33rd Annual Calgary Folk Festival Lineup
Published Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:30PM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 6:08AM MDT
100 Mile House (AB) Sultry harmonies, toe-tapping rhythms and sweet, intimate songs from rootsy husband and wife duo Peter Stone and Denise MacKay and multi-instrumentalist Scott Zubot.
Sam Baker (USA) Literate, poignant narratives lace together the world's tragedies, complexity and deep beauty, from his own hard-hewn transcendental grit-and-grace.
Del Barber (MN) Deep roots seed these witty sacred/profane songs, knit together by Barber's polished finger-style guitar work, warm melodies and intoxicating personality. http://www.delbarber.com/
Barr Brothers (QC) Their unique blues-infused sound is built from interwoven string arrangements, wide-open spaces and a multitude of musical traditions.
Shelley Bean (Nfld) A Mr. Dress-Up generation alumnus and former Banshee lead vocalist, her enchanting presentation and interactive songs are drawn from a colourful Atlantic-Canadian folk music repertoire.
The Beauties (ON) Their tightly-knit howling and devilish swagger veiling sober, dark truths, The Dakota Tavern's house band is fast becoming an indispensible backing group.
Beirut (USA) Zach Condon's distinct exotic music is full of entrancing rhythms, upbeat horns, mournful strings and lyrics that speak to universal human themes.
Mark Berube (QC) Vivid, brave poetics, creative song structures, elegant arrangements and his soaring voice create a lush, engrossing chamber-folk sound.
Besh o DroM (Hungary) Eastern European and Balkan music brought to the world's dance floor for a border-free folkloric mash-up of traditional instruments and rock energy.
Bettysoo and Doug Cox (USA/BC) Acoustic magic fuses low and high, north and south, hope and heartbreak, Canadiana and Americana. http://www.acrosstheborderline.org/
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings (ON) A trio of characters whose magnetic stage presence and musical prowess nail hardcore country ballads, Southern soul, infectious anthems and raucous blues.
Blitz the Ambassador (Ghana/USA) Ghanaian-born, New York-based rapper unleashes slamming conscious poetry on jamming Afro-soul grooves.
Renato Borghetti (Brazil) Accordion virtuoso's fast, playful tunes bring a wide spectrum of Brazilian and global pop, jazz and tango to life.
Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires (USA) Soul-stirrer and neo-funk revivalist's raw, genuine voice and evocative delivery conveys hardship, history and hope on a cool, groove-laden backdrop.
The Breakmen (BC) Pure vintage roots music draws on alt-country, bluegrass and old-time rhythms, bringing audiences on a musical road trip through the Canadian landscape.
Junior Brown (USA) His monster guit-steel playing, mirthful lyrics and distinctive baritone create a signature style that throws a curve-ball into honky-tonk, with a country soul and rock ‘n' roll spirit.
Marco Calliari (QC) Grafts together the pounding energy of his early metal roots, the folkloric spirit of his Italian ancestry and Québécois upbringing to produce a wild, original global sound.
Mary Chapin Carpenter (USA) Oft-covered multiple Grammy-winning artist carries you on a melodic life journey, on the wings of her lustrous alto voice and intimate, insightful songs.
Chatham County Line (USA) New traditionalists straddle the rural-urban divide with their boozy blend of Americana and loose acoustic rockers.
Cold Specks (ON) At only 23 years old, Al Spx is making waves with her smoky vocals, stark sparse blues arrangements, Deep South revival rhythms and disarming, bleak-but-beautiful songs.
Elage Diouf (QC) Powerful lyricist, composer and percussionist Diouf and his band meld deep Senegalese musical traditions with Canadian sounds.
John Doe (USA) Since founding the seminal band X with Exene Cervenka, ‘punk rock's golden throat' has performed with the Knitters, Sadies and Jill Sobule, and has a solid solo roots music and acting career.
