2014 Performers

ANDREWS & LAWRENCE - https://myspace.com/andrewsandlawrence

Andy Ruszel (lead vocals and rhythm guitar) and Larry Lawrence (lead guitar and backup vocals) deliver down-home finger picking and two-part harmonizing in the tradition of the Monroe, Stanley and Louvin Brothers; and some folks say the Smothers Brothers too. As well as traditional material, the duo's repertoire also features original songs by Andy Ruszel.

DANIEL LAPP - http://www.daniellapp.com/
Daniel learned the joy of fiddle music from his grandfather, five uncles and numerous accordion-playing aunts. Throughout his diverse musical career, Daniel has learned to play several instruments in many musical genres. Daniel studied jazz at Humber College in Toronto and received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Victoria specializing in trumpet, composition and world music. In addition, Daniel is the founder of the Victoria Fiddle Society. Daniel Lapp, is a legendary force in Canada’s fiddle scene and a musical mentor to hundreds of students, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in the music industry.

DAVE HARRIS - http://www.myspace.com/daveharrisonemanband
After early piano lessons and poor attempts at classical violin, Dave discovered the guitar, the harmonica and the blues at about the same time.While his music is blues based, it also incorporates folk, hillbilly, bluegrass and rock. Dave has developed his original one man band show from a simple guitar, rack harp and foot operated drums to his current show, which includes two steel body guitars, twelve string guitar, fotdella (foot operated bass), mandolin, banjo, two fiddles, harps, and a suitcase kick drum. The veteran musician performs his own original tunes as well as many of the lesser-known blues classics.

DAVID GOGO - http://www.davidgogo.com/
David Gogo is one of Canada's hardest working blues-rock guitarists, and he has a string of remarkable accomplishments to show for it. David has garnered many Juno Nominations, the Saturday Night Blues' Great Canadian Blues Award for a lifetime contribution to the blues in Canada, WCMA Musician of the Year, and has twice been named Maple Blues Guitarist of the Year. Over the years, he has performed with blues and rock legends B.B. King, Bo Diddley, George Thorogood, ZZ Top, and numerous others, and has toured with Johnny Winter on Canada's west coast. His eleventh release, Soul Bender, is adding even more acclaim to an already impressive list. David continues to tour relentlessly, bringing his cutthroat wit and virtuosic blues guitar playing to festivals and headline performances across Canada, the US and Europe.

MURRAY McLAUCHLAN – http://www.truenorthrecords.com/Artists.php?artist_id=76
Murray McLauchlan is a Canadian treasure. He began writing songs and performing them in his late teens. After playing at major music festivals, he began to attract wider attention on the club circuit, and played such well-known rooms as The Riverboat in Toronto. In 1993, to his great amazement, Murray was appointed to the Order of Canada, and in 1998 his book a memoir titled “Getting Out of Here Alive” was released.

RIDLEY BENT – http://www.ridleybent.ca/
He is an exceptional lyricist who seems to have an endless cast of characters running around in his head. With numerous awards and accolades to his name, it is clear that Ridley’s enthusiastic story telling has not gone unheard. In 2008 and 2009 he was nominated for more than twenty awards, including CCMA and BCCMA awards. Most humbling for Ridley was the BCCMAs, winning eight awards, including Fans Choice, Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist. With four acclaimed albums under his hat already, the multi-award winning singer-songwriter and outlaw storyteller is an incisive, witty and an exceptionally literate lyricist. His albums read like a collection of short stories, showcasing Ridley's keen fascination for characters whose life on the straight and narrow rarely lasts past the nearest exit to a short, crooked road.

SPIRIT OF THE WEST – http://sotw.ca/
Celtic folk rockers Spirit of the West have a dedicated following of fans from all over the world. The band member’s are John Mann: Guitarist, vocalist and charismatic front man, Geoffrey Kelly: Flutes, whistles, bodhran, guitars, Hugh McMillan: Multi-instrumentalist, Tobin “The Gull” Frank: Basses, piano, organ, and accordion, and Matthew Harder: Guitar. He is also a luthier, cabinetmaker, violin repair person, drummer, bassist, banjoist, mandolinist, keyboard player, a fabulous singer and a long-distance driver.

