Artists

The 2015 program will be released April 22, the day before 2015 tickets go on sale. To whet your appetite, we'll be leaking one artist per week.

  • Bombino

    Omara “Bombino” Moctar’s 2013 album Nomad, recorded with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, has been lauded as a perfect match of sound and soul that introduces a new guitar hero.
    His dazzling live performance and guitar virtuosity have humble roots. Born and raised in Niger into a rights-agitating, North African, Berber-descendant nomadic tribe, Bombino taught himself guitar in exile. His gained his nickname and band experience after formal studies with a renowned Tuareg guitarist and mastered his licks – doubling up musician and herder duties - while living in Algeria and Libya as a teenager. As his legend grew, a Spanish documentary film crew helped Bombino produce his first album. He recorded a desert blues version of the Rolling Stones classic “Hey Negrita” alongside Richards and Watts during a 2006 California trip with the band Tidawt, and later that year served as Angelina Jolie’s North African desert guide. Filmmaker Ron Wyman tracked him down in 2009 in Burkina Faso and together they staged a celebratory concert in Niger after the Tuaregs put down their arms and returned home. Bombino is now a key voice of the next Tuareg generation, with songs about peace that fuse traditional Berber rhythms with rock and roll energy.

    http://www.bombinomusic.com

  • Thao & the Get Down Stay Down

    After spending most of her 20s touring and supporting her three critically-acclaimed albums, working with a laundry list of vaunted artists (Andrew Bird, Mirah, Laura Viers and producer Tucker Martine), Thao Nguyen recently settled in San Francisco and established a life off the road, which included participating in her community and advocating for those incarcerated in the county jail and state prison system. At the end of that transformative period, Thao collected her work and stepped into the studio with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Bill Callahan, Explosions in the Sky, The Walkmen). The result is We the Common, a raw and rollicking, homemade and reckless-but-nuanced roots album whose 12 songs capture this enigmatic, spirited and prolific singer-songwriter and performer.

    http://thaoandthegetdownstaydown.com

  • Frazey Ford

    Be Good Tanya Frazey Ford’s solo 2010 critically acclaimed album Obadiah was a collection of songs hand-craved by life’s hardships and exaltation, stained with the rich colours of soul, gospel and folk music as Ford deftly inhabited the minds of her song’s protagonists. On her recent album Indian Ocean, Ford unleashes an unbridled full-throated ebullience that takes listeners down to where the soul rivers run deep. It’s a lush album filled with songs about pain and dealing with tough truths, as well as love, contrition and being bold. Recorded in Memphis and Vancouver, the work of Al Green’s band, The Hi Rhythm Section - iconic architects of the famous singer's instrumental sound - helps give Indian Ocean its gilded edge. They accentuate her sensual and opulent vocals with deep-bottomed bass, subtle backbeats, and airy flights of organ. Ford's self-possession and passion puts flesh to the musical bones.

    http://www.frazeyford.com

  • Loudon Wainwright III

    A Grammy Award-winning songwriter, folk singer, humourist, actor and one of America's most astute lyrical commentators - plus the man who can claim responsibility for songwriters Martha and Rufus Wainwright - began playing guitar while in school before selling it for yoga lessons. Since those humble beginnings, he has released 26 witty, self-mocking studio albums, of which he’s said "you could characterize the catalog as somewhat checkered, although I prefer to think of it as a tapestry.” He’s a candid diarist whose confessional poetry wrings human truth into popular songs, resulting in them being covered by Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Earl Scruggs, Big Star, Freakwater and many others.

    Perhaps best known for the novelty song “Dead Skunk (in the Middle of the Road)” and for playing Captain Calvin Spalding (the “singing surgeon”) on M*A*S*H, his TV work includes being the original musician/sidekick on The David Letterman Show, acting in Parks and Recreation plus roles in many films.

    http://www.lw3.com

  • Shakey Graves

    Alejandro Rose-Garcia, aka Shakey Graves, began making music as part New York City’s ‘anti-folk’ scene. From his earlier career as an actor to playing dive bar open-mic nights around his hometown of Austin, TX, he has moved quickly from obscurity into the national spotlight, critical acclaim and major media attention.

    His first album, Roll the Bones, in 2011 established the powerful, mesmerizing Shakey Graves sound of Rose-Garcia accompanying himself on guitar and a handmade kick drum built out of an old suitcase. Journalists praised the one-man band gnarly blues/folk composite as “astonishing…unclassifiably original.”

    His new record, And the War Came, extends the emotional and sonic ground as it delves into trials and tribulations of domestication, and represent more of what he calls the ‘Cyborg Shakey Graves’ – an evolution from the earlier ‘Mr, Folk, Hobo Mountain’ persona.