Media Release: A mix of musical genres and indigenous artists hit the road for the fifth incarnation of the Red Ride Tour
MUSIC: When classical grunge musician Kristi Lane Sinclair first conceived of the Red Ride Tour, she didn’t think she would be organizing her fifth one, while finishing her new album, and filming a six-part TV series about her musical journey for APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network). But that is exactly what Sinclair is doing.
“It is dizzyingly awesome!”, exclaims Sinclair. “It feels so great to have so many projects coming together simultaneously”, she adds.
The Red Ride Tour is a collective of Aboriginal musicians whose goal is to showcase the diverse talent of artists across North America in what is described as an eclectic community of culture. As well as playing cities across Canada from Vancouver to Montreal, the tour expands their US dates this year and will feature the multi-talented Tlingit/Aleut artist and musician Silver Jackson and critically-acclaimed cellist Cris Derksen, who has been Sinclair’s partner-in-crime for every Red Ride tour so far.
With the mainstream success of artists like Tanya Tagaq and A Tribe Called Red, audiences are ready to discover more of what the indigenous community has to offer. The two month travelling showcase is anchored by Sinclair who will be joined by popular rocker and Juno award-winning Mohawk artist Derek Miller (who also produced Sinclair’s new album Dark Matter). The Canadian tour will also see the release of Sinclair’s third studio album and the fist date of the tour will be in Sinclair’s hometown of Vancouver.
A host of Aboriginal artists from a wide range of genres will join the tour at various stops along the way including rising folk singer Nick Sherman, Cree/Métis singer-songwriter Christa Couture, Sto:lo Territory hip-hop artist Ron Dean Harris (aka Ostwelve), Saskatchewan trio The Snake Oil Salesmen, Dene musician Jay Gilday, Curve Lake First Nation singer-songwriter Sean Conway and young up-and-coming talent Binaeshee-Que Couchie-Nabigon. Each stop on the tour will have local Indigenous artists opening for the Red Ride musicians.
A major coup for this year’s Red Ride Tour is having blues rocker Derek Miller from Six Nations, Ontario onboard. Starting off his career playing in Buffy Sainte-Marie’s band, he has gone on to win two Juno awards and is a four-time Aboriginal Music Award winner. A documentary film about his life on the road, Music is the Medicine, had its world premiere at the imagineNATIVE festival in Toronto in 2011 and his 2014 release – produced by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. – is a cover album of songs made famous by Native American musicians called Rumble: A Tribute to Native Music Icons.
“This is our fifth year in a row taking indigenous acts on the road across Canada, and each year it grows,” says Sinclair. “It started out as just Cris and I, in my little Chevy Optra hatchback, driving across Canada, playing live music venues,” she explains. “And now this year, we have acts… huge acts… and a massive North American Tour!”.
“We’re trying to get so many artists to so many places. It’s more like a touring festival than a normal tour,” said Sinclair.
“The outcome is going to be amazing and you’re not going to want to miss it.”
Click on links below for more information:
(Media Release and photos provided by Linda Bull)
May 13 – Fairview Pub, Vancouver, BC
(Derek Miller, Kristi Lane Sinclair, Ostwelve)
May 15 – Wine-Ohs, Calgary, AB
(Derek Miller, Kristi Lane Sinclair)
May 16 – Empress Ale House, Edmonton, AB
(Derek Miller, Kristi Lane Sinclair, Jay Gilday)
May 19 – Indian Metis Friendship Centre, Prince Albert, SK (new venue!)
(Derek Miller, Kristi Lane Sinclair)
May 20 – Vangelis Tavern, Saskatoon, SK
(Derek Miller, Kristi Lane Sinclair, The Northwest Kid)
May 21 – Artful Dodger, Regina, SK
(Derek Miller, Kristi Lane Sinclair, The Snake Oil Salesmen)
May 22 – Pyramid Cabaret, Winnipeg, MB
(Derek Miller, Kristi Lane Sinclair, Cris Derksen, Sonia Eidse)
May 23 – Apollo Bar, Thunder Bay, ON
(Derek Miller, Cris Derksen, Kristi Lane Sinclair, Nick Sherman)
May 24 – Sault Ste. Marie, ON (venue TBA)
(Derek Miller, Cris Derksen, Kristi Lane Sinclair)
May 25 – Debajehmujig Creation Centre, Manitowaning, ON (changed!)
(Derek Miller, Cris Derksen, Kristi Lane Sinclair)
May 27 – Capitol Centre Theatre, North Bay, ON (Dream Big Conference) (changed!)
