2015 INTERSTELLAR RODEO WINNIPEG ARTISTS
(note: line up and performance times subject to change)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 2015
4:30 Gates Open
5:50 Hawksley Workman
7:10 Tanya Tagaq
8:05 Scott Nolan
8:45 Sarah McLachlan
SATURDAY, AUGUST 15, 2015
Noon Gates Open
12:30 JD & The Sunshine Band
1:10 Amelia Curran
2:15 NQ Arbuckle
3:20 Elliott BROOD
4:10 Colter Wall
4:50 Justin Townes Earle
6:05 Steve Earle & The Dukes
7:00 Wendy McNeill
7:40 Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
8:45 Ridley Bent
9:30 Dwight Yoakam
SUNDAY, AUGUST 16, 2015
Noon Gates open
12:45 Jason Plumb
1:55 Black Joe Lewis
2:45 Son of Dave
3:25 Rhiannon Giddens
4:35 The Lone Bellow
5:45 July Talk
6:40 Greg MacPherson
7:20 Vance Joy
8:25 Kacy & Clayton
9:05 Blue Rodeo
Gates open at 4:30 on Friday and at Noon on Saturday and Sunday. Last call is at 9:45 pm each night; concert ends between 10 and 10:30 each night.
The box office will be located on Israel Asper Way, the main road into The Forks – in between The Plaza Skate Park and the Parkade. On the weekend of the festival, it opens one hour before gates: Friday 3:30pm and 11:00 am on Saturday & Sunday.
“My name is Amelia Curran and I’m from St. John’s, Newfoundland.” Thus announces Amelia Curran at the beginning of every show, before she proceeds to devastate audiences with her knife-sharp take on life, love and loss. This songwriter extraordinaire and pride of Newfoundland comes to Interstellar Rodeo with her third Juno nomination in a row under her belt, this time for They Promised You Mercy, released in late 2014 on Six Shooter Records. The album is a consummate work that raises the lyrical bar yet again with its unrivalled eloquence.
Black Joe Lewis
Austin’s blues, funk and soul star Black Joe Lewis grew out of a strong local scene, one that has also produced the likes of Spoon, Shakey Graves and Gary Clark Jr. That garage rock club scene has fused with deep southern musical traditions to produce something entirely new and exciting, and Black Joe Lewis has delivered on all of the intense buzz, and has become a mainstay on the marquee festival circuit.
From the outskirts to the centre, Canadian Music Hall of Famers Blue Rodeo has been the beating heart of the roots-rock scene since the 80s, and has shaped the soundtrack of perfect summer nights for nearly three decades. The classic contrast in styles of frontmen Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor has fostered a rare creative partnership that grows more fertile with age. In the beginning critics scrambled to describe Blue Rodeo’s sound, comparing them to everyone from The Flying Burrito Brothers to the Eagles and The Beatles. Today, Blue Rodeo is compared to no one. Ever-evolving, it is a testament to Blue Rodeo’s creativity that the band can endure a lifetime of challenges and continue to make music that all Canadians can call their own.
Colter Wall (SK)
Rugged and dark, the talented Saskatchewan-bred newcomer Colter Wall is poised to release his debut album, the evocatively and aptly titled “Imaginary Appalachia” in June 2015. Wall finds his inspiration in the rich tradition of Delta Blues and performs in true DIY, lo-fi fashion, with a tambourine duct-taped to his kick drum.
Few entertainers have attained the iconic status of Dwight Yoakam. Perhaps that is because so few have consistently and repeatedly met the high standard of excellence delivered by the Kentucky native no matter what his endeavor. He is a 21-time nominated, multiple GRAMMY Award winner whose hits include “Guitars Cadillacs,” “Honky Tonk Man” and “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere.” The name Dwight Yoakam immediately conjures up compelling, provocative images: A pale cowboy hat with the brim pulled low; poured-on blue jeans; intricate, catchy melodies paired with poignant, brilliant lyrics that mesmerize with their indelible imprint. Yoakam’s latest album, 3 Pears, exemplifies his ability to incorporate multiple, competing influences into a piece of cohesive art. It balances his country core with a fiercely independent embrace of rock, Americana, pop and soul.
Elliott BROOD has put on some of the best live shows we’ve ever seen. This trio’s brand of fuzzed-up roots music makes for captivating, frenetic performances, which also translates on the band’s acclaimed records. Elliott BROOD has won a Juno, a Genie and hit the Polaris Short List. Their style has been called everything from ‘blackgrass’ to ‘death country,’ but those descriptions don’t capture the transcendent heights of their unique approach to roots music. Work and Love, their most recent and most personal album to date, is the sound of a grown-up band searching their hearts for all they’ve lost and gained.
