PAST ARTISTS 2015
Sarah Harmer possesses one of the most distinctive voices of th e Canadian rock and folk music scenes. In just over a decade, she has established herself among the panth eon of legendary female songwriters this country ha s produced, her name spoken in the same breath as Joni Mitchell, Sarah McLachlan, Sylvia Tyson and Kate & Anne McG arrigle. Sarah is an environmental activist who, in 2005, co-found ed PERL (Protecting Escarpment Rural Land), an orga nization which campaigned to protect the Niagara Escarpment from a proposed gravel development which would see some p arts of wilderness near the escarpment removed. To support the organization, she and her acoustic band embarked on a tour of the escarpment, hiking the Bruce Trail and performing at theatres and community halls in towns along the way.
Lynn Miles & Friends
Lynn Miles is one of Canada’s most accomplished singer/songwriters. With thirteen albums to her credit, the winner of multiple Canadian Folk Music awards including the latest 2013 "Solo Artist of The Year" for her CD "Downpour" and 2011 "English Songwriter of the Year", and the 2002 Juno award for Roots and Traditional Solo Album of the Year, she has certainly found her strength over time.
In 2014 Lynn produced fellow singer/songwriter Lynne Hanson’s "River Of Sand" Album, which received glowing reviews, and also wrote and arranged her winter music show "Songs For The Longest Night" which she will perform with a string quartet at the National Arts Centre in December.
Her performance last year at the Calgary Folk Club inspired this review: "Miles may be the best pure songwriter of her generation…This is an artist that has a playful sharp sense of humour throughout her stage persona, but make no mistake, if you are fortunate enough to see or hear her live, you are enjoying one of the best songwriters still penning music." Dan St. Yves Calgary Herald
Five out of Five Stars for "Downpour" in Maverick Magazine.
"Lynn excels at exquisite melancholy and delivers another aurally addictive course of intensive treatment”. Arthur Wood
Lynn tours extensively across Canada, The U.S and Europe.
Craig is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Known throughout Canada, Craig is developing a following throughout North America and into Europe. With guitar in hand, Craig can turn any setting into an intimate affair. Infusing his music and lyrics with a uncompromising humanism rarely seen in today’s production-heavy climate. Craig Cardiff builds landscapes of sound using live digital loops, bringing the room to a hush. Edged, folk, beautiful, melancholy and left leaning, one song breaks your heart, and the next one puts it back together.
The Acorn (Solo)
Anchored by vivd songwriting and experimental rhythms, The Acorn has been the musical project of Ottawa-based artist Rolf Klausener since 2004. By way of an ever-evolving collective of musical friends and collaborators, The Acorn has created a dynamic canon of song ranging from electro-acoustic instrumentals, to ethno-folk, to spacious pop. The Acorn's 2007 biographical album, Glory Hope Mountain, cemented them as one of Canada's most critically-acclaimed acts, and drew global attention, leading to tours with the likes of Calexico, Elbow, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, as well as a Polaris award nomination. Since their cottage-recorded 2010 album No Ghost, The Acorn took an undeclared hiatus, as Klausener returned home to Ottawa to lead a quiet, personal life off stage.
In 2015, The Acorn returns with Vieux Loup, an EP of minimalist electro/psych-folk on Toronto's Paper Bag Records.
Calgary’s Rae Spoon is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and published author. They have toured in North America, Europe and Australia. Rae was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize in 2009 and 2014. Rae is the subject of the NFB musical-documentary My Prairie Home. The film was an official selection for Sundance 2014 and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Feature Documentary.
TERRY GILLESPIE, singer, songwriter, is best known for his love of rhythm, his musical intensity and his unique soulful voice. He is considered a forefather of the cultural dissemination of American music into Canada. The highly regarded critic Tim Holek has called him "Canada’s King of Roots Music".
Steve Judd & The Underdogs
Former New York City based drummer turned Ottawa, Canada based singer/songwriter, Steve Judd, delivers an honest blend of melodic, guitar fuelled, hook filled songs, described as being in the vein of such artists as Paul Westerberg, Tom Petty and Wilco, and he has rounded up some of Ottawa’s best players to assist him.
