Once upon a time live roadshows were a staple of the music industry with the likes of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Buddy Holly setting out on the road together to fill up community halls and theatres across North America. For years, friends Olaf Caarls (Long Conversations) and Benjamin James Caldwell (Broken Down Suitcase) fantasized of reviving this concept across Europe with each act performing a handful of songs before banding together for a grand finale, offering a diverse and exciting show to each audience.

Finally the stars aligned with the interest and subsequent addition of Canadian folk pop artist Dominique Fricot and the brilliant up-and-coming Dutch songwriter Pieter Van Vliet (Port of Call). With all on board they set out on a rigorous tour in the fall of 2014 playing a head-spinning 30 something shows across 7 European countries in little over a month. Moving as they did from street corner to theater, from bar to living room, the four gentlemen of the Folk Road Show mastered the art of transforming a large club into an intimate venue; making your living room feel like Carnegie Hall.

“Too often modern artists get caught up in the competition of “making it” and forget about the joy and inspiration of playing music together” explains Caldwell. “This is the focus of the Folk Road Show, to bring an old time approach to new music”.

Despite having never been in the same room until one hour before their first show, Caldwell, Van Vliet, Caarls and Fricot immediately started collaborating on each other’s songs, joining in for backing vocals and extra guitar or banjo parts. The result is a mesmerizing show, what Ben Wysocki of the Grammy nominated and Billboard Chart topping band “The Fray” described as “The closest you’ll get to seeing Crosby Stills Nash and Young in the comfort of your living room”.

After these European adventures, the members of the Folk Road Show have their sights on Canada where they will get back on the road for an equally rigorous string of shows in the summer of 2015, before returning to Europe in the fall to repeat 2014’s good times, only this time bigger and better.

Deserts, the follow up to Dom’s 2014 debut long-player Sweet Little Fantasy, is in many ways an album about death, and yet, not an album about grief. Dom’s first forays into songwriting came from a place of therapy, as a way of challenging his frustration, pain and negativity following the untimely loss of his parents within three years of each other. Many years later though, Deserts is an album that reflects on loss with the distance and healing that time can provide. On “Echoes”, the album’s first single, Dom reflects on how his father was also his soccer coach, and how that was wonderful and frustrating in equal measures. On “Measure Up”, Dom compares his life to his father’s, looking at their contrasting lives, and being amazed that his father had re-located to Canada, built a house and had two kids by the time he was Dom’s age, while in his own words Dom struggles to hold down a, “real job”.

Whilst unquestionably his most emotionally mature work to date, Deserts is equally his most musically inquisitive. Recorded in Vancouver with producer David Vertesi, the writing process was a quiet revolution. Searching for a way to push his music forward, Dom stepped away from the somewhat clichéd songwriter trope of acoustic guitars, and set about writing a record using just Rhodes keyboards, vocal loops, and processed beats. This process continued into the studio, where alongside Vertesi, co-producer Andrew Rasmussen and engineer Daniel Klenner, they recorded an album free of live-drums, free of guitars, and packed full of new ideas. It’s an album that builds around crunching, processed beats, slinky pop-laden synths and emotive waves of classical strings, all accompanying Dom’s rich, understated baritone.

The resulting record is his most focused and ambitious to date, and one that marks Dom out as the antithesis of just another singer-songwriter. It brings to mind the widescreen, melodic pop of Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins, and fuses it with the influence of more modern songwriters from Bon Iver to Sufjan Stevens.

Deserts is the record that Dom’s previous output has hinted that he could achieve. His well received debut EP, If Baby Could Walk, saw him pick up awards, high-profile festival slots and local cult-fame. While 2014’s Sweet Little Fantasy saw him touring Europe and as well as becoming a regular fixture on Canadian radio, with the single “I Miss The 80’s” spending eight weeks on CBC Radio 2’s Top 20 chart. Alongside his solo career, Dom has also been making waves in his other musical-project, The Folk Road Show, whose harmony driven work has drawn comparisons with Crosby, Still, Nash & Young and Fleet Foxes, and with their rigorous touring schedule, simply goes to highlight what a hard-working and talented musician Dom Fricot is.

On Deserts, Dom Fricot is truly showcasing the man behind the music; emotional, funny, and with the spirit of a story-teller and the vision of an artist – a songwriter with the world at his feet, and the desire to explore every inch of it.

Lindsey Walker searches for beauty in the darkness in her Edmonton Music Award Album of the Year nominated 'this desolate bliss.' Apocalyptic, cinematic and achingly sincere, the magnetic intensity of this album explores the wages of regret with palpable hope. An undulating tapestry of dark brooding anthems and sensual hymns, Walker defies lost loves legacy, cobbling a glorious new vision from the ashes. This bold new direction from her acclaimed debut album Our Glory marks an artistic evolution of haunting power.

Lindsey Walker was voted Best of Edmonton solo artist by Vue Weekly (2017) and nominated for Female Artist of the Year EMA (2018). On releasing ‘this desolate bliss’ she earned distinction as a Canadian Songwriting competition semi finalist with eerie track St. Petersburg. The simmering Window also drew notice by winning an EMA for Indie Rock Recording of the Year. Edmonton based, Winnipeg bred Lindsey roams extensively, winning hearts with her raw honesty and soaring vocal power. Since her 2013 EMA nomination as an “Artist to Watch” Walker has played venues from Vancouver to Halifax and gained a national audience of devoted fans. Find her wandering in the night hunting all that dares to glimmer.


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