2012 Avails

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2012 Avails

  1. 1. 10 Artists to think about for 2012<br />Contact:<br />Tom Kemp Kemp@slfa.com<br />&<br />Adam Shanfield<br />Shanfield@slfa.com<br />1 416 598 0067<br />
  2. 2. Shane Koyczan<br />"If the [Auckland Writers] Festival had a Supreme Award, Canadian performance poet Shane Koyczan would have won it, packing the lower theatre and receiving a standing ovation. Koyczan played the heart strings like a brilliant fiddler.” <br />- New Zealand Herald<br />"Shane Koyczan was a surprise hit. His raw poems about love, sex and cancer made the audience laugh and cry. Along with O'Hagan and Hirsi Ali, he received on of the festival's passionate standing ovations.” <br />- Wendy Were, Artistic Director, Sydney Writers Festival<br /> "Homer must have sounded [like this]… or Ginsberg or Kerouac." - Amy Brown, The LumiereReader"It's time to hand out a few awards. Best chairman: Ian Rankin. Best poetry reading: Shane Koyczan. Best superstar: Salman Rushdie.”<br />- David Robinson, Literary Editor, The Scotsman<br />"Shane Koyczan's performance at the Edinburgh International Book Festival was one of the outstanding successes of our program. Not only did the event sell out, but the buzz from the audience was remarkable. [M]any said it was the best event they had seen all festival..”<br />- Catherine Lockerbie, Artistic Director, Edinburgh Book Festival<br />Proud Canadian: We Are More<br />www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsq68qRexFc<br />www.houseofparlance.com<br />
  3. 3. Joel Plaskett<br />Now twelve years after breaking away from Thrush Hermit and striking out on his own, there’s no arguing that Joel Plaskett has established himself as one of the best songwriters in Canada. Since 1999, the singer has successfully managed to translate the small wonders in life (small towns, small town kicks, small town girls, small town bars and the love, loss and leaving of all four) into rock music capable of filling concert theaters in big cities across Canada. The language he uses is superb (who else in rock or folk has been able to turn a single five syllable word like “Extraordinary” into the perfect hook that drives a rock anthem?) and the heart expressed by his voice is undeniable.<br />Ground Control Magazine<br />Watch Deny Deny Deny Live from Calagry:<br />Recent highlights included plays at: <br />Vancouver Folk Festival, BC<br />Philadelphia Folk Festival, PA <br />Clearwater Festival, NY<br />Throughout the UK with Jules Holland<br />www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK1w5M7WMI8<br />www.JoelPlaskett.com<br />
  4. 4. Justin Hines<br />There’s a moment in every artist’s life when he knows that music is not only his path, but his destiny.  Even though Justin Hines grew up singing in church at his grandmother’s behest, his realization came at the most unlikely of places— at a Toronto Raptors’ basketball game in his hometown 15 years ago.<br />“I get transformed to a different place when I perform. I hope it just makes people feel something,” he says, adding that he especially enjoys singing ballads. “Hopefully, that helps form an intimate connection with the audience. I embrace those moments because it feels like you’re having a unique conversation with people.” Justin Hines<br />www.Justinhines.com<br />
  5. 5. Spirit of the West<br />In 1983 Geoffrey Kelly, John Mann and J. Knutson began a group they called "Evesdropper". The trio played neighbourhood pubs for very small amounts of money. Oft-times they'd be shunted-off into a corner to suffer and sweat through a miserable set. Oddly, they seemed to like it. It was certainly more fun than actually working, even if most of the audience mistakenly thought they were called "Eavesdroppings”.<br />Armed only with a love of music and a fear of real work the three recorded their first album the next year. Twenty years later the group which had wisely changed its name to Spirit of the West continues to make records and earn far too little money. <br />Watch a different spin on a classic song:<br />www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSvBMJWl3xI<br />www.sotw.ca<br />
  6. 6. Ron Sexsmith<br />MOST unlikely success story, 47-year-old Canadian Ron Sexsmith has until recently been regarded as a top quality songwriter who sings a bit. But that’s all changing with his new found higher profile and tonight’s healthy-sized mature crowd ensure he knows how highly they rate him with rousing cheers as he arrives on stage. Promoting 12th studio album Long Player Late Bloomer, he plays the pick of the bunch, The Reason Why and Nowadays. But his songwriting skills have already gained him many high profile fans, such as Dylan, Elton John, McCartney, Elvis Costello and Rod Stewart, the latter covering Secret Heart, which Ron remarked was the main reason “I’m stood here now”. The unassuming Sexsmith has an instant connection with his crowd, appreciative here of his self deprecating humour, such as alluding to himself as having a good face for radio and a documentary of the making of the new album as Shrek 3. His voice takes a while to warm up but that goes unnoticed as he delves into a vast catalogue of songs, including Hard Bargain and the lovely Where My Love Shines. Requests lead to him serenading a honeymoon couple with Bing Crosby’s Moonlight Becomes You, before playing set highlight Whatever It Takes, covered by Michael Buble, and a wonderful unaccompanied God Loves Everyone for an encore. The Sexsmith bandwagon is gathering momentum with new song Believe It When I See It gaining national radio play. If he’s not careful, MrSexsmith might find his cult status a thing of the past<br />REVIEW: Ron Sexsmith, O2 Academy2 by Sean Bruce The Star<br />Watch Ron Sexsmith at Massey Hall:<br />www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J_ovO4c6bA<br />www.ronsexsmith.com<br />
