Festival time is upon us..... what ?!
Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival
Coming up in February is one of my favourite festivals in the Toronto area, a little known fact is that when I moved to Canada this was one of the first festivals I attended, I volunteered, and was given the job of managing the stage at The Black Swan which is still the hub and main venue for the festival.
It has grown quite a bit in stature in the eight or so years since then and I have attended almost every year to date. Since establishing Blues & Roots Radio the festival has been great in giving us access to chat with artists performing and allowing us to take photographs for our reviews and blogs. A big thank you to the founder Brian Gladstone and his team, to Beverly Kreller of Speak Music Publicity for all your help in accommodating Blues & Roots Radio.
If you have never attended it is well worth a visit, I'll give you some insight a bit further down this blog, but first, I wanted to tell you about the preview which happens at Hugh's Room Live in Toronto this coming weekend January 21st.
It's a showcase and fundraiser to help with the festival in one of Toronto's best and much loved listening rooms.
The Festival Preview
Acoustic Harvest + Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival Present: Winterfolk XVI
Artists performing include HOTCHA!, Dirty Dishes, Mr. Rick, Brian Gladstone with Tony Quarrington, Julian Fauth and Brighid Fry.
Hugh’s Room Live, 2261 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON
Sunday, January 21st - Doors 6:00 pm / Music 7:30 pm
TICKETS: $20.00 Advance / $25.00 at Door | Call 416-533-5483 to reserve.
Dinner reservations guarantee seating.
This years line up for the main festival is a wonderful mix of established and up and coming artists.
It takes place in the Danforth area of the city, a number of indoor venues play host over three days. The atmosphere is always fantastic and we thoroughly enjoy the intimate venues and the fact you can chat with the artists after the shows in the bars or restaurants that play host.
Showcases take place at various times hosted by organizations like Acoustic Harvest, Speak Music Publicity, the Moonshine Cafe and others.
Some of this years performers include Al Lerman
A 40+ year veteran of the Canadian blues scene and one of the top harmonica players in the country, Al is a an engaging and skilled performer whose often humorous anecdotes are interspersed between great blues numbers.
Nominated in 2016 for Maple Blues Award as ' Acoustic Act Of The year ' he has won two Juno Awards with his former band FATHEAD.
Alfie Smith is a prolific songwriter, an accomplished performer and talented multi-instrumentalist.
Known best for his resophonic guitars, brazen slide licks and uncompromising vocals
Durham County Poets’ groovy roots sound capturing hearts everywhere they play. The five seasoned musicians, all of whom are songwriters, work together individually and collaboratively in composing their music.
Delving into a variety of styles and genres, their musical influences include a broad range of artists. From The Band to Dire Straits, Leon Redbone to James Taylor and Neil Young, they have managed to put it all together to create their own musical style.
There are amazing performers everywhere at this years events, and most are good friends and appear on our playlists regularly .... Clan Hannigan .... Andy Griffiths ... Jon Brooks ... Jory Nash .... Jack De Keyzer .... Kat Goldman.... Kim Doolittle ... Laura Bird... Moscow Apartment .... Jessica Pearson & The East Wind .... and that barely scratches the surface.
Moscow Apartment is a young indie folk duo based in Toronto who are taking the Canadian Music Scene by storm. an acoustic duo whose close, sweet harmonies and exquisite song craft defy their young age, they are both just 15 years old. Influenced by Big Thief, Feist, Joni Mitchell, among others, Brighid & Pascale, skilled multi instrumentalists (guitar, piano, violin, ukulele, mandolin, banjo and bass) and grads of Girls Rock Camp Toronto.
Jessica Pearson & The East Wind
Jessica Pearson and the East Wind’s music is a blend of maritime kitchen parties, breathtaking Harmonies and intimate traditional melodies.
Kim Doolittle's 9th studio album, ' Into The Blue ', produced and co-written by Ken Whiteley is the sum of 43 years. It comes straight from the heart and the songs reflect a deep desire to move forward in her musical life authentically, with an eye on looking back at where it all began.
Toronto’s Winterfolk Blues and Roots Music Festival is on the Danforth, Feb. 16-18, 2018. It’s an all-ages, mid-winter, weatherproof event, where you’ll find the best of urban, blues, rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music , emulating a multi-stage rural summer festival.
More than 150 artists will be performing at 5 venues over 3 days. The festival will also include special tribute events, an awards ceremony, community stages and various themed musical workshops with something for everyone to enjoy.
I'll bring some more news as we get closer to the festival, but it will be worth a visit on Sunday January 21st to Hugh's Room to take in the preview first of all.
Until next week