Here’s the thing about Alex, he knows how to play.
Make no mistake, he knows how to work too -no one teaches themselves to play the fiddle that well without work- but it’s what he does with the spoils of the effort that sets him apart: he plays. With every leap and holler the word conjures, he throws himself into his instruments and leaves nothing out. And in the spaces between that joyful riot Alex cuts in, clear and strong, with the words of his heart.
Alex grew up halfway in Montreal, the rest in Calgary, and has spent most of the musical years of his life playing with his band Rotary Park; touring everywhere from Cape Breton to Vancouver Island. His songs share the melodies of those places and tell of the lessons he’s learned there. With his first EP he continues to cast out into the world with a deep curiosity and, as always, a sense of play.
The brooding and soulful psychedelic rock / post-punk stylings of multi-instrumentalist songwriter Andrew Ellergodt
A return Frog-Fest performance!
The five-piece Copperhead, comprised of local Calgary scenesters and recording engineers, blends dark, throaty Motown, swaggering folk rock with a rusty edge.
Copperhead is a combination of the smoky and soulful voice of Liz Stevens, the funky avant-garde R&B rhythm section of Kane Bender, Rob Smeltzer, Jamey Lougheed, and guitarist/producer Kirill Telichev who ties the mix together into cohesive sound that embodies the crossroads of Americana.
Copperhead’s recent single ‘Touch’ is the shimmering, smouldering precursor to their album coming late July 2018. “We dug in deep on this album and I’m excited to perform it on the airy, psychedelic stage at Frog Fest,” says Stevens.
This is set not to be missed!
Sweaty palms and beat red bliss, broken strings with an electric kiss. From an outsider looking in this concisely paints a picture of Crooked Spies, a four-piece rock band hailing from Calgary,AB. Fronted by brothers Dylan and Steven Evanik, the group spans the entire spectrum of the genre. Influenced heavily by the garage rock revival and punk, they adhere to a raw & natural,”passion vs. fashion” approach to the art form having been compared to acts such as The Black Keys, RATM, Rollins Band, Masters of Reality and Danzig.
I Am The Mountain plays campfire soul music, and is currently based in Calgary, AB. Carefully woven throughout our songs is emotion and atmosphere. We feel the music, and want people to experience our songs in the way that they feel is fitting. Chat with a friend, dance uncontrollably, have an Old Fashioned (neat), or lay quietly, motionless, focusing on each and every syllable and note. We bring in a variety of our past and present experiences, music tastes, and personalities. We’re a blend of classically trained instrumentalists, leaning on our jazz, soul, & folk inspirations like Typhoon, Dan Mangan, Hiatus Kaiyote & Christian Scott. Alongside Juno Award nominee, Nils Mikkelsen (AM Static), we have created a six song EP that will showcase the bands groovy and soulful new sound. The Ep, We’re Here For Each Other.
Jeremy Gignoux is ever oscillating between calling himself a violinist or a fiddler. Playing in between those lines, he has developed an original sound and technique. Based in Calgary, AB, he loves collaborating with dancers, having been part of the house band for two Decidedly Jazz Danceworks productions. In 2017, he was composer and sole musician for Catherine Hayward’s piece in Dancer’s Studio West’s Metamorphosis. With the Acoustic Ensemble, which features a Gypsy jazz instrumentation, he pushes the boundaries of the style into modern jazz, free jazz, heavily inspired by Eastern European traditional musics. For the occasion, the ensemble will feature Nathan M. Godfrey (Godfrey & Tod, Petunia) on resonator guitar, Wayne Garrett (Surf Kitties, The Rumble, Bryson Wayne and the Citizen Band…) on manouche guitar, Daniel Bourassa (The Bitterweed Draw, The Mantle).
Based out of Calgary, Alberta
Landos rips a pungent combination of velvety indie rock and blues jams with a dash of folk. This smooth blend of lads is composed of hints of dad bod and undertones of gym rat. Enjoy responsibly.