TIM WILLIAMS - http://www.cayusemusic.com/
Tim Williams' career began in the coffee houses of Southern California in the mid-1960s and continues today around the world from his home base on the Canadian Prairies. Tim has played festivals, folk clubs, concert halls and roadhouses from Rabat, Morocco, to Melbourne, Australia, and from Dawson City, Yukon Territory to Zihuatanejo, Mexico, all to huge acclaim. His guitar skills are frequently compared to Ry Cooder and David Lindley (and like them, Tim plays a wealth of other string instruments), and his songwriting has won praise from the likes of Tom Russel and Willie Nelson. In 2013 Tim won both the Best Solo Blues Act of the Year and the Best Blues Guitarist of the Year awards at the International Blues Challenge held down in Memphis TN. More than 250 acts from 40 states, 16 countries and 4 continents were represented at the world's largest gathering of blues acts.

ALPHA YAYA DIALLO - http://alphayayadiallo.com/
Guitarist and singer Alpha Yaya Diallo, from Guinea in West Africa, is one of the hottest acts on the current world music scene. Now based in Vancouver, he’s earned a matchless reputation internationally for the excellence of his musicianship and the excitement of his live shows. Diallo is a uniquely multi-talented artist. His dexterous acoustic and electric guitar playing, with its fluid melodic lines and compelling grooves, places him in the front ranks of African axemen. In addition he is a skilled and experienced performer on a variety of percussion instruments. Alpha Yaya Diallo is one of the most inspired and inspirational artists on the World Beat circuit today.

LOCARNO - http://www.locarnomusic.com/
Locarno is the Latin project of Juno award winning musician and Paperboys frontman, Tom Landa. The music, like him, is part Mexican but with strong doses of Cuban son, folk music, pop and funk. There are threads of son jarocho and salsa but the songs are more edgy and contemporary than that, somehow creating a new flavour in the Latin music genre. Tom’s goal is to create music that is heavily influenced by Mexican music, using the musicians around him in his hometown of Vancouver. The music is truly original, but with a deep respect for the traditional music of Central America and the Caribbean. Delivered with exuberant energy.

INCENDIO - http://www.incendioband.com/
Incendio, which means “fire” in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish is, simply put, instrumental world music. The primary voice of the band is the guitar, but to say the music of Incendio is solely guitar music would be an oversimplification. The guitar is certainly present, but other instruments such as the mandolin, bouzouki, violin, Celtic harp, piano, bass, synthesizer and various ethnic percussion instruments play a huge role in the ensemble’s sound. Echoes of music ranging from classical, to jazz, to rock, to flamenco, to Celtic, to even bluegrass can be heard in Incendio’s music, an eclectic blend of influences that has led to a sound that is truly unique.

DAVID ESSIG - http://davidessig.com/cms/
David was introduced to Canadian audiences in 1971 as a “talented newcomer” at the legendary Mariposa Folk Festival. Now, over 40 years later, he has an international career as one of Canada’s finest interpreters of original, contemporary folk music. Always paying homage to his roots in Bluegrass and Country Blues, David uses these traditions to create timeless new songs. Equally renowned as an instrumentalist and traditional performer, David is a master of the blues and slide guitar. With his 5/8″ socket and a sound that could peel the petunias off your mother’s porcelain, he is considered one of Canada’s finest slide guitarists.

CHRIS CHANDLER & PAUL BENOIT - http://chrischandler.org
The late great Utah Phillips called Chris "the best performance poet I have ever seen." The poet and storyteller is as hilarious and entertaining, as he is provocative and rabble-rousing, delivering vignettes about politics and modern culture with the fire of a Baptist Preacher. His appearances are insightful tales of a world gone slightly mad, accompanied by a wide variety of musical styles. He has performed on thousands of stages across North America, working with such legendary figures as Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Mojo Nixon and Ani DiFranco. Chris has joined forces with world-class roots and Americana guitar guru Paul Benoit. Together their styles merge like lanes on an outbound interstate. 

GARY COMEAU & CANNERY ROW - http://www.garycomeau.net/
Cannery Row features the talents of: Gary Comeau on piano, fiddle, accordion, mandolin, guitar, banjo & vocal, Tim Hearsey on guitar, slide guitar, banjo, vocal, & Chris Nordquist on drums, percussion, washboard, vocal. With diverse musical backgrounds but a common love of roots, folk, latin, jazz & blues music, Cannery Row has woven an eclectic mix of original tunes where one can hear the influence of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the blues from Memphis & the Mississippi delta, the land of Chuck Berry, latin rhythms of Cuba & a sprinkle of the early roots of jazz..

