Another year with an awesome blend of up-and-coming and tried-and-true performers on festival stages the last weekend of September. Scroll down to find a list of artists participating in this year’s Deep Roots Music Festival.
Click Here for a copy of this years schedule in PDF format.
In a world where hyphenated genres are becoming the norm, all kinds of monikers are available for a contemporary folk band – post-folk, trad-core, alt-roots … file under World, or file under Celtic? Aerialists fits best with the beautifully contradictory term prog-trad, melding their ferociously creative harmonic sensibilities with a deep love for folk traditions.
Coco Love Alcorn has always followed her spirit, but never so literally as with her latest album, Wonderland. The songs spring from her personal journey, but true to her nature, Coco offers a universal interpretation that invites all listeners to jump in and sing along.
During a 5 year break from heavy touring to raise her daughter Ellie, Coco began working on a new album. She wanted to explore songwriting from a new perspective. Coco was curious to see what would happen if she put down her guitar and wrote with just her voice. She began a journey of layering vocals and rhythms on a 5 track looper. In the fall of 2014 she released a video of herself performing one of these first looper layered songs, ‘The River’.
Bluesmobile is the Annapolis Valley’s own 15 piece dance band featuring a 6 piece horn section, 5 piece rhythm section, and 4 vocalists. The band plays music from many musical styles including blues, funk, rock, soul and R&B; covering such artists as Stevie Wonder, Louis Jordan, Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, Santana, Tower of Power, Aretha Franklin, The Commodores, James Brown, Powder Blues, and many more!
It comes as no surprise Jill was born and raised in Sydney, Cape Breton. Her infectious smile and sunny disposition leaves no doubt that she is a true Caper. She relocated to the valley, right here in Wolfville, to inspire young minds as a teacher. While she has always had a profound love of music, it was only 5 years ago that she picked up a guitar and taught herself how to play. Her father’s playing guitar during her childhood largely influenced and fostered a true love of music early on.
“…a folk singer with the heart of a rock ‘n’ roll band.” — K. Oliver, Free Times
Jonathan Byrd is a preacher’s son, a Gulf War veteran, and an award-winning songwriter from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, known for literary, outsider songs that have become campfire favorites. The Chicago Tribune called Byrd “one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years.”
Alex Cuba is a Latin Grammy/Juno winner, singer-songwriter who is not tied to tradition; Alex has a vast musical vision. His sugarcane-sweet melodies, pop-soul hooks and powerful guitar riffs, relinquish a conventional stereotype that exemplifies much of the Latin music landscape. Born Alexis Puentes in Artemisa, Cuba, was immersed in music at a very young age, joining his father’s (respected guitarist and teacher Valentin Puentes) group of 24 guitarists. Alex then went on to study electric and upright bass and touring and recording nationally and internationally. In 1999, Alex moved to Victoria, B.C where he recorded an album titled “Morumba Cubana” alongside his twin brother Adonis, as The Puentes Brothers. Alex then went on to record his solo debut album “Humo De Tobaco” in which earned him a Juno award for World Music Album of the Year in 2006. In 2007, Alex released Agua Del Pozo which also earned him another Juno award for World Music Album of the Year in 2008. From there, Alex released his third album, a self-titled project Alex Cuba in 2009.
The Dearlies are a Nova Scotian country-folk trio. Singer-songwriter Rebecca MacDonald is joined by sisters Meagan and Jenny Osburn to bring you sweet original tunes and old favourites in three part harmony. The love of music brought them together in 2005 when Rebecca showed up for open mic at the Union Street Café, a music venue and restaurant the Osburn sisters owned and operated. Twelve years and one restaurant sale later, they’ve got the time to make music together and are thrilled to be part of the Deep Roots Festival.
This group combines traditional West African songs, rhythms, arrangements, and at times dance, with other musical and theatrical ideas to provide energetic and eclectic performances. Booming with the sound of djembes, dununs, horns, bells, shakers, and voice, the ensemble will lead the Drum Circle at our Festival Tent on Saturday morning and again be part of our Fresh Beats Rhythm Parade.
Let Djugdjug help you find your “beet” and be part of the excitement and fun that is the pulse of the Deep Roots!
This local singer/songwriter hosts a weekly open mic, sings with the Annapolis Big Band, and directs a seasonal variety show called Broken Leg Theatre. She’s sung backup vocals for Greg Muttart, Up Dog, Heather Kelday, and Andy Flinn; and performed at the Halifax Jazz Festival. Donna also appears as a featured artist on Let the Good News Ring: Christmas Songs from the Annapolis Valley, an album recorded with the Hupman Brothers.
