson, Celine Dion, Toronto Tabla Ensemble, Dean McTaggart, Quartette, Michael Kaeshammer, Melanie Doane, Susan Crowe, Patti Scialfa and many others.
The Sisters Euclid are an all male, instrumental quartet formed in 1996. It is composed of leader, guitarist, Kevin Breit ;bassist, Ian De Souza; drummer, Gary Taylor and keyboardist/accordionist, Mark Lalama. They have recorded 10 cds and one DVD. The Sisters won a Juno in the Best Instrumental category, for their ‘Run Neil Run’ disc and a National Jazz Award for Electric Group of The Year. They were the house band at the Massey Hall all star tribute show to Neil Young for the Luminato festival. They have toured extensively throughout Canada and Europe.
With a songwriting career that spans more than 30 years, Ron Hynes is a six-time East Coast Music Award winner, a Genie Award winner and a past Juno, CCMA and Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee. Frequently referred to as the “man of a thousand songs”, Ron Hynes’ songs have been covered by dozens of artists worldwide, including Emmylou Harris, Christy Moore, Mary Black, Denny Doherty, Murray McLauchlan, Valdy, John McDermott, Terry Kelly, Prairie Oyster, The Good Brothers, Shaye, The Cottars and most recently, classical soprano Hayley Westenra.
Always a favourite. One of our first festival performers, Robert returns for our 40th. Singer-songwriter, actor, radio and TV host. While growing up in Sudbury Robert sang for the rock band, Marketville Riot, before setting out on a career that spans 16 albums and was instrumental in establishing the Franco-Ontarian music scene. Jean Beaunoyer has described the songs of this artist who celebrates travelling and being on the road as ‘hits full of punch, bite and energy’. Paquette does not reveal much about himself in his music: his lyrics are those of a witness rather than a participant. He is a photographer and a storyteller.
Ladies of the Canyon
Built on four of the strongest musical voices in Montreal’s thriving, celebrated scene, Ladies of The Canyon’s sound is as polymorphic, true and passionate as its members. Their music is a soundscape mosaic that was created to be like nothing else by a musical friendship like nothing else. Ladies of the Canyon are candy sweet folk pop one minute and heart-wrenching soulful complaint the next. Their music always follows the spirit of the moment – ethereal folkie fingerstyle guitar licks might escape suddenly to pounding rock drums and bass, heavy grooves or lush vocal harmonies that soar over a simple piano melody.
Mike Essoudry’s Mash Potato Mashers
Mike Essoudry’s Mash Potato Mashers is a new and unique band in Ottawa. It is a parade style band (2 Drummers and 7 Horn players) that plays originals and covers in a balkan, 2nd line, klezmer, brazilian and reggae/ska styles. Super – Cool Grooves, Super – Cool Tunes. Crazy dance time!!!! No Amps! Just Mobile Horn Power and Fun!!! Come On Out before we come for you!!!
Library Voices is a seven piece pop collective from Regina, Saskatchewan. Blending tremolo soaked guitars with analog synths, vintage organs, circuit bent electronics, accordion, saxophone, strings, theremin, Tenori-on, and glockenspiel, their songs play out like an AM radio jingle; mixing the best of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and today.
Making a welcome return to the NLFB. There is a unique strength of Digging Roots’ live sound with carefully crafted songs, tight studio arrangements and soulful performances. These are artists coming into their own with a groove heavy album that spans a range of emotion from the dark haunted heartache on ‘Holes’ to socially charged optimism on ‘Plant The Seeds’. At the center of the new work is the chemistry and songwriting of ShoShona Kish and Raven Kanatakta.
Les Tireux d’Roches
For 10 years, this Quebec folklore group has been playing traditional music inspired by the Quebec repertoire, with a uniquely creative touch. Live or recorded, Les Tireux d’Roches know how to impress crowds and never go unnoticed. Storytellers, singers and musicians, Les Tireux d’Roches have developed a unique repertoire of traditional stories and songs called ‘modern future’, they take you on a fantastic musical, story-filled, multi-coloured voyage into an imaginary New-World-of-old. Their live concert has also been presented at Radio-Canada (CBC). For french speaking crowds, Les Tireux d’Roches also performs some story telling.
Notre Dame de Grass
Canadian Folk Music Award nominated Notre Dame de Grass is a five-piece bluegrass band specializing in original songs and instrumental material. Songsmith/guitarist Matt Large and composer/banjoist Guy Donis provide the palette for fiddler Chris Bartos, mandolinist Joe Grass and bassist Solon McDade to exhibit their exceptional skill. While staying true to the conservative sensibilities of bluegrass music, Notre Dame de Grass calls upon the deep well of North American folk idioms to inform their work. Featuring strong vocal harmonies and high calibre instrumental musicianship, a Notre Dame de Grass concert is a unique tour de force.
