Where to find us:
5432 Dalhart Road NWCalgary, AB Canada
Since 1972, the home of folk music and the favourite venue of artists from all over the world between September and April has been Calgary Folk Club.
Dave Foster and John Leeder
Canadian Society For Traditional Music
Folk Alliance International's
2015 Lifetime Acheivment Award
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RITA COOLIDGE (CA)
Rita Coolidge began her musical career as backup singer for the likes of Bonnie&Delany, Eric Clapton and Joe Cocker. A musical partnership (and marriage) with Kris Kristofferson in the mid-‘70s was highlighted by two Grammy awards. These were followed by solo successes with pop hits from her album “Anywhere … Anytime”. In the ‘90s, Rita delved deeper into her Native American music and cultural heritage. Along with sister and niece, she formed singing group, Walele, (Cherokee for “Hummingbird”), releasing several albums. In 2002, with Robbie Robertson, she performed as part of the internationally televised Opening Ceremonies for the Winter Olympics. Rita has been honoured with the Lifetime of Musical Achievement award at the First Americans in the Arts Awards and recipient of a Native American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement.
LUCAS CHAISSON (AB)
Lucas Chaisson, a Cochrane, Alberta native “is an honest and confident writer who isn’t afraid to tread familiar ground with new eyes. Often described as an old soul, Lucas uses the musical stylings of a past generation to honestly and succinctly capture the experiences of a prairie youth. With refined finger picking and gently percussive strumming, Chaisson proves a striking command over the guitar for someone so young. His is a unique blend of country, rock, folk and pop not to be missed.” L.Prost –Calgary Folk Festival
OSCAR LOPEZ (AB)
Chilean-born master guitarist Oscar Lopez moved to Canada in 1979, settling in Calgary in 1981. His signature style combines fiery solos and Latin rhythms with Jazz and Pop sensibilities - and a wicked improvisational wit. His recordings include 12 personal albums – which have garnering 2 Juno awards and numerous nominations - as well as a host of compilations. His friendship and artistic chemistry with singer/songwriter, and fellow “Calgary home-town-boy”, James Keelaghan, resulted in two “Celtino” fusion recordings as Compadres. They have performed scores of live performances at festivals and on stages around the world. Oscar also joined fellow guitarists Pavlo and Rik Emmett (P.R.O.), recorded "Trifecta" and toured extensively in North America, wowing audiences with their rich and energetic music and his free spirit and guitar artistry.
CHRIS RONALD (BC)
Chris Ronald’s “keenly luxuriant voice and immaculate songcraft” (Ken Eisner, The Georgia Straight) have gained him a passionately loyal following, and recent efforts to promote his music have met with increased acclaim and recognition. Achievements since the March 2014 release of Chris’ Timeline album include a nomination for “Songwriter of the Year” at Canadian Folk Music Awards and a place in the finals of the coveted Kerrville New Folk contest in Texas. His recordings have been aired on CBC and BBC radio, and Timeline was recently selected as “Album of the Week” by Blues and Roots Radio and broadcast worldwide.
THE STEEL WHEELS (VA)
The Steel Wheels
The Steel Wheels have captured audiences with their heady brew of original soulful mountain music and their deep commitment to roots and community. Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, this dynamic four-piece string band marries old-time musical traditions with their own innovative sound and lifestyle, generating a truly magnetic revival. The Steel Wheels is an amalgamation of hard work and easy rapport. The band is renowned for its raw energy and chemistry on stage, where they often cluster tightly around a single microphone to adorn Trent Wagler’s unmistakable tenor with bell-clear four-part harmonies inspired by their shared Mennonite heritage. Add to this Eric Brubaker’s lively and evocative fiddle, Brian Dickel’s grounded yet buoyant upright bass, and Jay Lapp’s signature mandolin style, and it’s no surprise that The Steel Wheels have enthralled the contemporary folk scene
JOE NOLAN (AB)
Watch Joe Nolan
While it’s not every day that a songwriter makes it from the shadows of open mic nights to the high wattage, real deal scene, Joe Nolan’s old soul lyrics and striking vocals suggest that the odds of breaking through are in his favour.
