Edmonton’s own Corb Lund is a homegrown country music star who is unafraid to venture beyond honky-tonk stereotypes. Corb’s early punk/metal days have helped to shape this award-winning artist into a renegade cowboy rocker, whose subject matter ranges from goth girls to bibles, vintage motorcycles to cattle. Corb Lund and The Hurtin’ Albertans have made an international impact with their unconventional approach to country music, which makes them a perfect fit for the festival. May you always have cows around.
CORB LUND + THE HURTIN’ ALBERTANS
CORB LUND + THE HURTIN’ ALBERTANSFriday 8:45 PM
- GORD DOWNIE, THE SADIES, AND THE CONQUERING SUN
GORD DOWNIE, THE SADIES, AND THE CONQUERING SUNSunday 8:45 PM
Two of Canada’s most enigmatic musical forces meet in a highly anticipated collaboration that has been all but an insider whisper and music fan’s hallucinatory dream for years. Now, it’s official. Gord Downie’s abstract, intense and unmistakable imagery meets the burning, psychedelic rock of The Sadies for The Conquering Sun. Thundering, frayed and ecstatic, this collaboration represents some of the most uncommon talent on the scene, and the sheer volatility of art this unique is both terrifying and exhilarating.
HYDRASaturday 7:15 PM
A writhing, many-headed beast is not necessarily a creature to fear. Hydra rewrites myth as an unexpected and electrifying collaboration between the impeccable artistic instincts of Feist and two of Toronto’s buzziest new duos, Snowblink and AroarA. The triple-threat “indie-rock beast” that is Hydra features rich and textured soundscapes, twin-guitar art rock fuzz and the unmistakable pipes of Leslie Feist. Hydra’s appearance at the 2014 Interstellar Rodeo will be a rare chance to catch the ephemeral moments of pure creativity at work.
- JASON ISBELL
JASON ISBELLSunday 7:05 PM
If you haven’t seen Jason Isbell on the cover of a music magazine lately, we aren’t reading the same things, because everywhere we look we see this impressive artist surrounded by long lists of superlatives trumpeting his most recent record, Southeastern, as the Best Album of 2013. Jason Isbell’s music is of the highest soul-baring order: raw, open, and reflective sentiments expressed in equal parts squawling walls of sound and quiet acoustic moments. Stories of hard truths and hopeless cases have never sounded so beautiful.
- Hey Rosetta!
Hey Rosetta!Monday 7:10 PM
Newfoundland’s indie pop luminaries Hey Rosetta! are a most welcome addition to Interstellar Rodeo’s 2014 lineup. The band is known for their epic live energy and intensely listenable albums that blend key rock band ingredients with crescendoing orchestral elements, including cello and violin.
- HENRI HERBERT
HENRI HERBERTSunday 5:10 PM
Over 7,000,000 people have seen Henri Herbert’s visceral, exciting mix of blues, boogie-woogie and gospel in a video shot on a public piano at St Pancras Station. Herbert is much more than a Youtube number; the talented sideman has moved into the spotlight as an exhilarating live performer, a piano player and vocalist known for his powerful left hand and stomping footwork. Herbert makes his first ever appearance in Edmonton as an Interstellar Interlude performer.
- Great Lake Swimmers
Great Lake SwimmersMonday 6:00 PM
Subtle, transcendent folk music is Great Lake Swimmers’ calling card. The Polaris Short Listed and Juno nominated band has defined a signature musical style that draws on moody, meditative and hushed moments that feel at once intensely private and reassuringly universal.
BAHAMASThursday 4:15 PM
Afie Jurvanen isn’t from the Bahamas. He’s a Finnish-Canadian from Barrie—a working class town in rural Ontario. But his chosen epithet is fitting. Since 2009 he’s been making music under the name Bahamas, writing songs about sunsets, love affairs, and making out with crooked smiles. Through simple arrangements, he charts an escape route from the snowbelt to the coral reefs.
- BLACKIE AND THE RODEO KINGS
BLACKIE AND THE RODEO KINGSFriday 7:10 PM
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings have morphed well beyond their initial Willie P. Bennett tribute in 1996. The 8th album from solo powerhouses Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing, and Tom Wilson, has proven once again that what started as a one-time musical collaboration is in fact, a creative relationship here for the long haul.
