How many Alberta Artists are in your playlists?
When was the last time you saw an Alberta artists at a live music venue (this one is easier if you live in Alberta, of course)?
If the number is low, let me encourage you that there is a LOT of fantastic music coming out of my home province of Alberta and it’s only on the rise.
I spent this past weekend in Fort Saskatchewan watching 30 (or so) acts perform 15 minute showcases of the best material for talent buyers from across Alberta. The event, Alberta Showcase, is always an encouraging reminder that we not only have incredible artists across this province, but incredible supporters of the arts. Did you known there are over 200 artist organizations – mostly outside of Alberta’s large cities – that bring in talent from here and around the world to entertain and enrich their communities? That’s a beautiful number and meeting these folks is even better. I came away from this year’s Alberta Showcase feeling very lucky and truly blessed.
Here are some highlights from the weekend;
- connecting with emerging artists like throwback folk crooner Sammy Volkov and already-timeless-at-twenty country singer Noeline Hoffman
- watching Spandy Andy claw his way out of a giant balloon
- salsa dancing, line dancing, and singing a whole Prince song in falsetto at karaoke
- an emotional 15 minute preview of the excellent Edmonton play Train One to Coal Valley
- the contagious energy of Calgary’s latin jazz group Notas De 4
It honestly feels terrible to single anybody out because I enjoyed every act I saw, but those are the first that came to mind today for whatever reason.
If you are a music streamer here are a few more artists from this weekend I recommend you look up;
- Blue Moon Marque (bluesy folk and swing)
- Tissa Rahim (soulful indie - known as the ‘Persian powerhouse'!)
- Brayden King (a country party with a guitar)
- Tommy Charles (country from some alternate past)
- Noeline Hoffmann (where did that voice come from?)
- Mia Kelly (just received 2 Canadian Folk Music award nominations)
- Anna Katarina (indie folk that reminded me of Maddison Cunningham)
- Beau Wheeler (queer non-binary singer-songwriter exploding with love, positivity and a killer voice)
- Sammy Volkov (Roy Orbison vibes from a dynamo who doesn’t take himself too seriously)
- Notas De 4 (latin music impossible to sit still to)
- Confusionaires (rockabilly done just right)
- T Buckley (gorgeous acoustic folk)
- Over The Moon (folk duo with a joyful light)
- Barbara Lica (fantastic indie folk songwriting)
Speaking of Alberta artists, have you got your tickets for next week?
My last VON BIEKER and his SMALL-TONES shows of the year are coming up next week and I’ll be joined by Red Deer artists Ryan Carnduff and The Fallow Years. I’ve hired a videographer to capture some of the magic in Edmonton so please do help me fill the house!