2013 INTERSTELLAR RODEO ARTISTS
(note: line up and performance times subject to change)
FRIDAY, JULY 26
4:30 pm Gates OPEN
6:00 pm JR GONE WILD
7:10 pm DEEP DARK WOODS
8:00 pm DEL BARBER [Interlude]
8:45 pm ALABAMA SHAKES
SATURDAY, JULY 27
Noon Gates OPEN
12:30 pm MIKE PLUME
1:35 pm GOOD LOVELIES
2:40 pm KURT VILE
4:00 pm M. WARD
5:05 pm CHRIS WYNTERS & SCOTT PETERS
5:40 pm DANNY MICHEL with the GARIFUNA COLLECTIVE
7:00 pm CR AVERY [Interlude]
7:35 pm SARAH HARMER
9:15 pm SHOUT OUT OUT OUT OUT
SUNDAY, JULY 28
Noon Gates OPEN
12:30 pm JOHN FULLBRIGHT
1:35 pm Interstellar All-Stars, featuring JIM CUDDY, DANNY MICHEL, and QUIQUE ESCAMILLA
2:40 pm CR AVERY
3:50 pm SKYDIGGERS
4:55 pm AMELIA CURRAN [Interlude]
5:35 pm ELLIOTT BROOD
6:40 pm RACHEL SERMANNI [Interlude]
7:20 pm SERENA RYDER
8:45 pm STEVE EARLE AND THE DUKES
Last call is at 9:30 pm each night; concerts end at 10:00 pm.
The box office at Hawrelak Park opens one hour before gates: Friday 3:30pm and 11 am on Saturday & Sunday.
We accept debit cards, credit cards, and cash.
A few notes into an Alabama Shakes performance is all it takes to confirm that the buzz surrounding this southern rock outfit is no accident. Fronted by force of nature Brittany Howard, Alabama Shakes have taken the Americana world by storm with awards and all kinds of praise, from NPR to Rolling Stone, Jack White and more. The band’s acclaimed debut album, Boys & Girls, included “Hold On,” named Rolling Stone’s Best Song of 2012. With multiple Grammy Award nominations already to their name, this relatively young band’s meteoric rise is built on knockout performances and true blue talent. With Howard’s powerful, raw voice drawing comparisons to Janis Joplin, it’s no surprise that music critics and fans are hailing Alabama Shakes as the next big thing.
Amelia Curran’s newest release, the Juno nominated Spectators, pushed her intricate, enigmatic lyrics into new sonic territory. A Six Shooter Records artist, Amelia Curran has risen to the top of the folk world, with a reputation built on the contrasts of complexity and simplicity in her music. Amelia won her first Juno Award in front of an adoring hometown crowd in St. John’s, NL (a proud moment for us). Amelia performs this year as a part of Interstellar’s Interludes, an esteemed group of songwriters.
CR Avery is self-described as: “Outlaw Hip-Hop Harmonica Player. Beatbox Poet. Punk Piano Player. String Quarter Raconteur. Rock & Roll Matador. Playwright.” That pretty much sums him up (as in, there’s no easy way to sum it up). CR Avery is an incredible performer, one who gives every show all or nothing – for starters, Tom Waits has praised his live show, and he’s quoted as saying, “he’s blowing my mind.” With 15 records, seven operas, numerous sideman credits and a reputation for endless creativity and experimentation to his name, CR Avery is making his mark on the scene. We love his genre-crossing approach to songwriting, and it will be a performance you won’t soon forget.
Danny Michel, one of our all-time favourite songwriters and performers, made his Six Shooter Records debut with Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me, a vivid, expressive album that fused his notably excellent songwriting with the multihued rhythms and textures of Belize’s Garifuna tradition. Danny Michel has been traveling to Belize for more than a decade, so when it came time to make the follow-up to the excellent Sunset Sea, it just made sense to join forces with the extraordinary musical community in Belize. The lush rhythms and sounds are the perfect backdrop for his eloquently buoyant lyrics, and the album has since been nominated for a Juno Award in the World Music category. This summer, Danny brings The Garifuna Collective on tour across Canada, and this special cross-cultural event is not to be missed.
The Deep Dark Woods wear their musical hearts on the sleeves of their vintage brown suits – echoes of the late greats reverberate in their prairie gothic murder ballads, scrappy rockers and slow-dance waltzes. From Saskatoon, The Deep Dark Woods are making international waves with their utterly entrancing live shows, and their newest album, The Place I Left Behind, was described as “a masterpiece of sombre beauty and eternal heartbreak” by Sun Media. The Place I Left Behind is out in Canada on Six Shooter Records (we are obviously fans). Along with a Juno Award nomination and other accolades, they also earned a nomination for Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2012 Americana Music Awards, a recognition that goes to few artists who hold Canadian passports. The Deep Dark Woods plan to release a new record in early fall, 2013.
