2017 Acoustic Roots Festival Artist Bio
Adam Young is a sought-after pianist from Marion Bridge. His style fits perfectly with the fiddle, adding depth, solidity, and a joyful forward motion to the music, with an individual touch that distinguishes it from everyone else’s. There is a certain joy that is evident in his playing; he has the world’s worst poker face.
Adam created and directed the Louisbourg Playhouse’s popular music and comedy revue, Cape Breton Lyrics & Laughter, which has been performed more than 300 times and was nominated for an East Coast Music Award. He regularly plays at concerts, ceilidhs, square dances and sessions throughout Cape Breton, and has showcased his talents in Scotland and Ireland, across Canada and in the United States, including a five-week engagement with Jennifer Roland’s band at Dolly Parton’s amusement park in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
This spring and fall, Adam performed with Anita MacDonald and Ben Miller, as well as with his band The Goin’s On, on cruise ships sailing between Halifax and Sydney. In addition to Lyrics & Laughter’s album, Adam can also be heard on recordings by Colin Grant, Jason MacDonald, Eric Angus Whyte, Dara Smith-MacDonald and Marilyn MacKinnon.
Brenda Stubbert is a Cape Breton fiddler and composer from Point Aconi, Nova Scotia, Canada. She comes from a musical family, as her father, Robert, and uncle, Lauchie, were both well-known fiddlers. Brenda began step dancing and playing the piano at age five, and started playing fiddle at age eight. Stubbert has made six solo recordings, and has published two books of tunes containing both her own compositions and other popular tunes from the Cape Breton fiddle repertoire. One of her best-known compositions is "Rannie MacLellan's Reel", which has been widely recorded by other musicians. In 1976, Stubbert was one of the fiddlers chosen to play for the Queen's visit to Halifax. Her 2008 recording Endless Memories won the 2009 East Coast Music Award for Roots/Traditional Solo Recording of the Year.
Buddy MacDonald’s career as a singer, songwriter, and entertainer has spanned over 45 years. Born and raised in rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, much of the content of his writing and performances has been influenced by rural life and being surrounded by traditional song and storytelling.
He has toured and still continues to perform, nationally and internationally as a solo folk act and has done the same with highly respected musicians from the Maritimes, along with musicians from across North America, across to Scotland and Germany and beyond.
His songs continue to be performed and recorded by artists, not only locally, but from points around the world.
Hard-driving but clean, lively and passionate, traditional yet original; Colin Grant’s fiddle playing has stepped to the forefront of the East Coast traditional music scene. Although most at home with traditional Cape Breton fiddle music, his versatility as both a lead and side musician has given him experiences in a variety of traditional styles, in addition to folk, rock and country genres. Besides having received an ECMA nomination for Roots / Traditional Solo Album of the Year for his self-titled debut album, Grant has preformed with contemporary Celtic instrumental group Sprag Session and is a former member of the band Còig. Colin has performed at festivals in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and Tasmania. He maintains a busy recording and performance schedule .
The year 2014 brought exciting new collaborations with composers Scott Macmillan and Mary Ann Kennedy (UK) for ‘Aiseag’ (The Ferryboat) project, one of twenty commissions for the first UK-wide 2014 New Music Biennial Celebrations. Other highlights have included the release of Còig’s debut album and in 2016 Colin and Scott Macmillan release their new CD " GOOD2GO"
Like a well-distilled bottle of Appalachian Whiskey, Crowdis Bridge is smooth, complex, tasteful and good for all occasions. From foot-stomping, light-hearted songs to soul-searching melodies with lyrics that run deep, they produce a fine mash of folk, country-blues and bluegrass, pleasing both whiskey and music lovers alike.
This Cape Breton trio of multi-instrumentalists has been entertaining folks in small towns and strange places across the Maritimes since 2008. Their latest album “The Seasons & The Rhymes” explores universal themes of heartache, happiness and everything in between. The album has received wide-spread acclaim. Nominated by Music Nova Scotia for the 2012 Country/Bluegrass Album of the Year, “The Seasons & The Rhymes” continues to receive frequent regional and national airplay on CBC Radio 1 & 2, international airplay on CMRNashville.net and Worldwidebluegrass.com, and many local radio stations across Nova Scotia.The band continues to tour wherever there is an appetite for fine bluegrass, folk and country blues. They are presently working on their third album to be released later in 2014.
Dara Smith MacDonald, born and raised in Antigonish, but with strong family roots in Inverness. She now resides in Port Hawkesbury. She has been playing the fiddle for over 20 years with a style that is strong, lively and traditional. Dara has played for concerts, ceilidhs, and dances throughout Cape Breton, mainland Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario and the United States. She has performed for the Antigonish Highland Games, the Acoustic Roots Festival, Kitchenfest and Celtic Colours. For the past 15 years, she has been teaching fiddle to students at St. Ann’s Gaelic College, as well as to many students in her home and around the world via Skype. Dara is a musical director and a board member of the Cape Breton Fiddlers Association.
