Pacific Rim Music Festival Society Presents
Fri, Aug 23
Sat, Aug 24
Otalith Music Festival
Brasstronaut, The River and The Road, Jon Middleton, Northcote, The Archers, Portage and Main, The Cumberland Brothers, Wild Son, Freedom Pony, Ora Cogan, Prestor John's Gone, The Poor Pistols, Smalltown Empire
160 Sea Plane Base
Ucluelet, BC, V0R 3A0
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
The members of Current Swell no longer live together under a single roof — as they did years ago, when the group first came together as a unit — but the bond between the four friends is stronger than ever. Touring the world for the better part of five years, from Brazil to Australia to Europe, often has that effect.
Current Swell's years of experience on the road can be heard — and felt — in the nooks and crannies of Long Time Ago, the new full-length from this rootsy Victoria, B.C. quartet. The record shifts between upbeat folk (the title track, Long Time Ago) and singalong-ready roots rock (the first single, Too Cold) with a fluidity and ease that could only come from continual touring.
Steady momentum at the grass-roots level (the group's video for its campfire-friendly single, Young and Able, became a word-of-mouth YouTube success in 2010) has now translated to the stage, where Current Swell shines. Their ability to capture a crowd was honed the old-fashioned way — through constant practice. Current Swell has always tweaked things as needed, careful not to move in a direction that feels inauthentic.
Through a mixture of circumstance and happenstance, the members of Current Swell are now the beneficiaries of a large and loyal following in Brazil, the largest country in South America. The group has just returned from a tour of the country, a trek which saw Current Swell headline two large festivals in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, among the largest cities in the world.
That has become Current Swell's trademark, in a sense. And with the release of Long Time Ago, the group has a new reason to get back out on the road again.
As the band progressed through 3 full length albums and multiple national tours they gained international attention. The bands newest album, "Protect Your Own", produced by Todd Simko(producer of Xavier Rudd's, Food in the Belly) is a slight departure from the direction of some of their other albums but has been well received none the less. Being a new addition to Canada's Fontana North label and Japan's Surf Rock Records is a testament to the bands growing momentum. Solid song writing and musicianship are always backed by a solid groove, and that is distinctly "Current Swell".
The Cave Singers
Here is the mystery of Seattle's Cave Singers: They never listened to much folk music, they never intended to play folk music, and more importantly, their guitarist never picked up the instrument until recently. Yet, this strange trio is writing and performing some of the most hypnotizing folk music we have today.
One listen to Invitation Songs, however, and you're ready to call bullshit on them. It sounds like an updated version of the Anthology of American Folk Music. Not the graduate-student, learned interpretations of folk music circa 1962, but folk music approached by way of punk rock. It's sparse, melodic, creepy, and alluring, like the widow mourning graveside in Johnny Cash's "Long Black Veil". Guitarist Derek Fudesco's bottom-end acoustic work sounds like Mississippi John Hurt's soft, rolling finger plucks. Singer Pete Quirk's appealingly nasal voice simultaneously echoes Arlo Guthrie and a mosquito's buzz. And drummer Marty Lund plays like he's slapping a newspaper on a kitchen table.
Though Quirk spent time in Seattle post-punk group Hint Hint, Lund in Cobra High, and Fudesco as bassist for Pretty Girls Make Graves and the legendary Murder City Devils, maybe they've been folk artists all along and we just haven't been open to the idea.
The band maintains that they never made a conscious effort to play a certain 'style' of music, and that, besides the odd Dylan record, their favorite bands are still the Replacements, the Pixies, Fleetwood Mac. With that in mind, I do believe it was Big Bill Broonzy who quipped: "All music is folk music."
