The Bombadils Release “The Fountain” Official Video


Today’s the day! Borealis Records recording artists, The Bombadils, are so excited to share this video for their song, “The Fountain” from their album New Shoes!

Written by Sarah Frank and Alan Mackie about summer travels and adventure, the video came together last summer and fall, featuring shots of Montreal, Quebec, and St John’s, Newfoundland. It’s a dreamy display of fountains and mountains, cool old buildings, fish, birds, and other summertime delights, all wondrously captured by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin.

Although The Bombadils made the video long before they had any plans to move to Halifax, it’s interesting that the locations that Nasuna filmed create a parallel to their recent move from Montreal to the east coast. Looks like Nasuna was one step ahead of them!

Video ~ Nasuna Stuart-Ulin
Audio ~ James Perrella & Julia Graff
Songwriting ~ Sarah Frank & Alan Mackie (aka Berty Lancaster)
Band ~ The Bombadils (Sarah Frank on fiddle and vocals, Luke Fraser on guitar and vocals)

Big thank you to Borealis Records and The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent On Recordings (FACTOR) for making this possible.

New Shoes available through Borealis Records, iTunes, and Spotify.


5x JUNO nominated/6x CFMA winning mando-maestro Andrew Collins Trio Release “And It Was Good” at Hugh’s Room on Fri. Oct. 21

September 12, 2016

Good Times Are Sure to be Had when 5x JUNO nominated/6x CFMA winning mando-maestro ANDREW COLLINS TRIO release ”AND IT WAS GOOD” HUGH’S ROOM – FRI OCT 21, 8:30PM

The Andrew Collins Trio

“Light of touch, fast of wit, copiously imaginative, and a musical scholar of the highest distinction, Toronto mandolin virtuoso pulls out all the stops” ~ Toronto Star

“Boundaries? What boundaries? Toronto mandolinist Andrew Collins ignores them all!” ~ Penguin Eggs

“To call Andrew Collins a master of the mandolin would be putting it mildly…. artfully arranged string music perhaps best described as ‘chambergrass’ shines through – 4/5 stars” ~ Exclaim! Magazine

Andrew Collins is a part of the firmament. He’s the mercurial, 5x JUNO-nominated/6x CFMA winningmando-maestro behind two of Canada’s top-billed string bands – The Foggy Hogtown Boys and the Creaking Tree String Quartet. An adventurous musical explorer, he lands somewhere between the re-imagined worlds of Béla Fleck and Newgrass invader, David Grisman.

Together with fellow members of the Andrew Collins Trio (ACT) – string guru Mike Mezzatesta and in-the-pocket bassist James McEleney – good times are sure to be had with their sophomore release And It Was Good CD.

Sitting atop a catalogue representing 2 solo records, 11 collaborative releases, and 2 with his Trio, Collins appears to live by the old adage, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” – because “And It Was Good” tackles Creation itself – likely keeping him just ahead of the devil’s grasp.

On his Trio’s new disc, all three players assault the 7 days of Creation, brilliantly rendering each day’s story to secular musical fruition in this new, Chamber Grass disc. “And It Was Good” IS good – a labour of love inspired by the late Oliver Schroer, if not overseen by his musical specter. The result is a lush-sounding, multi-layered composition bringing fresh meaning to an age-old story while demonstrating the depth of musicianship from each of these three inspirational players.

The trio’s instrumentation (mandolin, mandocello, fiddle, guitar, bass, mandola) is augmented by the Phantasmagoria String Quartet to add necessary shading and colour to each track, all carefully composed by Collins. Opening with “Light from the Darkness”, the use of mandolins, bass and strings transforms the concept of nothingness into the semblance of light appearing through two distinct movements that build in intensity as the world awakens.

The title track representing the last day breaks into what can only be called a gleeful, up-tempo celebration of life itself. The mandolin-driven piece draws heavily upon bluegrass with its bursts of fiddle, backdrop of acoustic guitar while the bass holds down the bottom. Everyone is clearly having a Good time in “And It Was Good”, now that the hard work is done!

