Primarily non-celtic musical artists and recordings
Alternative Rock/Rock/Blues Rock:
Lizband are an alternative
rock band fronted by singer/songwriter Liz Pickard, the voice
of liquid night. They have four recordings out, the EP
Six Songs, and three full length CDs, I've Been Here Before and
Devotion and a self-titled one. The Lizband page has some
links to other local and Maritimes acts as well including some I
don't mention on here yet. Liz has (late 2007 or early 2008)
released a solo CD entitled alien under the name Liz Solo
and under that name often does acoustic sets or shows not
quite as rocking as Lizband shows. I recommend that CD and
all the Lizband CDs.
Three quarters of Lizband form a second band called
The Black Bags which has lead guitar player Marcel
on vocals and songwriting as well as Liz on vocals
some and on drums, which (drums) she only does a
little so far in Lizband. They are raunchier
and harder than the current Lizband sound, a bit
closer to early Lizband, and I think they are Mike
Wade influenced. I like Lizband better but I like
this configuration too. The Black Bags have not yet
released a CD but they did release a piece of vinyl
and I bet we can look forward to a CD.
Colleen Power, lusty
strong woman pub rock, great at picking bandmates too.
Jill Porter has a debut CD out that is good, full of
strong songwriting, guitar work and smoky/quirky vocals,
and her live show is just as good.
are an alt rock band led by singer/songwriter
Rhiannon Thomas, who are coming on strong. They are
now based out of Toronto but Rhiannon makes it back
here for a visit two or three times a year and
often plays during the visit.
The Peepholes are an alt rock band led by Danny Keating
and Cherie Pyne who have interesting
arrangments and some zany thought provoking songs.
I think they are no longer together and Cherie Pyne
now leads The Cherie Pyne Band which has (2006) just
released a CD.
Trimmed Naval Beef
are a rap and roll group with
lots of humour thrown in.
Bucket Truck alt rock band now based in Halifax but
play back home in Newfoundland a few times a year.
Wintersleep (features one Newfoundlander, Judd somebody,
pretty good stuff)
Jigger, hard rock band with Geoff Younghusband
ex-of Fur Packed Action on bass and most lead vocals.
Bung, still play rarely, pounding rock machines
Ched, haven't heard
Susan Gale Band, may be based in Stephenville now
Janet Cull Band, blues rock, big winners at the 2004 MIA awards
Hero Gets Girl, young alt rock band, heard them
at 2003 Peace-A-Chord, not too bad
Funky Dory, good funky danceable rock band.
Marg Bragg and The Black
Wedding Band now may be titled Mark Bragg and The Butchers.
Eddie Stevens Trio, good guitar.
The Novaks (formerly Persona but had to change the name
due to a name conflict)
Mercy the Sexton
Sean Panting Band great songwriting, good rock band.
Suzie Pyrate and Her Bog Pixie Warriors,
The Planks are the alternative rock trio Drive who back up fiddler
Kelly Russell in Kelly Russell and The Planks. They are described
in the celtic artists section.
Lukey's Boat are a powerful gothnight celtic tinged
rock band, they have an excellent
drummer, searing electric guitar from Bruce Crummel (ex-Figgy Duff)
and the storm-borne vocals of Laverne Squires, doing a mix of rock
covers, original tunes, Figgy Duff tunes and other
rocked-up traditional tunes.
Billy & the Bruisers are a large (10?) band who do a mix of
R&B, blues, rock covers and some originals and are
fairly popular. I'll stick their web page link in later.
Live Girlz are a four-piece all women rock band composed
of Liz Pickard, Colleen Power, Natalie Noseworthy,
and a new bass player whose name I don't know. They
play sometimes when they are not busy with their other
Hey Rosetta are a six piece rock band with a two-piece
string section, who have been getting good reviews.
Their debut CD is quite good and they are now (2008)
planning a second CD, produced by Hawksley Workman.
They are very popular and are touted as possibly being
the next big thing.
The Pathological Lovers are a rock band led by
singer/songwriter Jody Richardson
not sure if these are still in town:
Potatohead, Dreadbeats, Astroglossa, Roundelay,
Lemon Tree, Molotov Smile
and many more. (It seems like there is a new band every week
and a breakup every week.)
I will try to add to this page after I hear a band live.
The Peace-A-Chord is a good festival at which to hear a wide
variety of alternative rock bands. It is held late in the summer.
The ones below have broken up or are dead.