Laura Hickli, (b. 1993, Calgary, Alberta) is a DARK-FOLK SINGER SONGWRITER, classically trained pianist, multi-instrumentalist, band member, and teacher in Royal Conservatory of Music Education. Using music as the medium for her emotions, Hickli’s magnetic, sometimes explosive performance holds enough power to continuously make a crowd stop, think, and feel. Hickli’s self-recorded debut solo album, ‘Flowstate,’ produced by Perfect Filth Productions (Andy James, Divinity, Cognizance) is frequently aired on Canadian Radio, and her music video ‘Midnight,’ directed by Doug Cook is the winner of ‘Best Music Video’ at The Edmonton Short Film Festival, and AMPIA.
It’s thirsty work climbing Liquor Mountain, but the view from the top is worth it. Below lies a rugged terrain incorporating every haggard niche and crevice carved across the rocky backside of country music. Down there, where the rippling waves of 12-string chords crest against the twang of a telecaster, you can see roughshod Stetson outlaws riding high in the saddle alongside long-haired cosmic cowboys, as the dusk of Nashville Opry mingles with the washed-out psychedelic rays of the jingle-jangle morning after. Some call it Country Rock Heaven, and some just call it home on the range. At the peak stand four or five brave mountaineers, pilgrim troubadours who have toiled to the top, there to distill the sacred nectar of the golden country sunrise and bring it back for the eager masses. Liquor Mountain is those dudes. As well as the name of the figurative mountain they just climbed.
Photo: Sebastian Buzzalino
Magik Spells operate out of Vancouver, B.C. and consist of bass, drums, guitar, auxiliary percussion and synth, run through a multicolored, multitude of pedals and effects. Their melding of these instruments creates a unique fusion of many elements in the musical spectrum. Expect dance vibes in an indie rock flavour, Magik Spells is known for their high energy performances
Mountain Sound Brigade is a newly formed roots rock supergroup based in Calgary, Alberta. The group is comprised of seven members who have a collective wealth of experience in the local music scene coming from bands such as: The Outer, The Ashley Hundred, Shark Infested Daughters, Throne of Vengeance and Acidjac. The music of Mountain Sound Brigade draws on folk and roots influences utilizing a broad array of instruments including piano, lap steel and 12 string guitars. Their sound reflects influences from classic bands such as the Rolling Stones, The Band, Neil Young and The Grateful Dead as well as modern bands such as Deer Tick, Matt Mays and Cage the Elephant. They draw inspiration for their music from time spent in the wilderness of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. You can hear Mountain Sound Brigade on their newly released demo compilation Doghouse Demos.
Nebular Wave is the refined result of late night jams, early morning freak outs, and mid day improvisations. Time has no meaning in the Wave of the Nebular, therefore, you never grow up and you never grow old. It’s far out and far in, under the swirling Canadian northern lights of Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Home of the spacey, instrumental rockers, Nebular Wave. Influenced by Mogwai, Grails and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Drums (Mike Sine) will escort you through vibrating space rhythms, as shimmering synthesizers (Nathaniel Sutton) surf past the wave. Meanwhile, soaring electric guitar (Dan Mabee) pierces through the nether.
Pancake (Tricia Minions, Justin Van Groningen, Luke Smit, Marleen Dorrestijn, and Brendan Long) plays delightfully sweet and fluffy post-pop diet-punk crunk-style surfwave music. Their sound is crisp golden brown hooks, buttery funk beats and pure maple syrup friendship. They are known by their Calgary, Alberta hometown fans for their high energy live shows, imaginative outfits, and rollicking stage banter.
Pancake is currently working on their much anticipated debut full length album, “Breakfast for Dinner”, slated for a 2018 release.
Rock band from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Photo: A. Charlebois
Pine Barrens is the rock and roll band founded by Brother Ram in the winter of 2015.
The pine barrens themselves are an east coast pine forest, planted to replace the original growth ravaged by clear cutting. It is a vast tree filled desert devoid of much of the life that originally lived there.
Pine Barrens the band was christened as such in order to remind listeners of our human tendency to create a facade that glosses over our personal and broader social failings. They create introspective, heavy, psychedelic tinged rock music for celebrating the ever changing mosaic of humanity in response to social and environmental chaos.
