JULY 26 – SOUTH STAGE
This Juno (Canadian Grammy Award) Nominated group is led by Lindsay Beaver, the beautiful and ferocious singing drummer with Upright Bass, Guitar, Piano, and Wailing Tenor Sax rounding out this unbeatable live show. They were nominated for a 2015 Juno Award for Blues Recording of the Year and have a total of 15 Maple Blues Award Nominations to their name as well. Their albums have been included in Top 10 lists from CBC, House of Blues Radio, Blues 411, Bluesbytes and more. They’ve played hundreds of festivals and clubs all over North America and have also shared the stage and done several dates with Jimmie Vaughan. With no signs of slowing down, their latest album Where Evil Grows (winner of Best International Release, Blues411.com) has done well on radio and received great reviews from the USA and Canada including notables such as CBC, American Blues Scene, Musoscribe, The Province, SLUG magazine, bluesmobile.com, and more. This band was just inducted into the only Blues Museum in Canada last month as well.
From Saskatoon, Saskatchewan The Deep Dark Woods are often described as an alt-country band but their unique sound is influenced by many musical styles, perhaps most notably by that of British singer, Shirley Collins who was a significant contributor to the English Folk Revival of the 1960’s and 1970’s. First established in 2005, the band consists of singer and guitarist Ryan Boldt, bass guitarist Chris Mason, organist and pianist Geoff Hilhorst, lead guitarist Clayton Linthicum and drummer Lucas Goetz. Founding member Burke Barlow played guitar until 2012.
They have released five albums to date, beginning with their self-titled album in 2006. Since then they have grown a loyal, grassroots following across North America and around the world with stellar outings Hang Me Oh Hang Me (2007), Winter Hours (2009), The Place I Left Behind (2011) and Jubilee (2013). The Deep Dark Woods has played Geomatic Attic shows on three previous occasions but have just started touring again after a break for solo projects.
Alex Cuba is a Latin Grammy/Juno winner, singer-songwriter who is not tied to tradition; Alex has a vast musical vision. His sugarcane-sweet melodies, pop-soul hooks and powerful guitar riffs, relinquish a conventional stereotype that exemplifies much of the Latin music landscape. Born Alexis Puentes in Artemisa, Cuba, was immersed in music at a very young age, joining his father’s (respected guitarist and teacher Valentin Puentes) group of 24 guitarists. Alex then went on to study electric and upright bass and touring and recording nationally and internationally. In 1999, Alex moved to Victoria, B.C where he recorded an album titled Morumba Cubana alongside his twin brother Adonis, as The Puentes Brothers. Alex then went on to record his solo debut album Humo De Tobaco in which earned him a Juno award for World Music Album of the Year in 2006. In 2007, Alex released Agua Del Pozo which also earned him another Juno award for World Music Album of the Year in 2008. From there, Alex released his third album, a self-titled project Alex Cuba in 2009.
Alex Cuba’s 5th studio album, Healer, was recorded in New York, USA and Victoria, Canada, using a live rhythm section, trading in horns for guitars and vocal harmonies. With five duets with singer songwriters, four being Canadian, Ron Sexsmith, David Myles, Alejandra Ribera and Kuba Oms as well as New Yorker Anya Marina, it is an upbeat, acoustic soul album full of optimism and reality as Alex always has a silver lining on melancholy of any form. The album won a Latin Grammy for best Singer-songwriter and nominated for a Grammy as best Latin Pop in 2016.
Alex Cuba now lives with his family in remote Smithers, BC but is busier than ever having just released his 6th album “Lo Unico Constante.” This will be Alex’s third Geomatic Attic appearance.
Wednesday July 26 – North Stage
Growing up as the son of accomplished musicians and key organizers of the wonderful South Country Fair (staged every year in Fort McLeod), Ryland has had the benefit of a multiple of diverse influences. Now in his late 20’s, he is one of Alberta’s finest up and coming songwriters and performers.
Ryland’s concise and lyrically driven songwriting is deep beyond his years with an emphasis on storytelling and an increasing awareness that life is always bigger than you think it is. Sometimes politically satirical and often offset with fun loving humor, Ryland’s wit and social conscience shine through in the well-crafted vernacular of a songwriter that has found his voice. Accompanying himself with acoustic and electric guitar, tenor guitar, harmonica, piano, mandolin, button accordion and banjo, his multi-instrumentalist approach provides the perfect foil to the words he puts to paper.