Fur Packed Action are a very good alternative band that has a
CD out entitled "the dull THUD of fur". This is an enhanced
CD. Jody Richardson, formerly The Red Albino in
Thomas Trio and the Red Albino, is lead singer. They
have broken up but may still release a second CD. Jody
sometimes performs solo.
The Gravel Pit Campers are a very good local blues rock
band, with I think two CDs out. They have broken up.
Drive were a great alt rock band with I think two CDs
out and Sean Panting of the band now leads
Sean Panting Band (see above).
Mike Wade was the elder of local hard rock and has
influenced many and his latest CD One Way Love
is very good, raw/rootsy, and no doubt many of the
songs on it will be covered by many other bands.
The Firewires hillbillygrungeraunchyrock with
Lindsay Barr on lead vocals. I think they have
broken up and I haven't seen Lindsay listed
solo recently (now early 2008) so perhaps she
has moved away,
Local bardic nautical-tinged country/folk singer/songwriter
Ron Hynes, best known for
doing the original lyrics to
Sonny's Dream, Juno award winner for country artist of the
year for his first CD Cryer's Paradise, moved
back to town a few years ago and hence now plays here fairly often. He
released in 1997 a CD entitled Face to the Gale, which I like very
much, especially the songs Final Breath and Lighthouse
though those were not released as singles, while other songs
on the CD, including Godspeed, have done fairly well as singles.
Ron was also president of
the Songwriter's Association of Canada (SOCAN) for a while. In late
spring of 1998 he recorded tracks for a live CD that
is out and is entitled Standing in Line in the Rain.
Since then he also put out a self-titled independent release.
In 2003 he released a new CD on Borelais entitled Get Back Change,
on which there are seven new song and seven re-recorded ones
done before on that self-titled independent CD (but done then
just with acoustic guitar and voice and now redone with
fuller arrangements). On the new CD some backup vocals
are provided by Sylvia Tyson and Cindy Church.
Also eleven women
singers, most also songwriters, have recorded a CD entitled
11:11 on which each one sings a song by Ron and his wife Connie,
and that has been out for a while, but is good.
Jimmy Whiffen has been getting some rave reviews and won the
1997 MIA award for Country Artist but I haven't heard him yet.
I think he has moved away, possibly to Fort McMurray.
Crooked Stovepipe is probably the best known bluegrass band in
the province, though another combo called Hard Times also
does some bluegrass. They released a new recording in 1997
or early 1998 but I forget the name of it for now. They
may be the oldest bluegrass band in Canada (i.e. the band has
been together a long time, though they do have some younger
members who are not original members).
Kentucky Tundra does mostly bluegrass plus some celtic.
Together with Andrea Monroe they form Five for Silver.
The Rosalines do some bluegrass and folk.
Terry Penney does some country stuff.
Ray Lake does some country stuff and also some gospel.
8 Track Favourites are a group of musicians who are
in other bands who do country standards from I think
the 70s. The band includes Chris LeDrew, Larry
Foley, Patrick Moran, George Morgan and Barry Hillier
and Adrian Doyle and Sandy Morris. (Some of those may
have left by now, 2008.)
Mishikimau - from North West River, I think. In 1993 were a lot like
Kashtin but I imagine they have evolved a distinct sound by now
though of course with some of the same influences.
Harry Martin -- singer/songwriter from Labrador, reminded me a lot of
Gary Fjellgaard and Gordon Lightfoot in 1993, but
in 1996 his voice was a bit deeper, and he exhibited
a bit more in the way of native influences.
Shirley Montague and band --- up-and-coming country singer/songwriter,
from Labrador but I think she now lives in Corner Brook.
Craig Young has spent some time in Nashville but moved back
a while ago and is a great country guitar player and singer.
Lady Luck and The Smoking Guns (also see mention of Blair
Sherry Ryan (alternative country and folk). She has two
CDs out: Bottom of a Heart and Wonderful Cures, which I
Bee and Boo are an Appalachian country duo who are originally American
but they now spend a lot of time in western Newfoundland.
Their web site is Bee and Boo.
For classical stuff, there is a top-notch local symphony which
performs often at the Arts & Culture Centre Main Stage and
occassionally in the Basilica (RC cathedral) with choir support.
In 1997 and 2001 there was an international choral festival
here, that might be every second year.
In 1998 (and every second year) there is a large
Sound Symposium festival (see the festivals subpage for more
info on that). But most classical concerts are at the
Arts and Culture Center main stage or The MUN D.F. Cook
Recital Hall or Gower Street United Church (under the dome).
Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir
Quintessential Vocal Ensemble
Holy Heart of Mary Choir
Jimmy Lee Howard,
who won the 2002 MIA award for gospel is
supposed to be good. I'll get his name and edit
this later. I haven't heard him yet but maybe will
at 2005 Festival 500 if not before.
Pop/Non-celtic folk rock:
A local country influenced pop singer/songwriter, Kim Stockwood, has
a CD entitled Bonavista out. French
people tell me she says "je rock" fast a lot; and her favourite
perfume is Screech. Seriously, she has a number one hit in
Poland, sultry/night-Cline-bay vocals and is great at crowd control.
On March 30, 1999 she released her second CD, Twelve Years Old.
She is also now in the band Shaye with Damhnait Doyle and
Tara MacLean (who is from PEI, so 2 piece fish and chips).
Natalie Nivera is a rising young singer/songwriter who used
to be in the band Potmaster, and recently
has been performing solo most of the time and when playing
solo does acid country tinged acoustic folk and with a full
band backing her as lead performer would probably
slant more towards alternative rock. She was however
also in a trio of her, Lori Clarke and one other woman, called
Triple Cream but I haven't heard them as a trio yet but based on
hearing Natalie and Lori a while ago, I recommend the trio too.
Damnhait Doyle's CD Shadows Wake Me has done reasonably well and
she impressed me at the 1997 festival but I don't have the CD
yet and haven't heard a full concert by her. But she was
nominated for a 1997 ECMA award. I'll try to find any notes
I made on the set I did hear by her. She is also now in
the band Shaye who are pretty good.
Chad Richardson, another who has moved away, has received
strong reviews for his CD.
Natalie Noseworthy is another young singer/songwriter who
so far I have heard just solo and who impressed me.
She has a wide spectrum of songs including ones from
the 20s and 30s, songs done by Marilyn Monroe and Patsy Cline,
traditional Newfoundland and Irish songs, original rock
songs by her. She is also in the band Live Girlz.
Local singer/somgwriter Amelia Curran has moved to Halifax
and has two CDs out, a solo one I think entitled Barricade
and another one with The SenseAmelia Project.
The Groove Merchants do a mix of instrumental stuff and
covers of pop tunes. At one early 1999 gig the drummer
did an extended solo after the band was done, and audience
members improvised some to him, and some danced.
Shy Mary, supposedly named after the shy flute player
Mary Brennan but
I suspect a bit of word play with a mispronounciation
of chimera (sometimes spelled chimarae), has released a
debut recording, I think
self-titled, with a fusion of pop, folk, blues and jazz,
featuring the attention-getting vocals of Tanya Alexander,
bluesy guitar, jazzy flute and funky bass. Tanya has
also been performing solo some of the time. Tanya has
moved to Stephenville I think and Shy Mary have broken up.
Rasa, led by Erin Best on vocals and Sandy Morris on guitar
have released a stellar CD called Neoprehistoric. Erin
sounds a bit like Natalie Merchant with a Newfoundland
touch and does a few Patsy Cline covers very well.
Crush, led by Paul Lamb and Corey Tetford, have done well
with their debut CD but are now based out of Halifax.
Barry Canning released in late 2001 his first CD in about
ten years and it is a strong pop effort. I'll add to
this after I listen to it a few times. He is also a member
of The Hotma Hotmas who I haven't heard yet.
Brothers in Stereo, led by songwriters Andrew and Chris
LeDrew, are doing well I think but for now I have just
heard Chris solo and in 8 Track Favourites.
also in Military Road with Mike Hanrahan, Kalem Mahoney,
and Robert Kelly. Andrew and Kalem often play Erin's Pub.
released in 2002 a CD entitled Out of the Rain
which has I think gotten at least one award at the 2002
MIA Awards and I just picked it up and will comment on
it after a few listens, but I think she compares
favourably to artists such as Tara McLean, Jann Arden
and Jewel, but with a Newfoundland SS (Southern Shore)
Great Big Sea still do lots of trad Newfoundland songs
and tunes but they also do some country and pop/rock.
Jacinda Beals is a
Labrador singer/songwriter who I haven't heard live yet but
have read some good things about and hope to hear live soon.
I have heard her debut CD and it is good and I plan to get
her second CD soon if they have it at Fred's Records.
There are some good new non-celtic folk bands including
Matthew Hornell and the Diamond Minds, Dead Language
and The Wiles.
Blues and Jazz:
There are oodles of good blues performers around town,
including Corey Tetford (now a member of pop band Crush),
Darrell Cooper, Barry Canning (now solo pop too), Mark Green, Lori Cooper,
Scott Goudie, Peter Narvaez (also in Badaxe Blues), Denis Parker,
Terri-Lynn Eddy, Jason Belmer, Darren Badcock, Steve Hussey,
Glenn Collins, and others.
