Check out the full NESS 2016 PROGRAM! Or, for a quick look, here's the SCHEDULE.
Over the years, Yukon Blonde has earned no shortage of acclaim for its hook-heavy brand of pop rock. But despite their love of vintage rock ‘n’ roll, the members aren’t the kind of guys who cling to the past. The band's third album, On Blonde, is the product of an intense period of personal escapism. Their marriage of psychedelic, digital and synthetic sounds has become an unintentional symbol of Yukon Blonde's own creative freedom.
In November 2011, Les Hay Babies were officially born. Since then, they've been busy crafting colourful, folky music with only guitar, banjo, and ukulele, powerful lyrics, and warm harmonies that could melt anyone's heart. After their first EP, Folio, was released in July of 2012, their full-length album Mon Homesick Heart came to light in April 2014, with deep moods and rich sonic textures. All hailing from New Brunswick, the girls intertwine their inflections creating a flamboyant atmosphere, cooking up their own unique folk recipe.
When Marcus Mosely, Will Sanders and Ron Small went into the studio to do background vocals for blues legend Jim Byrnes’ latest Juno Award winning album, House of Refuge, the gospel trio took on an identity of its own. Dubbed by Byrnes as The Sojourners, they have developed a significant following as a result of ongoing critical acclaim from the CD and ensuing public performances.
Good For Grapes formed in 2010, after a group of friends took a trip to Victoria, BC for some modest busking. Playing in support of charities and foundations has allowed their unique sound to be welcomed by a variety of venues and audiences. Through this, they have gained a loyal fan base, which continues to grow at every turn. Two videos produced by Tommy Lee, the band has quickly gained national traction on the strength of their debut album: a recording that captures their energetic stage presence, bombastic rhythms, and tight harmonies.
Since their inception, the Fernie, BC based "Stoke-Folk" band have been re-defining what “folk music” means in Canada. Through their individual pan-Canadian backgrounds, Tim Newton, Sage McBride, Jordan Vlasschaert, Ian Page-Shiner, and Ty West have amplified the traditional sound of folk music with a more contemporary approach. They have humbly pioneered Canada’s modern folk sound – pushing the boundaries of the genre, and creating “Stoke-Folk” – a genre that truly encapsulates the peaks and valleys that define Canada.
Kacy and Clayton restore space to the folk song art-form by dealing in subtlety instead of tinsel. Kacy’s completely unforced vocals are her own distinct and natural timbre. Clayton’s instrumental talents serve every song with modesty; he reserves his virtuosity for those few transitions that require elaborate expression. They shun studio trickery and gimmicks in their recordings, pursuing mixes that recall the natural warmth of 1970s british folk LPs. In fact, much of their repertoire could be mistaken for hidden gems of decades past.
With nominations for three JUNOs, the Polaris Prize, The CBC "Heart Of Gold" and a pile of albums under his belt, Danny Michel is unquestionably one of Canada’s finest songwriters. His thoughtful lyrics & earnest performances have earned him a devoted fan base. A musical chameleon, able to slip into many genres with ease. An adventurous & fearless artist. A master at striking the right balance between unpredictability and meeting expectations, leaving you wanting more as soon as it’s over.
Andino Suns have been captivating audiences throughout Canada with fiery instrumentation and inspirational live performances. Hailing from the Canadian Prairies by way of Santiago Chile, these Western Canadian Music Award nominees fuse traditional Andean Mountain instrumentation with modern Latin grooves and rhythms. The result is something powerful, passionate and memorable.
Aryn El Hefe takes listeners on a sojourn that includes late-night heart-to-hearts, a road trip in a dusty car with a broken air conditioner and a hissy cassette tape collection of the most exquisite guitar-driven folk you’ve never heard. And, of course, a tiny splash of lovelorn feels, as evidenced on the achey-swing of “Back Porch,” which sees El Hefe poking at the scab of a curiously still-beating-yet-bruised heart...
The Buzzardline has chaotically concocted a series of songs with blues rooted rock riffs, heavy bass and untamed drums. This trio delivers a musical experience akin to being repeatedly struck in the head by things.
Rocky Lakner and Donny Millikin, the son of Jack Millikin "The Grandfather of Ness Creek", are two of the Crooked Creek scribes, best buddies and song writing masters, with an on and off stage chemistry that is uncontainable, comical, clever and entertaining. With nearly forty years of musical glory, this local favourite and Ness Creek house band boasts a long, long list of hits that are sure to get you on your feet and steal your heart away.
