Wintergrass 2017 Performers-Petunia and The Vipers

 

Petunia & The Vipers thrive on the challenge of adding Latin rhythms to a country blues tune, or gypsy flavouring to a rockabilly standard. Petunia defies convention and yet there is some conservancy to his music. His honest, cut to the heart songwriting and multi-syllabic narratives would leave a lesser singer tongue-tied and breathless. I know, I’ve tried it. One of the many themes running through Petunia’s lyrics relates to living life on one’s own terms – fearlessly and without regret.

 

Petunia – ACOUSTIC guitar, VOCALS, sometimes Yodeler, occasional Trumpeter.

Spending the early part of his career playing on every major street corner, subway station and park bench in Canada (and NY city), picking, grinning and singing for his living, Petunia has been a regular on the Canadian touring circuit for many years now…he has a unique, surreal style all of his own…his live performances have been likened to an Avant-Country night club scene from a David Lynch movie.

Growing up in rural Ste.-Dorothee, Laval, (Quebec) seems like an obvious connection for a sometimes country blue yodeler. Picture shady creeks with fallen tree bridges, and secret hiding spots. Part wanderer, part musician he’s been on the road for full years at a stretch at times…sometimes propelled by nothing more than his outstretched thumb alongside of the trans-canada highway. Maybe you’ve passed him by yourself? He has laid his hat and made his home in many, many spots along the way as befits a wandering troubadour…his traveling libido has led him to secure bands of musicians spanning across three continents. He has played with literally hundreds, and maybe thousands of musicians (personal highlights from recent west coast tours include Phil Alvin, Exene Cervenka, Wanda Jackson). Imagine that David Lynch and Nick Cave had a hillbilly baby. A hillbilly baby that yodeled…or Tom Waits meets Elvis at Woody Guthrie’s hobo junction.

Petunia’s music grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go. His singing ranges from the most delicate you’ve ever heard to the most powerful, often within a single song. With a piercing gaze, he will look into the collective soul of the audience, and launch into some high and lonesome vocals that conjure up the ghost of Jimmie Rodgers. Not content with mesmerizing the crowd, his tapping boot will propel the band into a snarling fire and brimstone rave-up as a wave of frantic jitterbuggers compete for space on the hardwood dance floor…hillbilly-flavoured-swing inflected-ragtime-goodtime-thunderously rolling-one-of-a-kind-you-don’t-want-to-miss-this-sort-of-a-show. Though he has a huge repertoire of music to draw from, fans continue to cry out for the Petunia originals. He is a Canadian treasure that will soon join the pantheon of legendary performers from north of the 49th.

Members of The Vipers:Petunia

Stephen Nikleva – Electric GUITAR. Stephen Nikleva is a musician’s musician who’s lifted any band he’s been involved to the next musical level with his superb playing and arranging. Stephen has graced an eclectic mix of bands from the hardcore hillbilly rockabilly of Ray Condo to the real deal Romanian Gypsy music of Vancouver’s Lache Cercel, to pop folk star Sarah Mclachlan.

Teaming up with Petunia gains Stephen the opportunity to blend all these styles into Petunia’s unique blend of traditional and original music. Stephen and Jimmy were well described in the Vancouver Western Swing newsletter as the ‘Twin guitar heart of the late Ray Condo’s band’ and are carrying that spirit on with Petunia and the Vipers.

Jimmy Roy – a veteran LAPSTEEL GUITAR player, with years of playing professionally behind him. Formerly with Ray Condo & The Ricochets, he then put in years of touring and recording with Big Sandy. Prior to all that he led the much-loved Jimmy Roy’s 5 Star Hillbillies, which had a heavy influence on the European rockabilly and country scenes in the late 1980s, particularly with respect to a revival of interest in the steel guitar. With a unique and beautiful voice on the lap steel, his playing, instantly recognizable, is admired around the world. Ray Condo used to refer to JR as ‘the scholar of the hillbilly sound’, referring to JR’s lifelong interest in country, rockabilly and western swing music. He goes far enough back that he would spend his allowance buying 78s of Johnny Horton.