The Andrew Collins Trio– admired for their absolute virtuosity – have been somewhat reborn through their re-creation of a story that brings a certain reverence to the party – and a distinctly unique approach to ensemble playing that represents a Second Coming of …shall we say 🙂 ….biblical proportions.

Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas W, Toronto

Friday, October 21, 8:30pm

$22.50 adv / $25   |  416-531-6604  |

VIDEO: (30 sec clip) (5:28 min)


Andrew Collins Trio


Canada Council for the Arts




Lisa Weitz,  LW Communications  416-624-3466 | 416-846-6877 (cell)

Glenn McFarlane Releases New CD “Music and Friends” Available October 10th, 2014

Glenn McFarlaneFor Immediate Release:
October 9, 2014

[Brampton ON]
Brampton Folk Club President and long-time member of the Celtic and East Coast duo Brown Ale, Glenn McFarlane, is proud and excited to be releasing his second solo CD. As the title implies, “Music and Friends” is a collection of original songs celebrating two things that are very important to him. The songs are fun and lively folk songs that reflect his East Coast roots, along with strong elements of country, folk-rock and world music, with an underlying theme of camaraderie throughout the album. Like his last release “Food for Thought”, the CD was engineered and co-produced by Wendell Ferguson, James Gordon and Jon Grant, to better capture the diverse musical styles on the album.

Also reflective of the CD title is the long list of special guests on the album, which includes Ferguson, Gordon, Grant, his Brown Ale bandmate Les Smith, his brother Keith McFarlane, Jason LaPrade, Don Ablett, Peter Jellard, Alec Fraser, Mike Shotten, Mark Rolland, and two large groups of backup singers. Some of these guests appear in cartoon form on the album cover in a jam session.

To help launch the album, Glenn has released a YouTube video of his song “Offense Scores, Defense Wins Games”. Arranged for commercial country stations, the song is a light-hearted country-rocker, about what it takes to win, regardless of sport. Another song, “Let’s Talk New Brunswick!” was released last year with a video collage of photos taken in Glenn’s native province. Many of the photos were shot during his “Prodigal Son(g)s Tour” last year, where he sang songs about New Brunswick in New Brunswick, even performing on New Brunswick Day. (A song documenting the tour is included on the CD.) Both YouTube videos can be accessed through his new and improved website, under the Videos page. Samples of all songs, as well as their lyrics are also posted.

Glenn is celebrating his CD release with a series of concerts in Southern Ontario. He will be performing all shows with his brother Keith on percussion and backing vocals. Keeping in the spirit of the CD, he will be joined by special guests on some of these shows. For example, his Celteclectic bandmates Les Smith and Jon Grant will join him at the November 1st concert in Brampton. Other guests include finger style guitarist Don Ablett (who performs on the album) and Steve Kossen, who organizes a popular open stage event in Bolton.

For more information, please visit Glenn’s website at

“Music and Friends” – Track Listing

1          It’s a Beautiful Day for a Beer – up-tempo country song about summer long weekends

2          Come See the Stars – romantic acoustic folk waltz

3          Middle Aged and Overweight – whimsical up-tempo acoustic country piece

4          Offense Scores, Defense Wins Games – hard driving country rocker

5          I Am the Kyle – slow dramatic accordion based song about a Newfoundland steamship

6          Let’s Talk New Brunswick! – high energy “Maritime Rap” piece

7          The Prodigal Son(g)s Tour – Acadian style account of my New Brunswick tour

8          An Instrumental Break – a medley of three instrumentals, from lullaby to flamenco

9          Music and Friends – Music Hall style sing-a-long waltz

10        The Christmas Truce – dramatic story song about the 1st Christmas of World War 1

11        The Ballad of Kwakiutl – cheesy country parody about Brampton’s infamous statue

12        Jerry and Jim – mellow rock song saluting April Wine’s bass player and drummer

13        Decompress – parody of Bob Dylan circa 1965

14        Stan Rogers – dramatic folk rock piece about the Canadian folk music icon


Live Appearances in Support of “Music and Friends”

Saturday, October 18th, 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

  • Folk Music Ontario Conference, Mayfair Room, Westin Bristol Place, Toronto
  • Featured as part of the Brampton Folk Club Sponsored Showcase

Saturday, November 1st, 8:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.

