2012 Musicians

Paul Barry

150021Paul Barry has been involved with the music industry since 1968, playing bass, electric and acoustic guitar, and singing. His repertoire of country legends Merle Haggard and George Jones is superb. For fifteen years he performed solo and with a number of other musicians in Corner Brook and “down the coast”, performing everything from old-time country to rock ‘n roll. He moved to Rocky Harbour from
Corner Brook in 1996 and became a member of the popular band Anchors Aweigh. He continues to perform with Anchors Aweigh during the summer and works with the local tour company Bon Tours. Paul loves to play any chance he gets, and often sits in on studio projects and special gigs. He also works as a sound and light technician for several local events. Paul is a proud member of Zach Sacrey’s Shed
Band, a really fun part of last year’s Rocky Hare.

Anita Best

anita1Anita Best was born on the island of Merasheen in Placentia Bay on Newfoundland’s south coast the year before Newfoundland joined Canada. When she was a child, television had not yet taken over as the primary source of entertainment, and for many homes on the island, electricity was provided by gas-powered generators. Singing, dancing and storytelling were the main forms of recreation and when the
nights grew longer and colder and the fishing season was over, people would gather in each others homes and keep heart in one another with tunes, songs and stories.

Anita performs the traditional songs and stories from her childhood, as well as ones she learned later from people in Bonavista Bay, Cape St. Georges and the communities in and around Gros Morne National Park. She also performs songs from Newfoundland’s beloved contemporary songwriters, Pamela Morgan and Ron Hynes. With her rich voice and warm personality she builds a marvelous bridge
between old-time and contemporary Newfoundland song-making and storytelling traditions.

Anita has received several honours for her work in collecting and disseminating Newfoundland folksongs, including the Marius Barbeau award from the Folklore Studies Association of Canada and an Honourary Doctorate from Memorial University.

To hear Anita singing alone or with Pamela Morgan, visit www.ambermusic.ca.

Kevin Blackmore

kevinKevin was born in Sept Iles, Quebec and spent his early life in Gander. After various occupations he found his niche in theatre which has remained his long time pursuit.

In 1979 Kevin and Chris Lorne Elliott formed the comedy/musical duo “Free Beer”. Shortly after in 1982, Blackmore struck out on his own as the solo act “Buddy Wasisname”. In 1983 Kevin met Ray Johnson and Wayne Chaulk and by 1987 his solo career was no more; Ray and Wayne gave up their jobs as teachers and the three formalized the group as “Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers” and took their antics on the road.

Blackmore continues his own separate artistic pursuits, creating songs, music and writings which are not destined for the Buddy characters and the “Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers” stage. He is also a visual artist, creating primarily with oil and acrylic painting. His other interests include woodworking, instrument collecting and repair, and gardening. He plays hockey and in the off season hikes for recreation and exercise.

For the past 30 years Kevin has resided in Glovertown, Newfoundland with his wife Philomena McDonald, they have three daughters.

Matthew Byrne

matthewMatthew Byrne was born into a family of music makers from Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, and his repertoire is heavily influenced by this unique singing tradition. It is a tradition that thrives on the song – the weaving of a great story with a beautiful melody – and Matthew’s music reminds us how satisfying traditional songs can be when stripped down to these basic elements. His live performance offers tasteful and honest interpretations of folk music delivered with polished guitar work and powerful vocals. His repertoire transcends time and place and offers a collection of traditional songs from both sides of the Atlantic.

In Spring 2010, Matthew released his first studio album, “Ballads” (produced by Billy Sutton), and has since gained considerable attention from the traditional music community. “Ballads” resulted in three MusicNL award nominations in Fall 2010: Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, and Rising Star New Artist/Group of the Year, as well as multiple showcasing opportunities at the 2011 East Coast Music Awards.

Find out more about Matthew at www.matthewbyrne.net.

Pat Byrne

patbA published poet and songwriter, Pat Byrne has performed at numerous folk festivals, as well as on radio and television. He has also been active in amateur theatre. His academic interests include short fiction, Newfoundland literature and folklore, Shakespeare, and modern American and Canadian fiction. He has published on the interrelationships between folklore and literature, on the influence of the McNulty family on Newfoundland music, on the manifestations of the tall tale in Newfoundland literature, on invented traditions in Newfoundland popular culture, and on the influence of folklore and literature on the image of Newfoundland within the Canadian context. He co-edited Land, Sea and Time, a three-volume anthology of Newfoundland and Labrador texts published by Breakwater Books, which is currently in use in the Province’s high schools. He can also be heard on the CD Towards the Sunset, a collection of original Newfoundland songs, on which he is joined by Joe Byrne and Baxter Wareham.

Ken Campbell

Ken Campbell was born in Deer Lake, grew up in Corner Brook, and worked in Labrador for 25+ years. He settled in Corner Brook again seven years ago. Ken’s past musical experiences in Corner Brook and in Labrador are many and include playing in many different bands: Citations (high school), Alias, Witch’s Brew, Three in the Morning, Unlimited, Mid-Winter Blues Band, Harry Martin Band, Murphy’s Law, and the Humber Road Greasers. Currently, Ken’s primary musical affiliations include playing shows with Harry Martin, Richard Neville, Sheldon McBreairty and a band called “Elements” out of Corner Brook.

