With the new addition of Marvest to this year’s CityFolk festival, nine acts have been given the opportunity to release new music at Aberdeen Pavilion. Fans of music will be given the chance to experience what Ottawa’s best have to offer, and maybe even find a new favourite band to follow in town. We’ve laid out all the artists releasing a new album this weekend, along with all the information you need. So go on, get out there, and check out what treasures this year’s Marvest has to offer!
September 17, 2015, 12am @ House of Targ (1077 Bank St.) – $5 Cover Fee
James Leclaire is ready to release his fourth studio album, These Weights, which focus on some of the darker and more troubling times we experience in life. These Weights was recorded analog, live off the floor and has a truely live feel to it. His raspy, whiskey soaked voice, small-town working-class sensibilities, and powerful storytelling capabilities make James Leclaire and the Cable 22’s a strong addition to Marvest this year.
Silas and his crew are releasing their sophomore followup to 2014’s Roots at Marvest this year. Silas describes Tunnels as introspective, and all about transitions and connectivity to different parts of the self. Hip hop at its core, Silas’ music blends all kinds of genres together, making his music accessible, unrestrained, and relatable to listeners. This album will be a big step forwad for Silas and his band, charting a path in a new direction. Check out a beautiful acoustic rendition of his song “Lions & Tigers & Bears” featuring fellow Marvest artist Amanda Lowe.
Ilvekyo (pron. ill-veck-yo) is a pop-rock band that consistently makes irresistibly catchy and fun songs since their formation in 2011. If you’re familiar with their catalogue of songs such as “Subtle Dance Moves”, “Easy To Love”, and “Downtown Girls,” then you know exactly what this band is capable of – getting folks off their asses and dancing uncontrollably. The first single called “Out of Control” off the new album by the same name has a distinctly folk-country sound to it, with the same honesty and zest that has always been present in their songs.
September 19, 2015 @ 11pm @ FarmTeam Cookhouse – Free
Since their formation in 2009, the 9-piece band Loon Choir have taken Ottawa by storm. Not only that, they’ve toured across Canada, and grown as a band in the process. Coming off the success of their 2012 album Fire Poems, Loon Choir digs even deeper with their new release All of This and Everything Else. Working with a diverse array of themes – everything from alienation and anxiety to community – the album offers a more vivid look at what this ensemble is really about. Their rich and full sound will appeal to Canadian indie rock lovers across the country, and you’ll be sure to hear many of these songs on CBC Radio if you’re dialled in. They are one band that are not to be missed.
Have a first listen of the new album in its entirety here.
Moonfruits is the name given to a band of two lovebirds, Alex Millaire and Kaitlin Milroy. The recently married couple are releasing their follow-up to 2014’s Debut, which was received with much acclaim and praise. Millaire’s intricate, serenading guitar work is perfectly complimented with Milroy’s beautiful vocals, creating a concoction and chemistry that is rarely seen in today’s world of music. Be sure not to miss Moonfruits, as they are a treat for any showgoer.
Lost to the River, formally known as Miss. Polygamy will release their debut album at Marvest. The band’s songs are intimate, textured, and contain the heart and soul that many of us have come to love about Canadiana folk music. The record also features special appearances by other local musicians including Tom Thompson of Orienteers, Jessie Lyon of Snowday, singer-songwriter Danielle Allard, and Brodie Conley of Future States. Lost to the River are a great retort for those who say “there is no folk at CityFolk.” Not only is there some folk and Canadiana, there are great local contributions.
Thursday, Sept. 17, 11pm @ House of Targ – $5 cover
Goodnight Mara is High Waters’ first full-length album. Building on their great debut EP, Gather Wish, the local art-rock band is reminiscent of early Radiohead with their simple yet textured sound, eerie yet beautiful sound and thought-provoking lyrics.
Thursday, Sept. 17, 10pm @ House of Targ – *$5 cover
The Brook are creating East Coast inspired folk in the nation’s capital. Led by Newfoundland-born songwriter Sarah Murphy they play very catchy songs that will get you clapping, stomping your feet and ooh oohing along. The EP is all about the trials, tribulations and dishonesty involved in modern millennial relationships. On top of all that the title track, “Sweet Talk,” focuses directly on the dating app Tinder.
John Allaire is the truest example of a road warrior, playing over 120 shows a year for several years now. Formally the front-man for the legendary Town Cryers in the ’80s and ’90s, Allaire’s new album South of Solitude’ is the 16th career release. The folk-rocker perfectly encapsulates a folk festival through sound, story and personality. For someone looking for actual folk music at CityFolk, Allaire joined by his loyal band of merry men, The Campistas, are not to be missed.
Ottawa’s RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest begins on July 3rd and will feature 30 great local groups. Here is a list in alphabetical order to help you support local at this year’s Bluesfest!
Métis singer-songwriter Amanda Rheaume is a powerful vocalist with just a touch of grit and an instantly-accessible roots-pop-Americana sound. She has been impressing concert goers for around a decade in Ottawa and throughout North-America with her music and her infectious personality. Her latest release Keep Fire has earned her a Juno Nomination in the category Aboriginal Album of the Year. You can be swoon by Amanda July 11th at 6 PM on the River Stage.