Joe Nolan’s distinctive and intimate vocals stack the deck. From theramin tremors to raw howls, his range of expression reaches extremes. He delivers bandaged fragility and raw rage with equal impact. The songs are fervent, pressing and intense, attuned at once to the world of youthful melodramas in which Joe, an artist in his early 20s lives, and an older, deeper level of human experience. Insight into the latter has nothing to do with age.
STEVE SESKIN (TN)
Watch Steve Seskin
Steve Seskin is one of the most successful writers in Nashville today, with a boatload of songs recorded by such artists as Tim McGraw, Peter Frampton, Waylon Jennings, Alabama, and Peter Paul and Mary. A Steve Seskin concert will have you wiping away a tear one minute and laughing out loud the next. His songs all have messages that touch the hearts of everyone: from the feelings of a little boy missing his father, to growing up and being true to yourself, to being considerate to and respectful of one another. His song "Don't Laugh At Me", a finalist for CMA "Song of the Year" in 1999, has spurred an entire tolerance movement, launched by the Don't Laugh at Me Project.
ROSIE and the RIVETERS
Rosie and the Riveters
Since the second World War, Rosie the Riveter has been immortalized as a symbol of the strength and power that is inside every woman. This is the force that drives and inspires Rosie and the Riveters. They are 4 fiercely talented women inspired by Rosie, the fashion and music of her time.
Their compelling performance hosts seductive vocal arrangements, percussion, acoustic instrumentation, scintillating choreography, inviting humour and a whole lot of charm! Their show consists of traditional African American spirituals, beautiful bluegrass numbers, contemporary folk songs, lovely acapella, and original material. This ain’t your wailin’ and weapin’ gospel hour! They steer clear from religious conversions and will have you dancing in the aisles and laughing in your seats. Audiences will be left awe- struck as The Riveters revisit the spirit of gospel music, infused with the charm of the1940’s.
The Riveters strive to convey uplifting messages that speak to the strength of community and how the power of collaboration can make positive change in the world. As a testament to this, the band donates 20% of their merchandise sales to micro-finance initiatives to fund woman’s projects around the world via Kiva.org.
Since the band’s formation in 2011, they have performed many concerts including Juno Fest, the Regina Folk Festival, Ness Creek Music Festival, Summer Solstice Festival and the Northern Lights Bluegrass Festival, sharing stages with Arlo Guthrie, Serena Ryder, and Emmy-Lou Harris. They have showcased at the International Folk Alliance Conference, Breakout West, Ontario Council of Folk Festivals Conference, CONTACT Manitoba and OSAC.
TEQILA MOCKINGBIRD ORCHESTRA (BC)
The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra
The acoustic ensemble, Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra (TMO), has wandered from the underground of bohemian Victoria, BC, to a new, refined sound crafted by years of constant performing and touring together. Though drawing on flamenco flourishes learned in Spain, on African percussion, on bluegrass and other roots music from across the Americas, TMO has cycled through far-flung influences and youthful forays into sounds from all over. They discover new vistas of creativity that bring them closer to their own beginnings, to the people and places that have shaped them. Friends and family, ancestors and wild characters are all honoured on ”Follow My Lead, Lead Me to Follow”, the band’s third and most mature studio effort, with a sound that’s distinct, earthy, and solid.
CFMA NOMINEE SHOWCASE
THE ONCE (NL)
Watch The Once
The St John’s trio, The Once, embraces a different vision of Newfoundland music. Rather than the raucous pub sound, their music comes from a quieter and more thoughtful place. Hope and tragedy are intertwined in their music, whether they are singing an old lament from World War I, original songs that speak of love defeated, or tasteful songs from the artists whose music inspires them. The band has kept it uncomplicated, depending on the power of their voices and acoustic instruments. Lead singer Geraldine Hollett, has a voice of rare power and expression that can still a noisy room. Accompanied by Phil Churchill and Andrew Dale on guitar, mandolin, fiddle and bouzouki, they create a perfect blend of voice and melody. Sometimes melancholy, sometimes funny, always poignant, The Once sound like nothing else that has ever come from Newfoundland.
