Tag Archives: local

Halifax Urban Folk Festival, Tapping my Toes

5 Sep

This city can be known to  grab you and pull you into all sort of events. That’s why I like it. You never know what is going to come next, or what sort of wonderful thing is going to be going on.

I recently got to put my left leg in the circle of the  Halifax Urban Folk Festival (http://www.thecarleton.ca/huff-festival). This was the 3rd year for the festival, created by Mike Campbell, owner of the Carelton, as a way to bring some folk music and great artists into the downtown area.

I was lucky enough to get to volunteer the first night, when Bry Webb and Daniel Romano and The Trilliums played. Jesus, I love these two men. Their voices cut chills right through my neck, into my heart. I have probably listened to the new Daniel Romano record 700 times, because the lyrics are so approachable, and he sounded just as wonderful and heart wrenching in person.

One thing that struck me about all of this was that everyone was so damn nice. Bry Webb was nice, Daniel Romano and his whole band were nice, the staff were nice, Mike Campbell was nice. It was just all so damn nice!

I got to go back on Tuesday to work the door for the Ana Egge and  Breagh MacKinnon show. Damn! Oh ! How these ladies can sing. I did not know much about Breagh before arriving, other than she was a Cape Breton singer songwriter who came highly acclaimed. The acclaims held up.  Her voice is striking, and I was not the  only one who thought so. Numerous people coming in remarked to me, “what a voice” “she reminds me of Norah Jones” and she sold out of CDs at the merch table by the end of the night.

Ana Egge was also amazing. Her voice kind of breaks your heart a little bit. She has lots of friends in Nova Scotia, so it was a nice treat to hear some of her favourite friends on stage with her, Rose Cousins and Joel Plaskett. The other thing about Ana, is she is really sweet. She was super appreciative of our help, and even gave me a copy of her new album, produced by Steve Earle, “Bad Blood”.  It’s amazing.
I leave you with love for HUFF, for this city, for people coming together for the love of music, and with Ana Egge’s new song, “Hole in your Halo”.



I am sappy for Sappy

10 Aug

As someone who grew up in New Brunswick, and who is crazy as coco pops for local music, it surprised even myself that I have never been to Sappy Fest, Sackville, N.B’s annual long weekend in August, 3 day music love fest.
Needless to say, I went this year and I enjoyed every damn minute of that thing. It was the music festival I have been searching for.

I am someone who loves music, but I also get anxious in big crowds, pee often and am always thirsty. This sometimes makes going to big music festival a bit of a catch 22 for me. Oh but Sappy was like a cool breath of fresh air on a hot day. Just what I needed! There is plenty of grass to chill on, and plenty of positive vibes everywhere.

photo: Pam Crouse

The whole town of Sackville is pretty lovely, and seeing as how it is so small, everyone can walk everywhere they want to go. You can skip from the main tent to the other venues easily and carefree, and really you did not have to worry too much about lineups.

And the music! Oh the music! It is so nice to find all kinds of new bands you did not know before. On Friday night I was blown away by Metz http://metz.bandcamp.com/ who are friggen tight man!
They make me want to be in a hardcore fun rock band. They have excellent showmanship and just look like they are having an amazing time.

On Saturday we went to this cute little picnic at the President of Mount A’s house, and saw Cold Warps and Endless Summer and that was wonderful. I was also super impressed later by Bruce Penisula, who with their four female vocalist made peeling your eyes away from the stage impossible. http://www.bruce-peninsula.com/

Later on in the evening at the main stage I was given shivers (even though it was hot as sin) by both Timber Timbre and Silver Mt. Zion.

Photo by Pam Crouse

Photo: Pam Crouse

Sunday brought sweet little church shows, highlight being the soulful voices of Fred Squire, his partner Kate Maki and their little baby boy. Sunday evening I was suprised by Lights Fire, a drag Queen from Toronto who had me coveting her sweet dance moves.

All in all, Sappy was the best. And you can damn well believe that I will be back next year.



Halifax Music: Unique, Alive and Well

3 Apr

One of the things I have always liked about Halifax, that has kept me coming back and now,  makes it home; is the music scene. Besides being the nest to some names like Sloan, Joel Plaskett, Feist (semi), Buck 65, and Jenn Grant; there is always someone coming behind them.

The music scene in Halifax is always rolling, moving along, with something new and something you need to hear. If you don’t have anything to do on a Friday night there is bound to be a show to see. There is always something happening and simply by picking up The Coast or checking things out online, you can find something to make you put on your mascara.

I have had my classic favorites for years, the musicians that always get my support and those I just love to see live. Amongst these are Al Tuck                   ( http://www.altuck.ca/) a singer & songwriter whose soulful lyrics are consonantly revered by other artists. Another is Jon McKiel (www.jonmckiel.com) who always manages to almost see right into your soul. You have got to get down with Ghettosocks (http://ghettosocks.com/), Halifax’s finest, and most relatable MC. Laura Peek (www.peekpeekpeek.com) who is perfect for in the bath or at a romantic restaurant in Yarmouth with your mother and your best friend. I am also a big fan of Ryan Cook (http://www.ryancook.ca/) who is pretty much the only reason I listen to country. Of course I could list Maritime musicians for hours that I am in love with, but I digress.

A great way to find out about music happening in the city is by taking advantage of some of the amazing local blogs. One of my favorite blogs and radio shows is Halifax is Burning. (http://www.halifaxisburning.com/). Trevor always manages to have his pulse on what is happening in the city, what is new and what is really good music. I thank him a million for playing SheMachine’s new song on the show tonight. It sounded great!

Another great blog is Broken Speaker (http://thebrokenspeaker.com/). I actually had the pleasure of meeting Jonathan and driving him down to Yarmouth for MNSW. He is a great blogger, and catches and reviews a lot of local shows.

There is no excuse to not get out in Halifax and catch a live show. Sure, you are usually broke, but there is always something cheap and something local. So grab a hold of yourself and head out! You could always try to make it the Company House this Friday (April 6th) for SheMachine, as they host a fundraiser for their first video. It’s bound to be a stellar time as we watch a new band in Halifax rock on their new feet.