Blenders 2013-2014 Concert Series unveiled

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A diverse series of 13 regular season concerts has been announced for the 2013-2014 Blenders Art + Music Concert season.

The concert series, hosted at the Lyric Theatre, kicks off on Sept. 25 with the Mo Kenney Band, and music lovers will enjoy six more concerts before the end of the year. There were also two special concerts announced that are not included in the regular season package.

Sept. 25 - Mo Kenney Band

East coast singer/songwriter and rising Canadian talent Mo Kenney plays a folk-pop blend with strong influences from the likes of Joel Plaskett, Beirut and Elliot Smith. Having just completed touring with Plaskett and Ron Sexsmith, she sets out to further promote her recently released self titled debut album. Her lyrics and thoughtful songwriting can be described as captivating and enticing. With recent nominations for CBC Radio 3's Rookie of the Year award in 2012 and a ECMA award for Rising Star Recording of the Year, Kenney looks poised to become a mainstay on the Canadian indie music scene for years to come.

Oct, 1 - LeE HARVeY OsMOND

LeE HARVeY OsMOND is a Canadian psychedelic folk group led by core member and lead vocalist Tom Wilson from Blackie & the Rodeo Kings. Collaborating with members of Cowboy Junkies and Skydiggers, Wilson creates an "acid folk" feel with aspects of roots, rock and a psychedelic 60's influence that takes listeners back to the days of Wilson's youth in Hamilton, Ontario. With two Polaris Prize nominations for independent Canadian record of the year under their belt, LeE HARVeY OsMOND continues to be one of Canada's best current folk groups. The 2013 release "The Folk Sinner" features guests Hawkley Workman and Michael Timmons (producer) and breaks new ground for the group, setting it apart from other folk acts from across the country.

Oct. 19 - Northcote

Matt Goud (aka Northcote) may take you by surprise when he steps up to the mic. Though the soft-spoken Goud is known by friends and family as a gentle giant, he infuses his original songs with a uniquely powerful and confident voice. Although the Saskatchewan born artist is considered a folk singer/songwriter, Northcote is far from ordinary. Having put on an incredible number of miles in the past years, touring with his previous project hardcore band Means, Goud has developed into one of Canada's most powerful young acts. Confident, full chords replace contemplative ballads, and the influence of his eclectic background of punk, soul and blues create a unique sound. With his self titled album released in May 2013, Northcote looks to further his success.

Nov. 1 - Matt Mays

Matt Mays is on a quest to find and create the music he hears in his head. The four time Juno Award nominee is coming off the release of his fifth studio album Coyote in 2012, and is looking to reach his listeners on a whole new level with the latest record. As one of Canada's most successful indie folk rockers, Mays' music contrasts between emotions while always remaining powerful. Whether it's a California stoned and hazy rock and roll or an alone at the microphone heart-string strummer, you'll feel it. Having traveled all around the world to find the perfect songs, Mays entertains with confidence and is sure to sing every verse with as much passion as the lyrics intend.

Nov. 6 - Lindi Ortega

Juno Award and two-time Polaris Prize nominee Lindi Ortega is a songstress bursting with creative ambition, armed with an irresistible voice. The Toronto born artist, dubbed "the love child of Johnny Cash and Nancy Sinatra," uses her powerful voice and charming, sometimes dark-humoured, songwriting to captivate audiences. As one of Canada's most defined alt- country artists, Ortega displays her Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris-esk vocals and a new Nashville influenced sound in her music. Having opened for acts as large as Burton Cummings and Social Distortion and toured as a member of Brandon Flowers' band (lead singer of The Killers) in recent years, Ortega shows experience beyond her years in all of her musical endeavors.

Nov. 18 - Justin Rutledge

Two time Juno Award and Polaris Prize nominee Justin Rutledge roots lay deep in an alternative country genre, drawing from influences such as Leonard Cohen and Hank Williams. With sounds that depict a close resemblance to Ryan Adams and outstanding lyricism enhanced by his time spent studying post-secondary English, Rutledge's sparse arrangements are effortlessly beautiful. The lyrically driven artist has opened and toured with names such as Dolly Parton, Great Lake Swimmers and Blue Rodeo. His now five studio albums range in textures between electric and acoustic guitars and as well as pace of the songs. Having worked closely on his records with the likes of Hawksley Workman and Ron Sexsmith, Justin Rutledge is a progressive songwriting sure to please all audiences.

Dec. 4 - The Matinee

From their hometown of Vancouver, these five long-time friends are at a key moment in their career. After years of roadwork and growth, playing everywhere from prisons to air force bases and every

watering hole in between, The Matinée has found its niche ploughing the middle ground between rural festivals and the urban hipster ground-zero of your choice. With an explosive live show that has been described as "an uproar of stomping, clapping, and blazing chops," The Matinée are in the rare position of being welcome at both.

Jan. 18 - Wool on Wolves

Edmonton-based five piece folk rock group Wool on Wolves brings an energy and sound similar to accomplished artists Joel Plaskett, Zeus and The Band. Wool on Wolves is the product of an ever-evolving collaboration of five songwriters, a band in which everyone works for the song. Formed in fall 2008, Wool on Wolves started as five University friends and multi-instrumentalists from a myriad of backgrounds. Drawing on each other's strengths, they began writing music together that explores genuine emotion and diverse musical arrangement. With two full length albums released, the young but experienced Wool on Wolves is sure to leave the audience thinking and dancing.