Catch her at the Wolfville Library on Friday afternoon opening for Jonathan Byrd & the Pickup Cowboy, or early Saturday morning on the Deep Roots stage at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market.
The new album from young African-Canadian roots phenom, Kaia Kater, couldn’t come at a better time. As a new generation takes the reins, American roots music is needed more than ever to remind us of the troubled pathways of our own history. Born of African-Caribbean descent in Québec, Kaia Kater grew up between two worlds: one, her family’s deep ties to Canadian folk music in her Toronto home; the other, the years she spent learning and studying Appalachian music in West Virginia. Her acclaimed debut album Sorrow Bound (May 2015) touched on this divide, but her new album, Nine Pin (May 2016), delves even further, and casts an unflinching eye at the realities faced by people of colour in North America every day. Her songs on the new album are fueled by her rich low tenor vocals, jazz-influenced instrumentation, and beautifully understated banjo, and they’ve got as much in common with Kendrick Lamar right now as they do with Pete Seeger.
Marilyn Manzer has taught and performed music in Wolfville for 25 years and taught Kindermusik® for 10 years. This 2011 Valley Arts Award winner sings; plays piano and recorder; and has been music director for Women of Wolfville and school musicals. Many young people have been led into the lively world of music-appreciation through Marilyn’s music lessons and Kindermusik classes.
With Shannon Lynch, Marilyn is putting on a session designed for children under 7 years, called ‘Kids Play Music’ – a super fun session in which kids (and their adults) will sing, dance, and play rhythm instruments.
Emily Millard is a Canadian singer-songwriter (formerly known as Miss Emily Brown) whose unique blend of art-folk has been called “inventive,” “haunting” and “beautifully ethereal.” Alchemically combining poetry with vintage keys, steel strings and music box, Emily braves the space between silence and sound with her unmistakable voice. With lush accompaniment from exploratory folk band Aerialists, Emily will present songs from her new full-length record By Heron & By Season.
Scotty Marsters is a pillar of the Wolfville music scene. When he’s not playing lead guitar or bass, or singing background vocals in numerous other Nova Scotian bands, Scotty steps into the role of songwriter and lead vocalist in the Scotty Marsters Band. Backed by an eclectic mix of classical, bluegrass, and country musicians, the band creates a multidimensional musical texture as captivating as Scotty’s heartfelt and genuine songs.
Playing solo or as part of a band, Scott has loads of musical talent to share.
Howie MacDonald is a master celtic fiddler, producer, and comedian from Westmount, Cape Breton County. He has twelve solo albums and a DVD to his credit and spent many years touring with the Rankin Family. Howie remains in high demand on the Cape Breton square-dance circuit. Mary Beth Carty from Antigonish is a guitarist, accordionist, and dancer known for her memorable voice.
Maritime Marionettes, founded by partners and puppeteers Heather and Darryll Taylor, has been entertaining families in Canada and abroad since 1986. The Taylors bring traditional and original stories to life with exquisitely made and skillfully manipulated wooden marionettes. The company creates its productions from concept to finished product, including fashioning the marionettes and creating sets, props and costumes for every show.
Kickin’ Mule was formed in the Annapolis Valley in 2010 and has enjoyed a strong presence in the Valley music scene, regularly performing at all the local haunts and summer festivals. The band recently underwent a significant personnel change and now features Caleb Miles (lead guitar) and Noah Scanlan (bass) joining core members Brian Chipman (vocals and harmonica), Bob Federer (keyboards) and Mike Carroll (drums). Individually and collectively their experience is vast and accomplished: Caleb, Mike, and Bob were members of the Hupman Brothers Band (ECMA Award for Best Blues Album, 2009); Mike Carroll has played with Matt Andersen, Myles Goodwin, Dan Doiron, and Pogey; Bob Federer and Noah Scanlan both feature in various local groups; and Caleb Miles can be seen playing solo, up and down the province, as well as having produced cds for Dayliner, Jamie Junger, Mark Bezanson, and his own four solo albums.
A folk singer/songwriter from Peterborough, Ontario, Sarah McInnis is a talented multi-instrumentalist and masterful storyteller. With poetic lyricism, her deeply personal songs lend a new authentic voice to universal themes of human connection. Sarah’s stirring vocals and passionate performances reach out to her listeners to transform each stage into an intimate-feeling venue.
Naming the Twins is the Nova Scotia based, harmony rich duo of Robbie Smith and Kath Glauser, whose vocal blendings sound a bit like Simon & Garfunkel, if Art was a girl, a bit like Peter, Paul & Mary, if one of the boys was taking the night off. Their original material maintains the tradition of Ian & Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot and Stan Rogers.
