OUR 2019 LINE-UP!
This year's Line-Up!
Grand River Ramblers- HEADLINERS
GRAND RIVER RAMBLERS are a galvanic group from the historic stomping grounds of Wellington County. They dig in hard and play from the hell bent heart. Purveyors of bluegrass, roots and something else wild you would have to witness to describe.
Yes... Bluegrass with drums. Don't get your rigid muffin in an acoustic knot traditional folk... These peculiar four have been breaking rules their entire lives and don't plan to stop any time soon.
Infusing a blend of contemporary folk and roots, Hamilton, ON songwriter David Lum's music draws the listener into his stories of the human condition. His songs are as varied as the landscapes he has traveled through. David's guitar style traverses folk, blues, and everything in between. He is a multi-instrumentalist who also performs with Ontario trios Outside the Box and Sing Me A River.
Ed Koening and Phil Elsworthy
Ed has performed as a singer/songwriter and instrumentalist since the early1970s, and has explored various roots/traditional styles. He plays acoustic guitar, mandolin, 4 string (Irish) banjo, and fiddle.
During the last two decades he has focused mainly on Celtic music – as a member of Waterloo Region’s “Grand River Ceili Band” and through session involvement, locally and in Eastern Canada.
He has taught Celtic guitar, mandolin, and banjo in individual and group settings (e.g. with the Riverside Celtic College - Guelph, Ontario), and has taught university level ethnomusicology courses.
Ed recorded two CDs with his fiddler friend, Philippe Elsworthy – “Fiddle and Mandolin” (2011) and “The Crooked Path” (2014), and made a CD of Christmas tunes for finger-style guitar - “Peace on Earth” (2014) – see http://www.chanterrecords.com/ed--phil.html. As well, he has contributed to several compilation CDs, including “Ceol Cara” (2013).
Phil Elsworth is a cabinet and violin maker from Waterloo. As a professional musician and woodworker since 1975, Phil has received numerous prizes for furniture and musical instruments.
Floating Widget has been on the Irish Trad scene since the late 90s. Les Starkey is one of the founding members of Floating Widget and has been sharing his passion for the Irish drum for over 33 years. Les and penny whistle expert Egan Baird who is experienced in the Trad scene in SW Ontario as well as the East Coast and Ireland will be joined by well known local Irish Singer Brian Crozier. An amazing combination of Irish Tradition!
Les Starkey's Website
Gary Toms is a reggae-blues artist who puts 60s and 70s classics through their paces. He covers a wide range of obscure and not so obscure songs ranging from bands like The Kinks to Taj Mahal.
His intensity shows a true love for the music. Hitting the stage this spring in Costa Rica, he’s ready to take his music to the streets- scratch that- porches.
In previous lives, Geoff has been a draughtsman, bus conductor, educator, and photographer, but he has always loved to sing.
As an interpreter of songs, both traditional and contemporary, Geoff has been described as having “an uncanny ability to touch the listener’s heart” and who ” sings with an honesty and simplicity that elevates the song and reminds us how we got here.” He accompanies himself on guitar and harmonica.
With a repertoire that runs the gamut of love, war and toil, he has performed at folk music festivals and folk clubs, both in Canada and the UK and has featured in numerous special concerts, special events - and porch parties.
Some local venues
Mill Race Festival of Traditional Folk Music – Cambridge
Café 13 – Cambridge
Blackwing Coffee House - Cambridge
Chequegnat Festival – Kitchener
Schneider Creek Porch Party - Kitchener
Another Bloody Folk Club – Toronto
The Wee Folk Club – Toronto
Jack Cooper and Heather
Jack Cooper is a Canadian/American artist who grew up to admire the cerebral songwriters (Paul Simon, David Byrne, Tom Waits), the seminal songwriters of the British New Wave (Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Graham Parker), the musically adventurous songwriters (Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder), the California sound (Jackson Browne, Christine McVie) and the Beatles plus everyone influenced by the Beatles.
