Women take spotlight at Salmon Arm Roots and Blues

Shuswap festival proudly features top female Canadian talent

Barb Brouwer

Contributor

They are women, hear them soar.

While several talented female artists will perform with bands, a few spectacular female artists will perform at the 2019 Roots and Blues Festival, which runs Aug. 15 through 18 at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds.

Regular festival-goers will be delighted that a woman who first enthralled audiences at the 2017 festival is not only back this year, she will close the MainStage Sunday night.

“Irish Mythen is the woman with the amazing voice, and equally amazing stage presence, who can take an audience on a journey like few others,” says festival artistic director Peter North.

The festival lineup is hitting another high note in Ruthie Foster, an American singer-songwriter of blues and folk music.

“She’s the best female blues artist next to Bonnie Raitt, and she also works from a pretty broad palette like Raitt,” says North.

Describing Vancouver’s Dawn Pemberton as one of Canada’s finest soul singers, North says she will perform with the The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer and take a turn in the spotlight on Sunday with her own band.

“Pemberton is one of those artists who is really community oriented whether working with choirs, in social settings, with the disenfranchised and people on the margins, she gives a lot back to the community, which I think is a sign of a special person,” says North.

Described as an engaging and versatile instrumentalist, Anne Lindsay plays fiddle in the Jim Cuddy band and is as a powerful solo act. She will showcase her unique fiddle/violin style as host of an hour-long fiddle workshop.

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North is also excited to include award-winning guitarist Sue Foley to this year’s lineup.

Foley took home Guitar Player of the Year award at the Feb. 4 Maple Blues Awards, due, in part, to her great instrumental performance that dominates her latest album The Ice Queen.

Adding to the depth of Canadian blues is Jenie Thai, described by many as one of the hottest young artists in the nation.

Thai also wowed the Maple Blues Awards crowd with a her version of Jane Vasey’s Trying to Keep Her 88’s Straight, which was a hit for the Downchild Blues Band back in the late ’70s.

Performing as the LYNNeS, Canadian heartbreak poets Lynn Miles and Lynne Hanson have toured and written songs over the past 10 years. Their debut album Heartbreak Song For The Radio pairs hauntingly gritty lyrics with tight vocal harmonies.

Tonye Aganaba is a singer-songwriter whose style can be described as soul/ neo-folk/ hphop. She has been likened to folks like Lauryn Hill, Ani Difranco and Sia. She is a Much More Music Video Award recipient, social justice advocate and the kind of singer/performer that turns heads wherever she plays.

Aganaba calls a 2015 MS diagnosis a wake-up call. It has offered her a new lease on life and, more importantly, a new perspective. Her career involves connecting deeper with her audience and taking her music beyond the stage to schools, community centres, hospitals and generally places where her music can heal, connect and make a difference, notes her website.

Tracy Lynn writes songs about the troubles we all share, the loves we have and the loves we have lost. They hear themselves in the songs about her relationship with my God. Lynn will perform with her band Savage Hearts.


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