Greg MacPherson (MB)
Local songwriting powerhouse Greg MacPherson has spent the better part of the past two decades with his head down, charging. Neither worn thin nor rendered a cynic, MacPherson has developed a voice, singular, significant, and strong, sharpened over six full-length albums. MacPherson’s most recent album, Fireball, was included on the Polaris Music Prize Long List.
Delivered from the mythic Muskoka wilderness, Hawksley arrived on the scene over a decade ago with a fearlessness rooted in an undeniable vocal panache. This Juno Award winning wild card has already cemented his place as an emblem of Canadian culture here and abroad. Hawksley roams like a rogue force, bouncing from pop tunes to country jangles, from anthemic rockers to hip-hop dance beats to gut-wrenching ballads, making his notably excellent performances as unpredictable as they are dramatic and exuberant. Hawskley Workman releases Old Cheetah on June 2, 2015 on Six Shooter Records.
Jason Plumb and The Willing
This roughrider has been in the music business for a long time; formerly as frontman to 90s stars and Juno winners band The Waltons, Jason Plumb & The Willing brings Saskatchewan Pride to every thing he does. The former Waltons frontman Jason Plumb has figured out the key to sustaining a career in the Canadian music industry — write engaging pop songs, accumulate a stellar list of musician friends, and remain dedicated to your craft. With his band The Willing, Jason Plumb plays country rock with a prairie heart.
JD & the Sunshine Band (MB
JD & the Sunshine Band is a creative collaboration between musicians and street involved people seeking to create the chorus for the streets of Winnipeg. Stories, slang and humour of the people were given a back-beat and a melody, and put back on the street with renewed swagger on a debut album, released in early 2015. The result is unmistakably Winnipeg, like slurpees in January.
As the story goes, one fateful night, Peter Dreimanis sat in a candlelit bar in Toronto paying little attention to the beat-up acoustic guitar being passed from patron to patron around him until it found its home in the hands of Leah Fay. He sat listening, dumfounded, realizing he’d met his match. Striking a frenzied balance between Americana and dance-floor-filling indie-rock, July Talk’s Beauty and the Beast aesthetic burns a little going down, but is sure to warm your belly and have you coming back for more. Their live show is one of the most high-energy, magnetic performances you’ll see on a stage. Their self-titled debut album recently won the Juno for Alternative Album of the Year.
Justin Townes Earle
Categories fall short when it comes to defining great music – who cares what it’s called when it’s excellent. Justin Townes Earle has cultivated a reverence for history and the highest standards of songcraft throughout his career, with a prizefighter’s ability to find harbours in rough waters. He wraps his own hardship and struggle into songs that speak to universal experience, and truly represents the next generation of the great American songwriter. Justin Townes Earle brings a new album, Absent Fathers, released in early 2015.
Kacy & Clayton (SK)
Saskatchewan duo Kacy & Clayton interpret and compose their own distinctive sound inspired by forms of traditional music from Southern Appalachia and the British Isles. Educated by Grandfather and Great-Uncle respectively, Kacy & Clayton possess an admiration and respect for days past. Kacy’s vocals, virtuous and pure, weave seamlessly with Clayton’s accomplished finger-style guitar accompaniment.
From a Brooklyn diner to NPR headquarters, The Lone Bellow has risen to the top of the roots/country ranks in a very short time. With impeccable harmonies and attention-holding intensity on stage, this trio loves gospel-influenced group choruses built for singing along. The Lone Bellow infuses their New York folk scene influences with southern origins, to earnest and moving results. Their new album, Then Came The Morning, mixes folk sincerity, gospel fervor, even heavy metal thunder, but the heart of the band is harmony: three voices united in a lone bellow.
Don’t let the self-deprecation imply that NQ Arbuckle isn’t serious about the music. This band has earned multiple Juno nominations, considerable critical praise (Pitchfork, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star etc.), and a legion of rabid fan. There’s a sober reverence and deep romance to NQ Arbuckle’s songcraft. Everything boils down to life and death, and how to face both with humour and humanity. In 2014, Six Shooter Records released The Future Happens Anyway, a masterful collection of songs that illustrates NQ’s finesse, subtlety and heart.