After spending numerous years hanging around folk clubs and releasing two singer-songwriter CDs incorporating elements of folk and classic singer-songwriters, Jack has recently started to fuse his songs with Baritone Horn (his first love) and other British Brass Band instruments (Tenor Horn, Tuba).
Returning to the Schneider Creek Porch Party is singer/songwriter Jesse Thomas. He has a tenor voice, plays acoustic guitar and banjo and has written many original songs.
JT is very glad to live in this wonderful community and is looking forward to being a part of this great event.
Taking her cues from Kathleen Edwards, Lucinda Williams and Leonard Cohen, Lynn Jackson has a knack for Folk-roots Americana-style storytelling with strong melodies and cinematic lyrics.
Her 9th album, Follow that Fire (2017), produced by Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) on Busted Flat Records has been well received across North America, the UK and Europe. After releasing her 10th album with side-project, Shipwreck Radios, Lynn will release her 11th album in 2019. Details to come !
- 'Wonderful,lyrical and atmospheric offering from possibly Ontario's finest' 8/10 - Amerciana UK Magazine, 09/2017
- 'Damn, she’s good. Great songs, great voice, inspired production... This is Lynn Jackson’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.'- Donald Teplyscary, Fervor Coulee, Canada, 10/2017
- 'Canadian singer/songwriter Lynn Jackson’s catalog has deep Americana roots, in the very best way that tag implies' - Thom Jurek, AllMusic.com
Find out more about Lynn at www.lynnjackson.net or www.bustedflatrecords.com
The MacQueens are a Kitchener-based music duo known for their compelling songwriting, rich vocal harmonies and intricate instrumentation. Their brand new single, Ordinary Man, has been played Coast to Coast on the CBC. They love to share their music, having performed hundreds of times over the past couple of years. The MacQueens are finishing up their first studio album, due for release this summer.
Based out of Waterloo, Midnight Shift is a jazz/rock/funk band made up of five students from the University of Waterloo and Conestoga College. Midnight Shift offers a unique sound complimented by energetic performances and have played shows at local venues as well as on campus at UWaterloo and Laurier.
Vocals // Rachel Hickey
Keyboard // Jordan Long
Bass // Anton Dolgovykh
Guitar // Bryce Lynas
Drums // Alex Schmidt
Milana Boss is a driven singer, songwriter and musician living in Kitchener Ontario. She has a big voice, with ample control and mood that is sure to raise the hair on your skin, in the best way. Music has always been in her life, but as of three years ago she began practicing and pursuing her musical ambitions more seriously.
Milana is constantly experimenting with new sounds, and follows the natural flow of creating. She draws inspiration from her personal experiences as well as creative thought processes in which she creates characters with their own story lines. She is interested in finding and embracing instruments that she has never played before. Her collection is growing like wild fire.
She describes herself as an artist that cannot be boxed into any one category of music. This is due to the fact that she herself has had many musical idols in her life, all of them varying in different genres. From artists like Brandi Charlile, who has a folk/country/rock edge, and always has a tall tale to tell within her lyrics, to Bat For Lashes, whose works are deep, ominous and experimental with many unique sounds coming from uncommon instruments such as the autoharp and synth digital effects.
Keep a watchful eye out for Milana, as she will be continuing to develop her musical stylings and skill set and is popping up at local venues all across Kitchener and Waterloo. You can find more details about her and can stay up to date about where you can find her performances on Facebook and Instagram, and you can sample her sounds on Youtube. Links below will bring you directly to her.
Nicole Ensing Band
Whether performing original tunes or covering songs by artists such as Sting, Phillip Phillips, Serena Ryder or Bob Dylan, the Nicole Ensing Band injects an eclectic flavour on every song. Nicole's pop/folk style, Brian's jazz fingers, Bethany's punk background and Heather's charming harmonies converge in a soundscape delighting audiences with many different tastes.
Follow the Nicole Ensing Band!