  7. 7. Jimmy Cliff<br />Watch The Harder They Come:<br />www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGE4dnrPPZQ<br />So many, many highs, and not just in the crowd! There was his yellow suit, his gold shoes, his hilarious dancing, his infectious energy, oh and the music. It was all about the music, really. He started with You Can Get It If You Really Want It  and the party went from there. it's impossible not to dance to Jimmy Cliff. And to smile while doing it. This may not end up being the best gig of the Picnic but it will undoubtedly be the happiest.<br />Verdict:  Great to see the godfather of ska in such sprightly for at 70.<br />Review: The Irish Times<br />www.jimmycliff.com<br />
  8. 8. Kim Churchill<br />Kim Churchill’s style is unique and explosive, with intricate fingerpicking, percussive beats on the body of the guitar, and two-handed tapping intertwined with an earthy stomp box, powerful harmonica melodies and soulful voice. Though his playing is often complex, his songs have an easy, natural flow that certainly reflect the peace of mind that rolling waves and a rising sun possess. Kim Churchill is a live spectacle and a true virtuoso, but unlike so many others who could be labeled as such, he transmits a vibe of genuine modesty. Perhaps it’s his nomadic life on the road or probably his passion for surfing that keeps him grounded.<br />"I really try to paint a picture of sounds that complement the lyrics I've written", Kim says.<br />Watch Kim Performs back Australia:<br />www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEsLPFcaqL8<br />Last years festival highlights included: Hillside Festival, <br />www.kimchurchill.com<br />
  9. 9. Dala<br />Watch: Horses<br />www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrFJFHRlsp8&feature=player_embedded<br />“Well established, even beloved, in their native Canada, the duo of Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine, collectively known as Dala, made a move toward greater North American recognition last summer with the PBS airing of their concert Girls From the North Country, from which this CD is drawn. (This is the duo’s fifth album, but its first with a U.S.-based label.) Dala writes terrific original songs and approaches its intelligent covers with respect for the originals and an understanding of how to bring a fresh perspective to the time-honored texts of great songwriters.” <br />THE BLUEGRASS SPECIAL REVIEW<br />www.dalagirls.com<br />
  10. 10. Tim Chaisson<br />Recent Accolades and Awards:<br />Music PEI – Songwriter of the Year<br />Music PEI – Entertainer of the Year<br />Watch Tim’s EPK:<br />www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX5Xac_x-vc<br />Tim Chaissonis no stranger to the spotlight. While initially entering the world of music in a family-based Celtic outfit, after years of touring and recording—before reaching driving age—Chaisson recognized a yearning to perform his own music. With three solo albums under his belt and the recent release of Tim Chaisson and Morning Fold’s independent musical gem Broken Hearted Beat, Chaisson is on a fast rise to dominating his genre.<br />www.timchaisson.com<br />
  11. 11. Liam Titcomb<br />A folk festival rug rat, singer/songwriter Liam Titcomb grew up backstage. Liam was signed to Sony Canada when he was 15. Now 23, Liam is a seasoned and respected musician. Even before the release of his first album (age 17) he was touring across Canada with established acts like Great Big Sea, Tom Cochrane, David Usher & Colin James. In 2006, Liam Titcomb was nominated for the Canadian Radio Music Awards for Best New Group or Solo Artist (Hot AC) for his Debut album on Columbia with Grammy winning producer Bill Bottrell (Sheryl Crow, Michael Jackson) featuring singles: “Sad Eyes” which went Top 10 and Counting Headlights Top 20.In 2003, at 15 he contributed the song “War” to the benefit album Peace Songs (along with Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney and Bruce Cockburn) in support of War Child Canada’s humanitarian programs. During the summer of 2009, living in his RV, he busked coast to coast followed by the CBC and raised well over $50,000 for War Child Canada. His sophomore album “Can’t Let Go” was recorded in Nashville with Jay Joyce (Patti Griffin, Derek Trucks); it’s obvious that this singer/songwriter set out to prove that he was no “flash in the pan” with his second record. “Can’t Let Go” was released on Double Dorje Records, Liam’s own independent label. Living in Nashville and the UK over the past year, he’s now working on his Third album.<br />Watch Liam’s EPK:<br />www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bv5Z_XedQo<br />Watch Liam in Nashville:<br />www.liamtitcomb.com/?page_id=417<br />www.liamtitcomb.com<br />

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