Marc L’Esperance – DRUMS & backing HARMONY VOCALS. From Jazz to Rockabilly to Folk to Blues, he’s the fella with the groovy sticks and brushes that makes this band really swing. His Great Grandfather was a fiddling champion back in New Brunswick, and Marc’s been known to bring out the violin now and then himself. His playing began with a Hohner harmonica at age 5, teaching himself old-time classics like Turkey In The Straw and Oh Susannah. Marc is well known for producing and engineering, and is proud of his award winning work in the recording studio with Ray Condo, Nomeansno, The Twisters, Veda Hille, Paul Pigat, Linda McRae, Headwater and many others.

Patrick Metzger – Upright BASS. Patrick is an outstanding musician who tours and records with several groups, most notably the popular Vancouver bands Headwater and The Leah Abramson Singers. He brings a solid swinging sound to his playing that instantly propels people onto the dance floor.

Sam Shoichet – Upright BASS. Sam is the consummate professional who is at home with many styles of music, and indeed, thrives on diversity. From Romanian swing to rockabilly, blues, jazz and Afro-beat, Sam can be found gigging around Vancouver most of the week, and occasionally on tour with The Vipers. Sam can be heard on most of the tracks of the new Petunia & The Vipers self-titled album.

James Lillico – Upright BASS. Young James has made quite a name for himself in just a short few years of playing around Vancouver. He grew up in a family steeped in musical tradition with bluegrass and old time country music infused in his blood. Bass player of choice with numerous outfits in town, he had his bass signed in appreciation by Sleepy LaBeef after backing him in his appearance at The Yale on a last minute call. He plays with an honesty and mature ease that belie his youth.

Wintergrass 2017 Performers-Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass

2016 IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year Danny Paisley will be at Wintergrass 2017.

Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass continue to be deeply rooted in tradition, but look to the future with enthusiasm and anticipation.

dpsg-hi-res-promo-2015.jpg

Since Danny’s father Bob Paisley (founder of Southern Grass) passed away in 2004, Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass have made their own niche in the bluegrass world. Their album, The Room Over Mine, earned accolades and significant chart action, and the song, “Don’t Throw Mama’s Flowers Away” won the 2009 IBMA Award for Song of the Year and the group has received several IBMA nominations for Emerging Artist of The Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year throughout the years. This year (2016), Danny finally won, deservedly so, the Male Vocalist of the Year award, a moment revered by his peers who gave him a standing ovation. Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass are a national and international touring band who frequently get invited for return engagements.  Their list of notable festivals and events include: Rocky Grass, Grey Fox, Grass Valley, Del Fest, Wind Gap, Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival and more.

With Danny Paisley on guitar Southern Grass continues the family tradition adding Danny’s son Ryan on mandolin, the next generation of up and coming pickers. Southern Grass welcomes back TJ Lundy (after a brief hiatus) as the band’s fiddler. TJ Lundy is a highly respected fiddler bridging the gap between old time fiddling and bluegrass music.TJ  is a warehouse of fiddle tunes! Southern Grass also includes:
Mark Delaney (formerly with Randy Waller and the Country Gentlemen, and Darren Beachley & Legends of the Potomac) on banjo; and Eric Troutman on bass. Eric Troutman (from Gratz, PA) on bass, who started pickin at the age of 9, when his grandfather gave him a mandolin. As a member of The Southern Grass, Eric is not only known for his driving bass playing but also for his fine lead and tenor  singing.

Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass play powerful, unadorned, and intense traditional bluegrass. There is no hybrid or genre-bending music here. Their combination of instrumentation and vocals convey the energy and emotion of classic bluegrass and country music. Danny’s lead vocals will captivate your senses, so much so that many prominent musicians, including Alison Krauss, have considered Danny as one of their favorite singers.   His voice combines powerful range and soulful blues with a sound like no one else in bluegrass today.

Danny grew up listening to the music his father Bob played and enjoyed hearing— the sounds of classic bluegrass like Red Allen, Mac Martin, Bill Monroe, the Stanleys, Reno and Smiley, and the Osbornes, as well as old time mountain music and traditional country music. Once you hear Danny sing, it comes as no surprise that he lists George Jones and Vern Gosdin as major influences in his singing.

Danny Paisley, born in Landenberg, PA in 1959, inherited the love and talent of this music and is proud to continue the family tradition. Gathering fans at each event, Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass, look forward with renewed energy as they bring their unique sound to audiences near and far.

