Happy release day to Jennifer Holub‘s The Reckoning, a powerful and timely 10-song collection she envisioned from the start as a feminist call to action.
Working with co-producer Jonathan Danyliw (Murder Murder, Pistol George Warren) and engineer Matthew Wiewel, The Reckoning marks a major artistic step forward for Holub who builds on her previous Americana-tinged sound with a range of elements—everything from vintage soul to EDM—that adds up to a reflection of her northern environment: pastoral, cold and resilient.
The Reckoning does retain some of the Americana flavor of Holub’s past work, however, genre distinctions have less meaning for her than they ever have, and Holub cites artists as diverse as Mavis Staples and Zach de la Rocha as her primary inspiration for The Reckoning. “To me, artists like them represent the potential of music to affect change,” she says. “They have taught me how songs can inspire hearts and minds when rhetoric fails.”
“There is not a false move here, with each track standing alone as a subtly-crafted gem.” Exclaim!
“[goes] deeper into her personal journey while adding elements of psychedelia and neo-soul to an ever-expanding sound.” Popmatters
“After 2016’s roots surprise For Dreaming LP… this five-track EP is an even wider, wilder ride.” Bob Mersereau/Top 100 Canadian Blog
All It Was release shows:
Sept. 21 :: Ottawa ON :: Live On Elgin
Sept. 22 :: Toronto ON :: The Painted Lady
“Cry Baby is going to take Nolan to some fantastic places. He just doesn’t know where yet and, probably, doesn’t want to.” VUE
“Joe Nolan will make you feel many things, but apathy is not one of them.” Spill Magazine
“There is charm in his chaos, a youthful maturity, a broken journey but a hopeful return.” Great Dark Wonder
Cry Baby release shows:
Sept. 21 :: Calgary AB :: King Eddy
Sept. 22 :: Edmonton AB :: CKUA
For his third full-length effort, Late Mornings, Toronto singer/songwriter Craig Robertson turned to Cowboy Junkies co-founder Michael Timmins (no slouch as a songwriter himself) for production assistance, and together with Robertson’s regular cast of players they crafted a dozen songs that cast a light onto dark territory few artists dare tread upon. By choosing detail over confession, Robertson acts more like a guide throughout the album, shifting between scenes populated by characters teetering on the brink—as on the opening track “Drunk In Vegas”—or simply wondering when exactly the world passed them by—as on the heartbreaking “Decker Hollow.”
Late Mornings brims with such description of life’s other side, a skill Robertson has honed over the past six years since he quit a full-time job to solely concentrate on making music. “I had always written songs, but it was always on the edges of my life,” he says. “Now it’s central, something I do every day. My best songs come from real life situations or feelings, so I’m constantly pursuing that muse and jotting down ideas.”
Robertson also notes how his creative evolution is linked to how his band, consisting of guitarist/mandolin player Bob Strome, bassist Jamie Thwaites and drummer James Clark, has gelled in recent years through regular gigging. Indeed, Late Mornings was laid down virtually live at Timmins’ studio The Hangar in only five sessions, with many of the songs being first takes. Robertson later added background vocals, along with lap steel by Andrew James Barker and fiddle by James McKie.
Although Robertson may downplay the narrative aspects of his music, Late Mornings is much like a great short story collection, a work of art that one can become totally immersed in, and reveals new insights each time it’s revisited. With it, Craig Robertson has made an undeniable claim to be mentioned alongside Canada’s best contemporary singer/songwriters.
Click on the moose to watch Jennifer Holub‘s new video, “Island,” now at Roots Music Canada!
There are several definitions of the word “reckoning,” but the one that’s been foremost on Jennifer Holub’s mind is the most ancient—punishment for past misdeeds. That theme runs through the 10 songs on the Sudbury, Ont., native’s sophomore album, The Reckoning, a collection set for release on Sept. 28 that she envisioned from the start as a feminist call to action.
Working with co-producer Jonathan Danyliw (Murder Murder, Pistol George Warren) and engineer Matthew Wiewel, The Reckoning marks a major artistic step forward for Jennifer, who builds on her previous Americana-tinged sound with a range of elements—everything from vintage soul to EDM—that add up to a reflection of her northern environment: pastoral, cold and resilient, elements captured brilliantly in the video for the first focus track, “Island.”
