Musically speaking, I like finding artists that excite me, move me to tears, bring me to laugh and who's stories are filled with heart, hope and honesty. This year I have called on artists I have been following for several years and some I have just come across.
I hope you will join me in music and in song and welcome these fabulous artists to Stratford. Each show, while very different, will blow you away, I guarantee it!
Come join us at one of Ontario's newest, coolest, most intimate concert experiences anywhere!
I truly look forward to welcoming you!
Barry James Payne
String Bone Presents!
October 14, 2016 - Gregory Hoskins
He brings to Revival House songs from his brand new recording, Vain + Alone. He writes and sings with a certain muscular sorrow, songs for battle weary people who don't pretend to have all the answers...or any answers. Soaring vocals over dark, vibey guitar work and churning rhythms lead audiences in and out of the shadows. Don't worry— he's funny, too.
"...lyrics are real and bittersweet, arrangements are nimble, and the overall effect evokes a rum-based half dream involving Paul Simon, Joe Henry and truth.” (Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail).
October 28, 2016 - Steve Poltz
Steve Poltz is obsessed with the challenge of knowing and understanding the thoughts of each and every person in his audience. He is a lover of life; fascinated by all things large and small. As a road-tested troubadour armed with whimsy, curiosity and a healthy respect for the absurdities of existence, he is unafraid of saying yes, unafraid of letting his relentless, giddy energy fill a room and he is unafraid of letting his streams-of-consciousness take him where he needs to go.
His songs are guileless snapshots filtered through the windshield of his brain. He opens his mouth and lets it fall out - a SONG - and it's as shameless and intriguing and profound and wondrous as he is. A mix of high octane performance, singular wit and endlessly entertaining storytelling, Steve is legendary for his improvisational songwriting and timeless, original classics, like Jewel's 'You Were Meant For Me' - yes he co-wrote that one! Oh, and he's a pretty good guitarist too.
November 5, 2016 - Séan McCann
Séan’s love for Newfoundland and Labrador folk songs shot him to international fame as a founding member of the renowned group Great Big Sea. After millions of albums sold, countless hit songs, and record breaking tours around the world, Séan realized that his 20 years with the band had to stop. Music is meant to connect, heal, and bring happiness. While Séan was giving that to thousands of people a night he was slowly losing his own way. Instead of seeking truth he was hiding behind his music. This was unfair to both himself and his fans so he left the band and started over.
November 18, 2016 - Fred Eaglesmith
January 27, 2017 - Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar
February 24, 2017 - Alysha Brilla
No stranger to touring, Alysha has played across Canada and the United States under her own name and within various bands and ensembles. These opportunities have provided her with opening for Juno award winner K-OS and include performances at The Montreal International Jazz Festival, The Mariposa Folk Festival, The L.A. Angel City Music Festival, The Kitchener Blues Festival , Stratford Blues Festival, Oakville Jazz Festival, Summerfolk Festival, Stewart Park Festival, CBC Metro Morning Live, TEDxYouth Waterloo, The KW Multi-Cultural Festival and Dalhousie University.
March 24, 2017 - The Small Glories
Luft is a Juno award winner, co-founder of folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys, and a touring road warrior. She has earned a solid reputation as an exciting live performer, accomplished guitarist, clawhammer banjo player and insightfully honest songwriter. Edwards has a voice that defies categorization, one that easily ranges from gentle and melodic to fierce and powerful, leaving listeners begging for more. He is truly one of the finest singers of his time. Together as The Small Glories, Luft and Edwards are a tour de force, a case of 1 + 1 = 3.
April 7, 2017 - Craig Cardiff
Armed with an extensive catalogue of songs, his Book of Truths, sharp wit and soft voice, Cardiff is considered a pioneer in alternate venue touring, often appearing in churches, camps, prisons, basements, festivals, kitchens and even taking to the streets, bringing his fans with him. Over the years, he has played with and opened for artists such as Lucy Kaplansky, Dan Bern, Sarah Harmer, Kathleen Edwards, Blue Rodeo, Gord Downie (Tragically Hip), Hawksley Workman, Sarah Slean, Skydiggers, 54-40 and more.
“What I’ve found to be the essential key in his songs is versatility between the tracks. It’s Craig’s soft demure in vocals that tells the story; the melody that keeps you hooked. When you finish listening to a track or one of his albums as a whole, listeners realize that they and Craig speak the same language. It’s that truth that keeps Craig’s fans hungry for his next release.” Care Humphries, Velvet Rope
April 28, 2017 - Joe Crookson + The Young Novelists
Featured in the documentary film, “Blue Tattoo” and the 2016 Artist in Residence at the Folk Alliance International Conference, Joe is a Rockefeller grant recipient, whose songs are included in the new Rise Again songbook, and the upcoming film, “Brooklyn in July.”
Best quote~ “I hate folk music, but I absolutely LOVE Joe Crookston’s music.!”
Their sophomore album 'made us strangers' earned the band the New/Emerging Artist award at the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards as well as the Ontario Arts Council's Colleen Peterson Songwriting award.
The band is currently hard at work on their next album, which started with songs inspired by small towns across Ontario and the stories they might tell.
May 19, 2017 - Digging Roots
"The best way I can describe this duo (and 7 piece band) is electrifying. They are at once exotic, erotic, and hypnotic, topical, political and spiritual. I've never seen anoother act wake up a room quite like I did when I experienced Digging Roots". Glen Dias
With the release of their latest album project, For The Light, multi-award and JUNO winning alternative roots duo, Digging Roots, bring their nomadic wanderlust to sonic terrain. Featuring 12 original tracks that reflect a maturing sense of storytelling, husband and wife team Raven Kanatakta and ShoShona Kish trade lead vocals, continuing to fluidly compliment each other’s strengths while going from whispery intimacies, to smokey wails.
Firmly inhabiting roots and blues, the album is an eclectic tapestry of light and dark sound with sweet harmonies and melodic accompaniments of ukulele, banjo, mellotron and of course Raven’s bombastic resonator guitar.