Dave Carroll is an award winning singer-songwriter, professional speaker, author and social media innovator based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He began his music career with his brother Don in the band Sons of Maxwell and has been enjoying success as a solo artist since 2008. He released his debut solo album Perfect Blue in 2008 and a second solo album in 2012 called Raincoat in Vegas. For over two decades, Dave has charmed fans with his approach to music. His ability to extract the essence of a message and craft it into song is a rare gift that is attracting fans of all ages, while his sense of humour and disarmingly warm stage presence makes each live experience a memorable one for audiences around the world.
Known as a master storyteller, Dave’s incredible talent was introduced to millions when his 2009 anthem ‘United Breaks Guitars’ became a worldwide sensation. The song chronicled his experience in the customer service process with United Airlines. His creative use of social media to share that message as an Independent Musician, has reached over 150 million people. As the #1 most watched YouTube Music Video in the world in July 2009, United Breaks Guitars has been called ‘one of the most important [videos] in Google’s history,’ and became a metaphor for change and innovation. Dave Carroll and United Breaks Guitars are now recognized as ‘household names.’ United Breaks Guitars won the 2009 Music Nova Scotia Video of the Year Award and Dave Carroll was award the 2009 Music Nova Scotia Digital Artist of the Year. Dave was also nominated for the 2010 ECMA for Entertainer of the Year.
The United Breaks Guitars trilogy has awakened companies everywhere to the importance of focusing on the customer and on delivering exceptional customer experience. Dave Carroll is a musician with a message, demonstrating the power one voice can have in today’s socially driven world. Dave has become internationally famous as one of the world’s top media relations innovators & customer experience authorities. He is also widely sought after as a content creator & songwriter.
Dave has been featured in major news media around the world (including ABC’s ‘The View,’ ABC’s 20/20, CNN, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Rolling Stone Magazine, Wall Street Journal & BBC to name a few). Several case studies and book references about United Breaks Guitars have been published including one’s by Harvard Business School, University of Toronto and a Thesis by Allison Soule for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. On February 16th, 2011, Dave Carroll and United Breaks Guitars were featured as part of a question/answer on the hit show Jeopardy.
Dave has testified (and sung) on Capitol Hill in Washington, delivered keynotes at Columbia University’s Brite Conference, TedX Hoboken, NewComm Forum, Mesh Conference, Atlantic Brand Confabulation (with Gene Simmons), SXSW Interactive, The Power of PR CPRS Conference, G-Force Prague, G-Force Melbourne & other significant customer service & corporate events (including for RightNow Technologies & Sandvik Coromant).
In 2010 Dave’s song and video ‘Everyday Heroes’ was released on 911Song.com. In a world where broken promises are commonplace, when it counts most, there are people willing to help strangers because they gave their word that they would. The essence of ‘Everyday Heroes’ is about these individuals keeping their promise to respond, regardless of who is in need or the unknown risks that may await the First Responders. As a volunteer firefighter himself for 5 years, Dave wrote ‘Everyday Heroes’ after being challenged by a friend to honour those who answer the call.
In May, 2012 Dave Carroll wrote a book about his customer experience called, “United Breaks Guitars: The Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media”, published by Hay House Publishing. Whether you are a guitarist, a baggage handler, or a boardroom executive, this book will entertain you and remind you that we are all connected, that each of us matters, and that we all have a voice worth hearing.
Dave’s newest music project, Raincoat in Vegas, is an eclectic mix of carefully crafted songs that demonstrate Dave’s growth as songwriter and performer. The depth of musical styles offered by “Raincoat in Vegas” range from Pop-Folk to Singer-Songwriter to Americana. What weaves through all of the songs, and results in a complete and refreshing album experience, is the vivid and often deeply personal stories that Dave tells with such mastery of the storytelling art.
Said to be ‘one of the nicest guys in the business,’ Dave Carroll is one of Canada’s brightest shining stars.’ http://www.davecarrollmusic.com
Donnie Campbell and Jinks (James) )'Neill
Donnie Campbell and Jinks (James) O'Neill started performing together in 2014. Both are from Sydney and grew up in musical households. They have travelled extensively with their music, Donnie with folk music and Jinks rock and roll bands giving them a vast repertoire of music from the revival, classic country, rock and roll of the 50's and 60's as well traditional music of Ireland, Scotland and Cape Breton.