Nicole Ensing Band on Facebook
Ophelia Syndrome are a collective of weirdoes who make noise together. They try to blend various keyed instruments, cello, bass, drums, guitar, vocals, and whatever else they can find to hit, pluck, strum or occasionally blow. The result is their own unique blend of “indie” music, a term they are fairly certain has become ambiguous enough to encompass their indistinguishable classical, jazz, folk, roots, funk, soul, r&b, classic and contemporary rock influences. Yeah thats right, they like music, listen to it, and unintentionally steal whatever they can get away with, since by now everything’s been done by someone else anyway… you’ll just have to decide for yourself what they actually sound like because you won’t read it here.
Based out of numerous Southern Ontario basements, garages and attics, the band has actively existed in one iteration or another since the dawn of time it seems. After recording an EP “Shades of Grey” and their debut album “All Things Forgotten” at Catherine North Studios, a stunning converted cathedral space, the band decided to return to their natural habitat to try and achieve a truly honest, cathartic, and performance-based vibe for their last full length fan-funded release: “North Sea." “From the basement.” is the latest release from Ophelia Syndrome, which is a collection of previously unreleased tracks, B-sides, and videos, which have been digitally re-mastered. Along for the ride are several rarities and oddities accompanying the EP. Listen and Enjoy? That's all folks!
Paul J McInnis
If he were alive 100 years ago, Paul J McInnis would have been found strumming on a street corner, singing his songs about roads, girls, and small towns. His closest friends would have been pickers, singers, poets and painters. He would have enjoyed a simple life surrounded by the things he loved. Today, 100 years later, not much is different. If you look for him, Paul can be found strumming on a street corner in some small town, singing songs about roads, girls, and the things he loves. He may slip into his local pub on the way home for a pint with some old friends. It`s a simple life.
Paul J McInnis’ music is his own. It is literate, joyful, melancholy, and timeless. He prefers to play in the moment; recording live off the floor with open mics and no overdubs. Mistakes happen, he’ll say, but so does magic. The resulting albums are collections of some of those magical mistakes, all written and arranged by Paul and performed beautifully with some of his closest friends on mandolin, harmonica, accordion, cello or whatever instrument is close by. It is what Paul believes music should be: simple and real.
Paul has seen North America through a windshield. During the years spent travelling with Juno nominated troubadour Craig Cardiff, the duo played every club, pub, and dive student bar they could find. Over the past decade, Paul has had the honour of opening for acts as diverse as Serena Ryder, Jim Cuddy and Big Sugar. Closer to his current home in rural Ontario, Paul has played countless small festivals both as a solo act and as a sought after sideman. As for his joyful and timeless songs, Paul has received accolades from legendary songwriters from here to Nashville.
What does the future hold? Paul would say the only thing we can expect is uncertainty. There is, however, one thing we can count on. Paul will keep playing, singing, and surrounding himself with the things he loves.
Pay No Mind
Pay No Mind is an alternative trio with members hailing from Brantford, Cambridge, and Kitchener. Members include:
- Chris Speers -vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, and kazoo.
- Dwayne Mahoney -vocals, acoustic guitar, bone whistle, recorder, melodica
- Jade Squire -percussion.
Paul Morris (Concertina, Melodeon and vocals) and Gwen Potter (Viola d'Amore and vocals) perform traditional folk tunes and songs from the British Isles, France, and Canada. They have been playing together for many years, appearing at festivals and museum re-enactment settings, and bring a relaxed and informal style to their performances.
The Propter Hoc Chamber Choir
Under the direction of Jacob deGroot-Maggetti, the Propter Hoc Chamber Choir is a series of ensembles formed each summer to sing fun music together and raise funds for local music-related charities.
Hello neighbours, I'm that busker.
That guy who PLAYS music at the downtown Kitchener Market every Saturday, and all around town when and where ever I can. I began learning music here when I was eight and I'm still loving/learning every day.