Invitation Songs is the Cave Singers' debut. It was recorded in Vancouver, British Columbia by Colin Stewart (PGMG, Black Mountain), and its title is appropriate; it is one of the warmest and most welcoming records of 2007. Each track is coated in a dense atmosphere that feels humid but not stifling. The shuffle-stomp rhythms on "Seeds of Night" and "Dancing on our Graves" recall Civil War marches, highlighting Lund's innate abilities. Elsewhere, on "Royal Lawns" harmonicas sigh and echo back like ghosts in abandoned railway cars. The brooding, washboard-driven "Called" is kin to Ugly Casanova's chain-gang musings, and Quirk's mid-song yelps don't sound planned, but rather like the ultimate summoning of his inner turmoil.
"Helen", a classic tale of a long lost lover ("Helen, you're eyes are frozen in my brain"), employs a wavering synth to create a Martian blues vibe. On the rustic rock-flavored "Oh Christine", another strummy song of a love just out of reach, Quirk takes on an almost jazz-poet tone. "I saw you smoking in the bar just the other night/If I saw you right...I saw you drinking in the bar just the other day/And what's that I heard you say?" Nothing fancy, but he sings as if he is conjuring memories so personal he has to force them through his pinched teeth.
You see, the Cave Singers' music demands attention. You'll throw this record on, maybe in the morning while you're getting ready for work. Then, in the middle of the day, one of Quirk's lyrics or Fudesco's riffs will pop into your head, the way a Townes Van Zandt song does. You won't be able to shake it. You'll go home and listen to it again. Pretty soon, Invitation Songs will have worked its way into your subconscious and become the soundtrack to this moment in your life. Invitation Songs will remain a part of you forever.
The White Buffalo
Jake Smith's "White Buffalo" conjures a mythic portrait of America. A country populated by outlaws, dreamers, drifters and fallen heroes. It imagines our small towns before the days of strip malls and chain restaurants. With a voice that seems to emanate from some ancient source, his dynamic performances range from a whisper to a scream. His herd boasts the talents of Matt Lynott on drums and Tommy Andrews on bass. Together, they put on a live show that builds and propels like a freight train shot out of hell with a pulsing energy that keeps audiences buzzing for days.
The songs of Once Upon a Time in the West are rooted in everyday struggles, on both epic and personal scales, with elements of blues, country western, folk, and classic rock. The influences of story-tellers like Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, Townes Van Zandt, Elliot Smith, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and Bad Religion shine through. The album ranges in themes from slices of life in the shadows ("The Bowery") to coming out of a battlefield ("Ballad of a Dead Man") to dark heroic fantasies ("The Pilot") from putting the concepts of family and country under the microscope ("I Wish It Was True") to etched childhood scenes ("BB Guns and Dirt Bikes," "The Witch").
"The whole point of songwriting is taking people on an emotional journey, like a mini-movie," says Smith. "Most of my songs capture moments in time, small snippets of life and some paint broader pictures. It's less about the Old West, than the new one I grew up in, with some politics and some nostalgic memories of my childhood in Southern California."
Born in Oregon and raised in Southern California, he moved to the Bay area from Huntington Beach to pursue college on an athletic scholarship. From the moment he learned his first three chords on a guitar he got in a pawn shop, Smith began writing songs, which came quick and easy, though he kept them to himself. "I don't analyze them as much as other people do," Smith insists. "I prefer the songs do the talking for me. I've always been isolated, outside the system, and done it on my own. If you're writing stuff that's real, emotional and you believe will resonate with people, that's what you have to do."
The White Buffalo's first full-length album, Hogtied Like a Rodeo, debuted in 2002, followed by The White Buffalo EP, produced by Eels' Koool G Murder, which Smith states is about "relationships, love, loss and booze with a little murder mixed in." In a friend's living room in 2008, he re-recorded his first album, only this time with more guts and less whiskey, dubbing it Hogtied Revisited. Combined, these independently released albums have sold over 20,000 units, as Jake toured Australia, Japan, Europe and the U.S. with acts like Donavan Frankenreiter, Gomez, Xavier Rudd, State Radio, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, among many others.
