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Awna Teixeira

Portuguese-Canadian, multi-instrumentalist, Awna Teixeira began her musical career in 2001 performing all over North America and writing songs with various bands before joining Po’Girl, one of Canada’s hardest working international touring acts, in 2005. Over the course of creating five albums and seven years of solid-touring in 15 different countries, on 4 different continents, and playing between 200 and 250 shows a year, Allison Russell and Awna Teixeira have become the core of the highly-esteemed and internationally-recognized band, Po’Girl. Awna, while still working with Po’Girl, released her 1st solo album ‘Where The Darkness Goes” in 2012, her EP ‘Thunderbird in 2013, and is releasing her 2nd solo album ‘Wild One’ March 2015.



In her formative years, Awna toured and did street performances nationally with The Derby and The Red Eyed Rounders. She then teamed up with the all-girl, country-folk band Barley Wik with whom she released two full length albums, touring nationally for three years. Barley Wik won numerous Vancouver Island Music Awards including, “Album of the Year,” “Most Listenable CD,” and “Best Acoustic Act.” 
Upon meeting Allison Russell of Po’Girl, instant chemistry led to the start of a great, new musical adventure. Awna quickly packed her suitcase and began touring full-time with Po’Girl, first as their bass player and back-up vocalist, and quickly moving into accordion, banjo, guitar, ukulele, gutbucket bass, percussion and lead vocals. Awna first showcased her song writing abilities with Po’Girl on their 2007 album, “Home To You,” with the beautifully heart-wrenching compositions “Old Mountain Line”and “Drive All Night.” 
Starting in 2012, Po’Girl decided to slow their touring schedule in order to pursue other musical projects. Inspired by her many years on the road, her Portuguese-Canadian heritage and her numerous international-touring experiences, Awna embarked on her first, long-awaited, solo project bringing together an incredible collection of songs in her album “Where The Darkness Goes.”  From the Portuguese-Fado inspired “Minha Querida”and “Velai Por Nos” to the deep soul of roots music with her claw- hammer style banjo on songs like “Stand Tall” and “In The Days,”  Awna’s solo project takes you on a deeply satisfying musical journey.



On her 2012 solo release tour of the UK and Netherlands, Awna received amazing five-star reviews and was called the next”undisputed Queen of Roots Music,” by No Depression. With her fantastic song-writing ability and compelling stage presence, Awna has been likened to such legends as Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton.
In 2013 Awna released her first ever EP “Thunderbird”. Setting up a home recording space in Salt Lake City, Utah she recorded five songs, playing, singing and recording everything herself. This EP takes on a much more strip down feel and showcases some of her back catalog. She also drew and designed the cover art for this release and has plans for another EP release in 2015.
In June of 2014 Awna travelled back to her home town of Toronto, Canada recorded songs for her next full length release Wild One which was released receiving rave reviews on her first release tour March 2015 in the EU/UK.

Mary Lou Lord – Backstreet Angels




Mary Lou Lord is no stranger when it comes to the music industry. She’s been around the block. Throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s, she’s Busked herself into the hearts of many songlovers. Mainly, because, she has a knack for    song-finding   , and choosing covers that even the most obscure record guru   s would appreciate. She   s teamed up in the past with Elliott Smith, a long time friend, as well as Nick Saloman of the Bevis Frond. She’s made a new album called    Backstreet Angels   . It’s comprised of 16 tracks of songs which are a mix of originals and covers. This was initially funded by a Kickstarter campaign, and has not been an easy affair. In 2013 Mary Lou had an accident that required several surgeries     I fell off my fire escape trying to get into my apartment after locking myself out. Both my father and brother were fire-fighters. My brother passed away the Christmas Eve prior to my falling from the fire escape, and although I did manage to break arms and legs and things, I honestly feel that my brother was at the bottom of that fire escape along with my father, like angels, telling me to jump. I wasn   t in the best place in my life at that time, and I feel I was able to let go at that moment, and jump out of my own soul-which was rapidly deteriorating. It changed everything, and I got another chance   . 
Another reason to celebrate, is that Mary Lou’s 16 year old daughter Annabelle is collaborating on a few of the tracks, and on to a music career of her own. So, after an 11 year hiatus, this new album is a beautiful example of determination, collaboration, and the healing powers of music, and the love of songs and family and friends. We hope you like this record (yes, we still call them records)


Whitewater Ramble

Take a little bluegrass, add a dash of roots music, modernize everything with impeccable production, and you have the approach of Whitewater Ramble and their new album, Roots & Groove. Musicians Patrick Sites (mandolin), Patrick Latella (acoustic guitar), Howard Montgomery (bass), Zebulon Bowles (fiddle), and Paul Kemp (drums) keep the sound in a bluegrass format, even with the drums. It is the lyrics that provide the link to American roots music and provide the glue which fuses the two styles together.
They have developed their sound on the road as they have toured consistently for close to a decade. They have played many festivals and numerous small clubs in addition to supporting such artists as Little Feat, The Gourds, and Spearhead. They have released several live albums and now have brought that live energy to their second studio release.
Their lyrics travel in a number of directions within the confines of their style. Songs such as “Dear Mr. Bankman,” “Guilty As Charged,” “Long Dusty Driveway,” “Standard Deviation,” and “Family Tree” tell stories of heroes, villains, tragedy, triumph, and railing against the establishment. They even add a few reggae rhythms. The most interesting song is a bluegrass cover of U2’s “One Tree Hill.”

