Monday, May 28, 2012

Mariposa Folk Festival Caps-Off their 2012 Festival Line-Up

    Mariposa capped-off its festival line-up today with the announcement of an additional sixteen artists ranging from vaudeville to blues, French traditional, children’s, folk, roots, dance, spoken word and prose.

This is one of the most substantial and diverse Mariposa line-ups in at least a couple of decades, and organizers are ‘pumped’. According to long-time Artistic Director, Mike Hill, “It is the musical equivalent of the moon in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligned with Mars. Everything lined-up beautifully, and we think we have a once-in-a-long-time line-up this year”.

The acts announced today are Al Simmons, Fathead, Belzébuth, Fred Penner, David Bradstreet, Scott Macmillan and Brian Doyle, Akwaba, Rob Lutes, Robert Priest, Russ Kelley, Clay Eals, David Newland, The Medicine Show, Alex the Folk Band, The Kennetts & The Kempencelts, and Cheryl McCague-Shane.

In the coming days, the Festival will announce the schedules for its nine stages, including the much-anticipated schedule for the Main Stage.

Mariposa Folk Festival takes place in Orillia, Ontario Canada, July 6-8, 2012. Tickets are on sale now at Kids 12 and under are admitted free, and there are deep discounts for youth and young adults. New this year is on site audience camping.

Al Simmons
Vaudeville’s half-century run of popularity may have died back in the 1940's, but don’t try to tell that to Al Simmons, a gifted performer dedicated to combining comedy with song, dance, magic, sight gags and zany one-liners. Reviving the joyful tradition of great comedy kings like Danny Kaye, Spike Jones and Jimmy Durante, Al’s creative genius, quick costume changes, out-of-this-world theatrical gadgets, and peculiar musical instruments, make him a one-man cast of thousands. This modern day comedy chameleon can provoke delighted shrieks from a zombie or roaring belly laughs from an ogre, so tears of laughter from regular folk is a cinch. Guffaw, chuckle, giggle, teehee, sniggle, snort!

Fathead is a sizzling group of some of the most experienced funk, soul and rocking blues musicians on the music scene today. Their harp and guitar-dominated sound combines Hoodoo/Voodoo with killer musicianship, to create a grooving blues tour de force. Two-time Juno winning Fathead is lead singer, John Mays, whose storied career includes working with the Godfather Of Soul, James Brown; band leader, harp and saxophone player, Al Lerman; bassist, Omar Tunnoch, who played with John Lee Hooker, Etta James and Paul Butterfield; guitar ace, Teddy Leonard, who played with Morgan Davis, Colin Linden, Rick Danko, and Paul Reddick; and the iconic Bucky Berger, guardian of the beat.

You won’t get far into traditional Quebecois culture without tripping over the tail of the devil. Le yab’, as he’s popularly known, is lurking everywhere. He’s a familiar presence in songs, jokes, stories, and legends, and these dynamic musicians have given the prince of darkness his due by naming their band Belzébuth, the French variant of Beelzebub. Their excellent debut album, Les Péchés du Diable (2004), also played on that theme. This was followed by two equally strong follow-up albums, En faisant semblant de rien (2007) and Suite 8 (2011). They are exciting, lively, passionate and harmonious, and they’ll make you dance like your feet are aflame.

Fred Penner
A gentle giant with kind eyes and an undeniable ability to make you feel good about yourself, this musical master brings decades of commitment, consistency and depth to a career that skilfully blends the genres. Dubbed “Mr. Multi-Media” by Billboard Magazine, his diverse repertoire includes 12 acclaimed children’s albums. More than the music, this two-time Juno winner also crawled magically out of a hollow log for 12 seasons and nearly 900 episodes in the hit TV show, Fred Penner’s Place, on CBC and Nickelodeon. Delighting audiences across North America, Penner is ensconced as a fundamental part of the family entertainment scene.

David Bradstreet
A seasoned pro who has toured and recorded extensively since the 1970s, David Bradstreet describes himself as a veteran of many coffeehouses, concert halls and folk festivals. He is renowned not only as a performer, but as a producer of such talents as Jane Siberry and the late, great Colleen Peterson.  His most recent release, 08.20.10, was recorded live off the floor with Carl Keesee at Dave's Cave in August, 2010. Carl will be coming up from Austin, Texas, to join David at Mariposa, along with a few guest musicians. We are very pleased to welcome this revered folk warrior back to our stage.

Scott Macmillan / Brian Doyle
These guitar wizards mesmerize with remarkably imaginative guitar interplay, transporting their audiences from the highlands to the Blues. Each has a busy music career of his own, but their love of music fusion finds them seeking opportunities to work together more often these days. 2011 saw them tour together for the first time, with concerts in Nova Scotia & Maine. Their first duo recording, Live off the Floor, garnered critical acclaim. This year, Scott and Brian are venturing onto the festival circuit for the first time, making their debut at Mariposa. We are very pleased, indeed, to present these remarkable guitar players together on our stage.

The Akan people of Ivory Coast welcome visitors with “akwaba”. The word also reflects the philosophy of the Akwaba troupe, whose goal is to raise awareness of West Africa’s rich histories of dance and music, and bring people together through African culture. Their performance at Mariposa will be a succession of traditional African rhythms and dances, marking the abundance of the harvest or the hunt, and reflecting on man's link to the supernatural. This spiritual communication demonstrates that human beings in general, and Africans in particular, can express their liberty and joy of living, by sharing with anyone who is sincere enough to receive it.