Wintergass 2017 Sponsors-Rayco

Our friends north of the border at Raycorayco-mark-thibeault-damian make a mighty fine instrument. Mark and his crew are among our most loyal and longstanding supporters. Their cheerful enthusiasm always attracts some great jamming around their booth. We thank them for their fine craftsmanship, lovely smiles and fantastic music. We’re sure you agree, eh?  rayco-night-burstR

Wintergrass 2017 Performers-Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg

Wintegrass has seen Mike Marshall perform various times with Darol Anger,Chris Thile and Vasen. This time with the Wintergrass 2017 theme “Bach to Bluegrass” The duo of Caterina Lichtenberg and Mike Marshall, two of the greatest living mandolinists in the world, are the perfect performers having created a beautiful new chamber music duo.

Their recent release on Adventure Music captures their lively spirit within several musical styles. From Bach to Brazilian choro, and from Mike’s own compositions to Venezuelan music.

Caterina is the Professor of Mandolin at the Music Conservatory in Cologne, Germany. She and has been touring the world for eighteen years and has over ten CDs to her credit.

Together, these two virtuosos take you on a musical journey of the mandolin and mandocello – around the world and through the centuries – to create a provocative and engaging evening of music.

fancy-clothsjpg1

Wintergrass 2017 Performers-Turtle Island Quartet

 

Wintergrass 2017 Sponsors-ArtistWorks

Taking advantage of the new digital age, ArtistWorks has created a powerful platform for music education. Want personal mandolin lessons from Mike Marshall? How about guitar lessons from Bryan Sutton? The ArtistWorks Academy of Bluegrass puts you in direct connection to an all-star cast of phenomenal players, as well as a vast video library – ready to help you master your instrument. And currently ArtistWorks is running a contest for a Years Worth of Lessons With Bryan Sutton. https://goo.gl/22wnCj

ArtistWorks is the ONLY online destination where aspiring musicians can get expert advice and personalized feedback for under a dollar a day. Our site features patented Video Exchange® interaction between students and their award-winning teachers. Tony Trischka-Banjo, Mike Marshall-Mandolin, Bryan Sutton-Guitar, Darol Anger-Fiddle, Andy Hall-Dobro & Lap Steel, Missy Raines-Bass, Michael Daves-Bluegrass Vocals

artistworks-1Whether you’re just getting started or have reached a plateau, you will get valuable help when you need it most. Once you’re a member you’ll have 24/7 access to a core library of hundreds of lessons – a step-by-step approach from beginner to advanced!

 

 

Wintergrass 2017 Performers-John McEuen Trio

A founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (now in their 50th year!) John McEuen has continually performed since 1964 – 8,500 concerts and 300 television shows throughout more than 3 million miles – with the band and as a solo performer. Beyond performing, he has a rich history of creating, producing and preserving original and traditional folk and acoustic music, and taking it to new audiences.

He brings his guitar, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin along with favorite Dirt Band songs and the stories behind them to the stage in a manner that recently earned the honored Best in the West Award from the Folk Alliance Organization.

McEuen has made over 40 albums (6 solo) that have earned four platinum and five gold recognition awards, Grammy nominations, CMA and ACM awards, an Emmy nomination, IBMA record of the year award, and performed on another 25 albums as guest artist. He’s also produced more than 300 concerts throughout his career – the first in 1965 in Long Beach Calif., with Bob Dylan.
johnbanjo
His production of Steve Martin – The Crow won the 2010 Best Bluegrass Album Grammy. The Music of the Wild West CD- produced by McEuen, was honored with the Western Heritage Award. A Grammy nomination for String Wizards II preceded the1994 Uncle Dave Macon Award for his excellence in preservation and performance of historic music. On Sirius/XM’s The Bridge, John’s popular Acoustic Traveller show is now in its 8th year. . McEuen produced and directed the 2006 documentary film The Dillards – A Night In the Ozarks, which captures his early mentors at their best.

McEuen’s countless jams include street performers to Phish, Earl Scruggs, Levon Helm… and even on Sesame Street with a herd of goats and a cow! Arguably, McEuen’s most important legacy may be his initiating what Rolling Stone called “The most important record to come out of Nashville” and what the 2004 ZAGAT survey called “the most important record in country music” – Will the Circle Be Unbroken…