The lineup of Pine Barrens consists of a roster of Edmonton area heavyweights. Brother (Dean the,) Ram late of Krang, Bonspiel!, & Deadcity Serpents, is joined by Jared Majeski on second guitar (Krang, Bonspiel!, Max Uhlich Band) Stu Chell,
(Bonspiel!, Suicide Helpline) on Drums, Ale “Pepe” Duenas on Bass Guitar, & when they’re lucky Ross Nichol (N3K, Didjin for Rainbows) on Organ, Piano and Synth.
The boys have been busy sharpening their knives playing shows around the prairies and writing dense new jams in preparation for two separate releases coming down the
pipe in 2018, Brother Rams “Better Living Through Mycology” & “the Pine Barrens E.P” arriving spring and summer respectively
Unafraid of both straight-up hooks and experimental song structure, RALEIGH is a band carving their own space in new music. Thoughtful refrains are woven by vocals, cello, and guitar, with drums and bass treading the groove together. It is indie rock, damaged by art, delicate and exposed but intimately pointed, connectivity through song.
“Powerhouse Bloom” is a multivalent lyrical and sonic exploration showcasing a band that has found their voice, deconstructed it and is continuously evolving. Following up on an album that was described as “inventive and evocative indie rock,” this collection of nine new songs has propelled the band into new musical territory. “Powerhouse Bloom” features performance from Broken Social Scene members Brendan Canning and Charles Spearin, as well as production from Grammy Award Winner, Shawn Everett, and Juno Award Winning engineers Nyles Spencer, and Graham Lessard. The album is a journey through equal parts art-damaged rock, hazy psychedelia, and fluid soundscapes glued together by an ambitious pop-tinged appetite. Simultaneously edgy and atmospheric,”Powerhouse Bloom” maintains a magnetism throughout. Here, RALEIGH has managed to harness the experimental into a gripping collection of cohesive musicality.
Calgary punks-gone-folk-gone-punk-again, River Jacks, proudly acknowledge their roots, planted equally in depression-era anthems and safety-pinned pubs from the 70s and 80s. Alberta-born Spencer Jo and east coast transplant Jordan Barrett share guitar and vocal duties on songs that range from urban decay, to public transit romance to giving your landlord dissention instead of dollars. Rounding out the band are veteran drummer Mikey Blotto, young Tyler Burton on bass, and accordionist Andy “Mandrill” Shannon, who balance street punk backbone and folk club ingenuity. This particular blend has seen them win over crowds while performing at festivals, busking on street corners, raising a pint in bars and thawing public park gazebos. Their adaptability has allowed them to play stages with The Real McKenzies, Andrew Jackson Jihad, The Creepshow and D.O.A., to name but a few. River Jacks’ upbeat solution to societal malaise is crafting catchy melodies for the common people, which is why they’re at home playing anywhere across Canada.
We are new project based out of Calgary and are very excited to share our sound with the scene. Although we are a new band, we have all played in other projects around Calgary including: Prettyugly, Landos, If i look strong; you look strong, and Cheer.
Our sound is a mixture of an artistic approach combined with an energetic feel. We love to dance and have fun, but we also love art and creation. While drawing most our influence from 60’s and 70’s classic rock, we are still inspired by modern sounds.
Effects soaked vocals, syrupy synths, driving sensual bass lines, and a mix of nonintuitive and latin beats make way for a bittersweet message about hurt and hope – with a weird, cosmic joke sense of humour.
Speed Strips danced their way into existence in 2016, evolving from eerie atmospheric soundscapes into a lavish mix of nu-disco, electronic and alternative pop.
“Influenced by 80’s disco and synth pop, while still juggling a large helping of jazz and blues, there’s a blithe bounce and wirey synth quality to the songs that drive them along. But through it all, it’s clear the roots that anchor it are soulful and full. This project comes together with such a rosy glow that it’s easy to see where Squanto got the namesake for their first album, Rose Gold.” -Willow Grier, BeatRoute AB/Imveryape.com
Squanto began as a solo project for Bobby Henderson (Vocals, Guitar). Initially recruiting Wil Moralda (Keyboards) as a producer for Henderson’s debut album “Rose Gold” (Oct 2016) the relationship grew into a collaborative songwriting effort. To perform live, Henderson and Moralda recruited friends Connor Mead (Drums), Tyler Shields (Bass), and Graeme Rice (Guitar). The group now writes together and has released 2 digital singles in 2017 “Morning/Assumptions” in May and “Rainmaker/Salt” in December.