- THE HOLD STEADY
THE HOLD STEADYSunday 3:05 PM
Brooklyn indie stalwarts The Hold Steady fuse classic rock ingredients with a scruffy yet intellectual storytelling skill. On stage The Hold Steady turn downtrodden, tough-luck tales into catchy punk-edged songs that satisfy both the head and the heart. The novelesque quality of the songwriting has ensured continuity in characters and themes over the course of the band’s long career, which has yielded plenty of essential tracks for late night party playlists.
- ST. PAUL AND THE BROKEN BONES
ST. PAUL AND THE BROKEN BONESSunday 5:50 PM
Grit, elemental rhythm, tight-as-a-drumhead playing, and a profound depth of feeling: these are the promises of a great soul band. And St. Paul & The Broken Bones deliver on those promises. Lead singer Paul Janeway references his region’s classic soul and gospel roots with electrifying potency. Their shows are roof-raising, high-voltage sprees of showmanship, passion and skill. Janeway’s pre-show mantra, ‘All right, it’s time to pour it on,’ says it all. Alabama, and Muscle Shoals in particular, has produced more than its share of talent. St. Paul & The Broken Bones carry on this proud lineage and legacy.
- The Lone Bellow
The Lone BellowSunday 1:35 PM
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 lead singer Zach Williams’ southern origins, and the result is earnest and moving. The songs speak to romantic rupture and hard-fought redemption, and spring from a deeply personal place that translates into shared intimacy.
- ANdrew Bird
ANdrew BirdWednesday 8:45 PM
Chicago’s indie rock outlier Andrew Bird has developed a signature brainy-meets-brooding pop music punctuated by his prodigious violin talent and “the best whistling in the business.” Bird’s considerable esteem is built both on critical acclaim for an impressive number of solo albums, film scores and soundtracks, documentary projects and collaborations and a feverishly dedicated fan base. His deceptively light touch conceals an array of artistic complexities that give his music a bittersweet edge. He will perform at Interstellar Rodeo as a four-piece band.
- The Strumbellas
The StrumbellasSaturday 1:35 PM
Recent Juno-winning newcomers The Strumbellas have quickly made an impression with their anthemic and exuberant folk pop sound that raises dark lyrics about death and solitude to great heights with undeniably danceable energy. Equal parts small town dream (from Lindsay, ON) and big city hustle (now based in Toronto), there’s a thunder and drive behind The Strumbella’s quick ascent up the Canadian music ladder that makes the band all the more exciting to watch. Six Shooter Records is the proud label home of The Strumbellas.
- AMOS LEE
AMOS LEEWednesday 4:10 PM
Philadelphia’s Amos Lee needs no bells and whistles to deliver his nuanced songwriting and 1970’s inspired approach to Americana music. With elements of folk, rock and soul wrapped comfortably into his chart-topping style, Lee’s songs have a simple, lingering power to them. His current album is called Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song. Lee’s style recalls some of the best, from James Taylor to John Prine.
- LEE FIELDS + THE EXPRESSIONS
LEE FIELDS + THE EXPRESSIONSWednesday 5:30 PM
There are scarce few artists making soul music today who had a release in 1969. Lee Fields, however, is one such artist – or maybe he’s better labeled a phenomenon. With a career spanning 43 years, releases on twelve different record labels, and having toured the world over with his raucous-yet-tender voice, it’s mind-blowing that the music Lee Fields is making today with Brooklyn’s own Truth & Soul Records is the best of his career.
- Tom Wilson
Tom WilsonMonday 8:05 PM
Icon, veteran and legendary rabble-rouser, Tom Wilson is an undeniable, unstoppable creative force and personality. From blues to rock to country to psychedelic folk, Wilson’s solo and group work permeates all corners of Canada’s music scene.
BidinibandSaturday 12:30 PM
Dave Bidini’s name appears in music collections, on bookshelves and at newsstands with impressive frequency. This true Canadian Renaissance man was a founding member of one of the most obsessed-about bands in our music history (and former Six Shooter management client), The Rheostatics, and since then has continued to inspire, engage and express strong opinions on all matters cultural and political. Dave Bidini’s current namesake band, known for its scrappy, defiant, firebrand rock n’ roll, pulls together the many artistic hats Bidini wears on stage.
