We try to keep up with all the news happening along the east coast, but we’re bound to miss some things. In the last few months, a handful of albums have been released by east coast artists we’ve yet to talk about on East Coast Noise, so here’s some updates on some new tunes for your listening pleasure.
ENNIS celebrate Lessons Learned CD release
Popular Newfoundland-based duo ENNIS will celebrate the release of its new album Lessons Learned CD with a concert tour through the Maritimes beginning this week. The eight-stop tour will be a double-bill with The MacKenzie Project, featuring fiddler Rosie MacKenzie (formerly of The Cottars).
The Juno-Award winning ENNIS, which features Maureen and Karen Ennis, have seven albums out to date and they’ve shared the stage with everyone from The Chieftains and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to Jann Arden and Colin Linden.
The MacKenzie Project grew out of Rosie MacKenzie’s desire to continue her career, following her departure from The Cottars in the summer of 2006. A dynamic fiddler, stepdancer, and harmony vocalist, Rosie has recruited singer Pauline Scanlon (former vocalist for Ireland’s Sharon Shannon Band), Pauline’s frequent producer, arranger and guitarist Donogh Hennessy, formerly of Irish band Lúnasa, and young piano/fiddle/stepdance wiz Robbie Fraser.
ENNIS and The MacKenzie Project will take the stage at the following venues:
Nov. 6 – deCoste Centre, Pictou, NS
Nov. 7 – Savoy Theatre, Glace Bay, NS
Nov. 8 – Strathspey Place, Mabou, NS
Nov. 10 – The Carleton, Halifax, NS
Nov. 11 – The MacKay Room, St. FX U, Antigonish, NS
Nov. 13 – The Playhouse, Fredericton, NB
Nov. 14 – Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre, Summerside, PEI
Nov. 15 – Kings Theatre, Annapolis Royal, NS
11 Afternoons Early release album
Fredericton, N.B.’s 11 Afternoons Early might be a new name for most of us, but the band has been around for a few years.
Led by James Tanner, the group has recorded six full-length albums since 2001, and it released its most recent – Lysithea – this past summer.
Tanner, originally from Nova Scotia, grew up playing drums in a variety of bands. During his tenure in these bands, Tanner learned to play guitar and bass from his fellow musicians, which set him on the path he’s on now.
In 2007, he graduated from The Centre of Arts and Technology for Audio Engineering, which has given him the knowledge to not only play every instrument on his band’s albums, but he’s also engineered everything himself.
“I love having the option of being on both sides of the glass,” he tells East Coast Noise. “Having the idea for a song, and then having the knowledge to experiment with recording techniques and sounds in the studio. And it’s an asset to the band to record anytime we desire and the cost is zero. We aren’t staring at the clock, we are just having fun … which seems the way it should be!”
Live, Tanner is joined by Sean Keenan (Buried Beside Her) on drums and new bassist Matt McDonald.
Currently, the band is rehearsing for a spring tour. A new website is set to be launched in the next few weeks. The band’s latest album is available in Fredericton at Backstreet Records, but you can sample it on their myspace page.
Grassmarket release debut album
Halifax folk act Grassmarket released its debut album Port City earlier this month. The trio of singer/songwriters created a collection of 10 songs that capture the group intimately exploring their love of songwriting.
The band features Penelope Jackon on clawhammer banjo, guitar and vocals, Dan MacCormack on three-finger banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, standup bass and vocals and David Bradshaw on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, harmonica and vocals.
Grassmarket’s first release Waiting, a seven song EP, was nominated for a 2008 Nova Scotia Music Award for Best Country/Bluegrass Album.
Cousins release debut record
Another debut from Halifax was recently launched by quartet Cousins. Formed by singer/guitarist Aaron Mangle (A Helpful Diagram), the band features Andy March (Museum Pieces/Ghost Bees) on drums, Dallin Ursenbach on guitar and Pat Ryan (Room Doom) on bass.
After self-producing his debut Out On Town, Mangle formed Cousins, and penned a joint deal with Halifax imprints Youth Club Records and Musical Chair Music.
The band will perform at Gus’s Pub in Halifax on Nov. 11.
Corbett releases new solo record
Known for performing with an eclectic group of musicians in Halifax, including Old Man Luedecke, Steven Bowers and Norma MacDonald, Kev Corbett recently released his latest solo effort, Son of a Rudderless Boat.
The album features a who’s who of east coasters, including: Luedecke, Don Brownrigg, Thom Swift, Christina Martin, Meaghan Smith, Erin Costelo and others.
Corbett is currently on tour in Germany with Jennifer Roland’s band. You can follow Corbett on Twitter.
Samantha Robichaud releases another
Riverview, N.B. fiddler Samantha Robichaud is releasing her sixth album in the next few weeks. Collected is a traditional album featuring several new tunes including one French vocal.
The album also features the tune A Song For Daniel, composed and performed by Robichaud, and originally released on the CD This is My America which also included artists Dolly Parton, Mark O’Connor, Charlie Pride, Billy Dean and others.
Collected was produced and engineered by Paul Mills.
Robichaud also recently launched a new website.
To order CDs you can email Samantha at firstname.lastname@example.org The album will be in stores sometime in the next few weeks.
Gravel Chewer working on new album
Fredericton metal band Gravel Chewer is working on its next album to be released in December.
The band has been hard at work since its inception in mid-2008. Featuring Gregg “Shawz” O’Donnell, Jonny “Twothumbs” Malley and Bruce LeGrow, the band jumped right into the scene and started playing shows without a bass player or full-time vocalist. The band self-produced its first EP, Eating The Earth.
This past summer, Gravel Chewer completed its lineup, adding PJ Jacques on 8-string bass and Conor Doyle on vocals. The group is in the process of recording a new 5-song EP, which will serve as a teaser for its first full-length album, to be released next year.
The band plans to tour in support of the upcoming EP and hopes to line up label support in the near future.
Open mic in Moncton goes tomorrow
The next monthly edition of Songwriters Association of Canada Moncton Songstage, Moncton’s open mic night for original music by singer-songwriters, will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 9:30 – 11:30 p.m. at St. James’ Gate on Church Street.
Performers already registered include Robin Anne Ettles, Sarah Cormier, Andre Saulnier, Anna-Marie Weir, Ian Lawrence and Jason LeBlanc. Each performer showcases four songs in an environment that is friendly to original music.
Open mic organizers are currently seeking talent for the Dec. 1 event. Pre-registration is required via e-mail to email@example.com, with demo or link to a site where your music can be auditioned. Participants must bring their own instrument. All languages of performance are welcome.
St. James’ Gate is located at 14 Church St. There is no cover charge.