Ron Sexsmith -
The music of Canadian singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith won acclaim not only from
critics but from fellow artists like Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and John Hiatt -
some of the same artists who initially inspired him. None other that Elvis
Costello praised Sexsmith for an “insight into the human heart and a melodic
purity unheard since the heyday of Paul McCartney.” Among the artists who have
covered Ron’s songs are: Rod Stewart, Michael Bublé, k.d. lang, Nick Lowe,
Feist, The Brodsky Quartet, Curtis Stigers, Anne Sofie von Otter and Mary
Black. In 2005, Sexsmith won the coveted Juno Award for “Songwriter of the
Year.” In 2011, he issued “Long Player Late Bloomer,” collaborating with fellow
Canadian Bob Rock, whose credits include Metallica, Mötley Crüe and The Cult.
“Love Shines,” a documentary by filmmaker Douglas Arrowsmith about the making
of the record was commissioned by The Movie Network and Movie Central. Sexsmith
followed 2013's “Forever Endeavur” with “Carousel One,” his 13th release.
Jimmy LaFave -
For eight years, the Texas singer/songwriter/guitarist honed his skills by
hosting open mike nights in Austin before releasing his debut in 1992. With a
grassroots approach that blends country, blues, folk and rock 'n' roll, LaFave
was awarded the "Best Singer/Songwriter" at the Austin Music Awards.
Veteran writer Dave Marsh wrote that, "Jimmy LaFave has one of America's
greatest voices." LaFave was a member of the "Ribbon of Highway -
Endless Skyway” tour which paid tribute to the spirit of Woody Guthrie. The
resulting live, two-CD set featured some of LaFave’s versions of Guthrie tunes.
In 2007, LaFave’s showed off his country side on 2007's “Cimarron Manifesto.”
After issuing “Favorites 1992–2001," a collection of his favorite songs,
LaFave released “The Night Tribe” in 2015.
- Formed in 2009 in Chapel Hill, NC, by singer/songwriter and
multi-instrumentalist Andrew Marlin, and violinist/guitarist Emily Frantz,
Mandolin Orange plays a heady mix of Appalachian folk, bluegrass and Americana.
The pair issued its self-produced debut, “Quiet Little Rooms,” in 2010,
followed by the double disc, “Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger” in 2011. After
signing with Yep Roc, they released “This Side of Jordan” in 2013. The latest
CD, “Such Jubilee,” includes a ballad that wrestles with the lack of gun reform
in the aftermath of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary
Serena Ryder -
Armed with a riveting stage presence, a powerful three-octave range and
intensely passionate songs, Canadian singer/songwriter Serena Ryder has been
wowing audiences throughout Canada, Europe and Australia. After signing to
Atlantic Records, her full-length debut, “is it o.k.,” was certified “gold” in
Canada and received a 2009 Juno Award for “Adult Alternative Album of the
Year.” Over the years, she has garnered three prestigious Juno Awards for “ New
Artist of The Year” (2008), “Adult Alternative Album of The Year” (2009) and
Video of The Year (2010). Her 2013 release,”Harmony,” earned her a fourth Juno
for “Adult Alternative Album of The Year” and won “Rock/Alternative Video of
they Year” at The 2013 MuchMusic Video Awards.
John Mark Nelson
- Before he turned 21, Minnesota native John Mark Nelson had a decade of
performing under his belt - and a pair of critically lauded albums of melodic,
lilting folk songs. In addition to building an army of loyal fans and
establishing himself as one of the stand outs of Minnesota’s new musical guard,
he caught the ears of fellow Minneapolis-based musician David Simonett, lead
singer of Trampled by Turtles and co-founder of GNDWIRE Records. His new
release is titled “I’m Not Afraid.”