Born in New York, raised in Toronto, and now residing in Hamilton since 2015, critically acclaimed folk singer, songwriter and social activist Piper Hayes is truly authentic. On December 8, 2017, Hayes celebrates the release of her first full-length album ‘Piper & Carson’.

Nowadays, Hayes (who is a two-time nominee for the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, 2017 and 2018) performs and writes closely with her partner Carson Ritcey-Thorpe and, after a 2017 western Canada tour, many prime showcases at Folk Music Ontario, Folk Alliance International and South East Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA), they have become beloved darlings of the folk music scene.

‘Piper & Carson’ will be available at shows, via Hayes’ website, Bandcamp, iTunes and more. The album was recorded live off the floor at Thorpe’s Organic Produce farm in Millgrove, ON (near Hamilton) in the summer of 2017. It was captured in the living room of the century-old Ritcey-Thorpe family farmhouse, with Toronto multi-instrumentalist Chris Bartos as producer (Kaia Kater, The Barr Brothers, Jonathan Byrd). It features Piper Hayes (lead vocal, rhythm guitar), Carson Ritcey-Thorpe (vocal, lead guitar), Kevin Neal (pedal steel), Leah Ritcey-Thorpe (back-up vocals) and Chris Bartos (upright bass, piano, electric and acoustic violin, electric guitar, Moog, vocals).

The first single “For All We Know” is about the celebration of life and death. Hayes states, “It is important to seize the moment. To live fully we must embrace life’s unknowns, because for all we know…we only get one chance.”

Hayes got her start in legendary venues in Toronto including The Horseshoe Tavern, The Rivoli and The Cameron House (playing with artists including Abigail Lapell, Julian Taylor and Kevin Hearn). She has toured all over Canada and the USA, headlined three international tours (visiting Nepal, India, Holland, Scotland, Ireland, England, Iceland, Denmark, Italy, France, Spain and Greece), performed many times on VIA Rail’s national ‘Artists on board’ program and played many folk conferences.

Piper also teams up with the Canadian Mental Health Association (going into schools, conferences and outreach programs to dispel stigma around mental illness), she established a music-therapy-based class for Hamilton Adult Community Support Program and gives workshops on mental health, well-being, music and songwriting.

Previously, Hayes has released her Danny Garcia produced ‘Live in NYC’ in 2013, her Mike Schlosser produced debut EP ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Like...’ in 2014 and her acclaimed 2016 EP ‘Goodbye Mister Nice Guy’ (“we couldn’t keep it off our charts” – Rachel Connell, CFMU FM).


‘Piper & Carson’ reflects the couple’s last few years together, and it is an album that they encourage people to listen to start to finish. It comes complete with lyrics and a detailed booklet insert, which includes stunning images taken at the farm by renowned Toronto photographer Lisa MacIntosh. “Carson’s sister Leah did a drawing of us as two lil’ manatee merpeople, and we used the caricatures for the album cover. I would love ‘Piper & Carson’ to grab people with not only the music, but also with the total artistic package,” says Hayes.

Fashioned like a day’s cycle in nature, these tracks weave a seamless story of life and death, compassion, kindness, standing up for what one believes, action and honouring ancestors. ‘Piper & Carson’ is dedicated in loving memory to Piper’s mother Maggie Thompson Hayes, who passed away suddenly almost one year ago on November 25, 2016.

Artist Statement: Hayes states, “I am incredibly proud, overjoyed and more excited than ever to release this piece of work to the world. It's amazing to be a part of every single aspect of creating this album.

“The new album is different because three years ago I met Carson Ritcey-Thorpe. We began performing, dating and eventually writing together. We love making music together and this album reflects the life we've built. ‘Piper & Carson’ is a collection of intentioned songs that are popular at our live shows; songs to heal and remember. I titled the album ‘Piper & Carson’ because that's just what it is. It’s me and ‘Big Red,’ and it’s how we live, it’s how we love.”

Media Quotes:

“We really enjoyed having Piper & Carson join us on Folk Roots Radio! Definitely check out the release shows in Hamilton and TO for the new album. Promises to be a couple of nights of great music!” – Jan Hall,, CFRU FM, Nov 2017.

“When she's not touring the world performing songs off her latest EP, she's spreading awareness for the Canadian Mental Health Association.” – CTV’s Etalk (November 17, 2016).

“Heartache can spawn incredible art...” – Jamie Gutfreund, CP24 Breakfast (October 9, 2016).

“Young, talented!” – Christine Bentley, What She Said Radio, Jewel 88.5 (October 2016)

“While it's catchy pop music, there are definite deeper connotations to the music Piper Hayes is fashioning.” – Ric Taylor, Hamilton Music Notes, View & CFMU FM (October 2016).

“The harmonies in tandem with Carson Ritcey-Thorpe were spot on and Hayes went in search of the vulnerability and the hope in the songs, burnishing them to a shine via her forceful vocals and from the gut lyrics.” – Lenny Stoute, BTW Column, Cashbox Canada (October 2016).


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Our Shotgun Wedding

Our Shotgun Wedding is the warm and honest collaboration of Dylan McMullin and Lauren Jewell. The infectious chemistry of this husband and wife duo simmers constantly, and boils over on stage. The style of these multi–instrumentalists is as infectious as the catchy toe-tapping songs they perform.

The couple met in 2010 at Summerfolk Music Festival in Owen Sound, Ontario and a 5 track demo EP entitled “Ghosts of the Bury Road,” was released in 2012. The track, “The Hitchhiker” was featured on CBC Radio’s Bandwidth.

The style they bring to the stage is warm, textured and honest, yet provocative and searching. They are a dynamic young band whose song writing abilities produce lyrics and melodies that fit their musical skills so well that the result is like polished pyrite, everyday ideas presented in a cleanly finished way that works so well. Our Shotgun Wedding’s music is fresh and new, confronting yet comforting. And while their music may be new to you, it still comes across sounding oh so familiar.

$12.00 - $15.00

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