Since their formation in 2012, The Ashley Hundred has been constantly writing, stripping apart, and rewriting the songs of each of the band members. Continuallygrowing as a band and as individual musicians. The bands first 2013 release, Postcards From The Moon, marked their firm arrival into the Calgary music scene, and brought them across the country on campus radio charts and on the stages from BC to Quebec. Soon after the release of their debut EP, Calgary veterans 36? approached the band to collaborate on a Split LP, which lead The Ashley Hundred to their first vinyl release, and first professionally produced music video made with funding from the Telus Storyhive grant. Their most recent Self-Titled release of September 2017, made with Juno award winning producer Josh Gwilliam and gold record holding engineer Spencer Cheyne was their most ambitious yet covering a vast sonic territory from bouncy psych-pop, to introspective ballad.
Fresh off of releasing their highly anticipated sophomore record, ‘Dynamite Mountain’, here is the raucous honky tonk six-piece, The Bitterweed Draw. While staying true to their swaggering roots, ‘Dynamite Mountain’ exposes a dark and diverse album that has aged like fire whiskey in an oak cask barrel.
“If bands could be character actors, The Bitterweed Draw would have been in every celebrated 70s Western exploitation flick involving a bar brawl as the tall, scar-covered badass fighter you wished the entire film was about instead.”
– Sled Island, Music and Arts Festival
This riotous and swaggering six-piece honky-tonk juggernaut has ignited crowds from coast to coast. The Bitterweed Draw has over 300 performances under their belt spanning a range of venues including large festival stages, crowded bars, local markets, private functions, on-air radio, and whiskey swiggin’ sunrises aplenty.
The Garrys are a trio of sisters from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada who play garage surf pop doowop.Their harmonies are dreamy and precise, and their instrumentation stays true to the likes of Dick Dale and early Beatles. Formed in the spring of 2015, The Garrys pull a strong influence from early reverb rock’n’roll and 1950s era vocal harmonies. If Ed Sullivan went on a date with the Shangri-Las, they would eat ice cream sandwiches and dance to the Garrys. Like father, like daughter(s). The Garrys are Erica Maier, Julie Maier and Lenore Maier.
Photo: Elyse Bouvier
The Shiverettes throw unruly riffs up against a backdrop of cuntry-rock influence and spit rough, honest and tongue-in-cheek lyrics all over em. They’re unabashedly feminist and don’t shy away from hard truths and dark subjects. They have a desire to flip scripts and start important dialogues, all while channeling the riot grrrl mantra of Girls To The Front. The Shiverettes are pushing themselves to the front and making sure their voices are heard.
They have released two cassettes, Live At CJSW and Just Three Songs, and a limited edition flexi of the song “Stephen Harper, Suck My Dick.” They were included on the Rock Against Harper compilation in 2015 and have enjoyed frequent spins on campus and community radio stations across Canada and the US.
The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra are a collection of musicians, linked by common sonic journeys and familial ties. It doesn’t matter much how they got here, but rather that they are traveling with each other. Now they are here in the room with you, the way music in the folk tradition always is, to bring people together; to share real flesh, blood and feeling.
WE MAKE REALLY PARTY is a 5 song EP that returns to the old world sounds the band became known for in its early years. With both original and reimagined roots and folk songs in English, Spanish and Italian WE MAKE REALLY PARTY captures the band playing live off the floor in a three day session after their 2016 summer tour. It is a record that is refined in both playing and production while honouring the band’s past musically.
TMO have spent years weaving their stories with guitars and violins, with accordions and bass, with melodies and music makers gleaned from their wanderings. Here are the troubadours to remind you that this music (no matter what kind of device it ends up on) could not exist without warm bodies in search of harmony.
You’re invited to Tropic Harbour, a utopian space constructed by Mark Berg for peace of mind. These bedroom pops are unabashedly dreamy. Mashed earworms and mint infused hooks blend with swooning guitar knits. The result: a levitating tincture!, a distillation of a pop pantheon that runs the course from Youth Lagoon and Wild Nothing all the way to Cocteau Twins and The Smiths.