Ridley Bent (MB)
Channeling the high-energy performance ethic of artists like Tom Petty and Little Feat, Ridley and his band can tear a deep strip off any joint with his most recent release Wildcard, which showcases the Winnipeg-based country artist’s keen fascination for characters whose life on the straight and narrow rarely lasts past the nearest exit to a short, crooked road.
“She can summon the power of a field holler, Celtic quavers, girlish innocence, bluesy sensuality, gospel exaltation or the pain of slavery. She can sing velvety, long-breathed phrases or rasp and yip like a singer from the backwoods long ago. For all her technical control, her voice is a perpetually soulful marvel” (New York Times). Rhiannon Giddens is a founding member of The Carolina Chocolate Drops and the New Basement Tapes. Giddens has just released a brand new solo record, Tomorrow Is My Turn, produced by T. Bone Burnett, and now takes centre stage as one of Americana’s brightest lights. The album incorporates gospel, jazz, blues, and country, plus a hint of proto-rock and roll, and Giddens displays an emotional range to match her dazzling vocal prowess.
With over 25 years in the recording industry, Sarah McLachlan is a multi-platinum singer and songwriter best known for her intimate vocals and relatable lyrics. The Canadian-born, Grammy and Juno Award winning artist has sold over 40 million albums. She returned to the studio in 2013 and began to put together her much anticipated album Shine On, which was released in May 2014.
Scott Nolan (MB)
Winnipeg-based, WCMA nominated songwriter Scott Nolan has earned plenty of respect for his earnest, if slightly weatherworn music. His are the songs sung for people with a past, sturdily backlit with unswerving musicianship and a disposition rooted in the best of rock n’ roll, roots and Americana. His most recent album is called North/South.
Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings are the flagship American funk/soul band on Daptone Records. The band is at the forefront of a revivalist movement that aims to capture the essence of funk/soul music as it was at its height in the mid-1960s to mid-1970s. With this eye on the past, the band has also helped shaped the sound of some of the most influential recordings of this time. Their newest album, Give The People What They Want, is certainly an appropriate title. After more than a decade of nearly constant recording, collaborating, and touring as one of the most formidable and consequential live acts performing today, they know what their audience wants from them.
Son of Dave (MB/UK)
A Winnipegger by birth and a musician by trade, Son of Dave is known for his unique blend of styles, which include everything from blues to beat-box to R&B, largely featuring his trusty harmonica. Before striking out on a successful solo path, Son of Dave was a member of the Grammy-nominated hometown heroes The Crash Test Dummies.
Steve Earle and The Dukes
Master storyteller and living Americana legend Steve Earle & The Dukes comes to Interstellar Rodeo with a new record, Terraplane. This remarkable roots-rocking Renaissance man has been making the soundtracks for your road trips, late nights and quiet moments for decades. With his original band The Dukes, the ‘sometimes down but never out’ Earle has mined the best of southern roots rock traditions from Texas to Tennessee. Earle is a genuine rebel and his long career is proof of his tenacity and individuality. Steve Earle & The Dukes’s intelligent, relevant commentary makes him a rare breed of artist.
“Tanya Tagaq puts on the best show I’ve ever seen.” So raved one NY music critic after a recent show, and so rave many others, whenever and wherever Tagaq takes the stage. This Inuk punk is known for delivering performances that are visceral and physical, heaving and breathing and alive. Fearsome, strident and elemental, Tanya Tagaq’s music is a genre unto itself. Tagaq’s unique vocal style may be rooted in traditional cultural form, but her expression also aligns with avant-garde improvisation, metal and electronica influences. Tanya Tagaq’s 2014 Polaris Prize winning album Animism, released on Six Shooter Records, has made waves for its originality, artistic importance and stunning uniqueness.
The Aussie artist behind the mega-hit song “Riptide” is Vance Joy, a real-deal musician with an uncanny knack for crafting catchy tunes. Vance Joy is a relative newcomer but his success for hitting the sweet spot between pop hooks and smart, affecting lyrics bodes well for the long terms. His debut album, Dream Your Life Away, was just released last year, but he has already captured the imagination of international audiences.
Wendy McNeill (AB/SW)
Originally from Alberta and now based in Europe, Wendy McNeill’s music retains a love of wide-open space and big prairie skies. Her dark, idiosyncratic approach to folk music is largely shaped around the accordion, looped vocals and guitar. A compelling blend of the bold and the vulnerable with hints of cabaret and spoken word, Wendy makes music for dark hearted dreamers.