Thomas Clair with River City Junction
Thomas Starwalker Clair is a First Nations Blues Musician with a unique expression that incorporates both his native language & culture with the Blues whose music is featured on Aboriginal radio throughout Canada. Thomas has joined forces with renowned Canadian Blues band River City Junction - a Blues/Retro-Rock Power Trio steeped long in the traditions of Chicago Blues & Rock ’n Roll.
Delivering a powerful combination of alternative and ambient rock influences, vivid story-based lyrics and an energetic, captivating performance, this Ontario based band puts their heart and soul into every show, making it hard not to notice this up and coming act.
Elizabeth Riley Band
Ottawa-based Elizabeth Riley Band has a raw, contagious sound, with original songs and interpretations inspired by bluegrass harmonies, folk classics, alt and traditional country music. These four singer-songwriters speak out about personal, social and political realities wielding banjo, acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, djembe and stand-up snare.
Southern Mud is a mix of music veterans from Ottawa, Ireland & England. Combining their experience of playing some of the industry’s most important festivals & showcases; Oxegen (Ireland), SXSW (Austin), CMJ (NYC ), Great Escape (Brighton), CMW/NXNE (Toronto), Bluesfest/Tulipfest (Ottawa), the band feels right at home on any stage. Mashing years of song writing experience in variety of genres, the result is a sound that tries to push the boundaries of conventional rock into other genres. No matter what genre's toes Southern Mud's music steps on, anyone listening will be able to tap their own. Southern Mud is currently working on an album & plans to conquer Eastern Ontario with summer shows.
Kris + Dee
Kris and Dee are Kingston’s superfolk duo Kris Abbott (of indie-hall-of-famers The Pursuitof Happiness) and Dee McNeil (of all-girl rockers The Strap-Ons). A Great Long Game is the duo’s third full-length album in less than five years, available at Westfest this summer. It’s the much-anticipated follow-up to their 2013 release, Bloom, selected by CBC Music’s Mark Rheaume as a Top Pick for the year, and to their 2011 debut, Still Here Inside, chosen by Starbucks for its Worldwide Playlist. Within the first week of its April 2015 release, A Great Long Game topped the charts at CFRC and CJAI. Their live performance draws upon their folk, pop, rock and country influences to stage a dynamic, textured collection of songs that range from introspective and intimate to playful and rocking. Kris and Dee's summer 2015 tour includes headlining stage performances at Ottawa’s Westfest and London’s Home County Music and Art Festival.
Theland Kicknosway is Wolf Clan-a Potawatami/Cree Nation-a member of Walpole Island in Southern Ontario. He is 11yrs old, a singer/grass & hoop dancer and helps in ceremonies in many places. He is in grade 6 and enjoys going to Century Public School, where he is a part of the sports teams and enjoys offering his gifts of song for all of you.
Born in Toronto, CA, but having grown up in Ottawa, 17-year-old Danielle Eyer has been singing and writing music for more than half her life. She has performed on guitar and piano across Canada and the US, and spends most of her time writing songs, plays, and unfinished novels.
Dr. Lee Tam Tam
As part of the amazing lineup this year, we have Dr. Lee bringing you the ever famous WestFest TamTam! The TamTam offers a chance for anyone and everyone of all ages to play and jam with hand drums and any other percussion instrument. Dr. Lee, will inspire and bring you a tapestry of talent and a wealth of musical energy that continues to grow by leaps and bounds to the TamTam this year. Ottawa Folklore Center will supply drums but if you have a drum please feel free to bring it.
DJ Lakes District
Raised on a diet of funk and breakbeats in the back woods of northern British Columbia, Lakes Distrikt is no stranger to a good party. His omni-tempo, genre defying sets have quickly earned him the reputation of being one of Capital Region?s premier selectors; in addition to Westfest, LD has played at Piknic Electronik Gatineau, Beau?s Oktoberfest, FAU MARDI and Club SAW.