Calgary Folk Fest 2019

the young novelists at calgary folk festival

Calgary Folk Festival is celebrating their 40th year and we are celebrating our first appearance at the festival! We’ll be there from July 25-28 playing just about every day — some performances with a full band and some as a sweltering, harmony-beltering (not a word, I know) duo. The full line-up is rather amazing and includes folks like Sharon Van Etten, Sheila E., Belle & Sebastian, iskwē, Danny Michel, The Strumbellas, and about 40 other fantastic acts. Check out the festival’s official Spotify playlist to hear songs from the whole line-up.

Victoria Hall

the story behind: “it gets a little lonely”

Downtown Cobourg there’s a big, historic building called Victoria Hall that serves as a theatre, art gallery, museum, and county court. When I visited Cobourg I took a lot of pictures of it, circling it, crossing the street a few times to get close-ups and panoramic shots. My idiocy attracted the attention of an older gentleman who was heading into his favourite cafe (The Buttermilk Cafe). He asked me why I was photographing an old building, but before I could really explain he launched into a soliloquy about preservation, history, and the “differences between old buildings and old people.” He…    read more.

happy holidays

Old Man Winter! Some people love the winter, and some people are normal. Uh, more seriously, I’m very happy that some folks enjoy the season even if it’s not my cup of tea (although it’s a time of year when I drink many cups of tea!). I hope that wherever you fall on the spectrum of winter enjoyment that you are finding your own space to do what feels good for you! We’ve played our last show of the year — a wonderful shindig with Oh Susanna! — but we have some good holiday news to share anyway. As you…    read more.

october on the road

I’m thinking to replace “awesome” with “autumn” in my vocabulary, at least for the season. Good idea? Bad idea? You decide. Come and see us on tour and see if I slip up on stage! Because we are heading out on the road this fall to debut our autumn clothing, which just means (for me) putting away my t-shirts and wearing more plaid. But I already wear lots of plaid! So…double-plaid?? We’re really excited to be hitting some shows in the northeast States and a few closer to home as well. We haven’t been to London or Wakefield for a…    read more.

the story behind: “living without a sound”

In Owen Sound there is a street corner that has four churches, called Salvation Corners, and a block away is a street corner that has four bars: Damnation Corners. I visited both. From talking to some folks at Damnation Corners, I found out it’s a bit of a tradition to visit the bar on Sunday, shortly after services are done. Most small towns have sub-communities within them and I think this was an example of that: people build their communities around things like going to church, or going to the bar, or maybe a bit of both. This particular bar…    read more.

Don't Wait

the story behind: “don’t wait”

This song came very obliquely from two conversations –- one I had, and one I overheard. We played a festival in Red Rock, and the day after the festival we went hiking with some friends (Devin and Keri Latimer from Leaf Rapids…check ’em out!). At one brief point, in conversation with Devin, we were postulating the granularity of brain activity and what you could actually see with an MRI scan. It was a real nerdy discussion, but he is a Chemistry professor and I have a math degree and that’s just what we got up to talking about. We came…    read more.


the story behind: “now’s the time”

This song has a rather complicated provenance, but ultimately it’s based on two things: an article about elections that I found when I visited Arnprior, and the superlative nature of the signs you see while driving into small towns. First, the article: it was about how several city councillors in Arnprior would not be running for re-election, and after the main thrust of the article it gave the brief history of some of the councillors – some of whom had long family histories full of council members. That kind of small-town dynasty is interesting, to me, because it involves both…    read more.

the story behind: “i moved on”

North Caledon is not far from Toronto, and when we traveled there we just put in the name of the place in our phone and decided to follow it to see where it would lead us. What would Google Maps consider the important place to identify as being “North Caledon”? It turned out to be a cul de sac near the town cemetary. A rather interesting spot, to say the least. Because it’s easy to wander in a graveyard and imagine dozens of stories behind each stone and symbol and epitaph and even sometimes just the proximity of the stones…    read more.

Album Release — “In City & Country” is finally here!!!

Our new album, “In City & Country”, is finally here! You can BUY IT NOW on all the different services/places you might think to purchase an album in this day and age: We have been steadily releasing singles, but we’re really excited that the folks can finally listen to the whole album, because we’re old school enough to care about crafting an album that has a cohesive structure and theme to it. We hope you enjoy it. It’s already been getting some love from radio, which we hugely appreciate, including cracking the Top 10 on the National Earshot Folk/Roots/Blues chart…    read more.

"Come Round Again" single cover

the story behind: “come round again”

I started out writing a totally different song. It happens sometimes — you have an idea, it feels like it’s going somewhere, then you get lost in the middle of the second verse and you’re not sure what you’re talking about anymore. As Leonard Cohen says, the thing is that the bad lines take as much effort as the good ones. So what do you do if you wind up in a song full of bad lines? Well, you cannibalize the good ones and write a different song entirely. I had read this “Bonnie & Clyde”-style story about a couple…    read more.


We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department
of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada's Private Radio Broadcasters.

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