When a bootleg tape of Smith's music made it into the hands of pro surfer Chris Malloy, one of his songs, "Wrong," was featured in his popular surf movie, Shelter, and earned him a burgeoning fan base on his return to his roots in the Southern California surf community. It eventually led to further film scoring and composing work, with three of his songs featured in FX's hit show Sons of Anarchy and HBO's Californication.
In 2010, a second EP, Prepare for Black and Blue, was recorded in six days by producer Jimmy Messer [Kelly Clarkson] and released through Chad Stokes Ruffshod imprint via Nettwerk Records earlier this year. The music and the Artist captured the attention of Unison Music's Bruce Witkin and Ryan Dorn, who inked Smith and co-produced Once Upon a Time in the West. "When we sign someone, we look for someone who can play live and songs with longevity," says Dorn. "He's a terrific story teller and his performance is right in your face," adds label founder Witkin.
Accepting the help of major players wasn't easy for Smith, who prides himself on his self-reliant approach. Meanwhile, the buzz on The White Buffalo continues to grow, thanks to the intensity of the band's live shows, including a much-talked-about appearance at Bonnaroo this year.
"For a long time I was off the grid," he admits. "This is the first time I've had the luxury of going to the studio every day for two-three months. It was pretty focused. If I can do it my own way, write my songs, move people and have it be something I'm still proud of, I'm up for it. I don't know how to write songs that are not like that. I try to dig a little deeper, to express an emotional thought."
A family man with a wife and two kids, The White Buffalo has retained Jake Smith's DIY approach. Driving thousands of miles to dozens of cities, the band is a hard working, no frills outfit. They load their own gear, sell their own merchandise and pack it all up at the end of the night. From Bonnaroo to the smallest local neighborhood bar, The White Buffalo delivers its signature sound as if each show was its last.
If Once Upon a Time in the West is any indication, The White Buffalo will find itself on the grid for a long while.
There's a lot going on in the early moments of 'Bright and Vivid,' the new album from Kathryn Calder: murmured studio chatter, peals of thick feedback, a swell of synths, a Phil Spector drumbeat and some gently strummed acoustic guitar, all of which pile atop one another in sequence. But "One Two Three," the opening track on Kathryn Calder's second solo disc, is missing something besides "four": Calder herself. It's a full minute before her voice enters the din, and even then it's faint and muffled — as though she's shown up late to her own party, and would rather not make a big scene of it.
When Calder appeared on the pop scene in 2005, it was also as a latecomer, pinch-hitting with The New Pornographers when Neko Case was too busy with her solo career to tour. That Calder quickly became a full member — no easy trick, considering how many big personalities already existed in the group — speaks to something essential in her philosophy of music-making. Calder's contributions to The New Pornographers, even when she sings lead, are stealthy and subtle, more texture than melody.
Bright and Vivid, out Oct. 25, bears that philosophy out in widescreen: The music is as expansive as the title promises, but Calder seems content blending in with the landscape. It's only in the most fleeting moments that her voice, a sweet and airy instrument, leaps out of the mix to let you know she's still there.
Over the past two years, Yukon Blonde has earned no shortage of acclaim for its hook-heavy brand of pop rock. But despite their love of vintage rock 'n' roll, the members aren't the kind of guys who cling to the past.
Frontman Jeff Innes, guitarist Brandon Scott and drummer Graham Jones first joined forces in 2005 in their hometown of Kelowna, BC. Performing under the name Alphababy, they released two EPs and toured extensively while perfecting a slow-burning variety of synth-heavy rock. But when the project soured, the three friends abandoned all of their hard work and reinvented themselves as Yukon Blonde in 2008.
Starting from scratch with a new name, they ditched their moody style in favour of a more raw, guitar-driven sound. Catchier and infinitely more fun to play live, Yukon Blonde's new songs quickly earned the band a devoted following when they relocated to Vancouver, BC. It was in this city that Yukon Blonde cut its debut EP, Everything in Everyway, in 2009. Recorded live-to-tape with producer Shawn Cole (You Say Party!, Hannah Georgas), these sessions also spawned the band's 2010 self-titled full-length.