  • Brampton Golf Club, 7700 Kennedy Road, Brampton
  • A Fundraiser for Brampton Civic Hospital

Saturday, November 15th, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

  • Bolton United Church, 8 Nancy Street, Bolton
  • A Fundraiser for Bolton United Church

Saturday, November 29th – 11:15 a.m. to 12 noon

  • Freewheeling Folk Show, Hamilton, 93.3 FM
  • 45 minute interview, featuring live performances and tracks from the album
  • Podcast available at

Friday, December 6th, 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Paul’s United Church, 30 Main St. South, Brampton
  • Opening for Boreal’s “Songs for the Snowy Season” concert

– 30 –

Sultans of String Nominated for 3 Canadian Folk Music Awards!

I am so happy to pass on this joyous announcement for my clients, Sultans of String!!

“We are pleased to announce…
Sultans of String has been Nominated for three 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards for our album MOVE!

Pushing the Boundaries
Instrumental Group of the Year
World Group of the Year

Bandleader Chris McKhool also picked up a nomination for Producer of the Year Award for the same recording.

Thanks so much for being a part of our journey!

You can hear sound clips here:

Check out all the outstanding nominees here:

The CFMA Gala and awards ceremony will be held at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John, New Brunswick on Saturday, November 17, 2012. Doors open at 7:00 pm with the awards presentation at 8:00 pm, followed by a reception open to all at the Delta Brunswick, Ballroom ABC.”

Congratulations to Chris McKhool, Kevin Laliberté, Eddie Paton, Drew Birston, and Chendy Leon on this honour!  You deserve it!!

Sultans of String’s upcoming shows:

Oct 6, 2012, DUO- Carriage House, Ithaca, NY,

Oct 7, 2012, DUO- Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY, USA

Oct 13, 2012, 8:40 PM, DUO- Official Showcase at FARM- Folk Alliance Region Midwest, St Louis Missouri,

Oct 19, 2012, 8:00 PM, Opening for David Bromberg Big Band, Tarrytown, NY

Oct 26, 2012, 8:00 PM, Festival Du Monde Arabe opening concert, Montreal,

Nov 8, 2012, CaGBC Greater Toronto Chapter Gala Awards at CORUS Centre, Toronto

Nov 25, 2012, Guest spot with Rosanna Riverso at Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Burlington, ON,

Juno & CCMA Nominated Singer-Songwriter Kirsten Jones is Playing in Toronto

Juno & CCMA nominated, multiple award-winning, Alt-country / Roots / Americana singer-songwriter Kirsten Jones‘ music complements the likes of Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams & Emmylou Harris.

“Kirsten’s Juno-nominated recent release, The Mad Mile, should be nestled comfortably in your CD-changer beside your copy of Emmylou Harris’ Wrecking Ball, since the transition between the two discs will sound seamless”. – Roots Music Canada

My client and friend, Kirsten Jones, has a few shows coming up in Toronto that roots music fans won’t want to miss!

Thursday, May 24th ~ Black Swan Tavern
154 Danforth Ave., Toronto, ON – 9:30 PM – Tickets $10
Tin Pan North 13th Annual Songwriters Festival
Songwriter’s Circle with Dave McEathron, John Di Battista, Kirsten Jones & David Neale

Friday, May 25th ~ Dora Keough (I’m going to this one!)
141 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON – 9:30 PM – Pay what you can
Kirsten Jones & Friends with full band, playing covers as well as old favourites. Come and join Kirsten as she celebrates her birthday!

Friday, June 22nd ~ Hugh’s Room
2261 Dundas St. W.  Toronto, ON – 8:30 PM – $25 Advance/$27.50 Door

A Man Called Wrycraft presents IN CASH WE TRUST – 2nd Annual Live Concert Tribute to Johnny Cash…The Man in Black featuring
The Good BrothersDanny BrooksLynne HansonKirsten Jones, Samantha Martin, Massey Harris (featuring Scott B. & Gord Cumming), Tom Wilson / Lee Harvey OsmondPlus a Special Surprise Guest! 



