Tomato/Tomato is comprised of husband and wife team, John and Lisa McLaggan. This quirky twosome performs a mix of old timey bluegrass, roots, and folk music. Their dynamic live performances feature John on vocals and guitar and Lisa on vocals, washboard, bass drum, and tambourine. It’s not unusual for her to be doing all four things at once! The duo’s unique sound, strong vocal harmonies, and colourful original music have quickly led to them being one of the most sought-after acts in Southern N.B. They have just released their debut album, “So It Goes”, a strong set of originals that embodies their signature sound and intelligent writing.
Upcoming Events › Heritage Bandstand Concerts
July 5, 2015
July 12, 2015
Fitting how that short phrase works equally well in defining the songs and stories shared by Amy and Rachel Beck, who are carrying on family traditions with their not-so-traditional take on folk music – contemporary, carefully crafted, and undeniably endearing.
Amy and Rachel Beck quickly ascended to the national stage when they came out of nowhere to land a spot as national finalists in the inaugural CBC Searchlight Contest in early 2013. Since, the duo has made up for lost time by releasing their well-received studio debut and new EP within thirteen months and sharing their music with ardent audiences throughout the Maritimes.
The Becks’ musical kinship reaches back to their shared childhood, singing with their siblings as kids and performing with school bands and choirs in their teens. However, it wasn’t until their university years that they let people in on the well-kept secret that is their penchant for penning and performing music of their own.
July 19, 2015
Dennis Ellsworth is a prolific songwriter. Lately he’s gotten into rhythm of writing, recording and releasing an album a year. In between records, he travels around the planet singing songs characterized by a kind of dark optimism that’s informed by early influences such as Roy Orbison, Neil Diamond and Kris Kristofferson.
Ellsworth can’t pinpoint what first prompted him to pursue music, but recalls singing ‘Forever in Blue Jeans’ in front of the mirror while brushing his teeth as a child. Since making the leap from the bathroom to the barroom, Ellsworth has toured Canada extensively, made inroads into the US and built a substantial following in the UK.
Although he’s refined his sound and approach to writing over the years, some things remain constant. One is an acoustic guitar he rescued from 1970’s era cottage in the Catskills; a guitar on which he’s written almost every song he’s put down on tape and believes has a lot to do with his gift for songwriting. Another is the emphasis he places on collaboration with the musicians he brings together for each album and the importance of allowing their unique voices as players to influence his songs.
July 26, 2015
Western Canadian Music Award Winners, Sweet Alibi, have been captivating audiences across Canada for the past few years. The Winnipeg-based folk/pop trio infuse their signature harmonies with influences of everything from folk to country to soul, without a hint of shame. Sweet Alibi’s Jess Rae Ayre, Amber Nielsen, and Michelle Anderson share personal experiences that are genuinely felt in song, and in no time, will have you dancing and singing along. Tom Power of CBC Radio 2 describes the band as simply as this: “If Mumford and Sons and the Supremes had a love child you would name it Sweet Alibi”. The band, currently touring new material from their CFMA/WCMA nominated release We’ve Got To (produced by Rusty Matyas of Imaginary Cities), grabs your heart and doesn’t let go!
August 2, 2015
Wander Songs from Halifax based musician Don Brownrigg was released in 2007. Finally 6 years later Don has returned to the East Coast music scene with a new album, It Takes All Kinds (to make this world, I find) and a new record deal from Tiny Records Canada.
With the help of well known East Coast Music Award producer Daniel Ledwell, the album took two years to record and not only did Don write all the songs but he sang, played guitar, keyboard and accordion on the record as well. The recently released album consists of songs that are vibrant and honest and it forces the listener to think about the good and the bad of our deepest feelings and emotions. I expect that Don Brownrigg must have experienced some of life’s greatest ups and downs during the 6 years in between albums as you cannot help but overhear the hurt and hope in It Takes All Kinds.
August 16, 2015
Norma MacDonald is a singer-songwriter born and raised in Cape Breton, now living in Halifax, NS. She likes Gram Parsons records, talking to strangers, potato chips, David Lynch movies and swimming in the ocean. Her fourth album, Burn the Tapes, is a sonic conglomeration of these affections. Recorded over 13 months in rural Upper Musquodoboit, NS, it marks MacDonald’s first time taking the reigns as sole producer. Burn the Tapes is at turns scrappy and slick, naive and confident, playful and heavy. Her second album The Forest for the Trees was nominated by the ECMA as Female Solo Recording of the Year in 2009 and was heralded by Exclaim! as “nothing short of delicious.”
August 23, 2015
Combining the fiery edge of the Scottish Border pipes with the rich sounds of the Cape Breton fiddle, Ben Miller and Anita MacDonald join together, merging traditional influences from Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island, as well as the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. This fresh and talented duo pairs driving dance-tunes with expressive Gaelic airs and songs, bringing their listeners a powerful combination of passion and grace.
Ben is an American-born player of Scottish bagpipes, currently living in Edinburgh, Scotland. His interest in traditional music stems from his exposure to the pipes at a young age in his home town of Queensbury, as well as his family’s strong connection to it’s Scottish and Irish roots through both his American mother and Canadian father. He began studying the Highland Bagpipes around age eight, but by twelve he began to shift his focus to the bellows-blown Scottish smallpipes and Border pipes. Ben is also an academic, holding an undergraduate degree in Music as well as a Master’s degree in Scottish Ethnology from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Scottish Studies. His repertoire and style draw mainly on the Gaelic traditions of Western Scotland and the Canadian Maritimes, blended with a healthy dash of Irish tunes for good measure.
Anita is an accomplished musician, dancer and Gaelic singer from Little Narrows, Cape Breton. She began stepdancing in the family kitchen at the tender age of four and picked up the fiddle a few short years later, at age eight. Anita has been wowing audiences with her impeccable timing and neatly choreographed steps ever since. Anita’s fiddle playing has a distinctive sound, influenced by the deep roots of her musical family and her teachers throughout the years. Her energetic style has put her in demand as a performer and teacher across Cape Breton and beyond. She has been a featured artist in the Celtic Colours International Festival and has toured throughout New England with Cape Breton folk trio The Goin’s On. Anita is also the recipient of the Frank “Big Sampie” Sampson Award, nominated by the Festival Volunteer Drive’ers Association and supported by Lakewind Sound Studios. Following this award, Anita released her debut album, Stepping Stone, during the 2011 Celtic Colours International Festival.
August 30, 2015
They recently moved to West Coast of Canada from Nova Scotia to play original music. Starting in Calgary, AB they played over a hundred venues making their way to Vancouver, BC. From there, home base became Toronto, ON. After touring the country in their 2001 Acura TL with two dogs for almost two years, Micah and Delia are now back in Nova Scotia.
Their music is a fusion of modern blue grass, old rock n’ roll and 300 year old Scottish and Irish shanties that Canadians from across the country of every age can identify with.
September 6, 2015
Named after his grandfather MacFarlane, Mike Milne (lead vocals and guitar) along with Kory Bayer (bass and vocals) and Randy Feener (bodhran) make up this upbeat Celtic trio. MacFarlane’s Rant plays a mixture of traditional Irish, Scottish and Maritime folk music with musical influences such as Stan Rogers, the Dubliners, The Clancy Brothers and the godfather of folk himself, Tommy Makem. They have played some major festivals around the province this past year such as the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, Kempt Shore Acoustic Maritime Music Festival and the Deep Roots Music Festival. Their music will have you singing along, tapping your toes and maybe even up dancing.