Lizzy Hoyt is an award-winning Canadian vocalist and songwriter who also happens rank among the top Celtic instrumentalists in the country. With the voice of an angel, Lizzy delivers music and stories with soaring melodies rooted in Celtic and folk traditions.
Lizzy’s music has been recognized on both the national and international level. She won “Best Female Artist” at the 8th International Acoustic Music Awards (a contest that saw over 11 000 applicants), was a Canadian Folk Music Award Nominee for “Traditional Singer of the Year” and has been named a finalist in both the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the USA Songwriting Competition. In addition to these, Lizzy was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor General of Canada for her outstanding contribution to commemorating Canadian veterans and history through music.
RUTHIE FOSTER (TX)
Woke Up This Morning
Another Rain Song
Those who have felt the spark of a Ruthie Foster concert know that she can burn down any stage with her combustible blend of soul, blues, rock, folk and gospel. Ruthie’s astonishing voice has taken her on an amazing ride. She came from humble church choir beginnings in rural Texas, followed by a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy Band, and ended up in Austin, Texas. Ruthie’s list of achievements include Best Female Vocalist in 2007, 2008 and 2013 from the Austin Music Awards, a 2012 and 2009 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album, the 2010 Living Blues Music Award Critic’s Poll for Female Blues Artist of the Year and recent Blues Music Award wins for Best Contemporary and Best Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year.
JILL ZMUD (ON)
Jill's rich, soulful voice is the perfect delivery for her "torch folk" - a mix of folk, Americana, gospel, blues, roots and soul.
CÒIG (Ko-ig) is an exciting ensemble of East Coast musicians, and is one of Cape Breton’s most captivating young bands. Originally coming together for a promotional tour for the Celtic Colours International Festival, the formation proved to be something special, and the group decided to continue to tour together as a band. Proving to be a serious force to be reckoned with in the traditional music scene with their driving tunes, haunting songs and infectious energy, Còig is a treat for the ears of every audience they meet. Fiddlers Chrissy Crowley and Rachel Davis, multi-instrumentalist Darren McMullen and pianist Jason Roach, as solo artists, have a combined total of over 30 nominations and awards; together, their magical fusion has reaped numerous awards, including 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for Traditional Album of the Year.
RED MOON ROAD (MB)
Red Moon Road
Born in a storm on a wild Canadian lake, Red Moon Road came into its own on the trails between coast and coast. All credit goes to the chemistry, and to the magic that happens when the Winnipeg band's two Daniels - jazz-trained Daniel Jordan and bilingual prog-rock vet Daniel Peloquin-Hopfner - strum up the strings to support twilight-voiced singer Sheena Rattai. From living rooms to folk fest stages, the three have charmed fans from coast to coast with their lush and lively take on modern roots, peppered always by bright stage banter, exquisite harmonies and masterfully told stories. As you can hear on their brand-new EP "Tales from the Whiteshell" or their acclaimed eponymous debut album, it's all sort of rich and warm and deeply familiar, like a campfire crackling wherever the microphones stand: even if it's your first time in the audience, you come as a friend of this band.
LAURA SMITH (NS) with BILL GARRETT (QC) & PAUL MILLS (ON)
I Built A Boat
Veteran singer-songwriter Laura Smith’s 2013 album, “Everything is Moving”, has been received with wide critical acclaim. The album is filled with magical tunes from her musical heritage, refreshed and reinterpreted with Laura’s impressive stylizations. Her voice is described as “ … a warm but serious lived-in contralto full of strength, experience and emotion …”. Such accolades cap previous career successes including multiple East Coast Music Awards and Juno Awards. Her recording, with the Chieftains, of her creative and soulful rendition of “My Bonny”, was acclaimed “Best Song of the Decade” by Bill Margeson of LiveIreland in 2010. Laura is joined on stage by two pillars of Canadian folk music: Bill Barrett and Paul Mills. both are veteran musician/vocalists, radio host/producers and music producers and co-founder of Borealis Records.