With its amped-up rock songs and sun-dappled vocal harmonies, the LP received rave reviews. CHARTattack called it "the soundtrack to your summer," while Exclaim! declared, "The nuances that Yukon Blonde employ are utterly refreshing, and more compelling with each listen." The record earned a nomination for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize, and the outfit embarked upon a gruelling live schedule that kept them on the road for nine months of the year and included shows in the U.S., Europe and at home. During this time, the band expanded its ranks to include a full-time bassist, John Jeffrey.
Now, Yukon Blonde is poised to reinvent itself once again. Despite the success of the group's previous material, the musicians were initially uninspired when they set about writing like-minded new songs. Instead, the members were drawn to the fast, punk-tinged tracks that Innes has been penning in his spare time. Danceable and unrepentantly poppy, these new tracks evoked late-'70s/early-'80s post-punk and drew inspiration from artists like the Buzzcocks, Ramones and Talking Heads.
After an intensive three-week writing retreat in BC's Comox Valley that saw the band pulling twelve-hour days, Yukon Blonde hunkered down at Burnaby, BC's Hive Creative Labs studio with Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Ladyhawk). Eschewing the analog tape of their past work in favour of a crisp digital approach with synthesizer flourishes, the band agonized over tones and meticulously crafted 15 new songs.
Four of these songs sounded out of place, and bore a distinct similarity to the debut. Yukon Blonde opted to release these four cuts separately as the 2011 EP Fire//Water. With the fan base's appetite sufficiently whetted, the group held back the remaining tracks for their second full length album.
Currently wrapping up a 62 show tour of North America behind Fire//Water the band is now ready to introduce the world to their next release – the first single from the upcoming album – a song called Stairway that brightly elevates the band's surging arrangements. Slotted for release on January 31st, Yukon Blonde's Stairway 7" also includes as a B-Side a home-recorded DEMO version of a future album track called "Radio", which assaults the speakers with a brash stomp worthy of early Elvis Costello. Melodically contrasted with one another, both songs on the Stairway 7" hint at the range of paths sonically taken with the band's sophomore LP which will be available in early 2012.
Artistically uncompromising as ever, Yukon Blonde have already proved that they are willing to go wherever their restless artistic muse takes them. The next stop: a live venue near you, as these road warriors will be racking up yet more miles on the odometer in the very near future and heading on tours across Australia, Europe and North America.
Emerging in 2008 with their debut Old World Lies EP, the Vancouver based sextet has developed a distinctly unique sound that continues to defy genre pigeonholing. Their ability to weave together unexpected textures of clarinet, slide-guitar, trumpet, noise, synthesizers, voice and rhythms has garnered them international acclaim from notable critics such as Gilles Peterson, BBC1, CBC Radio3, Exclaim!, Q Magazine, Toronto Star, to name a few. Other achievements include winning the 2010 Socan Echo Prize, a Polaris Prize nomination, a #1 Hype Machine listing, and also having completed a creative residency program at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts. The UK’s Independent newspaper has even called the band’s sound “a new way forward”.
Their second full-length, forthcoming, record was recorded with Juno Award winning producer Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Dan Mangan, Cave Singers, etc.), and was released in Canada on May 15, 2012 and October 21, 2012 in Europe and Overseas.
The River and The Road
The River and The Road, formed in 2011, is a Jungle Folk band based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. The band has developed a sound which pushes the boundaries of Folk Rock music. This is easily recognized through their dynamic percussion arrangements, songwriting style and powerful harmonies.
Banjo player Keenan Lawlor draws influence from North Vancouver Island, where he was born and raised. Guitarist Andrew Phelan writes from his experiences traveling, as well as from growing up in the Blue Mountains in Australia. The band is known for energetic live performances, enhanced by the addition of the dynamic rhythm section of bassist John Hayes and drummer Cole George in early 2012.
