Cowboy Junkies were formed in Toronto in 1985 after guitarist and songwriter Michael Timmins and long-time friend and musical partner, bassist Alan Anton, recruited Michael’s sister, singer Margo Timmins and brother, drummer Peter Timmins to join them. For more than 20 years, Cowboy Junkies have remained true to their unique artistic vision and to the introspective, quiet intensity that is their musical signature, creating a critically acclaimed body of original work that has endeared them to an audience unwavering in its loyalty. Their music chronicles a creative journey reflecting the independent road the band has elected to travel. Cowboy Junkies have appeared on countless major television shows in North America from Saturday Night Live to Late Night with David Letterman and The Tonight Show. Their music has been featured in dozens of television programs and feature films.
The Wailin’ Jennys are Ruth Moody, Nicky Mehta and Heather Masse – three distinct voices that together make an achingly perfect vocal sound. Starting as a happy accident of solo singer-songwriters getting together for a one-time-only performance at a tiny guitar shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, The Wailin’ Jennys have grown over the years into one of today’s most beloved international folk acts. Although known primarily as an acoustic outfit, The Wailin’ Jennys have a wide range of musical backgrounds that have formed their musical sensibilities. Soprano Ruth Moody (vocals, guitar, accordion, banjo, bodhrán) is a classically trained vocalist and pianist known as an accomplished, versatile singer of traditional and Celtic music. Mezzo Nicky Mehta (vocals, guitar, harmonica, drums, ukulele) was nominated for a Canadian Indie Music Award. Alto Heather Masse (vocals, upright bass) is a Jazz Voice graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, and is a regular guest on A Prairie Home Companion. With their varying backgrounds, each of the Jennys is unique in their individual expression. Together they forge a unified folk-pop sound all delivered with the irresistible vocal power of three.
A self-described ‘late bloomer’ musically, Ben Taylor didn’t start singing until his early 20s. The hesitation is understandable, given the daunting example of success set by his parents, James Taylor and Carly Simon. While Ben thought of other vocations he could pursue, including a wilderness guide or martial arts instructor, he was drawn to the family business. Ben had a true affinity for music, and not surprisingly, a love for words. “My scholastic career was not successful. My attention wanders, and I like to follow it. It’s a creatively lucrative process for me. My internal jukebox was always so much louder than my teachers.”
Patty Larkin has been redefining the boundaries of folk-urban pop music for 25 years with her inventive guitar wizardry and uncompromising vocals and lyrics. Acoustic Guitar hails her “soundscape experiments” while Rolling Stone praises her “evocative and subtle sonic shading.” She has been described as “riveting” (Chicago Tribune), “hypnotic” (Entertainment Weekly) and a “drop-dead brilliant” performer (Performing Songwriter). A self described “guitar driven songwriter,” Larkin has wound her way through soundscapes of evocative vocals, inventive guitar wizardry and imaginative lyrics. Her songs run from impressionistic poetry to witty wordplay.