JAKE GALBRAITH - http://www.jakegalbraith.com/
Jake has been indulging his musical habit for more than fifty years now, mostly as a performer, but also in various capacities as a producer and sound engineer. He is known as both a solo singer-guitarist and as a multi-instrumentalist who has performed in a diverse range of ensembles, working at venues all across Canada. For several years, Jake booked the feature entertainment for the Victoria Folk Music Society, and he was active in concert production for the Whistling Gypsy Center for Community Music and the Getting Higher Choir in Victoria. Jake was also the performing host of the very popular Great Canadian Songs Concert, as well as the Main Stage MC at the Filberg Festival in Comox for many years.

JENNY ALLEN - http://www.jennyallen.ca/ 
Jenny’s first solo recording, 'Something to Say', produced by Canadian folk legend Valdy, led to invitations at major festivals both in Canada and the US as well as widespread critical acclaim. Opening for the likes of Taj Mahal, Jennifer Warnes, and Shawn Colvin, Jenny’s music invited comparisons to Mary Chapin Carpenter and Tracy
Chapman, swinging effortlessly between a rich variety of styles such as roots, blues, pop and rock. She captivates audiences clean across Canada and the US with her set list of original songs, well seasoned with experience, insight, and emotional impact.

THE KERPLUNKS - http://thekerplunks.com/
The Kerplunks are multi-award winning children’s entertainers bringing high-energy, colourful performances to the stage, with outfits that match! The Kerplunks play catchy tunes guaranteed to get kids engaged, singing along and joining in on the actions. Dinah plays the upright bass and really belts it out! She also plays the kazoo like a madwoman! Tina plays the trumpet, trombone, clarinet, baritone and also sings. Watch out for when she busts a rhyme, yo! Phil plays the drums, keeping everyone in time and really likes to “Go Bananas”. Aaron plays the acoustic guitar, sings harmonies and makes great faces.

MARK STUART - http://www.markstuart.net/
Growing up in Nashville, TN and playing professionally from age 15 on, Mark fronted his own roots music band. A versatile player, a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and a guitar wiz, Mark played a mixture of rock, blues, country and folk. Over the years he toured with Texas legend Freddy Fender, folk-rocker Steve Forbert, and with country-rocker Steve Earle. After touring hundreds of dates in the USA, Canada, UK, and Europe, Stacey & Mark decided to join forces as an official duo. Some two thousand concerts later, Mark has re-embarked on a solo career. His performances are littered with great guitar pieces, self-penned songs from his solo records, and the duo records, and he does “tribute” songs to those notable artists he used to work for, including fascinating stories about the experiences along the way.

MIKE BALLANTYNE & THE HOKUM STEAMERS - http://www.mikeballantyne.ca/ 
After recording and playing separately for more than 45 years, Mike and Rick Van Krugel joined forces to form the vibrant, and dynamic, ragtime blues duo The Hokum Steamers. These seasoned entertainers deliver good-time, authentic and definitive renditions of 1920s & 1930s ragtime blues, hokum, jug band songs and gospel, and give their songs historical place, time and context. Mike accompanies his warm, rich, bass-baritone voice with dexterous playing of both 6 and 12-string guitars and Rick, a master musician and luthier, plays a wide variety of mandolins. He also sings, interjects and plays guitar. The Hokum Steamers weave a wonderful musical magic together.

PAUL RUSZEL TRIO - http://www.paulruszelmusic.com/
This band was formed as a recording project and has continued to grow from there. Paul is an accomplished, award winning, singer songwriter with hundreds of songs: acoustic blues, sea shanties, folk, bluegrass and gospel. He embraces the old-time storytelling tradition where his songs are as much poetry as they are music. He has opened for Willie P. Bennett, Stephen Fearing, Ian Tamblyn and Ken Hamm. Paul is immensely honoured to be playing with Bryon Thompson on dobro and vocals, Tom Horsfall on bass and vocals, and Tad Ruszel on mandolin and vocals. 

TANNIS SLIMMON - http://tannis.ca/welcome
Tannis is a critically acclaimed Canadian musician who has been singing, songwriting, recording, and touring locally, nationally and internationally for over 30 years. She grew up in a musical family on a farm in the prairies of western Canada but in 1980 she moved to Guelph, Ontario, where she began a serious professional music career. She was a founding member of various regional roots bands and appeared as a special guest on recordings and performances, but in 2001 she struck off on her own solo career.

UNCLE WIGGLY’S HOT SHOES BLUES BAND - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Uncle-Wigglys-Hot-Shoes-Blues-Band/496861877054539
Formed in 1978 in Victoria, Uncle Wiggly's started out playing the various pubs and dance halls around Victoria and on the Gulf Islands. In 1979 they released their debut album of mostly original tunes, produced by Powder Blues' Tom Lavin in his Blue Wave studios in Vancouver. After some very strong sales the band was signed to RCA Records and toured across the country and opened shows for the likes of Muddy Waters, Joe Cocker, James Cotton, Paul Butterfield and Koko Taylor to name a few.