“TRATR sound like they could have done a double bill with some of the best of the American folk bands of past generations”
-Bobby Herron, BC Musician Magazine
Matt Goud (aka Northcote) may take you by surprise when he steps up to the mic. Though the soft-spoken Goud is known by friends and family as a gentle giant, he infuses his original songs with a uniquely powerful and confident voice.
Born and raised in small-town Saskatchewan, his early exposure to music was a mix of traditional country on AM radio and the hymns he learned at his childhood church. However, it wasn't until he discovered punk and hardcore music that he realized music's healing and therapeutic power.
Over the past 8 years, few young musicians in Canada have put on as many miles as Goud who toured for years as a member of a post-hardcore band and has more recently transitioned into life on the road as a singer/songwriter with accompaniment by an ever-rotating slew of guests and friend musicians.
Northcote is set to return to centre stage in 2013 with a new self-titled album due May 7th via Black Box Recordings (Canada). Produced by Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Cave Singers, Dan Mangan) at The Hive in Vancouver, the album is Northcote's most forthcoming and confident album to date, reflecting this young songwriter's increasing maturity and experience. Breaking the stereotype of the reserved and solemn cafe singer/songwriter, the album entices both the performers and the listeners to come out of their shell.
On NORTHCOTE, Goud further strengthens his voice as an emerging Canadian artist. Confident, full chords replace contemplative ballads, and the influence of his eclectic background of punk, soul and blues create a unique sound.
On the track How Can You Turn Around, the crew vocal soars behind the chorus of the song, replicating the sound and emotion of singing along with friends in the front row of a rock show. Songs including Counting Down the Days and I Hope the Good Things Never Die are more fully realized and richer than Northcote's previous efforts, replete with grooving soul drums, horns, bouncy bass-lines, atmospheric guitar and sing-along group vocals. These songs signal that there is no need to sit passively by to experience the fast-paced, exuberant music of Northcote.
The hope and positivity of the material is apparent in the song Find Our Own Way, which challenges: "…whatever you got, you have to let it fly. Whatever you got you, have to give it one try" This song reflects the anxiety of coming of age in a media-saturated culture, where one can be so connected and yet be left feeling inexplicably lonely and at times with little direction or meaning.
This album sees Goud joined by Blake Enemark (We are the City, Forestry) on Guitar, Marek Tyler (Kathryn Calder, Dan Mangan) on Drums, Olivier Clement (Aidan Knight) on Horn, and Calgary artist Francis Gerrard on vocals throughout the album. Victoria-based musician Kathryn Calder, known both as a solo artist and as a member of The New Pornographers, appears on lead vocals on the late-night kitchen party track Only One Who Knows My Name, which closes the album.
In NORTHCOTE, Goud turns a new page with a strong, self-titled record penned primarily in the passenger seat of a Dodge Van parked along a seaside road in Victoria, B.C. Many pensive nights spent walking home from writing sessions and gigs throughout sleepy Victoria streets have helped shape a newfound confidence and connection to life as a musician for Goud, and you can hear this transformation in his voice.
The Archers were recently awarded Victoria’s Times Colonist Music Award – “Act to Watch for 2013”. They were also nominated for a “Young Performer of the Year Award” by the 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards, selected as Victoria’s Zone 91.3FM’s Band of the Month for June 2012, crowned Youthink’s “BC’s Best Teen Band” in April 2011 and were Victoria’s “Garage Band Live” winners in May 2011. Probably a band worth checking out.
The Victoria Folk/Rock band was formed in early 2010 by Sandy Hughes and Ethan Caleb. After a few months the two songwriters set out to find a drummer and a bass player. By September of 2010, Liam Moes was added on drums and piano, Liam McLaren vocals, piano, guitar, and mandolin, and Robert McMullen on bass and trumpet. These additions shaped the band and created an impressive and versatile sound full of compelling harmonies with great energy.
