Stellar music lineup at this year's RiverFest
Vancouver singer, songwriter and musician Andrew Allen will headline this year’s line up of stellar music on Saturday, Sept. 29 at RiverFest, at 5 p.m.
Allen’s music is infectious, with one song garnering four million views on YouTube alone.
Spend a bit of time with him and it quickly becomes clear why this singer, songwriter, and musician has already become a successful recording artist in his native Canada: sheer force of will. Outgoing and good-natured, with a quick, comic wit, Allen is a hurtling ball of positive energy — he just doesn’t hear the word “no.” Exhibit A: When he found himself broke after his band imploded, he and his wife contacted Carnival Cruise lines, told them they had lots of emcee experience (which they didn’t), and landed a year-long gig as social hosts on the ship. Exhibit B: When a booking agent told Allen he couldn’t possibly tour full-time and still book his own shows, Allen’s reaction was: “Actually, I think I can.” The couple sold their house, bought a minvan, and set off on tour across Canada that lasted two months. All the while, Allen planned a UK tour by searching for venues on UKPubFinder.com and emailing the proprietors to ask if he could come perform. Their response? “Sure, why not?”
Allen’s DIY ability and optimistic attitude have served him well. He has scored two Top 10 hits in Canada, 2009’s “I Wanna Be Your Christmas” and his current single “Loving You Tonight,” which has been lodged in the upper reaches of the singles chart for 10 weeks and counting. A lilting, sunny tune about an ideal romance, “Loving You Tonight” got Allen noticed by Epic Records, which signed him to a recording contract in December 2010.
The experience playing to crowds on cruise ships came in handy when Allen eventually toured Canada in 2008 in support of his album The Living Room Sessions.
Thanks to The Living Room Sessions, Allen was able to stay out on the road for two years straight. Allen is looking forward to his New Westminster gig, headlining RiverFest. “I was always the kind of person who, if I’d step into a house and it had a piano, I’d play it,” Allen says. “If I had a guitar with me, I’d play it. And if there were people around to listen, I’d love it even more.”
Saturday’s music schedule:
- 11:00 am Chris Hamilton
- 11:40 am Ronald McDonald Magic Show
- noon Lester Quitzau
- 1:00 pm Catlow
- 2:00 pm The Matinee
- 3:00 pm The Washboard Union
- 3:50 pm Workboat Parade on the Fraser
- 4:10 pm Headwater
- 5:00 pm Andrew Allen
The Washboard Union
A 3 Car pile-up of Old Crow Medicine Show, Steve Earle, and Drive By Truckers the Washboard Union is Canada’s only 7-piece Outlaw Bluegrass Band. 4 vocalists/songwriters together for a one-of-a-kind live show. The band was recently featured for 3 concerts at Canadian Music Week and received multiple “Best of the Fest” features. The Washboard Union’s debut album was released this year. The Washboard Union performed live this summer at select festivals throughout BC including: Live at Squamish, Merritt Mountain and the City of Kelowna’s Canada Day Celebrations.
Headwater formed in the early 2000′s when band members left their rock ‘n roll days behind to play acoustic music. They are now comprised of guitar, mandolin, banjo, steel guitar, bass and drums and yes, some amazing harmonies.
Headwater’s new album ‘Push’ was released on May 4th and has received plenty of air-time on Vancouver’s PEAK Radio 102.7
According to the band, the new release is a departure from the roots/folk stylings they were known for and into some decidedly “pop” territory. At the heart of the new sound are great vocal harmonies, seriously catchy choruses and some tasty grooves.
Headwater has two previous releases - My Old Friend (2006) and Lay You Down (2009). They have enjoyed extensive tours of Canada and Europe playing the folk circuit. After hundreds of great shows, Headwater enjoys a musical fellowship that is very apparent when you catch them live.
Vancouver-based five-piece band - The Matinée - are a fleet alt-country-rock collective sitting somewhere between Tom Petty and Joel Plaskett.
When the band came third in last year’s Peak Performance Project, they walked out with some financial security and right into a new recording and management deal. Meaning to treat such good fortune with due care and attention, The Matinée has learned many lessons in the three years of intense road school that followed their first full-length CD in 2009. It’s all about the song and all about the show.
The Matinée on stage is a long established uproar of stomping, clapping, and blazing chops, and the songs were already formidable enough to lodge themselves in local radio playlists (and beyond: “$50”, “Mama”, “Let Her Go”). On top of that, the band had emerged as the kind of outfit that could swing between the Merritt Mountain Music Festival and the hipster ground zero of Vancouver’s Biltmore Cabaret without breaking a sweat. They were already astoundingly versatile and universally appreciated. Now they just want to get better!
Lester Quitzau makes his home on Pender Island - finding a Gulf Island sanctuary to engage and sustain his remarkable and unique musical statements. Lester really does find fulfilment in gathering a hen’s fresh eggs, and he really does have musical roots so deep he can craft a musical cloth that quilts together West African-sounding guitar with the feel of free-form jazz, threaded through with unmistakable strands of Delta blues; yet all interwoven with lyrics and songs of love and spirit that display his guitar and song-writing mastery. Touchstones along the route that brought the Juno-Award-winner to where he stands today include his work with fellow members of the seminal band Tri-Continental - Bill Bourne and Madagascar Slim - and his collaboration with his partner Mae Moore.
This is the music that finds such powerful expression in The Same Light, his newest CD, released early in 2009. It’s a culmination of his years spent re-connecting with the land, but it’s also a reflection of some serious musical wood-shedding and soul searching done over that same period. The CD flows naturally from blues to ballads to truly inventive jazz improvisations. It is hard to imagine a more perfect summing-up of who Lester Quitzau is today.
Catlow, indie-pop acclaimed musician Natasha Thirsk collaborates with varied Vancouver heavy-weights Jay Slye, Jeremiah Schneider and Brent Follett to create “hopelessly catchy” and “arrestingly angular grooves, with lithe intelligent vocals”
Her latest album, ‘Pinkly Things’, highlights Thirsk’s coy vocals as melodies flex their electro muscles over dense atmospheric guitar rock with a power-pop heart. Natasha’s musical interests began when she classically trained as a pianist. Jazz, experimental music, new wave and everything in between heavily influenced Thirsk. “Music should be fun, make you sweat, make you cry, make you dance, bring you joy,” said Thirsk. “It should come easily and from many sides of you - pain, happiness, regret, excitement.”
Pinkly Things was recorded at The Factory in Vancouver where Thirsk co- produced with Marcel Rambo and Hayz Fischer. Tracks on the album were co-written with Dave Hodge, Jamie Di Salvio (Bran Van 3000), Mike Miguel Sanchez to name a few while one song “Run to Me” was mixed by Roger Swan (K-Os).