The Little Stevies
The Little Stevies descend from a long line of great Australian alt-pop acts. Their unique blend of emotive and honest songwriting, combined with catchy pop melodies and beautiful harmonies do what so many others claim to, they give their audience license to really identify with them and to feel that they’re sharing something of themselves.
Sheesham and Lotus and Son
Their third appearance at NLFB, Sheesham and Lotus came together in 1998 as the rhythm section in a fiddle band called Flapjack. Together for the next seven years they were on the road throughout Canada and the United states playing dances-camps, concerts and workshops. With a keen interest in the folk traditions of the American south, both became enthusiastic historians of old-time fiddle and banjo music, learning from the old masters across the regions south of the Mason-Dixon line. They learned harmonica, jaw-harp, flatfoot and song. Crow and Wight play fiddle and banjo respectively, with their ‘Son’, Dr. Jimmy Legs on pocket Coronet and Sousaphone. With an additional array of home-made curiosities of noise-makery. Sheesham is a maker of gourd banjos and fiddles, and Lotus plays an invention called the contra-bass harmoniphoneum, which can be used while plucking a banjo.
Bertrand Gosselin et Marie Anne Catry
Bertrand performed at many NLFB’s in the first 25 years, solo or with Jim Corcoron. We are thrilled to have him back for our 40th festival. An animated performer who is active in Quebec schools, Bertrand has performed to over 45000 students since 1993. He has also spent many years mastering the French Bagpipes with Bellows alongside fellow multi-instrumentalist, Marie Anne Catry, master of the Mandocello. Bertrand is unique as a festival performer for his work as a juggler, tightrope and balancing artist alongside workshop moderator, songwriter and master of several types of pipes.
Guitars Alive Trio – Paul Dunn, Gary DiSalle, Philip Candelaria
Combining the distinct sounds of classical, acoustic and electric guitars, The Guitars Alive Trio is an innovative musical collaboration. Philip Candelaria plays latin/classical guitar, Gary DiSalle, electric guitar and Paul Dunn, acoustic guitar and dobro. All are well-known guitarists, recording artists and virtuoso performers in a variety of musical styles. The Guitars Alive Trio program features an eclectic mix of Spanish and Latin music, swing, jazz, blues, ragtime, folk, and DiSalle and Dunn originals. Since their debut in 2003, this group has amazed and delighted audiences wherever they have performed. Their much anticipated first CD is set for release in July 2011.
Raised in Sudbury, Patricia spent ten years traveling the world learning the music of Parisian Cafes, Brasilian Folk songs, Peruvian Folk Songs, Korean Traditional songs. She sings in several languages and continues to work a varied artistic life from singing, performing on a theatre stage, working with Tomson Highway. She sings in English, Spanish, Italian, French, Cree and Korean. Northern Lights is more than pleased to welcome Patricia back to Sudbury for the 40th festival.
The avenging angel of Klezmer music. An evening spent with Geoff Berner’s music is, in the words of the good Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, “a wild combination of menace, madness, and genius… fragmented coherence that wreaks havoc on the mind of any listener.” “We’re all trying to put out a vision of Jewish culture that’s the opposite of the conservative, knee-jerk pro-Israel, judgmental bullshit that’s emerged in recent decades.”
Donné Roberts is a guitarist and a songwriter. He was born in Madagascar, raised and educated in Moscow and Toronto, where he now lives. He came to the attention of a wider audience after earning a Juno Award for his contribution to the African Guitar Summit Project. Donné Roberts is a passionate performer.
His disregard for boundaries and knack of fusing Egyptian vocal, Celtic Penny-whistle with Madagascar groove seemingly a dissimilar type of styles has led to fantastic results.
Aside from being an award-winning musician in this country, in 1998, he became the first African to host his own show on MTV Russia, with an hour-long program called Mambassa. Donné sang with Swedish pop legend Ace of Base.
His music is energetic, happy melodies and strong groove.
Born in Winnipeg, raised in North Bay, and long-time resident in Toronto, Levasseur’s roots spread far and dig deep. She goes “home” several times a year, and when she played in Toronto’s famed Massey Hall as part of the Women’s Blues Revue last year, her mother came to see her perform — for the first time.
Levasseur plays piano, accordion, guitar, mandolin, and anything else she can get her hands on. In May of 2008, she won CBC Radio’s ‘Ultimate Sideman Showdown’ with her trusty accordion and charming presence. Heavily influenced by such soul artists as Mavis Staples, Carole King and Annie Lennox, she remains musically versatile and has played everything from heavy metal to hiphop, country, sugary pop, and thoughtful folk music.