The band dissolved in 1983 and everyone went their separate ways, but about 10 years ago the band started doing an annual reunion tour, which they have continued to do every year since. The tour features all the original members, Hank Lionhart "Uncle Wiggly on lead vocals, Norm "the Doctor" Piercy on bass, Mark "Westcoast" Comerford on guitar, Dave "the Duck" Rowse on sax, Brent "Watermelon" Hutchinson on sax, and now on drums replacing original drummer Mark Johnson is Tyler "Kid Cadillac" Piercy.

DEB MAIKE - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deb-Maike/168291034741?id=168291034741&sk=info
Deb is an outstanding songwriter and musician. Her work reflects the challenges and graces of being a woman, mother, grandmother and lover. She started playing at the age of 12 with a friend's guitar, learning to finger pick, but discovering that all she wanted to do was sing. Deb's songs are about love of place, of people and of spirit, and they showcase the courage, tenacity, and beauty of a maturing woman's life. Playing with Deb at the Islands Folk Festival will be multi-instrumentalist John Hewson and Victor Talson on bass.

AL ESKELSON - no website
Al’s swinging orchestral guitar style plays the perfect foil to his smooth baritone voice. With a particular interest in urban and country swing, as well as bossa nova, Al draws on his broad experience with rock, country, and folk styles to create music that is both intelligent and irresistibly groovy. Al has performed with artists as diverse as Fred Eaglesmith and Ken Lavigne, and was a constant collaborator in The Original Seadog with Paul Ruszel. Currently, Al fronts his own jazz combo, Cat’s Meow. They play an entertaining and eclectic repertoire of vocal oriented swing and Latin jazz.


SARAH ELIZABETH - http://sarahelizabethmusic.blogspot.ca/ 
Growing up in the coastal town of Powell River, Sarah turned to music at a young age to pass the dreary and rain-soaked winters. After years of performing with choral groups and in musical theatre, Sarah picked up a guitar in university and began crafting her own tunes, as well as wandering across the globe. Her songs drift from the humorous to the heart breaking. She writes songs of travel, wanderlust, her grandparents, and even, lemons. Sarah also performs with the Victoria-based a cappella women's ensemble Sequoia.

SHANE HOOPER - http://music.cbc.ca/#/artists/Shane 
Shane is a young singer/songwriter from Salt Spring Island who loves to focus on melody and vocals. His songs revolve around sweet melodies delivered in an honest, unaffected vocal style that is endearing. Shane grew up in a musical family, so recording gear and writing music was part of the background in his house. His father Tom Hooper has gold and platinum records to his credit for his singer/songwriting work with the Canadian band the Grapes of Wrath, and his mother Suzanne Little is also a recording artist, and singer/songwriter.

LOLA PARKS - http://music.cbc.ca/#/artists/Lola-parks
After a decade’s worth of traveling and performing around the world (including a 4-month residency at a resort in Nepal) Lola was named Female Songwriter of the Year at the 2012 Vancouver Island Music Awards. She has shared billing with Grammy Winner Loudon Wainright III, Grammy Nominee Ruthie Foster, Juno Winner Jim Byrnes, and Juno Nominee Mae Moore. Lola has a background in jazz, rock, folk and roots, she has impressive songwriting skills and an outstanding voice; she is an original fusion/folk act.

FALLBRIGADE - http://music.cbc.ca/#/artists/fallbrigade
The music of this brother-sister duo is a reflection of Caleb and Esther Scott’s adventurous and eclectic upbringing. The two spent their childhood living in different countries around the world and these diverse cultural influences are evident in their songs. Starting as single artists in 2006, Caleb and Esther began working together in the fall of 2012. The two of them take the collaborative mindset to the extreme: the group has no lead singer, and they co-write all their songs. They began their collaboration when they realized that by working together, they could each take their individual artistry to a whole new level.

TEAGAN JOHNSTON http://music.cbc.ca/#/artists/teagan-Johnston 
Despite her youth, Teagan has already lived on three continents, helping her develop a unique world-view, and a writing style that has been described as mature beyond her years. Classically trained as a pianist, Teagan started playing piano at age five and later took up singing and songwriting as a teenager. Her music is lyrically driven, and she draws upon influences ranging from classic rock to indie folk. Teagan, now an avid composer, continues to write and look forward to forging her own unique sound and musical path.