BILL GARRETT and SUE LOTHROP
Bill Garrett and Sue Lothrop: Two voices in perfect harmony - the hallmark of this folk-music partnership celebrating fine songwriting and a shared history of growing up in rural Quebec.
LENNIE GALLANT (PEI)
Pieces of You
The Bands Still Playin
Renown Canadian singer-songwriter, Lennie Gallant, a native of Rustico, PEI, has recorded ten albums (eight in English and two in French), which have won him a host of awards and nominations. He was recently honored with the Canadian Folk Music Award for Artist of the Year for his latest recording “Live Acoustic at The Carleton”. Lennie has been busy with a new book,“Peter’s Dream” and theatre show “Searching For Abegweit -The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant”. An international touring artist, Lennie has represented Canada on songwriter events in Nashville, London and Texas, entertained our troops in Kandahar, performed at Canada Day events in Washington and London, and on the world stage at the XXI Winter Olympics
LYNAE OLIVER BAND (AB)
MARY GAUTHIER (TN) / SAM BAKER (TX)
Alt-country singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier exploded onto the scene in 1999 album, “Drag Queens in Limousines”. The album, winning her IMA award for “Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter” and a four-star rating in Rolling Stone, had critics comparing her to Steve Earle, John Prine, and Lucinda Williams. Embraced by critics, folkies, and No Depression fans alike, Gauthier's warmly candid treatment of her fringe-dwelling subjects rings true, as it never verges on sentimental; her characters' downtrodden lives are never coldly exploited. Her latest album, 2013’s “Trouble and Love”, reflects a human story of love, loss, and a life transformed.
Sam Baker, perhaps the most captivating songwriter in America, is a man of few words. Always beautifully chosen, and fully wrought. Words placed like plants and objects in a Zen Garden. You’ll probably never catch yourself singing one of his songs in the shower, because his melodies generally tend to be as bare-bones serviceable as the raspy scratch of his singing; but by God, you listen to what he has to say, hanging on for every line. Songs on his latest (2013) album, “Say Grace”, create tight masterpieces that range from poignant, sorrowful, to surprising humour: “My wife God bless her and for what it’s worth/thinks she and Taylor Swift/were twins at birth/separated at birth/Earth to wife/wife to earth!”
DAVID ROTH (IL)
A songwriter's songwriter, David Roth combines a keen social sensibility, quick wit and sense of mirth, with dazzling musical ability and a strong voice to produce songs that are light-hearted, thoughtful, uplifting. His music has been performed by dozens of other top musicians, the likes of Christine Lavin, Anne Hills, and Tom Chapin. His appearances have ranged from singing the national anthem in front of a sold out Chicago Bulls/New York Knicks game, to intimate house concerts and innumerable workshops, to singing for the United Nations, 40th Anniversary celebration. "David has reached our hearts. With voices like his still singing, there's a certainty that the candle will remain lit, the hope reasserted and the dream still sung..." Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul, & Mary)
the young novelists (ON)
the young novelists
Simon & Garfunkel meet Johnny & June, the young novelists are known for their exquisite harmonies and energetic live performances.
TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA (AR)
Trout Fishing in America
Trout Fishing in America is the long-standing and yet seemingly unlikely musical partnership of Keith Grimwood(bass) and Ezra Idlet (guitar and banjo). As individuals, they are about as different as one can imagine. Together, they blend seamlessly in a way that has captured the imagination (and hearts) of audiences of all ages for over three decades. Their recordings have garnered three National Indie Awards, multiple Parents Choice and NAPPA Gold awards, the American Library Award, as well as four Grammy nominations. Their willingness to make fun of our most annoying habits in one song, then touch our hearts with tender and passionate images of family life in the next is what makes the connection between Trout Fishing in America and their audience so real.
THE DOLL SISTERS (AB)
The Doll Sisters
How To Find Us
Map to Calgary Folk Club
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