“Smooth-as-buckwheat-honey vocals…a bona fide comparison to Emmylou Harris is not out of order…” – Eric Thom, Exclaim Magazine

Toronto-based singer/songwriter Kirsten Jones had only one producer in mind for her sophomore album, The Mad Mile: former Jayhawks front man Gary Louris. “I knew I wanted to try getting in touch with Gary before even trying to think of anyone else, so I looked up his management online and just sent them a package.” A few months later, Louris’ management e-mailed Jones, saying Gary was interested in the project. By summer, Jones and Louris were writing in her Toronto living room, where they also finished all the preproduction for the recording in three days. They hit the studio later that fall. Creating a sound that combined her alt country and folk influences with her own unique writing style came naturally, thanks to Louris’ firsthand experience with some of Jones’ favourite artists (The Dixie Chicks, Kelly Willis, Lucinda Williams, The Jayhawks).

“She has interesting lyrics, pretty heavy duty lyrics and a hook sensibility. She has it, you know? I’m jealous – I wish I had written these songs… – Gary Louris

In what proved to be a banner year, Kirsten also received a coveted FACTOR award for over $20,000 toward the making of the new CD. The Mad Mile was released on May 11, 2010, and is distributed through Fontana North/Universal. Guests include pedal steel player Greg Leisz (Emmylou Harris, Tracy Chapman, Sheryl Crow, Alison Krauss), Oh Susanna, and Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy and Bob Egan.

“The end result of their fruitful partnership (Louris/Jones) is ‘The Mad Mile,’ an alt country/roots record which could very well do for Jones what ‘Failer’ did for Kathleen Edwards”.  – Jason MacNeil,

Throughout the last two years, several aspects of Jones’ career have fallen into place. She was chosen by Billboard Canada as one of five artists to watch in 2010, and The Mad Mile was nominated for a 2010 Juno Award, thanks to an early iTunes release. Jones has been a finalist two years in a row in the International Songwriting Competition in the Americana category (out of over 15,000 entries), a Top 3 finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the country category (alongside Canadian success story Gordie Sampson), was a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk Contest, and has received honourable mention in both the Billboard and Nashville Songwriter’s Association songwriting competitions. The Canadian Country Music Awards invited Kirsten to perform two years in a row at the prestigious Songwriter’s Cafe, alongside such celebrated songwriters as Victoria Banks, Lisa Brokop, Jamie Warren, and Jessie Farrell. Kirsten wrote or co-wrote every song on The Mad Mile, and two songs were co-written with producer Gary Louris.

“The music of Kirsten Jones combines the best elements of alt-country and contemporary folk. She’s also an engaging live performer, bringing both introspection and high humour to her shows”. – Mark Rheaume, CBC Radio

“The talented singer-songwriter is now busy winning the hearts of fans and breaking genres with her unique style of alt-country that she sings with heartfelt sincerity and catchy hooks”. – Blue Rodeo

Kirsten is currently writing material for her next CD.

The Rankin Gallery Presents the Shari Ulrich Trio on Sat. June 2nd!

Hello friends, neighbours and music lovers!

As you know, I often pass along information about Al Rankin’s music productions and concerts and this is one that I’m particularly excited about because his next Rankin Gallery show features a particularly talented and impressive client of mine!  So without further ado, here’s Al’s note to you:

Wow! It’s another great one with one of Canada’s finest roots musicians.  I’m excited to announce that Juno Award winner Shari Ulrich, from Bowen Island BC, will be onstage at the Rankin Gallery less than one month from now, on Saturday, June 2nd at 8 pm.  You may know Shari from the supergroup UHF with Roy Forbes and Bill Henderson.  Before that she was one-third of that wonderful and influential BC trio Pied Pumkin.

During her illustrious career Shari has won countless awards including 2 Junos.  Shari will be bringing along her trio (Shari, Julia Graff & Ted Littlemore), so onstage we’re likely to have guitars, violins, a cello, a mandolin and an accordion and of course great 3-part harmonies featuring Shari’s unmistakable and ethereal voice.

This will be another very quick sell-out so if you’d like a seat or 2 please email me quickly.  Come and spend a beautiful spring evening in the country listening to some sublime music!