Dwayne Côté was raised in Grande Greve, Cape Breton in a family deeply rooted in all aspects of Cape Breton, Irish and Scottish music traditions--his mother being a renowned dancer, instructor, and performer and his father is the late Gordon Côté, a celebrated Celtic fiddler/teacher. Dwayne has played all over the world and has performed with John Allan Cameron, Graham Townsend, Sean McGuire, Buddy MacMaster, Jerry Holland and Dave MacIsaac among others. He is also a composer and has more than 200 tunes registered with SOCAN. Dwayne Côté is one of the most unique players in Atlantic Canada. His musical tones are inimitable and seldom forgotten. Dwayne Cote Fiddle Medley - YouTube
Singer/songwriter Jason MacDonald’s passion for music plays out in a driving acoustic fashion, wonderful storytelling and a warm personality that connects immediately with his audience. Since 2002 Jason has released three full length CDs and one EP of original material. Tracks from his CDs have received significant radio airplay. His music has earned him award nominations from Music Nova Scotia, East Coast Music Awards, Independent Singer-Songwriter Assoc. and Top Honours in the Indie International Songwriters Contest. He has showcased at NS Music Week, East Coast Music Awards and Canadian Country Music Awards. A track from his last recording was chosen for the Atlantic Film Festival Music and Images Compilation. Recently he has licensed a track form one of his CDs to Sailing – Classics of Germany for use in promoting their cruise ship business. He has toured in the US several times doing shows booked through New England Celtic Arts. He has performed at several festivals that include the Milwaukee Irish Festival, Celtic Colours International festival, Kempt Shore Acoustic Festival and Acoustic Roots Festival to name a few. In 2017 Jason toured in Western Canada that included performances at Calgary Folk Club and Northern Lights Folk Club in Edmonton http://www.jasonmacdonald.com/
Jason Price is a performing singer/songwriter from Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia. 's "True Roots" brand of Country Music brings the flavour of current country with hints and honest tones of classic country music.
Jason bought a second hand guitar in December of 2011 to teach his kids a life lesson that if you stick to what you start, you will get better, and it will reward you in many ways. In less than a year, Jason played his first live public performance, wrote his first song, performed in a sold out soft seater show put on by a local promoter, and made his television debut on CTV's Christmas Daddies.
Jason followed that up in year two by hosting a weekly acoustic open mic where he continued honing his skills as a performing songwriter. He became the front man of his own band, and began to amass a local fan base in multiple venues and festivals. In addition, he began working with a local music producer and publisher to start planning and preparing his music for a Nashville produced CD.
In May of 2015, recorded his debut CD, "Grit, Guts and Country Pride" at Oceanway and OMNI Studios in Nashville, TN with some of Nashville's finest musicians. As the road to CCMA week approached in Halifax, NS, showcased his songwriting abilities in a Songwriters Circle hosted by Michelle Wright. Jason released his debut album in August 2015, and followed it up with a very busy CCMA week. Jason also earned a showcase opportunity from Music Nova Scotia at Music Nova Scotia Week.
Bell Aliant identified Jason ’s affable demeanor and he was asked to fill the role as a guest host for their 2015 Cavendish Beach Music Festival television special. He worked with many artists including Alan Doyle, High Valley, Wes Mack, Gordie Sampson and Port Cities over the course of the weekend.
Jason released his debut single, “Pour Favour” to National Radio in February 2016. In March 2016, Jason along with Tebey, multi-genre songwriter and artist, and Shawn Verreault, Wide Mouth Mason, traveled to Kuwait to play for the Canadian and US Military Troops. Most recently, Jason released his debut video, “That Others May Live” to YouTube; within a one-week period, he had over 6000 views.
Jason returned to the Cavendish Beach Music Festival in July 2016, not only a Guest Host for Bell Aliant, but he also performed on the RBC Emerging Artist Stage. He was fortunate to work with many artists including Tebey, Megan Patrick, JoJo Mason, Benoit, The Road Hammers and many more.
It is Jason's baritone voice, his easy going demeanour, and a confident stage presence that immediately captivates his audience.
"...an unconventional journey to stardom...a beautiful voice...extremely talented..." Alyse H, and, co-host CTV Atlantic
John Curtis Sampson
John Curtis Sampson debuted his first original work in 2000. The recording “You Got Me” was a strong outing for him and accolades soon followed. Two East Coast Music Awards, - Country Artist of the Year, Best New Artist and The Galaxie Rising Star Award. “When I’m Drinkin’” and “Don’t Cry, Good-bye” make the top 100 on Canadian radio. “When I’m Drinkin’ was recorded by Australian Country Artist Adam Harvey on the Warner-Chappel l label and secured impressive airplay in that country. John Curtis has performed on The Mike Bullard Show and opened for Terri Clarke
In 2008 John fulfilled a life long dream and earned a college degree. He graduated from Nova Scotia Community College where is studied Human Services, Sociology, Psychology, Biology, Canadian Healthcare Systems.