Justin Townes Earle (USA) He's Nashville North residing in lower Manhattan, with beautifully-crafted twangy and charming, rockin' and reelin', slow and sweet songs.
Carrie Elkin (USA) Her wise, quietly offbeat writing and character-laden vocals find humanity in heart-worn heroes.
The Hackamores (AB) Veteran Calgary country, blues and hot club jazz musos share their love of western swing music as they swap hot licks on original and classic tunes.
Eve Hell and the Razors (AB) Singer/upright bass player Eve fronts a monstrously fun, surf-influenced roots trio with a love of horror, country and rockabilly music.
Chris Isaak (USA) Over his 25+ career, this velvet-voiced singer/songwriter and actor has given us rockabilly, roots, dreamy ballads, humour and indulged his musical passion on an album of classic Sun Studio covers.
Iron and Wine (USA) Sam Beam has inspired an indie-folk revolution with his moving, lyrically-evocative songs; meticulous tales full of forlorn love, religious imagery and wistful dreams.
Sarah Jarosz (USA) A poster child for the wunderkind academy, her virtuosic instrumental bursts and strong alto voice conjure exotic tableaux that explore acoustic music's past and future.
Joy Kills Sorrow (USA) This innovative Boston-based string band brings a novel approach to Americana, based on musical chemistry and deft improvisation.
Lisa Knapp (UK) With one foot in tradition and another on the songwriter/alt-folk revival, fiddler/singer Knapp creates imaginative and infectious music.
Jon Langford and Skull Orchard (USA) Punk-rock and alt-country pioneer, modern troubadour, musicians' mentor, visual artist, astute songwriter and member of influential bands Mekons, Waco Brothers and Pine Valley Cosmonauts.
Bettye LaVette (USA) One of American music's greatest soul/blues/R&B singers, her incredibly expressive voice gets inside a song's lyrics and melody, making anything she covers her own.
Little Scream (QC) Her unusual, multi-layered, multi-instrumental performances are enhanced by a rotating all-star band.
Locarno (BC) Paperboys frontman Tom Landa's new project celebrates his Mexican ancestry and the band's Latin backgrounds for an inventive Cuban Son, Salsa and Son Jarocho-influenced sound.
Lowlands (ON) Shape delta blues and bluegrass twang into beautiful, stripped-down alt-country that has the serene, eerie quality of an open field at night.
The Magnetic North (AB) A journey through a musical underworld where melodies ebb and flow over empathetic vocals, wrapped in sensitively orchestrated piano, glistening guitar and articulate percussion.
Dan Mangan (BC) Has morphed from a globetrotting folk crooner into an acclaimed storyteller whose witty, wise songs tackle bold subjects, wrapped in sonically adventurous indie folk with lush arrangements from his band of free-jazz virtuosos.
Jeff Mangum (USA) Former Neutral Milk Hotel frontman and indie rock's prodigal, reclusive son created one of the seminal albums of this generation, a gloriously odd musical curio. His acoustic shows are hypnotic and riveting.
Marc Ribot Y Los Postizos Cubanos (USA) Multi-faceted, inventive guitarist Ribot and his crack band produce otherworldly, feverishly cooking Cuban soul that tributes legendary bandleader Arsenio Rodriguez.
Lorrie Matheson (AB) Singer/songwriter and producer's consummate songs are full of insightful, acerbic wit and driven by cutting truths, fused in country/roots with understated pop sensibilities.
Melvin Gibbs' Elevated Identity (USA) Monster jazz, funk, hip-hop bassist (Defunkt, Rollins Band, Caetano Veloso) lays down a heavy groove with his kick-ass band, including Antibalas vocalist Amayo, emcee Kokayi, Brazilian percussionist Dende Machado and drummer JT Lewis.
Randy Newman (USA) Loved for his sharp, sardonic eye and melodic ear, he crafts stories, characters and opinions that set the modern standard for songwriting and lyricism.
Joe Nolan (AB) A beautiful combination of sweet, sad lyrics and haunting vocals come from the deep well of a young heart and an old soul.