Here are the details: 


Sat., June 2nd, 8 pm
Rankin Gallery, 3248 Round Lake Rd., Inverary, ON
Suggested donation: $20
By reservation only:

Rankin Gallery

For the last 8 years or so I’ve put on intimate concerts at the gallery space in my home near Inverary.  I have been able to host some wonderful touring musicians such as Valdy from BC, The Wailin’ Jennys from Winnipeg, Bill Bourne from Alberta, Coco Love Alcorn and Kate Reid from BC, Marc Atkinson Trio from BC, The Dust Poets from Manitoba, Eliza Gilkyson from Texas, Fruit from Australia, The Pacific Curls from New Zealand, Jez Lowe from the UK, Maeve Mackinnon from Scotland, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Chuck Brodsky and Jonathan Byrd from North Carolina, Alan Gerber from Quebec, Amelia Curran from NFLD, James Hill from NS, Rose Cousins from PEI as well as great Ontario musicians such as Rick Fines, Lynn Miles, The Marigolds, Dala, The Undesirables, Claire Jenkins and Treasa Levasseur and The Good Lovelies and New Country Rehab.

People bring something to drink, maybe a snack, and a donation for the musicians. The audience loves the intimacy of the space and getting to talk to the artists.  The musicians love it too, as it allows them to connect in a way that is different than a large concert hall.  It is open to anyone on my mailing list and works on a first come first served reservation-only basis.  I have 60 spots and it always fills up very quickly shortly after I send out a message about a month before the concert.

See you at the music!

Live Wire Music Series Presents Lucy Kaplansky & James Keelaghan on Sat. Mar. 5th!

The Live Wire Music Series presents a blockbuster double-bill featuring New York City’s gifted singer/songwriter Lucy Kaplansky together with Canadian folk music icon James Keelaghan on Sat. March 5th at Sydenham Street United Church. This concert brings together two of the most respected voices in contemporary roots music in a beautiful venue that will showcase their enormous talents. Here are the details:

Live Wire Music Series presents:
Lucy Kaplansky and James Keelaghan
Sat. March 5th @ 7:30 pm
Sydenham Street United Church, Kingston, ON

Tickets: $20 in advance and $25 at the door (if available)

Brian’s Record Option – 381 Princess Street, Kingston – 613-542-2452
Tara Natural Foods – 81 Princess Street, Kingston – 613-546-4439
Renaissance Music – 1057 Midland Avenue, Kingston – 613-384-9225

Lucy Kaplansky

” Lucy Kaplansky is a truly gifted performer with a bag full of enchanting songs”. (The New Yorker)

“New York City songwriter Lucy Kaplansky is becoming the troubadour laureate of modern city folk.” (Boston Globe)

Lucy Kaplansky began her singing career as one-half of a duo with Shawn Colvin. As a solo artist she has released 5 critically acclaimed albums with contributing back-up vocals from such folk luminaries John Gorka, Eliza Gilkyson and Richard Shindell. In 2000 she teamed up with Shindell and Dar Williams to form the supergroup Cry Cry Cry and turned out a masterful CD which garnered tremendous critical acclaim. She continues to tour extensively and her latest album, Over The Hills, has solidified her status as one of the most beautiful voices in roots music today.

James Keelaghan

James Keelaghan is a voice in contemporary Canadian songwriting that has helped us define who we are as a people. He writes with great humanity and honesty, with an eye to the past and a vision of the future. He has chronicled his times with powerful and abiding songs, with heart and eyes wide open.” (David Francey)

Called “Canada’s finest singer-songwriter” by one of the most respected music journalists, Dave Marsh, James Keelaghan is an artist who has proven to be a man for all seasons. As the calendar pages have turned, for almost a quarter of a century now, this poet laureate of the folk and roots music world has gone about his work with a combination of passion, curiosity intent and intensity. His masterful storytelling has, over the course of nine recordings, been part of the bedrock of his success, earning Keelaghan countless nominations and awards – including a Juno and acclaim from Australia to Scandinavia.