Corin Raymond & The Sundowners
Corin Raymond is a young man writing old songs — not songs written deliberately in an old style, but songs that sound like they’ve been around a lot longer than Corin himself. He started writing songs with guitarist Sean Cotton as part of the still-active acoustic duo The Undesirables. He took his cue from craftsmen who kept it simple. Corin’s songs are stories. They’re also bittersweet tunes sung with unadulterated joy. Equal parts heartache and hope. Tom Waits does that. John Prine does that. They don’t take themselves too seriously but they break your heart. The low in loneliness and the high in hi-dee-ho, all at once. There’s a respect for words in country music. ‘When Your Phone Doesn’t Ring That’ll Be Me’. ‘My Uncle Used To Love Me But She Died.’ Titles say a lot.
Corin Raymond sings, Sean Cotton plays guitar and sings. Corin’s a master storyteller, the bizarre lovechild of Ray Bradbury, Sam Cooke, Rod Serling, Cormac McCarthy and Spiderman. Sean Cotton’s fingers do cartwheels, round-offs, spinning kicks and pirouettes with the strings, and he sings harmony as if his fingerwork were no distraction to him at all. The two of them come together and never fail to do anything less than absolutely astound and transport their audiences.
Originally from Winnipeg, living between Toronto and Edmonton, Ben returns to NLFB. Truly one of Canada’s best-loved singer/songwriters, he is the 2005 winner of the John Lennon songwriting contest in the folk category (out of 15,000 entrants) . He has performed at many of Canada’s folk festivals and has been featured on CBC Radio. Ben has four independently-released CDs. He has worked as a commissioned songwriter for CBC radio in Winnipeg , Vancouver and Edmonton and done music for film and television including Sesame Street.
Kevin Closs’ career began with Northern Lights Festival Boreal. In 1990 Artistic Director Scott Merrifield gave Kevin and his handful of songs the opportunity to meet and perform with Ian Tamblyn, Willie P. Bennett and Tom Paxton as well as many Sudbury artists like Paul Dunn and Gary DiSalle who remain his friends and inspiration. 21 years and over a hundred songs later Kevin proudly calls Sudbury his home and its people and their stories his muse.
Pistol George Warren
PGW released their debut album in the spring. The 6 members have attracted big crowds at any show in Sudbury this past year, including standout shows at River and Sky 2010, the Townehouse and a recent East Coast tour. Their blend of rock, country and soul harkens to Gram Parsons era Stones, Burrito Bros with the added new generation influences of The Sadies, Hot Water Music, instant message culture, downtown living, swagger and just a little stagger.
Ox writes songs to etch into your heart with dust, diesel and distortion. In the past 10 years, Ox has crafted four albums, embarked on countless tours of Canada, U.S. and Europe, and appeared at South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Ox’s band leader Mark Browning was instrumental in claiming an Exclaim Cup Summit of the Arts Hockey Championship this past April, started Cosmic Dave’s Vinyl Emporium, helped found Guitar Emporium, Recording Studio and record label, and he is a co-founder of our brother festival, The River and Sky Camping and Music Festival.
Sarah Craig’s Wedding Cabaret Band
Our dear friends Sarah Craig and Jim Matt are tying the knot this summer. To commemorate the occasion, they have written a set of music to perform at their wedding, and their festival engagement is what you might call a rehearsal. Join Sarah, Jim, the Sunnyside Paris Trio and a few friends for this celebratory set of music. If you’ve seen Sarah perform, you know she doesn’t like to do things small, so be prepared for something that you’ll remember for a long time.
Northern All-Stars Steel Pan Band
This Sudbury-based ensemble was formed at the beginning of 2009. The Steel Pan originates from Trinidad in the early-mid 21st century. Formed from oil barrels, the Steel Pan is part of the music of resistance. The Northern All-Stars will play, demonstrate, teach, and accept new members for this exciting musical project. They are a Vintage soca and calypso group, however they play a variety of music classics from the R&B, reggae, soul, jazz, and country genres. They also provides a healthy environment for those who may be interested in learning to play the steel pan.
Meg and the Defender
Originally from Sudbury, this Boston-based songstress is winning hearts in Canada and south of the border. Though Meg (of ‘Meg and the Defender’) dazzled family and close friends with her first original country songs as a child, she only began writing seriously while completing her undergraduate degree in Nova Scotia. Following graduation, Meg recorded her first album with producer/musician Brian Dunn at Cosmic Dave’s Sound Emporium studio in Sudbury. No stranger to touring, she has performed across the great white north with Canadian musicians Allison Lickley, Emily Jill West and Heather Kelday. Whether she’s playing piano, guitar, banjo, saxophone or singing, she brings her natural gift for melody and harmony to a song. Her sound is described as folk/rock/alt-country with a dry edge, will pull at your heart strings and have you wanting to sing along.
