By Sandy Irvin, Artistic Director
Folkus Concert Series is pleased to announce the lineup for our 2018 season. We had a tough job topping last season, but I think we’ve pulled together an amazing range of talented Canadian performers to surprise and delight you. I can guarantee no two shows will be the same!
January 27 – Amanda Rheaume
Rheaume has been a stalwart of the Canadian Roots scene for a number of years, and is a touring veteran, having played across Canada (coast to coast to coast), Europe, The United Kingdom, Faroe Islands, the USA, and Central America. She has even played for Canadian Forces troops in Afghanistan (three times!). Amanda Rheaume won a 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award was nominated for a Juno in the same year. She is blessed with a warm voice, an ear for a melody, and a strong sense of storytelling. She is currently touring in support of her fourth album, Holding Patterns, which is one of my favourites from the past year. The songs are touching, heartfelt, and delightful.
Pakenham native Brad Scott will be opening for Amanda Rheaume.
February 24 – Sussex
Sussex is the brainchild of Michael Emenau and Rob Lutes. The two were childhood friends and high school bandmates in New Brunswick. After graduation, they went their separate ways—Michael to Tokyo, San Francisco and Paris, where he made a name for himself as a world-class jazz vibraphonist and composer; Lutes to Montreal, where he has recorded six albums and earned a reputation as one of Canada’s finest songwriters and roots performers. They round out their sound with a handful of musical friends. The music is vibrant, lively, and bluesy – they call it vibrafolk. This will be slightly rowdy, funky, swampy bluesy night.
The Lioness of Lanark, Ali McCormick, will be opening for Sussex.
March 24 – Big Little Lions
Poppy, bright, and delightful, Big Little Lions bring beautiful harmonies and infectious melodies. A cross-border collaboration, Big Little Lions feature Helen Austin and Paul Otten; they work long distance but sound like they’re side by side. The award-winning (Juno 2014, Canadian Folk Music Award 2015) duo can also be heard in movies, TV soundtracks, and advertisements, as well as on CBC Radio (they were favourites on the Vinyl Café). This is music that will lift your heart and set your feet tapping.
Our opener for this show will be Outside I’m a Giant, a talented trio from the Gatineau side of the Valley.
As a special treat for local families, we will be offering a short family-friendly afternoon show with Big Little Lions. The music will be the same, but the beverages will be kid-appropriate, and dancing is encouraged. This offering will be outside of our season’s pass.
April 27 – Kevin Closs
Kevin Closs is an independent artist from Manitoulin Island. Since 1990 he has worked as a recording and performing artist releasing eleven independent albums and touring across the country. His music has been featured in the soundtrack of Hard Rock Medical, Survivorman, The Jane Show and in a number of films. An excellent fingerpicker, and a clever lyricist, Closs is a versatile guitarist who has turned his hand to many styles. Closs has toured with Charlie Major, but his own style is far more folk than country. But we’re bringing Kevin in because of his latest project. In Deep reflects his time travelling up North as a musician-in-residence and Zodiac driver. He’s worked in sonic textures from the sounds of ice, ships at sea, and even the melody from a bird song. I can’t wait to see what his latest travels have inspired.
Our opener for this show will be Flying Hórses, a nouveau-classical solo pianist.