Winnipeg’s Del Barber made his label debut on Six Shooter Records with Headwaters, a sepia-tinged collection of finger picked prairie parables that conjure lonesome spirits drifting and stumbling. Headwaters is steeped in Barber’s old fashioned country storytelling, poetic in its simplicity and sincerity. Del Barber has emerged as one of the next wave in Canada’s proud tradition of songwriting talent, and he joins the impressive group of Interlude artists at this year’s festival.
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 been nominated for Junos, a Genie and the Polaris Short List, and their signature sound is built on raspy, distinctive vocals propelled by all sorts of old time instruments played furiously and intensely. Their style has been called everything from ‘blackgrass’ to ‘death country,’ but those descriptions don’t quote capture the transcendent heights of their unique approach to roots music. Elliott BROOD comes to Interstellar Rodeo in support of their most recent Juno-nominated album, Days Into Years.
The Garifuna Collective
Along with Andy Palacio, Belize’s most famous artist, The Garifuna Collective brought this unique musical tradition to the world. Their 2007 album, Watina, was a foundational, groundbreaking record. Garifuna music is unique in Central America, a fusion of West African and Caribbean styles, and the musicians are a national treasure in Belize. The Garifuna Collective comes to Canada to tour with Danny Michel, a new collaboration that has thus already yielded a Juno Award nomination for Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me. This unique artistic partnership spans cultures and languages, and it is a very special occasion to have The Garifuna Collective perform in Canada.
The aptly named Good Lovelies are Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Sue Passmore. Part folk-roots, part vintage boogie-woogie, the Toronto trio delivers their unerring three-part vocal harmonies and playful songwriting to the tune of one Juno Award, a second nomination, and sold out shows across North America. Their new album, Live at Revolution, captures all the charm of this talented trio’s stage presence. The album was recorded in front of a live audience over two days in May 2012. While The Good Lovelies write songs for all kinds of weather, their lighthearted songwriting and irresistibly buoyant dispositions are best described as sunshine.
Blue Rodeo closed out the first ever Interstellar Rodeo last year with “Lost Together,” and we could never have imagined a more perfect way to wrap up the inaugural event. It couldn’t have happened any other way. As a member of the Canadian Hall of Fame, Jim Cuddy is one of the country’s best, most prolific and most esteemed artists working today (and has been for over three decades), and his songs have a staying power that is simply unmatched. His most recent solo album, Skyscraper Soul, received a Juno Award nomination. Jim returns for the Interstellar All-Stars, a new addition to Interstellar Rodeo’s programming envisioned as a “songwriter supergroup” with Danny Michel and Quique Escamilla. The All-Stars performance will feature the three artists performing each other’s material along with a full rocking backing band.
Iconic “Wichita Lineman” songwriter Jimmy Webb has said, “”I have no doubt that in a short time John Fullbright will be a household name in American music.” How’s that for an introduction. The Grammy Award-nominated breakout album (his debut, by the way) by John Fullbright, From the Ground Up, showcased a young talent who shares a hometown with Woody Guthrie. The Oklahoman songwriter has impressed the critics with songs that cover a lot of Americana ground without losing his signature style. “He veers between Bible-beating gospel, midwestern folk, roadhouse country-blues and old-school rock and roll,” writes American Songwriter.
Before cowpunk was a word, there was Jr. Gone Wild. Edmonton’s original renegades finally reunite in 2013 – a long-awaited revival that includes a performance at the Interstellar Rodeo. The hometown press calls Jr. Gone Wild “one of Edmonton’s most beloved and influential bands of the 80’s and 90’s,” (Edmonton Journal), so needless to say our Edmonton pride makes our stage a perfect setting for the return of these country/punk pioneers. For fans of Blue Rodeo, Corb Lund, Cowboy Junkies and more, Jr. Gone Wild is a band that you simply must know if you want the complete history of Canadian country and roots music. Welcome back, boys!
Described by the New York Times as “a fuzzy thinking urban poet,” Kurt Vile is a critically acclaimed rocker from Philadelphia. With his band The Violators, his distinct sound and magnetic live show makes him a unique mid-point between Tom Petty and Beck – each classic hit-makers in their own rights. His latest record, Smoke Ring For My Halo, was on most major music publications’ year-end lists, and his profile has grown to parade-sized proportions (his hometown just threw one for him). NPR calls Kurt Vile the “patron saint for the Great Recession’s legions of accidental bohemians,” and hails his newest record, Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze, as “arguably his best yet.”
There’s something about West Coast songwriters that is hard to pinpoint but undeniably awesome. Next in the long line of their low-key superstars is M. Ward, dubbed a “maverick auteur,” by The Guardian. M. Ward is an artist with a huge list of credits to his name, including his solo work, She & Him, Monsters of Folk and more. The common thread between these different projects is Ward’s top-caliber songwriting and guitar playing. M. Ward is an impressive yet understated force on the scene. In an interview with NPR, M. Ward said, “One of the great things about music is that it has the capability of time travel,” and his particular style a way bringing together past and present in surprising ways.