Lindi Ortega (ON) Her vibrato vocals and unique brand of alt country have been coined "a roadside motel love affair between old school outlaws and country darlings."
Ellis Paul (USA) A critically-acclaimed singer and poet, his urban folk rock weds striking poetic imagery and philosophical introspection with hook-laden melodies.
Mercedes Peón (Spain) Traditional Galician music soars as this powerful bagpiper/ percussionist/ accordionist/ guitarist/ singer creates epic sonic layers with traditional instruments, samples and electronica.
Pokey Lafarge and the South City Three (USA) His timeless originals and witty covers honour legendary artists as his booming voice shouts and croons over a big swingin' beat.
Reuben and the Dark (AB) Introspective and anthemic indie music features stripped-down tales and rich, finely-textured harmonies.
Alejandra Robles (Mexico) Drawing on her Afro-Mexican roots, Latin American music, Caribbean rhythms and opera background, this singer and dancer's performances are rhythmic and charismatic.
The Rural Alberta Advantage (ON) Founded in 2005 in Toronto by a northern Albertan, their charming percussive folk vignettes bring tales of small towns, changing seasons, heartbreak and redemption.
Serena Ryder and the Beauties (ON) She creates magical, natural music with her sonorous 3-octave vocal range and musical palette that embraces folk, roots, country, indie and contemporary sounds.
Shakura S'Aida (ON) Her powerful, smoldering vocal style has been called ‘the sound of 21st century blues.' She and her hot band breathe fresh life into ‘40s and ‘50s classics and nail original, funky songs.
Danny Schmidt (USA) His songs on the human condition conjure magic from the mundane, in a flood of poetry, mythology, folk wisdom and surprise.
Shad (BC) Kenyan-born, Rwandan-descended, Ontario-raised rapper is a new standard bearer for positive rap, with metronome-tight rhythms that push hip-hop into the future.
Shooglenifty (Scotland) Tweak and modify traditional sounds with electronics, loops and funky bass for their signature irresistible groove they dub ‘hypnofolkadelia.'
Rae Spoon (AB/QC) Their memorable melodies, singer/songwriter sensibilities and twang roots have evolved into indie electronica featuring off-kilter sounds and grooves.
Leeroy Stagger and the Wildflowers (AB) Melancholic and evocative songwriting brought to life with sparse acoustic riffs and hints of blues, slide guitar, horns and organ.
Jeff Stuart & The Hearts (AB) Frugal neo-roots charm, fragile indie rock with infectious melodies, charming vocals, standout arrangements and musicianship.
Ian Tamblyn (ON) A prolific musician, adventurer, playwright and Canadian folk hero that has recorded 34 albums and written over 1500 songs.
Three Metre Day (ON) Roots perfection and uncommonly organic music from violinist Hugh Marsh (Bruce Cockburn, Loreena McKennitt), slide guitarist/composer Don Rooke (The Henrys, Mary Margaret O'Hara) and singer/pump organist Michelle Willis.
Walking Woody's Road (USA) American roots artist Jimmy LaFave and cohorts Ellis Paul, Sam Baker, Doug Cox and Bettysoo chronicle the life and writings of legendary singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie for the 100th anniversary of his birth.
Abigail Washburn (USA) Nashville-based clawhammer banjo player pairs venerable folk elements with far-flung sounds, creating music that's both strangely familiar and somewhat alien.
Wazimbo (Mozambique) The Golden Voice of Mozambique and chief proponent of the country's rough and tumble urban dance sound, marrabenta, his music blends big band sounds, Latin melodies and unique African dance rhythms.
Jim White (USA) Gonzo folk troubadour and unabashed existential anti-folk artist's words capture life's intricacies, filtered through his dry humour and impeccably crafted language.
Whitehorse (ON) Acclaimed solo artists Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet marry their multi-faced talent and chemistry to craft smoldering music that cascades and rushes like fluid and electric currents.