Ken and Sheldon did a few gigs in University in the mid 70’s, kept in touch after university and would occasionally jam during summer vacations. They reunited musically after Ken moved from Labrador to Corner Brook and now do regular gigs in Corner Brook and Gander. Ken figures prominently on Sheldon’s recent solo album entitled Everything After, both vocally and instrumentally. Ken also compiled one of the songs for the album, entitled, Myths Of The Night.

Matthew Hornell

mattMatthew Hornell is a singer and a songwriter from Newfoundland and Labrador. His debut album Matthew Hornell and The Diamond Minds was awarded four Music NL Awards – including Entertainer of the Year and the Rising Star Award. Spending over half the past year touring, Hornell has been spending time learning and wielding the music that will create his sophomore album.

Matthew Hornell is a constant entertainer and consumate performer. With the release of his debut album and his extensive touring history Hornell has firmly established himself as a vital new voice in the songwriting community of Atlantic Canada.

Ron Hynes

Ron Hynes - Courtesy Sennheiser Canada

One of Canada’s premiere singer-songwriters, Ron Hynes has created beautifully crafted signature songs for more than 35 years. His latest release, Stealing Genius marks his eighth solo recording and his third project with award-winning producer, Paul Mills. Inspired by works from some of his favorite NL authors and poets, Ron Hynes has crafted a collection of remarkable songs that not only echo a life in Newfoundland and Labrador, but resonate with people everywhere.

The release of Stealing Genius came hot on the heels of the world premiere of The Man of a Thousand Songs, a feature-length documentary, of which Hynes is both subject and star. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker William D MacGillivray the film premiered to capacity crowds at the Toronto International Film Festival and garnered Atlantic Film Festival Awards for Documentary, Director and Audience Favorite.

Best known for his folk classic “Sonny’s Dream”, Ron’s songs have been recorded by Emmylou Harris, Christy Moore, Mary Black, Denny Doherty, Murray McLauchlan, Hayley Westenra, Kim Stockwood and many more. Ron is a six-time East Coast Music Award winner, a Genie Award winner, a past JUNO, CCMA and Canadian Folk Music Award nominee and recipient of the SOCAN National Achievement Award for songwriting career success.


Sheldon McBreairty

Sheldon McBreairty has been engaged in some form of song writing since high school, learning to play guitar on an old Sears Silvertone that his father had. His first real experience playing original songs publicly was when he and Al Niles opened for Jesse Winchester (Brand New Tennessee Waltz) at the Thompson Student Centre in 1976. He made demos of his renderings for a number of years using a hand held tape recorder. However, the first formal recording of original material wasn’t until much later, with the group Final Approach (Rex Kean and Bill Butt) resulting in two albums of original material (2001, 2004), both engineered by Mark Anstey.

Kenny Campbell and Sheldon began playing music together in the 70’s when Kenny moved back to Corner Brook. They now play in Gander and Corner several times a year with a collection of mostly 60’s to 80’s folk and rock. Sheldon’s most recent solo album is entitled Everything After, and includes 18 songs that represent a decade of ponderings around some very serious topics such as Western foreign policy (Nervous In Caracas) and First Nations residential schools (First Day of School), and also songs on not so profound issues like two guys talking about their town (Hometown) or thoughts from an afternoon walk (Let’s Just Say). For Sheldon, songwriting is marking the journey, an attempt to capture those moments before they disappear.

David Michael

cropped_008GSLDavid Michael, singer/songwriter, was born “… and lovingly dragged up by the scruff of the neck …” at the bottom of King’s Road, a stone’s throw from the long-gone wooden finger piers in the harbour of old St. John’s. His background is Maronite Lebanese and Polish Jewish ~ not your typical Newfoundlander. In the past, he hosted and wrote his own CBC-TV variety series, toured England with his own band and promoted bands like The Clash, AC/DC, The Police, Motorhead, Joy Division, etc. A few years ago he released the highly acclaimed CD “King’s Road” and is currently working on writing a musical about St. John’s in the 1940s. He is the co-owner of Brass Taps on College in Toronto.

Shirley Montague

shirleymontagueShirley Montague is a musician and storyteller, and one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s foremost cultural ambassadors. Her singing talents were first recognized in Labrador and, upon moving to the west coast of the island in 1975 and recording Gros Morne: The Musical Journey, she established a new way of interpreting our culture, landscape, geology, and the environment. She has been instrumental in the Gros Morne Musicians in Residence Program and the creation of the cultural festival Trails, Tales and Tunes, which is especially designed to integrate the natural beauty of the Gros Morne area with music and storytelling. She has also made a beautiful musical tribute to the Red Bay Basques with some of her favourite musicians. For her efforts Montague has received the province’s Cultural Tourism Award.