The Department Heads are a four-piece Canadian rock band from Saskatoon, SK that formed in the fall of 2012. Formed after the dissolution of previous band, Rhinkberger, this energetic hard riff rock quartet delivers serious musicianship with powerful female vocals. This foursome delivers a strong live performance and has something to offer fellow musicians and show-goers alike. Their sound has evolved to incorporate a variety of musical styles and influences including punk rock, heavy metal, desert rock and the likes of Danko Jones and Queens of the Stone Age.
Economics, a.k.a. Dean Summach, has been quietly making compelling instrumental music from his hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, for the past decade. Economics’ songs are an ambitious collection of both the dense and the delicate, falling somewhere in between adventurous post-rock, instrumental hip-hop and vintage electro-pop. Nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award for Electronic/Dance Recording of the Year, it looks like Economics has got music down to a social science.
Etienne fletcher brings together his French and English roots in his new self titled project. Accompanied by his guitarist Sean MCcannell and collaborating with a variety of guest musicians, he creates a high energy show with genres ranging from rock, blues, folks, pop and dance music. The project strives for each show to bring variety, connection and memorable experiences.
What’s all the fuss about…The Fuss? Since forming last winter this group has developed a unique sound which could be described as a cross-breeding between The Beatles and modern groups like Spoon and Deer Tick. Since forming last winter the band has played a surprising number of high profile shows supporting some heavyweight hitters, including opening for Saskatchewan’s own Rah Rah and the new breakout hit group Phox. With a mix of seasoned musicians and catchy hooks, this new local act is quickly making its mark in our fair city.
For the last 20 years, there has been a rumble in the lion's den. Finally, Jah Cutta has decided it's time to roar. Early successes overseas lead to his success at home in Montreal . Renowned for his ferocious live performances, Jah Cutta has shared the stage with some of music's greatest entertainers including Peter Tosh, The Wailers, Gregory Issacs, Beenie Man and Buju Banton Thievery Corporation, Mix Master Mike and Public Enemy.
Jen Lane is a critically acclaimed singer songwriter from Saskatoon, SK who has showcased her music internationally. “This Life of Mine” is the culmination of a time in Lane’s personal and creative life that can truly be described as a roller coaster ride that began after a foot and ankle injury took several years and multiple surgeries to repair, and finds her in the exact place that she has always been meant to be; at the very heart of where country, roots and folk music harmoniously intertwine.
Johnny 2 Fingers & the Deformities are a trio of rock n’ roll heat scores from THIS ISLAND EARTH. Led by a short, hairy man (whom was born missing digits) defying the odds and using what they got to deliver a loud, weird and woolly performance. "Right now, there’s a guitarist from Moose Jaw who might be the saviour of Saskatchewan guitar rock. And he’s missing a bunch of his fingers." - Chris Morin (Ominocity)
Jim Balfour, a mainstay in the Saskatchewan reggae scene, has performed at many venues in Negril, Jamaica earning nicknames such as 'Pincanmon'; 'WhiteBob'; 'JimBob', or simply 'Bob Marley'. This summer Jim will be joined by Collin Reid (keyboards); Frank Aird (trumpet); 'Dacky' Roxburgh (bass); Curtis Woolcock (guitar); and Eugene Ricketts (drums). In any performance with Jim and these wonderful Jamaican musicians, you will hear sweet reggae music created from the 1960’s to the present.
Josh Gonzales is a Filipino singer-songwriter raised and currently based in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. His music is emotive yet breezy, a brand Josh calls soul-folk-pop. The music takes on a slight Hawaiian/Polynesian feel with lilting guitars, light percussion, throbbing keyboards, and galloping rhythms with vocals reminiscent of a combination between Bill Withers and John Mayer. The result is music that lasts, containing beautiful sounds, melodies, and harmonies that are incredibly catchy and worthy of repeated listens.
Saskatchewan born and raised, Kevin Mitchell has been on the west coast for 25 years. Much of Kevin's influence and style was created as a young player growing up in northern Saskatchewan where live music in the kitchen was the norm. Strong rhythms and uniquely original lyrics, a finger picking style that sounds like the band and a rhythm that is highly syncopated and bass driven. With over 200 original songs and a few select covers his range is diverse and eclectic. With a sound somewhere between Fred Eaglesmith, Greg Brown and Bob Dylan, he swings from Blues to Country, Folk to Reggae with ease.
From earnest beginnings to full blown folk terminator Myles and the Blanks has come a long way. Sharing the stage with a variety of different acts over the years such as Audio/Rocketry, Fire Next Time, Eamon Mcgrath, Smokekiller, B.A. Johnston, Old Man Luedecke, and Northcote. Myles sings catchy upbeat folk songs with a tinge of punk rock, a dash of bluegrass and a shot of whiskey. Wether they're funny, dark, tragic or honest his songs are full of energy and passion.