- JEFF STUART + THE HEARTS
JEFF STUART + THE HEARTSSunday 12:30 PM
Edmonton’s own Jeff Stuart and The Hearts use a heart-on-sleeve framework of roots and indie-pop to construct an expansive sonic world. Stuart writes songs that wouldn’t sound out of place in 1971, at the birth of Big Star and the New York Dolls among the wreckage of the Beatles and Gram Parsons–era Byrds, striving for glory and redemption on the AM dial. Melodies, harmonies, and hooks, hooks, hooks abound.
- trampled by turtles
trampled by turtlesFriday 5:50 PM
From the Great Lakes state fabled for its musical legacy comes the breakneck acoustics of Trampled By Turtles. This 5-piece string band, former punk rockers-turned-bluegrass disciples, has developed a bracing hybrid of classic songwriting, bluegrass and folk – it’s North Country & Mid-Western Blue-collar ’grass with a fistful of gunpowder. Their signature style is an ever-accelerating stomp and storm, offset by poignant, seductive desolation and plaintive ballads. You won’t soon forget this acoustic frenzy. We’re proud to add that you’ll find Trampled By Turtles albums out on Six Shooter Records in Canada.
- JADEA KELLY
JADEA KELLYSunday 2:30 PM
Known for her achingly distinct voice, Jadea Kelly has stepped up from punk rock backing vocalist to one of the brightest lights in Toronto thriving and youthful folk scene. Her music has recently moved away from acoustic-based singer-songwriter to a more ambient, Fleetwood Mac-inspired layering and richness. At its essence is still an artist who has a demonstrated knack for lyrical hooks and innate melodic savvy.
- SELINA MARTIN
SELINA MARTINSunday 8:05 PM
Selina Martin has been recognized as one of Canada’s most potent songwriters and captivating live performers – “a lifetime resident in the tower of song.” She is an idiosyncratic artist who has forged her own brand of pop by melding rock, new wave, punk, singer/songwriter, and dance, always with intelligent lyrics. Look for a new album in the fall of 2014.
- TIFT MERRITT
TIFT MERRITTSaturday 3:30 PM
North Carolina native Tift Merritt is an artist who stands out “like a diamond in a coal patch,” according to none other than Emmylou Harris. Beyond this poetic endorsement, the Grammy-nominated songwriter has created a body of work that places her among the great songwriters and storytellers of Americana music. Merritt uses the phrase ‘beautiful economy’ to describe her latest studio efforts, and on stage this translates as captivating, quiet confidence and undeniable mastery of country-folk expression.
WagonsSaturday 2:40 PM
The best description of Wagons’ frontman Henry Wagons comes courtesy of fellow Interstellar Rodeo 2014 performer Justin Townes Earle, who has this to say about the wild-eyed Aussie (and Six Shooter import): ““Dr. Seuss meets Conway Twitty. . . he struts like a Tennessee Walking Horse on PCP.” Enough said. Wagons the band returns this year as the first official festival alumni: they were the stratospheric smash hit of our inaugural year.
- No Sinner
No SinnerFriday 8:05 PM
You’ll stop in your tracks when you hear the wild-child voice of lead singer Colleen Rennison, backed by roaring blues-rock riffs and pure rock n’ roll ambition. No Sinner’s buzz is the real deal, on the verge of being as big as their sound. No Sinner will perform at Interstellar Rodeo as a duo, but taking nothing away from the earth-shattering vocal power.
- FORD PIER
FORD PIERWednesday 6:35 PM
The inimitable, incomprehensibly talented and eccentric Ford Pier comes to Interstellar Rodeo as a long-time Six Shooter friend and favourite. Ford Pier’s music is challenging, strange and complex. He’s got “art-punk cred in spades” and a restless artistic spirit, which makes him one of the most compelling, if chameleonic, names to appear over and over again in the liner notes of Canada’s art rock icons. Ford Pier’s own music ranges from pop to prog, hymn to howl. He’s truly one of a kind.
- GORD DOWNIE, THE SADIES, AND THE CONQUERING SUN