Pamela Morgan

Pamela MorganFor 19 years, Pamela Morgan was lead singer, guitarist, and arranger for the Canada’s pioneering “Celtic” band, Newfoundland’s Figgy Duff, who brought the traditional music of Newfoundland to the world stage. Since then, Pamela has been spearheading her own independent record label, Amber Music, producing music for NL’s finest roots artists, including three of her own solo CDs, and licensing tracks to various labels worldwide. Over the last few years, she has represented Canada at Expo in Japan, toured extensively in England, Canada, the US and Europe, and overseen productions of two original scores for live theater, including her own folk opera, “The Nobleman’s Wedding.” She continues to write, arrange, perform, and tour, in her own highly original and hauntingly beautiful style.

Wayne Muggridge and Ivan Emke

February 2011 261Wayne Muggridge and Ivan Emke first met late last century, when they occupied adjoining offices at what was then Sir Wilfred Grenfell College.  Wayne kept having to listen to Ivan’s music through the thin walls and, after the initial shock of having a neighbour who listened to music all day, he began to note that their tastes were similar.  After that, they struck up conversations about music and discovered they had much in common.  They began to play together and, with Scott Jamieson, they formed the first (of several) lineups under the name of the Townsite Ceili Band.

Over the years Wayne and Ivan have developed a repertoire drawn from various traditional threads – Scottish, Irish, English, Scandinavian and (of course) Newfoundland and Labrador.  They own a dizzying array of instruments, and play most of them on a good day.  Wayne’s CD, (titled “Come in and Jar the Door”) will be out this summer.

Wayne and Ivan are currently focussed on making sure that every tune they play has a diminished 7th chord in it somewhere.  Listen for it.

Andrew James O’Brien

andrewAndrew James O’Brien is a 3 time Music Newfoundland and Labrador Award winner (2011). He was named Male Artist of the Year, Rising Star of the Year and his debut album, Songs for Searchers, was named the Pop/Rock Recording of the Year. Jamie Fitzpatrick of CBC Radio’s Performance Hour says he will be, “The next big songwriter to emerge from Newfoundland”. John Clarke, Events Coordinator for the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society says, “Andrew O’Brien plumbs the depth of human experience and bares his heart, soul, and liver in an outpouring of emotion and feeling against a catchy, melodic backdrop of contemporary folk, pop and rock”.

Daniel Payne

danielDaniel Obediah Payne grew up in the small fishing community of Cow Head, on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. After leaving in his teens to learn music in Ireland, he returned with a mission: to do his part to keep the musical traditions of his home from fading away.

Daniel performs as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist on fiddle, mandolin, accordion, flute, whistle, bodhran, and guitar. He has worked extensively in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as touring Canada, Greenland, Australia, Japan, Europe, Ireland, the US and the UK. A wearer of many hats, Daniel has also worked as a composer, musical director, producer, and actor in both theatre and film. He is often recognized for his leading role in the television mini-series Random Passage, a portrayal of Irish and English settlers’ life in early Newfoundland.

A recipient of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council’s Emerging Artist Award, Daniel has also received a Traditional Singer of the Year nomination from the Canadian Folk Music Awards, as well as nominations in the Male Artist of the Year and Folk/Roots Artist of the Year categories from MusicNL. His production company has released five titles: an album of accordion music entitled The Four Stops, three instructional DVDs (Learning the Newfoundland Button Accordion Volume 1 and 2,and Learning the Newfoundland Tin Whistle), and his solo album, Chain

Denis Ryan

denisBorn in Newport, County Tipperary, Ireland, Denis immigrated to Toronto in 1969. He formed the critically acclaimed Ryan’s Fancy in 1970 and moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1971 to attend Memorial University. Denis and his family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1980 and have been residing there ever since.

Denis Ryan’s career has spanned more than forty years. He has performed all over the world, appearing in over two hundred television shows in both Ireland and Canada and has recorded thirteen albums. In early 2011, Ryan’s Fancy released their 40th Anniversary Collection.

Songs that Denis made popular in Ireland in the 70s include, Newport Town, Mulchair River, Logy Bay, Sweet Forget Me Not, Dark Island, Cape St. Marys, and Now I’m Sixty Four.

In 1983, Ryan’s Fancy disbanded and Denis has since been working in the investment business. He is involved with numerous community projects; including serving as the national chairman of the fundraising committee of the Darcy McGee, Chair of Irish Studies at St. Mary’s University and as Governor of Saint Francis Xavier University. In 1994, he received an honorary degree, Doctor of Letters from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

He was the founder of Nova Scotian Crystal, Canada’s only mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal manufacturer.

Don Walsh and Nadine Hollett

DonAndNadineVeteran Don Walsh (guitar, backing vocals) teams up with Nadine Hollett (vocals) to bring you a variety of folk and traditional songs from a diverse repertoire.

These musicians come from the ranks of such notable bands as TICKLE HARBOUR, THE PLANKERDOWN BAND and RED ISLAND. And in addition have played with such luminaries as Paddy Keenan, Matt Cranitch and Seamus Creagh just to name a few. This duo weaves a unique blend of style and delivery that promises to enliven, enchant and entertain.