Denis Parker and Roger Howse have released two very good
acoustic blues (folk blues) tapes --- Eagle Ridin' Papas
and Rollin' 'n Tumblin'. Denis has released a
solo (with band) CD, Snowman Blues, I think. He is the
executive director of Music NL, and also (unrelated)
won the award for the blues and jazz category at the 1997 Music NL
Roger Howse also does electric blues, very well, and has won at
least one Juno for his part in The Great Canadian Blues Compilation,
and I think one other for his Live at Bridgett's recording.
(Bridgett's is now the Peter Easton Pub). His tape Livin' the Blues
was recently released on CD but I like the live one a bit better and
it contains most of the same tunes, like "Shell Game,"
"Blind Willie McTell" (which I heard Ron Hynes cover once too)
and more. He is currently living in Halifax but occasionally comes
back to his old town to play so I'll still list him here.
Blair Harvey, while he also does some country solo
and more with Lady Luck and The Smoking Guns, solo
does some original folk blues and is very good. He
has a CD entitled Burning Down Religion that I don't
have yet (it is about a swan [that is my playful interpretation
of the title]).
Though many are expatriates except for fairly frequent visits,
Newfoundland has produced several good jazz acts, including
Mary Barry (now in BC), John Nugent (now based out of New York),
Jeff Dyer, Jim Vivian, plus there are some still here such
as Bill Rose and Shirley Dalton and others who play at
The Rose and Thistle,
The Duke of Duckworth, and The Fat Cat and other places.
Desafinado is a fine local jazz act, featuring Raquel Hoekman
on vocals. (She may have moved to Ontario, though.)
The Impromptu Trio
does "light jazz conversions of classical repertoire as well
as hundreds of standard well-known songs from stage, screen and recordings"
to quote from their web page.
The Puntila Project plays jazz/funk regularly at Le Cigar
Volant, the bar of Bianca's restaurant on Water St.
Lynn Panting Trio play jazz regularly e.g. at Bianca's Bar
(Le Cigar Volant, which has a very nice baby grand piano).
Neil Rosenberg of Crooked Stovepipe
is also in The Black Auks, who do improvisational found sound
jazzploration and play every Sound Symposium (see the festivals
subpage for info on that).
The Dogberries are another fine local jazz act, led by
Charlie Barfoot and Jack Daw.
There is jazz or cabaret at the bar of Bianca's restaurant
every Friday and Saturday, no cover, led by Glen Nuoto I think.
I think the bar is named Le Cigar Volant.
Kirk Newhook is a local jazz guitarist who also leads
the annual local jazz festival. He sometimes plays
with jazz and cabaret vocalist Petrina Bromley.
Duane Andrews is an excellent jazz guitarist and has
won an ECMA for jazz. He has two excellent recordings
out, and has a quartet featuring him and Steve Hussey
Patrick Boyle is a fine jazz trumpeter and also
plays guitar. He has one CD out.
Darrell Cooper and The Strong Persuaders play occasionally
at The Fat Cat and The Darrell Cooper Trio host
a jam at The Dock on Sundays
and have released a debut CD of
El Viento Flamenco is a fine local flamenco music and dance group
There is a fair bit of reggae in this town, once from the
band Pressure Drop and now its ex-member
Jim Fidler does
a great version of Redemption Song and other reggae
tunes and some originals are on his (plus a Moroccan friend
and St. Pierre friend) new trio
CD In This World released in early August 2003,
and which also has some funky Arabic peace songs
too (lots of peace songs but conceived before 9-11)
and other great stuff and is highly danceable and
listenable and I will review it after a few more
listens. Jim (2008) is now working on a new solo reggae CD.
The Idlers are a highly popular local ska/reggae band with
a horn section but I don't have their debut CD yet; I might
remedy that soon.
songwriter Derm English (now in Taiwan but he might return)
and his English Department do a
good chunk of reggae, as do bands Skank, The Discounts
and The Instigators which may have overlap in
members (e.g. Neil Conway) though a little. And this
fish has had a lot of rum on occasion though not lately.
Duane Andrews, sometimes with Steve Hussey, does a wide
variety of stuff including some gypsy jazz. Duane has
two award-winning CDs out.
Curtis Andrews and others have an African drumming group
on the go, I think called Djolali.
Mopaya is a local world beat group.
The Forgotten Bouzouki specializes in Greek tunes and songs,
as does the band Acousmata.