Rob Lutes
This soulful performer invites comparisons to John Hiatt and Fred Eaglesmith. His powerful song-writing is beautifully evocative, and his delivery is gritty, heartfelt, and moving. Rob has an ever-growing collection of literate meditations on life and love, and he seems to get even better with every recording and show. Greg Quill of the Toronto Star deemed his third studio effort, Ride the Shadows (2007) “a brilliantly understated gem…among the best of the year's roots/blues crop.” It garnered a licensing deal from Rounder Europe and a saw him tour internationally. That was followed by his most confident work to date, Truth & Fiction (2008).

Robert Priest
Poet, playwright, song-writer, and novelist, Robert Priest has performed his exciting mix of poems and songs all over the world. His words have been debated in the legislature, posted in the transit system, quoted by politicians, turned into a hit song, and widely published in text books and anthologies. As an electrifying performer of ‘rants, raves and reveries’, he is notorious and critically acclaimed. NOW says he is consistently one of the most entertaining acts in town. The Toronto Star describes his work as passionate, cocky verse that is alternately adoring and insulting. This fabulist and composer of lush poems will have you hanging on every word.

Russ Kelley
Following a long hiatus from performing due to surgery on his vocal chords, this storied artist is back at it, captivating audiences with his husky, passionate voice and impressive song writing. His craft has taken him from contracts with major publishers and penning a chart-topping hit tune, to playing with touring groups, then working as a solo artist. He has also had a long career in the public funding of the arts, and music in particular, with the Canada Council for the Arts and other arts organizations. His song writing, singing and guitar work are on full display on his new CD, Crazy Shades of Blue.

Clay Eals
The newest book of Seattle author, Clay Eals, Steve Goodman: Facing the Music, is the story of the revered, iconic musician who thrived musically for fifteen years after being diagnosed with a fatal illness. Goodman wrote an anthem of his generation, The City of New Orleans, and is considered by many to be the most galvanizing entertainer of his time. Now in its second printing, the book features interviews with many luminaries including Arlo Guthrie, John Prine, Steve Martin, Jimmy Buffett, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Randy Newman, Paul Anka, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, and Gordon Lightfoot. We are very pleased to present Clay Eals, who will discuss his book and the man who inspired it.

David Newland
A musician, performer, writer and host with a passion for the Canadian experience, David Newland is the force behind The McFlies and co-founder & co-host of the Corktown Ukulele Jam community. He logs dozens of gigs yearly as a solo performer in addition to his many other pursuits, and is Editor-in-Chief for Roots Music Canada, the portal for original organic Canadian music. He frequently appears as a speaker, moderator and panellist, specializing in using new media to build community. We are very pleased to welcome this friend of Mariposa, and roots music in general, back to our stage this year.

The Medicine Show
If you like to laugh, hold onto your hats, ‘cause these guys steal hats! Murray Rodger (they call him “Murph”) and Kevin Knight (they call him “Kevin”), will have you rolling in the aisles - well, the grass anyways. Their original sketches replete (now, there’s a funny word) with music, costumes, accents, slapstick, and clean humour suitable for all ages, has Oprah raving about them. We’re just not saying which Oprah. TMZ insiders tell us, very confidentially of course, that you will see this act on the Tonight Show never in your lifetime, so you better catch them at Mariposa when you can.

Alex the Folk Band
Alex the Folk Band is a music-making cooperative known for beautiful harmony vocals and fiddle-based instrumentals. For more than two decades, this Orillia-based group has been performing wherever good people and fun times can be found, including festivals, conferences, conventions, fairs, parties, and church and Legion halls. The band’s repertoire ranges from traditional tunes to contemporary roots-based material. Their gospel set has twice been featured at the John Arcand Fiddle Fest in Saskatoon, and it is a favourite at Mariposa Folk Festival. Join them Sunday morning for a good old-fashioned, rousing, joyous session of soul filling, gospel music.

The Kennetts & The Kempencelts
Ann and David Kennett call regularly for the Orillia Folk Society, Wye Marsh Heritage Day, and the Celtic Roots Folk Festival. The Kempencelts are a dynamic group of Celtic musicians in high demand at festivals, parties and events. Fiddle players are Cheryl Wilson, Barbara White and Carol Kline. On guitar and bodhran are Chuck MacLeod and Brian Gogarty, and on stand up bass is Peter Cox. Together, they put on a foot stomping, toe tapping, shoe shuffling, crowd engaging performance. This is your chance to strut your stuff and, if you don’t know how, you will by the time their done with you.

Cheryl McCague-Shane
Among other things, Cheryl is a Yoga instructor, and she will be leading classes to help you attain a state of inner spirituality and tranquility. Yoga is well known for its mental and physical health benefits, and nobody knows this better, or how better to share it, than Cheryl. She is the owner of Moving Forward Consulting and Wellness Services, and is passionate about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Meditation, in addition to Yoga. Take part in Mariposa’s Yoga sessions led by this recognized master, and feel yourself filling with positive energy and a sense of calm fulfilment. 

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