(Derek Miller, Cris Derksen, Kristi Lane Sinclair, Binaeshee-Quae Couchie-Nabigon)
May 28 – Monarch Tavern, Toronto, ON
(Derek Miller, Cris Derksen, Kristi Lane Sinclair, Christa Couture)
May 29 – Six Nations, ON (venue TBA)
(Derek Miller, Cris Derksen, Kristi Lane Sinclair)
May 30 – The Garnet, Peterborough ON
(Cris Derksen, Kristi Lane Sinclair, Sean Conway)
June 3 – Club Saw, Ottawa, ON
(Cris Derksen, Kristi Lane Sinclair)
June 4 – Ashukan Cultural Space, Montreal, QC
(Cris Derksen, Kristi Lane Sinclair, Beatrice Deer)
Listen to music here: https://soundcloud.com/red-ride-tour
Kristi Lane Sinclair (Vancouver to Montreal)
Fierce and feisty, Haida/Cree singer-songwriter Kristi Lane Sinclair is emblematic of a new wave of Canadian indigenous artists who are turning perceptions upside down. Raised in British Columbia’s backwaters, and drawing more from a DIY/indie aesthetic than traditional or mainstream music, Sinclair’s musical roots create a darkly intoxicating mix of grunge, folk and classical. Her smoky folk is rich and orchestral, underpinned with alternately snarling guitars and warm strings. Two-time Canadian Folk Music Award nominee, her new album Dark Matter (produced by Derek Miller) will be released in Vancouver at the opening date of the tour. The six-part documentary series Face the Music follows Kristi’s journey as she releases and plays the Red Ride Tour.
Derek Miller (Vancouver to Toronto)
Mohawk guitarist and singer/songwriter Derek Miller is a journeyman musician with eclectic taste and a knack for roots inflected rock. Born on the Six Nations of the Grand River, Miller became interested in music in his early teens, and by the late ’90s had already toured with iconic Canadian vocalist Buffy Sainte-Marie. He garnered Juno awards for his first two albums (Music is the Medicine, 2002 and The Dirty Looks, 2006) and is a four-time Aboriginal Music Award winner receiving Best Blues Album at the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards for Blues Vol.1 in 2013. A documentary film about his life on the road Music is the Medicine had its world premiere at the imagineNATIVE festival in Toronto in 2011. His most recent release (produced by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.) is a cover album of songs made famous by Native American musicians called Rumble: A Tribute to Native Music Icons.
Cris Derksen (Winnipeg to Montreal)
Performing from Norway to Australia, Cree cellist and composer Cris Derksen is known for building layers of sound into captivating performances. Her music braids the traditional and contemporary in multiple dimensions, weaving her traditional classical training and her aboriginal ancestry with new school electronics, creating genre-defying music. Derksen’s critically acclaimed debut solo album, The Cusp won the 2011 Canadian Aboriginal Music Award for instrumental album of the year. Her third album features what Cris is calling orchestral powwow and will be released later in 2015. Cris has toured nationally and internationally as a solo artist and performing her own compositions with Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq.
Christa Couture (Toronto)
Cree/Métis musician Christa Couture has established herself as a singer-songwriter with sharp-shooting wit, effortless grace and heart-on-sleeve intensity. Her third album “The Living Record”, produced by Steve Dawson, made best-of-2012 lists at CBC Music, The Georgia Straight, and Toronto’s Radio Regent. It also scored a four-star review from the UK’s Maverick Magazine, which praised Christa’s “impressive” songwriting, her ability to mould her voice to suit a range of musical styles, and her skill at carrying listeners through a vast array of emotions. Lonesome Highway said “the CD ranks as my favourite listen of the year so far.” She has a new album in the works for late 2015, also produced by Steve Dawson in his new Nashville studios.
Nick Sherman (Thunder Bay)
Hailing from Northwestern Ontario, Nick spent his childhood traveling between his birthplace of Sioux Lookout and the remote First Nation community of Weagamow Lake and North Caribou Lake trapline. After spending 14 years listening to his family play their favourite songs, Nick bought his first guitar and taught himself how to play – to this day he has never taken formal lessons in guitar or singing. Nick released his full-length, debut album, Drag Your Words Through, in January 2012. His earnest and thoughtful lyrics are carried by a contemporary-folk aesthetic. Although he is more likely to be found these days playing in urban coffee houses and cultural centres across Canada, Nick still sings the boreal forest blues. He is releasing his second full-length record, Knives and Wildrice in May.
