More blues than you can shake a root at

By Bryant Lukes

Quiet night on the Mississippi riverbank, plucking the strings of daddy’s banjo. The raft listlessly floats by the neighbourhood youngin’ digging for skipping stones and the rare bullfrogs. And, of course, all the coal mining–which seems odd in the middle of the Mississippi. These are the images evoked in our imaginations whenever snatches of blues… Continue reading More blues than you can shake a root at

Bringing Reggae into the public consciousness

By Ansel Brar

Whether you’re rockin’ to the latest hip-hop blast, an old Beatles tune or the music of Bob Marley himself, the indelible rhythms, guitar strums and baselines of reggae have influenced virtually all genres of music. It is the underpinning of the many sounds coming from your stereo, but still remains below the public consciousness. The… Continue reading Bringing Reggae into the public consciousness

Steve Pineo and his horns blow into Calgary

By Peter Hemminger

When Steve Pineo sings he should “ruin a perfectly good friendship” on the title track from his 2000 release, he’s singing about moving a platonic relationship to the next level. Never being content with something is reflected in Pineo’s attitude toward music. The Calgary songwriter is a local institution with gigs at the Merlot and… Continue reading Steve Pineo and his horns blow into Calgary

Hail to the king, baby

By Peter Hemminger

Coming back to Calgary was an easy decision for King Ujah. The Jamacian-born Toronto based musician may have made his first appearance in Calgary at a Reggae Festival fundraiser this past February, but he’ll make sure the city doesn’t forget him when returning for the Calgary International Reggae Festival Saturday. “The first time I came… Continue reading Hail to the king, baby

Booth not playing Reggae Festival

By Peter Hemminger

Calgarians who remember Aaron Booth solely from the prog-ish Shecky Forme might be surprised to hear his current work since moving to Toronto. It’s a brand new sound, the kind stripping the listener of any reservations and guard he or she may have. Almost entirely abandoning the experimental bent of his former band, Booth has… Continue reading Booth not playing Reggae Festival

Antibalas plays Afrikadey!

By Karoline Czerski

Bellowing horns, signature bass, eclectic beats and lots of love. This is the stuff derived from six years of the growing and ongoing success of Antibalas Afro-beat orchestra, a roughly thirteen-member predominantly male band out of New York City. Trombone player and band conductor Aaron Johnson for a behind the scenes peek at the ensemble… Continue reading Antibalas plays Afrikadey!

Could be better than pie?

By Chris Beauchamp

How do you afford your Rock ‘n’ Roll lifestyle? For Sacramento, Califor- nia’s Cake, the answer has been some 13 years in the making. Set to play Calgary’s Blues and Roots Festival this month, the self-described gurus of “hardcore easy-listening” walk a fine line between commercial success and continued musical integrity. With vocalist John McCrea’s… Continue reading Could be better than pie?

No demerits for Demeanor

By Chris Tait

Chameleon of the local music scene, Kris Demeanor has a more varied repertoire than freaks at a circus. Praised across the country for his originality and ability to make extraordinary music from the ordinary happenings of life, Demeanor is a musician able to do anything. It’s impossible to describe Demeanor’s sound without the words “varied”… Continue reading No demerits for Demeanor

Makeda prepares to make history

By Tara Campbell

While the majority of artists portray themselves through a single medium, Donna Makeda expresses her message through a multiplicity of means. With a wide array of talents honed to precision, she’s prepared to wow audiences during her appearance at the Reggae Festival. Exploring dance and singing through performances with her seven sisters, she took time… Continue reading Makeda prepares to make history