Amos the Transparent
A six-piece band that plays wonderful folk-inspired, indie-pop which Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC’s radio show Q, referred to as them as “Canadian Wilco.” Amos the Transparent can really dazzle a crowd with their excellent musicianship. They will be playing July 3rd at 5 PM on the Black Sheep Stage.
Angelique Francis Angelique Francis is a singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist (piano, drums, key board, harmonica, upright bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and the electric Bass). In July of 2011, after a country wide search, Angelique was selected by Ottawa Blues Festival as one of three next emerging female Canadian Artists ( The She’s The One Competition), she was only 13 years old at the time. Angelique plays July 4th at 6 PM in the Barney Danson Theatre.
Atherton Atherton is one of Ottawa’s finest hip-hop talents and most entertaining MC’s. In 2012 he released his third album No Threat, which features a tonne of great tracks chalked full of references to Orleans where he grew up and other neighbourhoods around town. Atherton is also the host of one of the city’s best monthly events, Hip-Hop Karaoke. Atherton performs on the hip-hop heavy day July 12th at 2 PM on the Claridge Homes Stage.
Average Times For fans of high energy garage rock and punk rock. Average Times are coming off an awesome set at Ottawa Explosion Weekend, which you can read about here. Their self-titled debut, full of energetic quick hitters, made our list of the best local releases of 2013. Head bob and rock out with Average Times July 9th at 6:15 PM on the River Stage.
Bella Cat Bella Cat is a rarity at the Bluesfest, as she actually plays the blues. Playing blues, soul, and jazz with very catchy melodies which will bring you back to the 50s and 60s. Not only do they play beautiful music, but Bella Cat’s booming and powerful voice will amaze. You can catch Bella Cat on Thursday, July 10 at 6 PM at the Barney Danson Theatre.
BlakDenim BlakDenim will fill the stage with nine members on stage and fill your ears with very dancy funk music with hip-hop vocals overlaid. They infuse hip-hop, funk, rock, soul and jazz with lyrical content that ranges from the serious to the absurd, their tone from sweet to heavy, all connected by head-nodding and hip shaking melodies. So go shake your groove thang and get down with your bad self with BlakDenim Saturday July 5 at 2 PM on the Black Sheep Stage.
Boyhood Boyhood is one of Ottawa’s most intriguing bands with there very outside the box psych-pop sound. If you are into strange and quite creative music, then don’t miss out on this project. Boyhood is really just Caylie Runciman, who does all of the composition, writing and recording herself. But has a few musicians join her when she plays live. Come get lost in Caylie’s musical vision July 6th at 2 PM on the Black Sheep Stage.
Cold Capital Taking their cue from classic blues and rock traditions, Cold Capital‘s guitar driven music mixes blues, roots, soul and country into a boiler pot of rock n’ roll. With influences spanning from Wilco to the Rolling Stones to Gary Clark Jr., the band is a perfect fit for the Bluesfest. Catch them July 4th at 6 PM on the Blacksheep Stage.
They are a four piece indie rock band draws influences from artists such as The Black Keys, Tokyo Police Club and Jack White. Farewell Davidson‘s music has great hooks and many sing-a-long opportunities which is always fun. Come sing with Farewell Davidson July 13th at 1 PM on the River Stage.
Formed from the ashes of Crash 13 in the latter stages of 1999, Fiftymen play country rock through and through, with dusty twang surging through its veins. Beyond the twang are strong lyrics about hard luck, heart ache, jealousy, revenge and redemption. Get your stomping shoes on and go check them out July 6th at 6 PM on the River Stage.
A modern combination of blues and roots, Firebelly add some sweet sweet harmonica play and strong vocals. In true blues fashion the four-piece does not shy away from other genres such as elements of funk, swing, jazz and country. They play July 10th at 6 PM on the Black Sheep Stage.
James Leclaire From fis- pumping, stomp your feet working-man anthems to soulful ballads of love, heartache and loss, James Leclaire’s songs are all about storytelling. He is backed by a band called the Cable 22’s and just released his third studio album Of What is Left and has been compared to Steve Earl. James and the Cable 22 will be playing July 3rd at 6 PM at Barney Danson Theatre.
John Allaire and the Campistas John Allaire is an experienced, award-winning singer/songwriter , including American Songwriter Assoc. “Best Lyrics” Award in 2009 for “Magnets” (Nashville, TN). He has been making music for over 30 years and has a gift for weaving captivating musical stories. Drawing on his experiences and surroundings John’s musical repertoire includes songs with sincere, intelligent lyrics that are introspective and deeply personal, as well as tunes that are light-hearted and humourous. Check out this local talent on one of the main stage, July 12th at 3 PM on the Bell Stage.
Jonathan Becker and The North Fields Jonathan Becker and The North Fields play rock and roll with roots in folk, country, and post punk. Jonathan’s voice was an instantly recognizable rasp that delivers very heartfelt lyrics. The five piece released a wonderful five-song EP early this year and are just coming back from a tour which took them through Ontario, Quebec and some stops on Canada’s East coast. Check them out with a cold brew on July 12th at 3 PM on the River Stage.