His 11th CD, House of Cards, is another critical and artistic hit, full of the insight and tuneful songwriting that has made James Keelaghan a Canadian icon.

Live Wire Music Series Presents Rick Fines & Girls With Glasses on Fri. Feb. 11th!

The Live Wire Music Series is kicking off the 2011 season on Friday, February 11th with a double-bill featuring two of Canada’s finest music acts, Peterborough’s Rick Fines and Toronto’s Girls With Glasses.


He’s an all-time Live Wire favourite who has won countless awards for his spectacular guitar playing, his wonderful songwriting and his expressive, bluesy vocals. Rick Fines is a musical powerhouse – whether he’s fingerpicking a Mississippi John Hurt number or doing a bottleneck slide guitar rendition of one of his own tunes, you can be sure that Rick will be both authentic and entertaining. And that’s just the first half of the evening!



It’s true, they proudly wear glasses, and they are girls, but Girls
With Glasses
is much more than a gimmick. Begun in 2004 as a “one-time-only” concert collective, Girls With Glasses has evolved
into an ensemble that combines rootsy folk and blues, edgy pop, and
spoken word with luscious harmonies and original arrangements. Bringing together the prodigious talents of three of Ontario’s finest songwriters – Evalyn Parry, Eve Goldberg, and Karyn Elllis, Girls with Glasses performances are hilarious, poignant, provocative, and fun. They have performed across Ontario for five years straight, selling out many venues and steadily growing a fan base eager for more.

Rick Fines and Girls with Glasses
Friday, Feb. 11 – 7:30 pm
Octave Theatre, 711 Dalton Ave., Kingston, ON
Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door (if available)

On sale now at Brian’s Record Option (613) 542-2452, Tara Foods and Renaissance Music.

Live Wire Music Series Presents The Breakmen & Dave Gunning on Sat. Nov. 13th!

“Hi folks!

Do you have your tickets for the last Live Wire show of the season yet? It’s going to be a great double-bill with East Coast Music Award winner Dave Gunning and the wonderful west coast bluegrass group The Breakmen.

Dave Gunning is a guy I’ve been waiting to book since I saw him at a festival about 5 years ago. He has a charismatic stage presence and beautiful tunes. Check out his great website The Breakmen are getting rave reviews across Canada for their great live shows featuring superb musicianship and beautifully tight vocal arrangements.

Pick up your tickets as usual at Brian’s Record Option (613 542-2452), Tara Foods and Renaissance Music. Read on!

See you at the music
Al [Rankin]”

Attention Live Wire Supporters!!!

We hope you have your tickets for the fabulous concert coming to the Octave Theatre on Saturday, November 13thwhen The Live Wire Music Series presents our last show of 2010.

A double-bill featuring:

Nova Scotia’s multi-ECMA winner Dave Gunning
– and –
B.C.’s hottest bluegrass band The Breakmen

Dave Gunning

“Dave Gunning delivers a winner….We’re All Leaving is a memorable almost thematic collection of songs, one that will undoubtedly see Gunning reap further Canadian folk music awards”. ~ UK Country Music People

“It is that sense of intimacy through his writing, and his performances that makes Gunning an absolutely intriguing performer to watch and listen to”. ~ The Newfoundland Herald

“The Galaxie Folk/Roots Channel’s most-played, high-rotation album releases for December 2009 – January 2010 “We’re All Leaving” ~ Galaxie, The Continuous Music Network

“Dave is one of Canada’s finest songwriter’s: the way his eye sees things upon the land, the way his ear hears the voices of his people, his respect for those who have gone before, and his love of life in the land he loves, is beautifully portrayed in gentle verse and rhyme. He is not a man you meet everyday, he cares, and it shows in his music, both poetic and pointed”. ~ CFCY, The Eric MacEwen Show

“It’s a star-studded affair, but at the centre of it all is Gunning with his sparse folk sound and crystal clear lyrics that have made him a popular name along the east coast and into the U.S. and Europe over the last few years”. ~