They have added a number of guest musicians. Dobro player Andy Hall, pedal steel guitarist John Macy, and pianist Bill McKay are all on hand to fill in the sound where needed, which helps to serve as a backdrop for the group’s tight harmonies.
Their sound may be connected to the bluegrass style of the past, but they have moved far beyond those rural roots. They manage to get into a groove that could not have been imagined by traditional bluegrass and roots artists.
Whitewater Ramble is a band that has matured. Their sound is both unique and memorable. Roots & Groove is an album that deserves some attention. Lyrically, vocally, and instrumentally it brings a fusion of bluegrass and roots music into the 21st century.

Jake Xerxes Fussell



On his solo debut, Jake Xerxes Fussell sounds like an explorer. He was the son of a folklorist who documented vernacular culture in the Southeast. He’s worked with blues men and played in country bands. He was a student in the Southern Studies program at Ole Miss. He recorded with Rev. John Wilkins, and now he’s made this record, produced by guitarist William Tyler and engineered by Mark Nevers. All that travel lends the looseness and curiosity of a wanderer to the folk and blues numbers Fussell makes his own on this record. “Let Me Lose” embraces the freedom in the down and out, and you can feel that freedom, that shrugging off of burdens we don’t need, in the rolling guitar work and shuffling percussion. “Star Girl”, with melting pedal steel and Fussell’s clear, soft-spoken singing, is pastoral, bittersweet and lonesome in the best way possible. It contrasts nicely with the stomping, dusty “Raggy Levy” or the shadowy atmosphere of “Boat’s Up the River”. The album rolls through folk and blues traditions but pushes them to fresh new horizons. There’s something almost scholarly at the heart of Fussell’s approach. There’s an in-the-blood knowledge of these traditions at play, but with Tyler and others following along, it’s always Fussell’s sense of discovery, the looseness of wandering, that wins out. Even with all the history built into these songs and this record, Fussell still emerges as a fresh and vital new voice, as a singer, a musician and a torch bearer for every true sound he’s come across to now.


Cahalen Morrison & Eli West

It means something that the word about Americana roots duo Cahalen Morrison & Eli West spread first among musicians. Their debut album was passed around the ranks of some of the best American roots bands, raved about to fans online, and seen as a model to strive for in songwriting and musicianship. In this way, you could think of Cahalen & Eli as musician’s musicians. They’re the artists that other artists run to see at a festival. This is because their music seems effortlessly simple, but is complex enough to engage us far beyond the usual way we listen to roots music. Cahalen Morrison’s songwriting is as much informed by the dark lyricism of Cormac McCarthy as it is by Appalachian stringband songs, and Eli West’s angular, racing arrangements owe as much to the speed and aggression of early jazz as they do to bluegrass greats like Bill Monroe. Together they make music that draws from the well of American tradition, but reshapes these traditions into beautiful new forms.

With their new album, I’ll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West have perfected their chemistry as a duo, falling into long-form instrumental grooves and threading their vocal harmonies together as tightly as a weaver. Produced by Grammy-winning artist Tim O’Brien, they recorded the album at the Colorado Rockies studio ofAaron Youngberg. Colorado FiddlerRyan Drickey returned for the album, and renowned Boston fiddler Brittany Haas joined on as well. Erin Youngberg played bass, and Tim O’Brien brought out the mandolin and bouzouki, but the focus here belongs on the musical intimacy shared between Cahalen & Eli. As instrumentalists (Cahalen on banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, and dobro and Eli on guitar and bouzouki), their interplay is revelatory. Their melody and harmony lines duck and weave around each other; an interconnected roots system of music that seems to have no beginning or end. Their vocals intertwine as well, with Eli’s harmonies nudging Cahalen’s melodies into new and unexpected directions. Here they trade the lead more than ever, with Eli moving to the front on songs like “Pocket Full of Dust.” The traditional songs covered on the album are chosen with great care, from old-time singer Alice Gerrard’s slow dirge “Voices of Evening” to country legends The Louvin Brothers’ “Lorene.” As a songwriter, Cahalen has brought a lighter touch to his songs, as can be heard on “James is Out” about an ornery mule, or “Livin’ In America,” a fun yet biting song about American privilege. But his raw, transcendent power as a lyricist is still on display here. Songs like “Fiddlehead Fern” or “Down in the Lonesome Draw” showcase his uncommon ability to use evocative natural imagery to channel human emotions.

Cahalen Morrison & Eli West make music with the hands of master craftsmen wise beyond their years. They make music that’s informed by the roots of American music, whether country, bluegrass, old-time, or blues, but also music that touches deeper than the tradition. They approach music not as a craft that must be labored over, but as an act of creation, an effort to touch the unknown with eyes closed and fingers wrapped around the neck of your instrument and voices raised in beautiful harmony.