He enrolled at Cape Breton University in 2010 where in majored in Psychology.Other studies include Public Speaking, Human Resources, Biology, Anthropology, Sociology, and Health Sciences. Today, John is a Community Outreach Counselor for the Community Homeless
Shelter in Sydney, N.S.
John wears two hats these days - councilor by day and a music artist by night. “It’s not about being a star for me anymore, says Sampson. But hey - I wouldn’t turn it down if it was offered- it is more about writing great songs for me. I love to write. I hope to write with other writers and perform my songs and hopefully, hear other artist perform my songs someday. A publishing deal would be idea! I am in no hurry this time. I’m taking in one day at a time.
Kelly MacArthur will be teaching a workshop in Cape Breton Step Dance. This is a percussive style of dance, which focuses on rhythm and timing to the music of Strathspeys, Reels & Jigs. Although its roots originated in Scotland, it has become infamous to a style of its own on Cape Breton Island. Kelly has been teaching for 30 years, and runs a dance Studio in Sydney, called the 'MacArthur School of Dance' . Dancers will learn a few strathspey and reel steps, as well as basic Square Set patterns at this workshop. (www.macarthurdance.com</span>)
Naming The Twins
Naming the Twins is the Nova Scotia based, harmony rich guy-gal duo of Robbie Smith and Kath Glauser whose vocal blendings sound a bit like Simon & Garfunkel, if Art was a girl, a bit like Peter, Paul & Mary, if one of the boys was taking the night off. Their original material maintains the tradition of Ian & Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot and Stan Rogers.
Their energy, casual banter, wide variety of song styles and remarkably well matched voices captivate audiences wherever they perform. Their presentations are well balanced with thoughtful ballads and toe-tappin’ numbers, transporting the listener with lyrical imagery and sweet harmonies.
Robbie Smith has been a songwriter, singer and player of instruments all his life. From an early age, through the windows of his scenic home outside Shelburne Nova Scotia, his imagination took flight gathering scenes and circumstances which flowed back through his pen and onto the page.
His truly inspired lyrics capture the essence of life lived by and on the sea and the attention of Roger Whitaker who recorded four of Smith’s songs. Robbie has also shared the stage with Pete Seeger and John Allan Cameron and recorded several albums of his own.
In 2008, after years of being a solo artist, Robbie was taken with the voice of an acquaintance and knew he had found his vocal soul mate – a special blend that some performers never find.
From the beginning, Kath Glauser brought her clear natural folky harmonies, organizational skills and engaging stage presence to the table and has since added lead vocals, guitar and mandolin. Recently she helped write 3 of the songs on their latest album, “Turn Styles”. http://www.namingthetwins.com/
Meaghan Blanchard is a two time ECMA award winning songwriter from Prince Edward Island, Canada.
She is a gifted guitarist, with her own blend of claw hammer/finger picking style, and she pairs that with a crystal pure voice and a unique ability to write and tell stories through charming character driven songs.
“THE GREAT ESCAPE” is Meaghan Blanchard’s fourth album, to be released in June 2018. The songs are strong, at times deeply personal, and sown throughout are the narratives of men and women who have rumbled with profound universal themes: self-doubt, fear and hope for a better way of living. "The Great Escape" was produced by Jim Bryson at Fixed Hinge Studio in Stitsville, Ontario CANADA. http://meaghanblanchard.com
In 2014 Robert was inducted into the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame. He joins an impressive list of performers that have previously receive the honor. They include, Hank Snow, Wilf Carter, Anne Murray, Rita MacNeil, Carroll Baker, Joyce Seamone, Jim & Don Haggart, Jo-Ann Newman, Ned Landry and Don Messer to name a few. Robert has recorded a total of five independent albums. Robert has proven he is a great song writer as well as having a unique country voice people never get tired of listening too. He has enjoyed a large fan base over the years and after 45 years his fans are still there waiting in anticipation for his next album, gig or personal appearance. Robert has a dynamic stage presence and a sincere personality that makes a crowd feel good and keeps them coming back again and again. You'll enjoy his rich baritone voice as he sings his own unique style of country music straight from the heart. He has earned the title "Cape Breton's Country Gentleman" because of his constant mild manner and his humble personality. http://www.robertbouchard.net/Bio.htm
Ryan Roberts is an award-winning songwriter from Eastern Canada. He lived in Music City USA for several years and toured full time with the Grammy Nominated Bluegrass band Special Consensus. What sets him apart is his songs have made been recorded in the styles of bluegrass, country, jazz, and R&B, Hip Hop and EDM. He is an accomplished instrumentalist and producer and is currently working on a new album due to be released in the new year.Ryan Roberts .