“This incredible album contains 11 songs, all of which he wrote with several co-writers. His ability to tell a story in his songs has resulted in six Music Nova Scotia awards and three East Coast Music Awards in the past, and now with this new CD, there will be no exceptions. A number of Canada’s finest composers helped Dave to write all the songs and include; Jamie Robinson, John Meir, James Keelaghan, David Francey, Rose Cousins and Karine Polwart.” ~ Atlantic Seabreeze

The Breakmen

“To the already long list of Canadians who bleed pure Americana please add The Breakmen. Like their countrymen in The Band before them, they have been known to inspire a bit of the old-time religion with their sublime vocal harmonies.” ~ Nathan Baker, San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Meticulous craftsmanship of the songwriting, the strength of the lead vocals, and the tightness of the harmonies distinguish the quartet from other Canadian outfits mining a similar vein… [an] excellent sophomore album.” ~ Tony Montague, Penguin Eggs

The quartet’s original songs twine elements of old-time, folk, and vintage country into a West Coast string-band belt. The members are all multi-instrumentalists, and their vocal harmonies are tighter than a moose’s ass in a Banff blizzard. ~ Georgia Straight

Stylistically, the Breakmen have been compared to bands like Old Crow Medicine Show, and with their second release, the group has become a significant force in the world of Americana music. ~ Les McIntyre, Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine

“Vancouver’s kings of harmony….” ~ Steve Edge, Rogue Folk Club

“This is workin’ man’s music and a little time spent with The Breakmen will surely do the soul some serious good.” ~ Eden Munro, The Vue Weekly, Edmonton

“The Breakmen back up solid songwriting and great song selection with high energy and a great band presence. They are rapidly developing a large following for their outstanding live performances.” ~ Bjorn Weeks, Bluegrass North Magazine

“With their new album The Breakmen have placed themselves ontop of the Americana Scene….” ~ Adolf Gorriup, Folkworld Magazine

Wildlife (in and out of the city) by Kyra and Tully

CD Review
Title: Wildlife (in and out of the city)
Artists: Kyra and Tully
Label: Buster Records
Released: November 2009
Stars: 3.0

Wildlife (in and out of the city) is Kingston, Ontario duo, Kyra and Tully’s debut full-length CD featuring a who’s who of talented local musicians who have contributed to this country and folk-pop treasure chest of acoustic ballads sung by a 21st century Ian and Sylvia.

Recorded by Chris Coleman (who also supplies bass, tambourine & mandolin) at Leopard Frog Studios in Battersea, and accompanied by just a few of Kingston’s able musicians including Danielle Lennon (violin), Roger James (banjo), Jay Harris (lap steel & electric guitar), Rob Gillespie (upright bass), Jay Middaugh (drums) and Jonathan “Bunny” Stewart (alto sax) among others, Wildlife is an excellent choice for an evening starlit campfire or intimate candlelit dinner party. It is obvious that Kyra & Tully are partners in every way as their voices compliment each other like peanut butter and jam and their music is the same kind of staple that everyone should have at least a little of.

Kyra Walker and Michael “Tully” Pearson, artists in every sense of the word, switch off on lead vocals on practically every track and these are soothing, soul-affirming, thoughtful songs that celebrate “beauty, sadness, and hope,” both from the road and from the heart. They’ve been described as sincere, truthful, and wistfully sad, but what you’ll notice right away about this collection is how sweet-sounding it is in its entirety, making it a little jam heavy for this peanut butter lover’s taste. Kyra, who sounds a lot like Sarah Harmer on this one, sings about nature and the strength and importance of her relationships while Tully reflects on travel and getting back to family and home.

Stand-outs include Tully’s classic Thunder Bay (which includes a striking harmonica solo), the up-tempo toe-tapper, Let It Ride (featuring Tully’s inspired keys), Under The Moon (highlighted by Jay Harris’ lap steel), as well as the delicate piano & glockenspiel lullaby, Far Away.

I know I’ve been listening to too many indie folk/pop singer-songwriters over the past few years because I find myself longing for artists with an edge, who sing from their groins; imperfect but full of fire and fervor. Although Wildlife (in and out of the city) is a solid effort that is somewhat melancholic without losing hope and often apple crisp delicious (Bruce Cockburn endorses it), it just doesn’t inspire me in ways that won’t make me forget it.