Ron Dean Harris (Ostwelve), was born in the Sto:lo Territory of BC in 1979 where he grew up with his grandparents, leaving his small town home for Vancouver in order to find hip hop and himself. Music has always been an integral part of his life, with a mother who played percussion, a father who played guitar and many uncles and grandparents with musical love and talent. Ostwelve has been acting, rapping, and film-making, landing a principal character role on the APTN/Showcase drama Moccasin Flats. He has also been traveling the world showcasing his talent, from the Nokia Jam in Johannesburg to the North American Indigenous Games in Duncan, BC. He has shared the stage with Coolio, Snoop Dogg, Guru, K’naan, Living Legends, Litefoot, Rez Official, Digging Roots and Kinnie Starr just to name a few.
The Snake Oil Salesmen (Regina)
The Snake Oil Salesmen grew up in the small towns of Southern Saskatchewan and since coming together in 2011 have been honouring the tradition of storytelling through music. Their aim is to bridge the gap between fireside tales, Metis kitchen parties and full on rock and roll while relieving the worries of the listener and lifting the souls of the down-trodden. They have been sharing their remedy in saloons, taverns, dives, bars, barns, basements and bedrooms developing their potency and flavour along the way. The result is a passionate, delicious blend of rocking, grooving story-telling and music making that bites like a prairie rattler, goes down like fine wine and tosses your inhibitions to the wind.
Jay Gilday (Edmonton)
A vagabond turned mailman, Jay Gilday has searched for himself in the depths of folk, blues, traditional, rock and, most recently, soul music. The quest continues as Jay takes his experiences from the roads of Canada, the daily roller-coaster of work, family, and performance and weaves them into song. Jay’s live performance is executed with a trained voice and a passion to drive it backed up by a heavy hitting guitar, finger-style or flat-picked, your choice. Jay appears in an upcoming episode of “Dene A Journey” on APTN with a few other Dene retracing their ties to the land. He will be releasing a full length album in September, a follow up to his 2006 release All that I Can Give For Now.
Sean Conway (Peterborough)
Sean Conway is a singer-songwriter from Curve Lake First Nation, residing in Peterborough, Ontario. An avid musical explorer, he effortlessly blurs the line between classic sounds of 60s-era country music, 70s Brit-pop and doo-wop rock n’ roll with his delicate eye for detail, all the while embracing his spontaneous nature as an entertainer and musician. He is constantly challenging himself as an artist and performer.
Binaeshee-Quae Couchie-Nabigon (North Bay)
Binaeshee-Quae is a singer songwriter from Pic River First Nation. Fortunate to have been born into an artful family, Binaeshee-Quae has always felt free to dream big. She released her first full length album “Ooof” a Jazzy-Alterna-Folk mix that has been described as haunting and unconventional (with the help of OAC) summer 2013. She has performed at many music festivals across ontario and regularly participates in community arts as a volunteer, presenter, artist and workshop facilitator. She works with many different mediums but her voice is the heart of her art. Binaeshee-Quae has been singing since she can remember, but her mother claims since birth; “My Mom tells this story of when I was a baby, she would hold me & sing one steady note and I would sing back. She swears we harmonized… mothers don’t exaggerate, right?”.
Sonia Eidse (Winnipeg)
Sonia Eidse is a pop-folk singer/songwriter from Winnipeg. Influenced by songstresses like Kate Bush, Feist, and Roberta Flack, she devotes herself to writing songs with purpose. Her voice and wistful melodies possess an intimate quality that often doesn’t need much more than her guitar. Sonia recorded her first songs at eighteen with Norm Dugas and in 2012, she released a 2 set EP of original, independently recorded and produced songs called Acoustic Volume 1&2. She has performed at the Winnipeg Folk Festival as a Young Performer, at Aboriginal Music Week, and the Fire and Water Festival.
Beatrice Deer (Montreal)
Beatrice Deer is from a small, remote Inuit village called Quaqtaq, Nunavik, Quebec. Her first album was awarded Best Inuit Cultural Album of 2005 at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. In 2010, her second album was well received by a strong and growing fan-base and was followed shortly by a lifelong dream of hers: the release of a Christmas album. Bea’s grasp on Inuit culture is held dear to her heart. Encouragement and training among peers and an inquisitive respect for the craft lead Beatrice to pursue throat singing. She has been living in Montreal since 2007.