Chuck and Catherine Roberts
Chuck first performed at the Northern Lights festival Boreal in 1974, and has served with the festival as assistant director, technical director, and chair of the artistic committee. He was also a founding member of the “Artists in the Schools Program” in Northern Ontario. Chuck has released two CDs, “Fields of Amber Grain”, and a children’s album, “Friends Are Awesome”.
A fiddler and vocalist, Catherine Goykhman (Roberts) started performing with her father, Chuck Roberts, at the 1994 NLFB. In her teens, Catherine put away the concertos of her classical violin training in favour of traditional Celtic fiddle music.
Dwayne Trudeau has played the festival as a solo blues artist and with a group. This time, he performs with his duo Low Guns, which also features Luke Sellen on drums. It’s not quite the Black Keys or White Stripes, but more like Hound Dog Taylor or Jimmy Reed. Dwayne has a great feel for the blues traditions from the Delta to Chicago and always wows the crowd with his acrobatic slide guitar skills.
Dale is a past recipient of the Jackie Washington award for his dedication to the arts in our community. A lifelong educator, storyteller at festivals and schools and actor and supporter of community theatre, Dale has given his life to cultural development at the grassroots level. Storysocks is his storytelling hat for working with younger children. He has toured all over Ontario telling stories in classrooms, libraries, festivals and education conferences.
Old World Romance
Will Gillespie returns to the festival with a brand new outfit. Part gypsy or Dixieland jazz combo, part string quartet, part rock band, Old World Romance delivers a kind of classic entertainment reminiscent of days gone by. Like looking at the world from a Venitian gondola in the 1920′s, like the excitement and decadence of pre-war Berlin or the elegance of Impressionist Paris, the sweeping melodies and playful arrangements take you back, showing you the world through sepia-toned glasses, while expressing universal experiences like love, fear, death, sex, loss, and joy.
Darlene DarlenYa was born in Sudbury and is highly renowned for her mesmerizing vocals and unique performance style. With over 20 years of journeying, her path has led her to the music of Native America, Mexico, Gypsies and most recently Africa. She will be joined by percussionist Yassine Majdallah – native of Marrakech, who’s Percussion Workshop will focus on North African rhythms as well as the traditional Moroccan syncopated clapping patterns that create a polyrhythmic mosaic.
Eric Clancy – Meltdown Winner
Eric Clancy is a young singer songwriter. Along with a few friends in music he has put together a great collection of songs with mature arrangements for vocals and instruments. Members of the young underground band Lightmares flesh out the full band. Absolutely refreshing music, young but polished.
Music from most of the 20th century. Songs about gambling, rambling, loving and losing. It’s all presented with tongue in cheek and a big a$$ brass horn called The Tuba, along with guitar and percussion. Always fun for all ages. Co-founder Richard Mende is playing this festival for the 12th time since 1972.
Chris Kivinen-Newman. Meltdown Winner
Chris has been on the Sudbury scene for a few years, starting his first band with Angie Nussey as a teenager. As an educated historian, Chris has some great moments captured in song as well as a bag full of songs about love and life. He works behind the scenes at Sudbury Jazz Festival and as a sideman with many local groups and singers, so this is a welcome step back into the front of a stage for Chris.
Kim Schmidt – Meltdown Winner
This singer/songwriter mixes folk, rock and alternative styles with a dash of blues and jazz. Her ever-growing and evolving style stems from her love of instrumental experimentation. In the course of one night, this musical dabbler has been know to trade her rhythmic guitar stylings, for a smooth jazz/rock piano, to then jump on bass guitar, as well as occasionally whip out her flute. Her instrumental connoisseurship is only the frame for her versatile vocals. Her unique singing are what bring to life her handcrafted songs of life, love, and all the small bits in between.
Matt Moskal – Meltdown Winner
Matt Moskal spent the last five years cornering and interviewing musicians as a journalist.
In the back of his notepads were rough ideas for songs about love, death and failure. Rather than cast these thoughts aside, Matt wrote a soundtrack for these crude collections of lyrics. The results are both humorous and heartbreaking.
Moskal started a songwriting circle called Whisky-Fuelled Faerie Tales in 2010 to get over his stage fright and showcase like-minded musicians. When the group disbanded, local alternative rock band Lightmares briefly stepped up as his backing band. He’s since returned to his original blueprint: folk ballads
The Northern Lights Arts Village
The Arts Village featuring many established local visual artists is programmed again this year with the assistance of Mark Gagne. We’ll have lots of painters, visual artists and some general clowning around going on as we spread visual art through the park for the weekend.