I can't help it. I'm sure that PLAYING with others has been one of the good reasons I'm a happy healthy old guy. This is what I can share, and give. What I receive in return sustains me... Come to the Schneider Creek Porch Party. It is all about sharing...
Rico and The Rejects
Rico and The Rejects is a local Kitchener-Waterloo band committed to always having fun. We're still trying to figure out which of us is really Rico or, if he even exists. From classic rock and the blues, to some soul and even swamp rock: from April Wine to Gary Moore to Eric Clapton, Etta James, The Beatles, Tom Petty, CCR and Mitch Ryder - we give it our all for you the audience! Whether it's a porch party, restaurant-music venue, wedding or corporate party - the lads and I have fun and we will do our best to make sure you have fun too!
Sandy MacDonald is a full time professional musician (guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass, vocals) with thirty-five years experience. As co-leader of The Beirdo Bros., he played in numerous schools, libraries, clubs, universities and corporate functions throughout Southern Ontario. He performed on The Elephant Show with Sharon, Lois and Bram, and toured Germany with the Canadian Department of National Defense Schools. Sandy has a BA in Drama from the University of Guelph and studied classical guitar and music theory at Wilfrid Laurier University. The Kitchener Record calls him "one of the areas most popular club musicians."
Shannon Lyon and the Pop Explosion (Headlining the Main Stage)
Shannon Lyon released his first solo album (Buffalo White) in 1994 and has never looked back. He has released 14 albums to date. Lyon has toured extensively throughout North America, Australia and in his adopted continent of Europe where he lived for a decade. (Holland, Germany and Spain).
In 2003 Lyon was the first Canadian signed to Richard Bransons V2 Records, becoming label mates with The White Stripes and Paul Weller. Later that year New York's Billboard Magazine declared Lyon "Untainted & Pure!"
Shannon has shared the stage with such luminaries as Lucinda Williams, Jay Farrar and Bruce Cockburn.
Currently Lyon lives back in Southern Ontario in Canada where he spends half his time recording & producing in his home studio and the other half performing solo and with his band The Pop Explosion (Jeff Cowell, Adam Buschlen).
Sing Me a River
Sing Me A River is Kathy Lepp (Kitchener), Dorothea Smith (Fergus) and David Lum (Hamilton). Formed in 2015, these three individual singer songwriters decided their folk/roots style became a more delicious mix with 3-part harmonies, multiple instruments - and the fun of making music together! Engaging their audiences with originals (and covers they love) across Southwestern Ontario, their songs are drawn from the honesty and variety of life's currents.
Sons of Shanley
Sons of Shanley is an indie/ folk rock band from Kitchener ON. Front man Jacob Lasby brings an enthusiastic energy every time they entertain. Playing a variety of covers and original songs Sons of Shanley is sure to set you swinging.
Jerry Grey and the Suburban Bicycle Gang
After years of working on various other projects Young Coconut and Jerry Grey teamed up in 2017 to start what would eventually be known as Suburban Bicycle Gang. Several members have come in and out of the “Gang” but its principal members remain Young Coconut and Jerry Grey. Their dynamic partnership has culminated in the March 2019 release of “Softballs Are Too Hard” on Fauxtown Records. A label founded by Young Coconut.
Ted Parkinson has been writing songs for over 35 years. His music is eclectic, melodic and quirky. He writes about springtime in February, Mormons, Bob Marley and neighbourhood Bingo halls. Ted is a member of SOCAN and the Songwriters Association of Canada.
Ted has played at many porch parties and coffee houses over the years. In 2015 he released his first album "My Neighbourhood" recorded at Fred Smith studios. It is available on iTunes (and at all of his gigs). Come and sing along!.
Zook & Boots
Zook&Boots are Christen Latham and Simon Lewis, a singer-songwriting duo from the Kitchener-Waterloo area who play original songs and a selection of covers. They are best known for their harmonious melodies and their fun filled live shows. After working together for only a short time, the two have played many venues across southern Ontario as well as many charity and private events. Zook & Boots are working on their debut album release. Stay tuned!