The name Banff, Alberta conjures up images of beavers, elk, and majestic peaks; also, busloads of windburned skiers and awestruck tourists. It was that town, sandwiched between the stunning alpine silence and the buzz of the hospitality industry, which harboured the growth of a gritty, honest and committed troubadour called Amelie Patterson. She grew up listening to classics like Janis Joplin, Van Morrison and Joni Mitchell, and their influence is clear in her bluesy vocals, her folk-rock guitar and her candid, pared-down lyrics.
When the call of her guitar sounded louder than that of vet school after graduating UVic with a biology degree, she returned to her home province and immersed herself in Calgary’s vibrant music scene, where her soulful voice and dynamic stage presence have kept her in demand. For the past few years the 27-year-old songwriter has thrown herself completely into her musical career, touring Western Canada and across the country in VIA Rail’s Artists on Board programme. Clearly this local girl’s music is, ahem, striking a chord, as a line of artisanal jewelry has been named after one of her songs (“Roll Honey Roll” by Canmore’s BRIWOK Jewelry). She continues to climb her native mountains, keep herself a “suitable host for inspiration,” celebrate her victories with a scotch or two, and most of all, work like a beaver.