Past performances have included: Main stage at Victoria’s Canada Day, Rifflandia Festival at Royal Athletic Park, CBC Toque Sessions in Vancouver, Fringe Festival, Kulth Festival, FolkWest, TedX Youth Conference. They have opened for Hey Ocean, Jon and Roy, Steven Page, John Mann, The Odds, Frazey Ford, Grand Analog, Wake Owl, Kim Churchill and Rococode. They toured BC/AB twice in 2012 and have a 4 week May/June 2013 tour booked around their NXNE showcase, that will take them as far as Montreal. Their debut full length album was recorded in March 2013 with Tom Dobrzanski (Said The Whale, We Are The City) and will be mixed in April at Monarch Studios.
Portage and Main
Never Had The Time by Portage and Main. This is your soundtrack to a sunny mid-day drive along the coast in a classic convertible; a cool autumn evening at the cottage, huddled beside a bonfire; a late-night drink at your favourite pub with your favourite people.
The sophomore offering from this Vancouver-based folk-rock quintet is, like the simple pleasures it so well accompanies, stunning in its mere simplicity. Blending the seasoned country-rock sensibilities and harmonies of, say, The Band and Blue Rodeo with the more contemporary alt-musings of acts like Wilco and Old 97s, Portage and Main have cemented a sound that spans decades but belongs to today.
It was early 2010 that John Sponarski and Harold Donnelly, geeking out over a new guitar pedal, haphazardly spawned their first song together. “We didn’t think much of it at the time,” recalls Sponarski, “but after a while, it seemed neither of us could get it our of our heads.” The two simply couldn’t ignore the potential of their musical union despite playing in a band at the time and got to work.
What started as a single song captured on a handheld recorder quickly grew to a pool of over 20 that the pair wanted to catalog. Setting up shop in a basement, they got together with a few friends from the local scene and output what would become their self-titled 2011 debut. “We didn’t originally intend on doing much with it,” Sponarski says, so imagine the band’s surprise when, come their album release party, a line of people wrapped around the sold-out venue like a string on a tuning peg.
The record drew a fair amount of attention to the band, landing them showcases at festivals including CMW and NXNE, an invitation to play on CBC Music and Greencouch Productions’ Tracks on Tracks train tour, support slots for contemporaries like Chad VanGaalen and The Dudes, and, most recently, a top-20 position in BC’s prestigious PEAK Performance Project for a chance at a $102,700 grand prize. And while Sponarski and Donnelly remain the group’s principal songwriters, the Portage and Main banner has expanded to include Georges Couling on keys and Sponarski’s childhood friends Dave Gens and Ben Appenheimer on drums and bass, respectively.
With Never Had The Time, engineered and produced by Couling like their debut, Portage and Main have built atop the sonic foundation established on their self-titled. “It’s certainly not a big step in a different direction,” shares Sponarski about the effort. “We’re taking the strongest ideas that took shape on the first album and further honing in on that sound.” Donnelly and Sponarski once again trade off lead vocal duties, though the record’s strongest points emerge when the two are interwoven in harmony. “We try not to think of it as two individual voices, but rather two parts to one voice,” Sponarski muses. “It’s not his song or my song; these are our songs.”
The 10 tracks that comprise the album benefit from clean, tasteful arrangements that relay the band’s easily-relatable and endearing poetry. Be it the upbeat and dynamic numbers like “Better Man” and opener “Never Had The Time” or more subtle offerings like “Oona Jean” and breathtaking closer “It Is You,” rich acoustic strums and twangy, reverb-drenched picking sit beautifully atop a tight rhythmic foundation throughout, often accented with classic organ or piano leads and dreamy pedal steel that seemingly soars through the speakers.
Portage and Main plan to spend plenty of time on the road in support of their latest, including a cross-Canada tour in early 2013. “We’re just putting one foot in front of the other,” Sponarski says in summation. “The last year of our lives has been magical – things we’ve done, experiences we’ve had… We’re just continuing on this journey.” It’s fitting, then, that with Never Had The Time, Portage and Main have delivered a score that suits such adventures perfectly.