“This was a very emotional project to make,” Jennifer says. “Some of the leads in the video shared with me that the scene they were depicting, or something very similar, had happened to them or a family member in real life. As for the male characters, they are all feminists in their own right, and as a result, they were all very uncomfortable acting in this. Some had to take some time to consider their participation, but ultimately they realized that their participation would have an overall positive impact. When putting out a call for extras in the restaurant scene, I was overwhelmed with the support. My extended family, fellow artists, and former kindergarten students all volunteered. It was a very touching day.”
On their fourth studio release, the six-song Sunshine EP, Alberta roots-pop collective The Hearts take the listener on a pleasantly sentimental trip up and down peaks and valleys. From ‘hit’-style pop songs to tear drenched ballads, the album maintains an allusive intensity between the sonic layers, plaintive lyrics and open spaces.
The Hearts deliver memorable pop melodies and moody folk harmonies that fit comfortably at dive bars, soft seat theatres or international folk festivals. What sets them apart is just how easy their down-to-earth songwriting rests against a backdrop of stylish cosmic textures — six standout musicians blending into one unshakable sound.
The Hearts are comprised of Jeff Stuart, Dwayne Martineau, Gavin Dunn, Christopher Quesnel, Brad Tebble and Alex Vissia, and Sunshinewas recorded at their home studio in Edmonton, Alberta. It was produced by guitarist Gavin Dunn and mixed by American producer and engineer Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Joy Kills Sorrow and many more). Everything you hear was written, arranged and performed by The Hearts.
The Hearts’ music has been featured in HBO and MTV productions, received international critical acclaim and charted on radio all across Canada. Their 2015 album, Equal Love reached #1 on CKUA Radio and landed on Earshot’s Top 30. They’ve toured extensively and performed at many international festivals and events including SXSW, Edmonton Folk Fest, Calgary Folk Fest, Interstellar Rodeo and many more. They’re revered for delivering an exciting live show where they trade, layer and cohere splendidly — mixing equal parts glitter and grit.
June 23 (Sat) :: North Country Fair :: Waterton Lakes AB
June 29 (Fri) :: Wild Oats & Notes :: Tofield AB
Sept. 1 (Sat) :: Waynestock :: Drumheller AB
More to be announced!
Whether they’re described as throwbacks to a more innocent time in music—or so hip it hurts—Carlo is simply a great band. Drawing equally from Link Wray, Ennio Morricone and Booker T & The MGs, the all-original Toronto instrumental combo has firmly embedded itself on the scene with a self-titled album guaranteed to make any situation a lot cooler.
Carlo is comprised of guitarist James Taylor, keyboardist Kelsey McNulty, bassist Scott McCannell, and current drummer Justin Rupple. Since releasing a debut EP in 2015, the band members have consistently developed their distinctive approach to well-established sounds. Carlo, the album, boldly displays the fruits of that evolution over the past two years.
Carlo certainly achieves that, recorded live at Magnephonic Records in Ottawa, using analog tape and vintage microphones for the highest possible fidelity reproduction. The album was then mastered for vinyl by Precision Pressing using state of their state of the art technology. Such attention to detail is a crucial part of Carlo’s aesthetic although, as evidenced by the band’s enigmatic name, they don’t necessarily follow the rulebook to the letter.
Carlo may be music geeks, but you don’t have to be to enjoy them.
JOE NOLAN — “Music In The Streets” (ft. Lydia Loveless) [Single]
Listen to the exclusive premiere at Roots Music Canada
Get it HERE
Joe Nolan is back. The roots rocker from Edmonton, Alta., will release his new album, Cry Baby, this fall, but he’s offering an advance preview with the first single, “Music In The Streets,” featuring Lydia Loveless.
Cry Baby is a collection of 11 songs, which take you on a trip of melancholic madness, a departure from his previous work, Tornado, which was produced by Colin Linden in Nashville, TN back in 2014. This time around Nolan made a record that hits close to home. Recorded in the dead of winter with Scott Franchuk, the vision behind Cry Baby is one that Nolan has kept locked up inside for the past three years. The music makes clear his struggles with darkness and depression, booze-filled evenings and broken relationships, but sharing his deepest secrets has led to truly remarkable results.
Nolan’s constant strength is his lyrical ability, as his words and imagery pierce the heart and have you hanging off each breath. He is not afraid to bleed – his open, wounded-heart delivery reminds us that we are all human. His unapologetic vulnerability is brave and endearing. Cry Baby is a journey through his early days, his first love, his feelings of failure and his never-ending search to find where he fits in.