Feb. 15 - The Belle Plaine Band

Born and raised on a farm near the village of Fosston, Belle Plaine is a true prairie girl. Coming from a background that includes influences from jazz to country, Belle Plaine's sound is unlike anything you've heard before. Having lived in small town Saskatchewan all the way to Victoria to Australia, Belle Plaine's songs speak of her many travels, enticing all who listen. Performing with herself on vocals, she's backed up by upright bass, keyboard and thick harmonies that complete her sound. At her shows, her brand of country/jazz folk originals mixed with some jazz standards and country classics are sure to please all that get a chance to hear a set of hers.

March 6 - The Once

Named for a unique Newfoundland phrase that means 'imminently', now is indeed the time for The Once. Based around strong three part harmonies, The Once's sound does not come from the noisy pubs and dockside taverns that fuel so much of Newfoundland's energy. Instead, their music comes from a quieter and more thoughtful place. Hope and tragedy are intertwined in their music, whether they are singing an old lament from World War I, original songs that speak of love defeated, or tasteful songs from the artists whose music inspires them. With strong roots in Celtic genres mixed with instrumentation the includes fiddle, guitar, banjo and mandolin, they bring an remarkable energy and passion to their music. Sometimes melancholy, sometimes funny, always poignant, The Once sound like nothing else that has ever come from Newfoundland.

March 22 - New Country Rehab

New Country Rehab cuts through the clutter of watered-down musical imitations with a modern, high-voltage, alt-country sound. Combining sharp innovation and a deep respect and knowledge of timeless musical themes and motifs, New Country Rehab's powerful music is full of love, loss, longing and joy. With a new, more country influenced take on a growing popular sound produced by bands like Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers, New Country Rehab breaks new ground. The four-piece band consists of four studio musicians who have played in backing bands for the likes of Justin Rutledge and Amy Millan (vocalist in Stars). Drawing on instrumentation rich with fiddles, upright bass and of course guitar, New Country Rehab's distinct sound is enough to convince listeners they are the next big thing.

April 19 - Sunparlour Players

Sunparlour Players, based out of Toronto, are a duo working within the realm of the alternative-country/folk-rock genre. Since formation in 2007, they've released three acclaimed studio albums and had the chance to share the stage with accomplished acts Mumford and Sons, Blue Rodeo and Animal Collective. On stage, Sunparlour Players take their fans through a roller coaster of emotion and energy, thunderous stomping one moment and delicate strumming the next, always backed by the bands boundless energy. The unique duo, known for selling not only CD's at their shows, but also homemade canned goods, features a strong sound that brings aspects of folk, electronic and gospel music to their rock background. Their euphoric live shows, sometimes featuring a third member to fill out the sound, are sure to win all audiences over.

April 24 - Fearing and White

When two highly acclaimed singer/songwriters with nineteen albums produced between them come together in collaborative effort, you know it will be nothing short of amazing. Fearing and White, made of Stephen Fearing (from Blackie and the Rodeo Kings) and Irish folk singer Andy White, debuted their first record in 2011 after years of writing and touring together across the globe. The record, full of outstanding songwriting and influenced heavily by a folk-roots genre both artists are well experienced in, was a success. After working on their first album with Fred Eaglesmith, they are set to release their second record early in 2014. With entertaining stories to tell and rich pop-infused folk songs to perform, Fearing and White do not disappoint.

EXTRA CONCERTS

Oct. 5 - Elliott BROOD

The three piece alternative-country group Elliott BROOD, hailing from Toronto, consists of two guitarist/vocalists and a drummer who convey a powerful genre of music that speaks to many audiences. The multi instrumentalists write songs steeped in history with a modern feel resonates the present. The band who doesn't feature a member named Elliott Brood, was a finalist for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize for their sophomore effort Mountain Meadows.  Their style, categorized as "death country," "frontier rock" and "revival music," intrigues all that listen as they use dark elements to create illustrative songs. With four studio albums to their name, the group conducts themselves well on stage with years of experience after operating as a unit since 2002.

March 14 - Peatbog Faeries

Based out of Scotland, the Peatbog Faeries are a celtic-fusion band that are internationally renown for putting on one of the best live folk acts in the world. Having won numerous awards for best live act in their home country, they've had the opportunity to entertained audiences across the world in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and North America. Since their formation in 1994, the band has seen many line-up changes, six studio albums be produced and countless changes to style of celtic-fusion. Experimenting and mixing celtic music with genres such as funk, electronic, reggae and rock, the Peatbog Faeries create a diverse, unique sound filled with a vast instrumentation. Equipped with an excellent stage presence and undeniable, upbeat songs, Peatbog Faeries are sure to fill the dance floor of any show they play.

Blenders series passes and special concert tickets are on sale at Pharmasave or by calling Shann at 306-778-2686 or email at srgowan@yourlink.ca.

Organizations: Lyric Theatre, Blenders Art + Music Concert

Geographic location: Swift Current

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