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Born in the last year of the 1980s, Taylor Ashton grew up surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the old growth rainforests of Canada’s west coast. His songs are inspired by the primeval crookedness of traditional old-time music, the humor and heartbreak of Randy Newman, the cosmic emotionality of mid-career Joni Mitchell, and the sage vulnerability of Bill Withers. Somehow, he finds a way to make this all work on the clawhammer banjo.
He spent most of late teens and 20s as the frontman of Vancouver-based five-piece Fish & Bird, releasing four albums of heady progressive folk and gracing stages like the Winnipeg Folk fest, the Vancouver Folk Fest, and Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival. The album is an acoustic, stripped-down affair, which Rolling Stone had to admit, “packs a punch in today’s mainstream”.
Alisa Amador Opens
Alisa Amador’s music is a synthesis of the many styles she’s voraciously absorbed: rock, jazz, funk and alternative folk, all wrapped in the spirit of the Latin music she grew up with. With a sound described by Vance Gilbert as, “Shawn Colvin meets Joni Mitchell has lunch with Amy Winehouse meets Suzanne Vega and Diana Krall,” and NPR calls, “a pitch-perfect rendition of my wildest dreams,” her soulful singing, poetically incisive lyrics, and syncopated rhythms, are likely to make you cry, laugh, and dance all within one set.