Many Canadian music fans know Joel Plaskett. Multiple JUNO Award winning songwriter. Multiple times on the Polaris Music Prize Short List. Sold out clubs and concert halls from one side of the country to the other.
But in 2017 he’ll be sharing the spotlight with his earliest musical influence- his father, Bill.
SOLIDARITY, released on the Pheromone label in February, is the first full-length musical collaboration between father and son. The album is a powerful collection of original and traditional songs, reflecting the duo’s individual journeys and personal politics.
Sarah Pound is a singer-songwriter, performer and music therapist. She’s been singing for as long as she can remember. Her main instruments are the guitar, piano and trumpet, but she is most passionate about singing.
Pretty Archie, a Country/Folk/Bluegrass band from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, is made up of Brian Cathcart (lead vocals, guitar), Matt McNeil (lead guitar, mandolin), Colin Gillis (harmonica, bass, vocals) and Redmond MacDougall (banjo, percussion, vocals). These long time friends were always jamming together growing up, and in May, 2012, decided to make it official and form a band. The name they chose is based on a local character known for playing with 2 strings outside shopping malls in any weather and not always (or ever) in key. The name “Pretty Archie” embodies their love of playing and performing music, as well as representing their hometown.
Toronto songwriter Corin Raymond’s love of words began in the car with his father, driving the endless jack-pined distances of Northern Ontario. His father would tell Corin Greek myths to pass the time, and for Corin, this began a lifelong love affair with words and stories that set him on the path to becoming an acclaimed songwriter and a student of songcraft. Corin has traveled the length and breadth of Canada and across the globe, and his songs are being covered by artists like The Good Lovelies, The Strumbellas, Jonathan Byrd, Dustin Bentall, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, and many more. With Corin’s latest album, JUNO Contemporary Roots nominated “Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams,” he’s created his finest collection yet.
Roxy & the Underground Soul Sound, an 8 piece soul-funk band from Halifax, Nova Scotia, take the classic soul sounds of the 60’s and 70’s and put their own spin on the recipe of groove. The band lays down beats that are sure to set the dance floor on fire, making it easy for Roxy, the five foot fire cracker of funk to melt your heart. She means what she says … a vocal powerhouse who delivers soulful, straight from the heart tales of love won and lost that are sure to leave you dancing all the way home.
Searching For Abegweit: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant
Woven around the music of the award-winning Island songwriter, this P.E.I. love-letter stars Gallant himself, and presents his folk, roots and pop music, alongside comedic stories, Island legends, and poignant tales in a multimedia format that utilizes film, and visual works from well-known painter Karen Gallant. This dynamic, energetic show is storytelling at its best and includes Acadian and Celtic numbers that will have you dancing in your seat in celebration of Canada’s cradle on the waves. The colourful spectacle will offer Lennie Gallant favourites such as ‘Peter’s Dream’ ‘Tales of the Phantom Ship’ and ‘Island Clay’ along with new Island-themed songs.
We are SWIG … a celtic, contemporary, pop trio based in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Founded in 1984 as a four piece band, the name SWIG is in an acronym for the founding four’s heritage: Scotch, Welsh, Irish, and German. Mark Roberts (mandolin, whistles, vocals) is the last remaining original member of the group. Bill Doucet (guitar, harmonica, percussion, vocals) and Sara Sponagle (bass, vocals) round out our line up.
With three lead vocalists and strong three part harmonies we are equally at home covering everything from traditional to indie pop.
2016 Juno winners, The Swinging Belles, a swing band for kids from St. John’s, NL, are intent on getting both kids and adults to kick up their heels and have a swinging good time with the whole family!
Yves Lambert was a founding member of La Bottine Souriante and figures among the most influential players of Quebec trad. Yves Lambert’s charisma and talent, coupled with Tommy Gauthier and Olivier Rondeau’s virtuosity and passion, the nuances of their arrangements and their distinct harmony make this trio a one-of-a-kind musical experience. With their own brand of energy, multicultural ambiance and colourful sounds there’s really nothing quite like the Yves Lambert Trio.
Deep Roots Music Festival is excited to bring this trio to our stages.
Wee Giant Theatre performances and workshops are a unique blend of storytelling, clowning, dance, music, mask, colourful costumes, and puppets. Monika Wildemann, Artistic Director, creates the puppets, props & costumes, all made from recycled materials. Moni’s larger-than-life Wee Giants have been the heart of the Deep Root’s Fresh Beats Rhythm Parade since its beginning.
Join the Wee Giants on Saturday as they once again make their majestic way through Wolfville’s downtown (and into our hearts) in a colourful, musical, magical procession.