Veteran Nashbertan songwriter Mike Plume returned to the scene in 2013 with “So Long Stompin’ Tom,” a fitting tribute to the late Canadian country icon. Plume’s homage is the most recent example of his songwriting expertise, a unique mix of prairie pride and Nashville know-how. In 2009, Mike Plume was been nominated for a Canadian Country Music Award (Roots Artist of the Year), and he continues to build his reputation for quality songwriting and recordings. Mike is currently in the process of reissuing his extensive back-catalogue and he also plans to release a new album in June. Interstellar Rodeo will be its Alberta debut, a fitting setting for this Edmonton ex-pat.
QuiQue Escamilla comes for the Interstellar All-Stars, a new Sunday feature at the festival that puts different artists on the stage together with a full backing band. Originally from Chiapas, Mexico, QuiQue is starting to make his name in Toronto with his fascinating mix of traditional Mexican styles and modern rock, reggae, pop and more. Above all else, QuiQue’s inspiration is rooted in his commitment to social change, which makes his performances all the more powerful. QuiQue performed with Jim Cuddy and Danny Michel at the recent Americana Music Festival/Outlaws & Gunslingers showcase and it was so good we had to ask them to do it again.
Scottish singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni might be a relative newcomer to the scene (she released her first album on Rough Trade Records in 2012), but she’s making an impact in the UK and beyond with her ethereal voice and dream-like narratives. Sermanni joins the Interstellar’s Interludes bill this year, and we’re excited to present this brand new talent at the beginning of her promising career.
Sarah Harmer is the sweetheart of the Canadian songwriting world, a one-of-a-kind artist known for her unique artistic voice and powerful environmental advocacy. Sarah Harmer’s albums are critically acclaimed, top-selling records that somehow harness her fearsome talent and powerful conviction into eloquent, intimate songs delivered in her signature songbird warble. From the days of Weeping Tile to her Juno and Polaris contending solo albums, Harmer’s ability to translate universal themes into folk-pop charmers is unmatched. As a BBC review of Harmer’s most recent release, Oh Little Fire, simply sums it up: “Quietly, unassumingly lovely.”
2013 is the year Serena Ryder received her first Platinum single with “Stompa,” from her newest album, Harmony. Her well-deserved success is rooted in her astonishing vocal prowess – no one else has that voice – and her spirited roots-rock songwriting. Serena’s latest record is a departure from the folk sound that defined her on the Canadian scene, at least until she raised the stakes and released Harmony late last year. The album showcases an artist at the top of her creative game, and matches her exceptional voice (one that was first heard in a crowd at Toronto’s Silver Dollar) with anthemic production. Serena Ryder’s live show is fiery and entertaining, and a recent headline in the Globe and Mail says it all: “An idol in the making…A Music Career Poised for Greatness.”
Shout Out Out Out Out
Shout Out Out Out Out makes dance music, but they don’t make it the way you might expect. With a mountain of homemade analog synths, guitars and two drummers in synchronized frenzy, not to mention heavily vocoded lyrics about depression, shame and loss, Juno Award nominated Shout Out Out Out Out are proud hometown favourites (and our longtime friends). With their newest album, Spanish Moss and Total Loss, the band evolved to a subtler (yet still danceable) and more melodic take on their usual lyrical themes of angst and disappointment. Shout Out Out Out Out’s brand of dance music fuses late-70’s German electronic experimentalism with the DIY punk aesthetic of their tight-knit musical community in Edmonton. The result is “analog synth heaven” (NPR, SXSW 2013).
The Skydiggers is one of those bands that create songs so memorable you’ll realize you’ve known them for decades. Strange luck has followed them through their almost 25-year career, but the strength of their songs and lead singer Andy Maize’s distinct voice has always been there. The Skydiggers make slow-burning, poignant music that has stood the test of time (think Cowboy Junkies and Blue Rodeo). Their most recent record, Northern Shore, reaffirmed the band’s continuing place in the heart of the Canadian music scene, and showed the band’s best ideas are not at all behind them. In fact, to celebrate their silver anniversary in ambitious fashion, the band plans to release four new albums, one per season, in 2013.
Steve Earle and The Dukes
Master storyteller and living Americana legend Steve Earle will come to Interstellar Rodeo with a new record, The Low Highway, which marks his 15th studio album. This remarkable roots-rocking Renaissance man (his credits include a recent novel about the mystery surrounding the death of Hank Williams) 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, (as a teenager, he ran away from home to follow Townes Van Zandt on the road), and his long career is proof of his tenacity and individuality. Steve Earle’s intelligent, relevant commentary makes him a rare breed of artist.
View 2012’s artists & bios here: 2012 INTERSTELLAR RODEO ARTISTS