ANOTHER SWEET RELEASE
Posted: April 12, 2012
Harvest celebrates Canadian talent with Joel Plaskett Emergency, Kathleen Edwards, Jill Barber, David Myles at 2012 Festival
Harvest Jazz and Blues announced today that four of the top acts in the country – Halifax rockers Joel Plaskett Emergency, Canadian songstresses Kathleen Edwards and Jill Barber, and Fredericton’s own David Myles – will play the 2012 Festival.
In the midst of East Coast Music Awards week – where the best of the East’s established and rising stars are celebrating and being celebrated in Moncton – Harvest is having its own celebration of East Coast and Canadian talent with today’s announcement.
“There is an obvious wealth of talent coming from the East Coast and Canadian music scene, which the festival taps into every year, but this year we feel our Canadian line up is especially strong,” says Brent Staeben, Harvest’s Music Director. “All four of these artists have very recently released red hot albums and are at the top of their game right now. It’s an exciting time to have them on the Harvest stage.”
A true musical powerhouse, Plaskett has been nominated for six JUNOs, including a win in 2010 for the ambitious triple disc set Three. He’s also been nominated for two Polaris Prizes, and has won 15 MusicNS Awards and a staggering 23 ECMAs.
Always one to expand his musical horizons and challenge himself, Plaskett’s newest project Scrappy Happiness is as ambitious as it is innovative.
Harking back to the days when music went from the recording studio to audience ears relatively immediately, Scrappy Happiness was released one track at a time, once per week, for ten weeks, to overwhelming audience reception.
Plaskett is also an award winning producer, whose own record label New Scotland Records has launched careers for many East Coast artists, and won Joel more accolades for his work producing Big Sugar’s Revolution Per Minute, David Myles’ Turn Time Off and Sarah Slean’s Land off her double disc Land & Sea.
“Every time Joel performs at Harvest – or on the East Coast in general – you know it’s going to be a good time full of crowd singalongs,” says Staeben. “There is always a special energy between Plaskett and his audience that can’t be fabricated.”
Although born in Ottawa, over the last decade Kathleen Edwards has become a fixture of the female Americana landscape for her stripped away and honest songwriting. She broke out in 2002 with a performance at SXSW that was so strong it earned her a record deal.
Following the release of her label debut Failer (which features hit songs “Six O’Clock News and “Hockey Skates”), Edwards was named by Rolling Stone one of the Top Ten Artists to Watch in 2003, and The New York Times praised her for her ability as a songwriter to “pare situations down to a few dozen words”.
She has been nominated for multiple Juno awards, and her 2008 album Asking for Flowers was shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Prize. Her follow up album Voyageur, released at the beginning of this year, went to #2 on the Canadian charts, and has gained considerable attention, not only for the music, such as the hit single “Change the Sheets”, but also because it was co-produced by Grammy-winner and current beau Justin Vernon (a.k.a. Bon Iver).
With a more complex sonic experience, the new album is somewhat of a departure for Edwards, though it is still very much has Kathleen Edwards’ signature – a penchant for bittersweet ballads sung with a voice as sweet as the songs’ subjects.
“Kathleen Edwards has been a highly recognizable name in Canadian music for a decade, and 2012 marks the latest peak of her career that has gone from strength to strength,” says Staeben. “She will share the Playhouse stage with David Myles, which has the makings for a superb and unforgettable show.”
As one of Canada’s hottest jazz acts, Jill Barber is on a mission to become Canada’s Sweetheart, and is winning that title one charming show after another. Having started out as a shy folk singer, Barber began the evolution into a jazz chanteuse with her 2008 Juno-nominated orchestral jazz album Chances, which stayed at number one on the Canadian jazz charts for most of 2009.
Barber continues on that jazz trajectory with her newest album Mischievous Moon, which she wrote with long-time collaborator and producer Les Cooper while she was artist in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts. What resulted was a stunning collection of songs, sung with her signature sultry flare, and backed by sweeping strings and dramatic orchestration.
With the new release, Exclaim! says, “Barber’s transformation from folkee to femme fatale is complete.” Indeed, she knows how to charms audiences, casting a romantic spell with the theme of love and romance that runs through her catalogue – a theme she knows much about, having recently moved from Halifax to Vancouver to be with her now-husband, popular CBC Radio 3 personality Grant Lawrence.
“Jill was last here in 2009, and in the three short years since, she has joined the highest echelon of Canada female jazz vocalists,” says Staeben. “We can’t wait to see how she’s grown as an artist – and she was already pretty exceptional before!”
His versatile genre-bending style effortlessly straddles jazz, blues, folk and pop, with smart, heartfelt lyrics that address the human condition without straying into the overly-sentimental.
He has been nominated for 14 ECMAs, including Entertainer of the Year for four years running, and has won three (with potentially more after this weekend’s East Coast Music Awards – for which he’s nominated five times). He has also won the International Songwriters Competition in 2008 for his song “When It Comes My Turn”, beating out several thousand entries from around the world.
Myles’ new album Into the Sun – which features the Classified-produced summer monster hit “Simple Pleasures” – is an exuberant follow-up to the award-winning Turn Time Off and marks a musical departure for him. Already known for his versatility and ability to fuse styles, David takes listeners further afield with this record by introducing rhythms and instrumentation most often reserved for world music audiences.
“Last year, we presented David in a unique ‘only at Harvest’ kind of show where he shared the stage with fellow Canadian icon Steven Page. This year, we’re pairing him up with another great Canadian, Kathleen Edwards for another unique Harvest collaboration.”
The launch of the full Festival line up will take place on Tuesday, April 24th at 11am at the Garrison District Alehouse.
Tickets and passes go on sale through Ticketpro online and by phone on Saturday, May 26th at 9am. There will also be a limited number of passes sold at Harvest Central on May 26th on a first come, first serve basis.
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