A warm and engaging performer he is also a tremendous collaborator who recently has been touring and recording with Lethbridge’s own Leeroy Stagger.
Few performers combine the lyrical heartfelt authenticity of classic country music with a steely eyed intensity that compels an audience’s attention like Calgary, Alberta’s Mariel Buckley. Amidst a sea of neon-Nashville superstars, Buckley offers a crunchy, roots alternative.
An emerging live performer, with appearances at the Calgary Folk Music Festival and its winter subsidiary (Block Heater) to her credit, Buckley deftly matches her stark and haunting narratives of real-life struggle with a brassy wit that sets her apart from her contemporaries in its fearlessness. Her strengths as a songwriter are exemplified by her self-titled EP, and full-length debut Motorhome. She’s been hailed by No Depression as, “a new Loretta Lynn, speaking her mind… Throw in a little Townes Van Zandt mixed with Joan Jett and you’ve got a listener who’s going to grab a lot of people’s attention.”
Mariel Buckley’s sophomore album, “Driving in the Dark”, recorded at Rebeltone Studios with Leeroy Stagger will be available soon.
Although born in Victoria BC, Shaela Miller has spent the majority of her life in the windy southern Alberta city of Lethbridge and has been honing her skill as a songwriter for over ten years. Her affinity for the classic country greats of the yesteryear gives her an unparalleled disposition as an original ambassador of a new wave of country music. When asked to describe her music she replies simply: “Honky Tonk”. But that’s certainly not all it is. Tear in your beer ballads, dance hall shuffles and dark alt-country craft work are all part of the package. With a voice that will send shivers up your spine and a penchant for turning a phrase that will make you relish in its simple eloquence, Shaela’s musical force is unabated and unrivaled.
Thursday, July 27 – Southminster United Church
When Lindi Ortega went in search of some quiet last year, the award-winning artist was pleasantly surprised to find a voice she hadn’t heard in some time – her own. Amid sparse, atmospheric production, it’s precisely this voice – a combination of Ortega’s fatalistic perspective expressed with her evocative soprano – that grips your attention on a brand new EP, Til The Goin’ Gets Gone.
Ortega recorded Til The Goin’ Gets Gone in a converted East Nashville manor, where therapy horses linger on the property. Recording with her longtime guitarist James Robertson, Ortega co-produced the set with Jay Tooke and Jason “Rowdy” Cope. The small production team and minimalist instrumentation make an intimate, immediate setting for Ortega’s stark vision of the human condition. Although classic country is an indelible part of her musical history, the EP also sets the tone for the next chapter of her career: “I’ll always love Loretta, Dolly and Patsy. But I just want more space. I want more ambience.”
Ortega’s guitar-playing chops and innate country music instincts put her in an elite group of artists; she has earned an unusually inclusive type of success with both indie cred and mainstream country recognition. From supporting Carrie Underwood on the CMA Awards to her opening slot on Chris Stapleton’s upcoming Canadian arena tour, Ortega is a sought-after and unique personality in Nashville’s music community and beyond.
Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin with The Guilty Ones
As kids together the Alvin brothers—Dave and Phil—loved the blues, and would travel to the big smoke to see blues legends Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, and T-Bone Walker. That love of the blues inspired them, and they became the backbone of the legendary roots-rockabilly-R&B band the Blasters, a group that, along with Slash Records label mates X and Los Lobos, shook the L.A. punk scene in the early ‘80s. Phil’s raspy, blues-shouting lead vocals went perfectly with the retro rockers penned by brother Dave who also twanged it up on lead guitar.
In the great tradition of siblings in the entertainment biz, the two had a falling out. Dave stayed with music, playing with a variety of L.A. bands before settling in solo as a critically acclaimed singer songwriter, fronting his band The Guilty Men. Phil left for the world of academia (he’s a math prof with a degree in artificial intelligence). But eventually the bonds of brotherhood and a passion for the blues drew them back together. Their first reunion recording was a collection of Big Bill Broonzy songs, then another blues-soaked LP.
About their musical reunion after three decades apart, Dave Alvin says, “You get to a certain age and you realize you’re not immortal, so what the hell; let’s make a little music together. Let’s go back to our common ground, the blues.” – Written by Eric Rosenbaum for the Calgary Folk Music Festival.
The Geomatic Attic is very pleased to welcome Dave and Phil and their killer band in advance of an appearance at the 2017 Calgary Folk Music Festival, July 27 to 30.