Probably one of the happiest and most excited people in Ottawa right now as he was named to the Polaris Prize Short-List for his latest album, the wonderful Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold. The amazing accomplishment is well deserved for the absolutly talented Kalle Mattson and his band. The folk rockers often remind me of Winnipeg based The Weakerthans, as they can play super uplifting tunes that get you up and dancing and then follow it up with a beautiful gut-wrenchingly powerful fingerpicking soft songs. Go see what all the buzz is about July 5th at 2 PM on the Claridge Homes Stage.
Keturah Johnson Band Keturah Johnson has one of the most powerful and beautiful voices I have ever heard. She has spent most of her music making career as a solo artist, but late last year added a great group of talented musicians around her to take her sound to the next level. Their is so much soul and passion that flows through her lyrics and her incredible voice, that is now complimented by a full band sound. Don’t miss being blown away July 11 at 6 PM in the Barney Danson Theatre.
The Mackenzie Rhythm Section
One of the most fun get out of your seats and shake your hips band playing the entire festival. The Mackenzie Rhythm Section describe themselves as Soulstep, soul sang from the heart and rock solid funk. To be honest I could not say it any better myself. Shine up your dancing shoes, practice your best moves and come get jiggy with it July 5th at 6 PM in the Barney Danson Theatre.
Back with the blues, Old Stereo play very funky soulful blues music. The four-piece has been greatly influenced by Gary Clark Jr. so fans of his should not miss them July 5th at 1:30 PM on the River Stage.
Old Whiskey Road
Six-piece americana and country style band with a wonderful balance of male and female vocals. Old Whiskey Road draw influences from Wilco to Neil Young and to Ryan Adams, a great bunch of excellent singer songwriters. They hit the stage July 6th at 2pm on the Claridge Homes Stage.
Pith and the Parenchymas
Probably one of the youngest acts playing the festival, Pith and the Parenchymas play very interesting experimental folk that is mature beyond their years. It is quite exciting to see the younger generation add twists to a style that has been around for decades. Pith and the Parenchymas just released their debut full length album, Songs of the Neverending Ugly Lizard. Go experience something you have never heard before July 8th at 7:30 in the Barney Danson Theatre.
Scattered Clouds Scattered Clouds‘s psychedelic rock will channel the ghosts of Lebreton Flats past. Brooding rhythms and precise noise from this experimental 3-piece underline film noir imagery. Get taken away on a psychedelic journey July 3rd at 7:30 pm in the Barney Danson Theatre.
No it is not our beloved national Olympic rowing hero. It is a group of very talented artists from Ottawa who formed an 80’s style dance band. Silkken Laumann‘s lead singer Rolf Klausener’s voice is hypnotic and the music is very much a blast from the past. Their amazing debut album Not Forever Enough is available for free, here. Kick off your Friday night in style and in dance with Silkken Laumann July 4th at 6 PM on the River Stage.
The “Northern-fried” rock and soul band made their debut in 2006 at Bluesfest and have since made big waves around the country. Silver Creek has had such highs as playing the main stage at Bluesfest in 2009 and have back Blue Rodeo on tour. Silver Creek get the honour of once again rocking the main stage (the Bell Stage) July 5th at 3 PM.
Sound of Lions Sound of Lions were the winners of “Best New Act” and “Album of the Year” in the Ottawa XPress’ readers’ poll back in 2011 and have carried that momentum with them. They have an amazing combination of a beautiful female vocals teamed up with a very strong emcee rapping over trip-hop beats. They will take their unique sound and high level of energy to the stage on July 12th at 1:30 PM on the River Stage.
Still Winter Hills
Five-piece country band that channels the days of old. Sill Winter Hills sounds like a band that could have opened for Neil Young during his heyday. They have perfected the sound of those who came before them, while carving out their own unique sound. Check out these country boys and go back in time with them on July 13th at 2pm on the Claridge Stage.
The Split Speaking of going back in time, let The Split teleport you back to when funky-soul bands laden with brass ensembles were king. Fans of Lee Fields, Charles Bradley and James Brown cannot afford to miss out on this talented act. You can catch this soulful act July 5, at 3:30 on the Black Sheep Stage.
Female fronted alternative rock band who’s influences range from The Pixies, Arcade Fire and Nina Simone. Tindervox is a four-piece but you would never know from the great depth of their sound and their haunting songs. If you are brave enough, check them out July 6th at 3 PM in the Barney Danson Theatre.
They play traditionally-based Ukrainian style music merged with punk rock power chords. Ukrania is perfect for fans of Gogol Bordello and gypsy style rock. They are up-beat, fun, dancy and sing all their songs in Ukrainian. Come learn a new language, gain international travel and have a party with Ukrania July 10th at 6PM on the River Stage.
Last but not least, the 30th local act, Wicked Grin. Since 2003 Wicked Grin have been playing their full-tilt blues with a groove that just won’t quit much to the enjoyment of concert goers. Wicked Grin recently won the Ottawa Blues Society “Road To Memphis” Challenge and represented Ottawa at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, in January 2014. You can catch their blues with bite July 12th at 6 PM on the Black Sheep Stage.