What happens when u mix a poet & percussion, a violin and some turntables, a bass and a mandolin, a trumpet and some vocals... well something you may have never seen or heard before... get ready to be taught and entertained, to move and be moved by this earth and age friendly, conscious yet catchy music and soul from the hip hop hippies...
With cascading stereo delays and sub-frequency howls, the project formerly known as the Mario Lepage Project will be filing the Ness stage with intoxicating vocal melodies & tidal wave endings. Gaining notoriety through competitions such as “Festival International de Granby” PONTEIX has already begun to build its home in both anglophone & francophone communities with a sound that is able to traverse the language barrier. "A live performance with the band is a psychedelic journey from eardrum to eardrum, leaving no cranium unaffected in the audience" - Andrew MJ Cooper, Ominocity
Formed in 2013 by ex-members of Tricky Woo, C’mon, Bella Clava, Change of Heart, Lying Cheats, etc... Public Animal are a rock and roll machine built on a rumbling foundation of hard rock and held together by scraps of psych, pop, doom, and garage with splinters of soul. Co-fronted by Ian Blurton (guitar) and Caitilin Dacey (keys), their duelling vocal harmonies are lightning to the thunderous rhythms of Eric Larock (bass) and Ryan Gassi (drums). Frequently sighted in greasy dives across Canada, unleashing their sweat-soaked sonic attack.
Pura Fé, an heir to the Tuscarora Indian Nation, is an artist, an activist, and much more. Her musical journey, running the gamut from folk to mainstream through an artful use of the blues, reflects the concerns of an artist who grew up in the Motown era, while citing Buffy Sainte-Marie, Charley Patton and Joni Mitchell as her true mentors. And, more widely, “traditional music from all over the world, wherever the spirit is connected to our roots.” When she’s not touring or fighting for civil rights, Pura Fé sings her Tuscarora blues songs in her home, to the sound of her lap-steel guitar.
Ride Til Dawn has been a staple of Saskatoon, SK’s renowned local music scene for over a decade. Beginning as an alt-country outfit with a sound that continues to evolve with each album, Ride Til Dawn blends power-pop, psychedelic rock, garage, and cosmic country to craft a sound that is equally footed in dank 1970’s basements as it is firmly here in the now.
A perfect blend of old time, bluegrass, and folk music -Saskatoon's Rugged Little Thing will give you beautiful harmonies and catchy rhythms to keep your toes tapping for days!
You can't miss this new-three piece! Three very different styles have come together to form an undeniable presence on the stage and in the studio. Powerful, yet melodic, drumming. Precise, but grooving, bass lines. Intricate, yet catchy, guitar licks. And that voice. You've gotta hear that voice! These guys have what it takes and aren't afraid to use it. Get out there and sing and dance with them!
TIPPY AGOGO, the "One Man Orchestra" & Mouth Musician, is known throughout the free world for making beautiful, scary, heavy, & insightful music on reclaimed tin cans, broken guitars, & racks full of technological gadgetry. He performs for children, punk rockers, folkies, metal heads, electro-heads, high brows, low brows, & all those in-between!
Val Halla is a Canadian singer/songwriter from Regina, Saskatchewan who has fused Rock N Roll, Country, Blues, Grunge, and Folk into a genre all her own. She has toured all across the United States and Canada, opening for such legends as Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, and Burton Cummings, as well as headlining her own shows throughout both countries. Her sound has been described by one fan as "Courtney Love meets the Allman Brothers", and by a friend as a cross between the Grunge and Country genres, a new genre some are calling "Gruntry" music.
The Whiskey Jerks have created their own unique and original niche that blends klezmer, country-blues, gypsy-folk, rock and jazz with the kind of pop feel that guarantees everyone’s toes tapping, throats chuckling, and even the tear-ducts welling on occasion. With clever, cocky (and yes at times sensitive) lyrics infused with an honest prairie sound, The Whiskey Jerks will always keep you guessing...and dancing!
In a bland landscape of alt-country beards and banjo’s, Wolf Willow revives the forgotten side of country music; a 2/4 beat for dancing and an occasion for folks to come together to have fun. The band (from the fictional small town of Darston, Saskatchewan) presents a stage show in the format an old time radio hour complete with jingles and corny humour. Since forming in 2014, Wolf Willow has released and a charting EP and played festivals, released a collectible trading card set and launched a video series.