Never Had The Time is the sophomore offering from Vancouver folk-rock quintet Portage and Main and, like the simple pleasures it so well accompanies, stunning in its mere simplicity. Blending the seasoned country-rock sensibilities and harmonies of, say, The Band and Blue Rodeo with the more contemporary alt-musings of acts like Wilco and Old 97s, Portage and Main have cemented a sound that spans decades but belongs to today.
The 10 tracks that comprise the album benefit from clean, tasteful arrangements that relay the band’s easily-relatable and endearing lyrics. Rich acoustic strums and twangy, reverb-drenched picking sit beautifully atop a tight rhythmic foundation throughout, often accented with classic organ or piano leads and dreamy pedal steel that seemingly soars through the speakers.
To date, Portage and Main has landed showcases at festivals including CMW and NXNE, supporting slots for contemporaries like Chad VanGaalen and The Dudes, and, most recently, a top-20 position in BC’s prestigious PEAK Performance Project for a chance at a $102,700 grand prize. Having achieved so much in such a short time, there’s no question that Portage and Main is full of promise and potential – and Never Had The Time makes that more than evident.
The Cumberland Brothers
The Cumberland Brothers are Archie Pateman (co-founder of Vancouver roots band, The Breakmen) and newcomer Jack Roland (The Wave). The two young men specialize in brother harmony style country music and present it with the simple but proficient support of guitar (or banjo) and fiddle. Their sets include a mix of old country songs by artists like The Louvin or Delmore Brothers, and original (but timeless) music penned by Pateman.
Let’s get one thing straight: no matter what you think you’re hearing, Freedom Pony is just barely holding it together. In an era of delicate harmonies and folk-inspired ballads, “The Pony” is the kind of free-wheeling, cut-off jean shorts rock band your Dad used to crank back when he had a motorcycle. Forged amongst a pile of empty beer cans, the boys play it loud and loose, cranking out tunes that put a modern slant on the tried and true classic rock sound. So rip off your sleeves, grab a friend, and enjoy the ride.
What the people are saying about Freedom Pony:
“Oh aren’t they cute” – your Mom
“So glad I skipped school to see ‘The Pony’”-Ferris Bueller
“One hell of a ride”-Tom Selleck’s Mustache
Ora Cogan’s haunting voice and post-americana guitar playing are like none other. Her music is expansive, beautiful and ethereal. It makes you feel as though you are laying down in a rowboat and drifting across a calm lake in the pitch black night with a storm approaching. She has collaborated with a variety of artists including The Be Good Tanyas and The Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir. She has shared the stage with the likes of Hope Sandoval, Vashti Bunyan, Scout Niblett, and Tanya Tagaq while touring extensively throughout Europe & North America. Ribbon Vine, Released on Hairy Spider Legs on March 12, 2013, is Ora’s 5th solo album. She has also appeared on a smattering of underground tapes and compilations, including Leaves of Life alongside Devendra Banhart and Marissa Nadler.
“Cogan has managed to put her musical finger onto something strange and surreal.” -The Vancouver Sun
“Time apart from reality is hard to come by. However, if you manage, separating one’s self from the rush of worldwide goings on can yield some truly revelatory perspective.” – Discorder
Prestor John's Gone
Prester John’s Gone was formed in 2009 by Chris Dolphin and Joel Gray. They combined with a mutual passion for bluegrass and country roots music and now perform with fervor. The recent addition of Dirt Country, comprised of Bryden Ashton on bass and Duncan Booth on drums has married the same heritage of rusty storytelling with a rhythm section that hammers the last nail in the coffin.
The Poor Pistols
The Poor Pistols were born out of dark rainy nights in Tofino, jamming away into the wee hours, sipping on whiskey & wine. Eventually these four ladies found themselves on stage playing the music they love, finding their niche as a unique stringband. Playing everything from sweet old time mountain music to boot stomping bluegrass, and their own originals, these girls will surely get you tapping your feet and ordering another round.
Smalltown Empire is an acoustic duo comprised of singer/songwriters Ron and Anne Weeks. The pair have been delighting audiences with their folk-rock harmonies on the West Coast for over 5 years.