Northern Beauties Q & A with CBC Calgary

Posted by CBC News on 6 July 2016

Northern Beauties play the 2016 CBC Calgary Co-op Stampede Breakfast on Thursday. (Northern Beauties/Facebook)


The six-piece band from Calgary has been nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award and they've been invited to perform at this summer's Calgary Folk Festival. 

Northern Beauties will be the musical guests Thursday for the CBC Calgary Co-op Stampede Breakfast.

The band is planning a tour in the fall — taking their energetic live show on the road. And there's the ongoing work to complete their first full-length album. 

Northern Beauties is the creation of musical friends Todd Stewart and Craig Aikman. Both play guitar and sing.

Other members include Erik Allen on drums, Aaron Schlopp on bass, Charlie Hase on pedal steel guitar as well as violinist Jonathan Lewis.

In advance of the breakfast gig, Todd Stewart shared a bit more about the band during a Q & A with CBC Calgary. 

Q.   How did the band come together? 

Craig and I were at the 2012 Calgary Folk Festival watching the duo Whitehorse perform. That's when I pitched the idea to Craig of a western-folk act with two vocalists. We played in other bands so the group actually started as a side project for us in the fall of 2012. One year later, we pulled together the full band with Erik, Aaron and Charlie to record an EP with six tracks.  Jonathan joined us last summer.

Q.   You describe your music as Canadiana. Why?

I think we incorporate a lot of traditional styles that would categorize us as "Americana" and up North we simply can't embrace "Americana" as our own so it becomes "Canadiana" by default.  Maybe we need to find a new word for this?

Q.   How do you feel about being on the bill for the 2016 Calgary Folk Festival

All of us are big fans of the Calgary Folk Festival. Some of us have played the festival in the past in other projects. We have all been volunteers and we have all been patrons.

It's one of the great things that happens in Calgary in my books. Last summer, the whole band was gathered in the beer garden talking about playing the festival for this summer, so it was real exciting for us to be included this year.

Q.  What are the immediate plans for the band?

We have been nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award in the Roots Duo/Group of the Year category. The awards will be handed out in October in Regina. We will be touring while on our way to Regina for the awards and Break Out West. We're also finishing the second album and a 2017 release is in the works as soon as we stumble across money to finish it!