Skye Wallace is what happens when a classically trained singer with east coast roots discovers punk rock in their youth and then writes hard folk music with that edge. Sad Mag calls her a “national treasure” and many other critics agree. Released just before Halloween last year, her witchy album Something Wicked, with tracks including “Blood Moon,” was listed as one of Vancouver Weekly's Best Albums of 2016 and CBC's Top 8 Albums You Need To Hear This Month. CBC's Stephen Quinn calls it "kick ass record," while Vice promises Something Wicked will "burn you to the ground."
"Something Wicked...emanates with the philosophy behind Immanuel Kant’s “the terrifying sublime.” This is not an album that takes shortcuts to preserve your precious heart; it’s magnificently honest. Something Wicked is a rare contemporary Canadian marvel that sticks to every inch of you."
- Maddy Cristall, CBC
The Wilderness of Manitoba created one of the most magical moments at our 2010 festival in River Valley using sound bowl sorcery to mesmerize us into sitting cross-legged around the campfire. From the chamber folk of its 2009 debut, Hymns of Live & Spirits, to the sprawling indie-rock of its last effort, 2014's Between Colours, the band has gone through shifts not only in sound but also in lineup in its eight-year career. The constant member has been lead vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Will Whitwham. Current recording and touring members of the band include Raven Shields (vocals/guitar) and at times Jenny Berkel and Eamon McGrath. In May, they’ll release an EP titled, The Tin Shop, through Pheromone Recordings. Its namesake comes from a now-shuttered Toronto studio where four of the six songs were recorded -- paying homage to "a place and time which reflects the vibe of the tracks captured there." One of its tracks"Brigden Fair " was written to feel "like Donovan wrote the lyrics but it was sung and recorded by Simon and Garfunkel,” explains Will.
Tofino is a new Sudbury band (not a New Sudbury band!) - four friends from different musical backgrounds with a common goal. Their idea is to make music that reflects their fun, light-hearted attitude towards the creative process and to shake a few legs. Images of beach parties, summer adventures and a shot of angst. Swarming leads, tight rhythms and smooth vocals. Lo-fi, smooth tunes to get R&S started on the right foot.
Take a time machine to 1970s punk with Tommy and the Commies -- back when being called a Commie meant something. Fronted by Tommy Major with Curtis Dixon and backed by Sudbury punk legends the Brothers Houle. They’ll bring the cool to the Thursday night campfire set. Last August, the band released their single "Suckin' in yr 20s" which was tracked live at the Piss Factory by Mick Futures. Ottawa Explosion Weekend, which they’ll play enroute to R&S in June, describes their sound as “Punk & Roll from the Nickel Shitty.” Er, yep.
The Vulvets are a psychedelic-garage-surf-western-spaghetti all girls band from Montreal and 2017 Francouvertes' semi-finalist. Last fall they released their album, La mort / Tu ne sais pas. They’ll take the Thursday night campfire set and turn it into a Psycho Beach Party from the ‘60s (imagine Gidget gone bad).
In their own words … Vulvets, c’est la désinvolture juvénile des Psycho Beach Party des sixties qui tournent mal à l’aube. C’est l’enthousiasme démesuré du « Hey Little Cobra » de The Rip Chords joué avec le cynisme des Westerns révisionnistes lo-fi italiens. C’est le son sale du garage, féminisé sans le poli. C’est la voix élevée par les La Luz et de The Coathangers, mais avec les mots des 78 volumes de Mainmise.
Returning to R&S after playing the pants off dancers at the Campfire Stage in 2014…. Murder Murder brings a full string band and suitcase percussion to the fire at the beach. Known for its blend of bluegrass and outlaw country -- sometimes called bloodgrass-- this band has a wealth of original and traditional murder ballads. The band has been nominated for two 2017 NOMFA’s -- Best Songwriter and Best Video -- they’ll find out how they do on May 27. With two full-length albums under their collective belt buckles, Murder Murder has a third slated for a release this year. They’ve logged a ton of kilometres too - in the past year they’ve driven to showcase in Kansas City MO, toured Ontario, Quebec and the Canadian Maritimes twice, driven 5000 km on the wrong side of the road across Ireland and the UK, and played a variety of music festivals including Fire in the Mountain (Wales, UK), Mariposa Folk Festival, and The Fred Eaglesmith Picnic. The band played a month long tour of mainland Europe in January 2017 culminating in a trip to London for the Americana Music Association UK Conference & Awards.
"A six piece shit kicking acoustic set up, Murder Murder certainly flail along at quite a pace, the bass and drums propelling their guitars, fiddle, mandolin, Dobro and banjo with some abandon" -Blabber 'n' Smoke
"The difference from the more ‘traditional’ murder-ballad delivery is the vivacity that pervades the band’s music, the darkness and damnation are there but the conveyance has a live-wire approach replacing doleful declaration." -Folkwords
"This is a roller coaster of an album built on blood, trains, murder, passion and death / a heady mixture with some of the most infectious and memorable songs I’ve heard in a while." - NE:MM North East Music Monthly UK