Arts & EventsOur Top Picks for CityFolk 2016

Our Top Picks for CityFolk 2016

Our Top Picks for CityFolk 2016

Photos courtesy of CityFolk.

CityFolk returns to the Great Lawn at Lansdown Park between September 15 and 18 and, like last year, there’s a huge, diverse lineup to choose from. We’ve got a few picks to get you started.

xl_artist_325_20160610115941_079e5ed6 Skinny Lister
BMO Stage
Thu, September 15, 10:00 PM

Formed in 2009 after meeting in various Greenwhich clubs, this six-piece group from Britain has gone through a few lineup changes over the years while maintaining their diverse sound. It’s not easy to peg because, as a listener, you’re going to hear a few styles from Celtic to punk. Band members bring a lot of instruments on stage to choose from. You got a stomp box, concertina, mandolins, tin whistle and melodeon. Occasionally there are even some dancers by way of the Skinny Sisters. This is going to be a romp because, seriously, what show that includes a communal jug of rum isn’t a rambunctious and rowdy affair?


Bryson Tiller
City Stage
Fri, September 16, 9:00 PM

Kentucky born Bryson Tiller used to work for UPS. Now’s he’s one of the freshest voices in hip hop and, at only 23, still has a lot of years ahead of him. He hit the scene in 2011 circulating a 21 track mix-tape. The musician's SoundCloud account would soon see a rise from a collective of listeners you could count on your hand to 50 million in less than a year’s time. Last year was a big one for Tiller, breaking into the Billboard charts with “Don’t” as well as signing with RCA. Having fans like Drake and Timberland endorsing him makes for a bright future for this newcomer.

xl_artist_337_20160617031316_e73aed3bThe Last Waltz –
A Musical Celebration of The Band
RavenLaw Stage
Fri, September 16, 8:00 PM

On November 25, 1976 legendary roots rock group The Band held their farewell concert at the Winterland Ballroom in San Fransico. The show saw a gathering of some of the top names in music. The show and subsequent film by Martin Scorsese remains one of the best of all time. For the 40th anniversary CityFolk is celebrating this iconic band and concert by gathering up an all-star Canadian cast of award-winning blues and roots musicians who will perform songs featured in the original setlist. Expect some beautiful nostalgia and, of course, hits like “The Weight, “The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down", and “Up On Cripple Creek”.

xl_artist_321_20160626023805_24271e65Blind Pilot
RavenLaw Stage
Thu, September 15, 9:00 PM

Travelling across the U.S. by bike, instruments and all, to make your gigs has to shape a band as does spending some time busking in the UK. These are just two unique aspects about Portland’s Blind Pilot. Once a duo, the band has expanded to enrich a sound that walks the line between mellow and West Coast indie pop. Check out their recently released third album, And Then Like Lions, one born out of much loss. It’s an audible catharsis sure to translate into a deeply personal performance.


Basia Bulat
City Stage
Sat, September 17, 7:30 PM

Basia Bulat has had only one trajectory since releasing her indie EP in 2005: up. The Ontario folk singer’s recent album Good Advice recently made the shortlist for the Polaris Music Prize. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to the musician, however, as Bulat is part of only five others that have made the list three times. Growing up in a musical household did more than rub off on the multi-instrumentalist who seemingly can play anything she lays her hands on. She currently showcases her talent on guitar, autoharp, dulcimer, charango and piano, to name a couple of the instruments you might see joining her on the City Stage.

xl_artist_320_20160709085349_e68c5352Vance Joy
City Stage
Sat, September 17, 9:00 PM

He was born James Gabriel Keogh but, these days, he goes by Vance Joy. You wouldn’t know listening to the Australian indie-folk musician perform but this wasn’t always on the agenda. Joy was once eyeing a path in football. His early career saw him frequenting open mic nights in Melbourne mostly playing covers. His first single “Riptide” became a sensation in Australia and was picked up by GoPro for an advertising campaign launching Joy into the consciousness of a larger audience. His lyrics are deep rooted from within and, as an artist, Joy hasn’t been afraid to bare his soul with songs of love and hope.

xl_artist_303_20160819013410_b315aae4 Dan Mangan
City Stage
Sat, September 17, 4:30 PM

A few years ago Dan Mangan took the Folk Festival stage with a bunch of audience members dressed up as robots. A lot has changed since then. The Juno winner has shown he isn’t afraid to change things up. For his most recent release, Club Meds, Mangan pairs with a new band, Blacksmith. Don’t expect a repetition of his earlier performances. Though his older tunes like Robots were fan favourites, Mangan feels he has a lot more to offer with this new project and has left certain tracks off the setlist. Collaboration wasn’t without some creative headbutting but the result is great and should make for another fantastic show when he and the band hit the CityFolk stage Saturday.

xl_artist_326_20160610115941_f892e5d9Hat Fitz and Cara
RavenLaw Stage
Sat, September 17, 9:00 PM /
Irene's Pub
Sat, September 17, 11:30 PM

Beautiful, raw, exciting and oozing cool are just a few ways Australia’s Hat Fitz and Cara have been described. The husband and wife duo look like they just ventured out of a secluded backwoods mountain cabin carting along a washboard but forgetting the laundry. Fitz has been called a wild man. His voice in sandpaper rough which makes for a beautiful contrast with Cara who can often been seen wildly dancing across the stage when not hammering the drums or playing that washboard or flute or whistle. Seriously, sometimes it's like she's doing this all at once. Some call it country-blues but their sound transcends the genre into something uniquely their own. See for yourself during their Saturday performances.

xl_artist_329_20160812035756_0f1b6e51Charlotte Cardin
City Stage
Sun, September 18, 2:30 PM

Montreal’s Charlotte Cardin has shed a modelling career to pursue one in music and lucky for us she has. No matter where you are on the at 2:30 Sunday afternoon, if you are within earshot of Cardin’s show you are going to stop, tilt your head and move in the direction of that voice. It’s entrancing, the musical equivalent to lying on a soft bed draped in silken sheets. You can hear for yourself what so impressed the judges on Quebec’s The Voice.

xl_artist_331_20160812035757_e3380269Fred Penner
BMO Stage
Sat, September 17, 5:30 PM /
BMO Stage
Sun, September 18, 3:00 PM

If you were a kid in the '80's you are deeply acquainted with Fred Penner. His songs were one’s we were raised on and one cannot hear the popular tune “The Cat Came Back” without thinking of his friendly, bearded face. Still entertaining young and old, Penner brings his unique brand of warmth, song and comedy that are sure to get the parents singing along with their kids. He’s also been known to break out a few surprises. There are really no words to adequately explain what it’s like hearing Fred Penner cover “Stairway to Heaven”.

Comments (0)

*Please take note that upon submitting your comment the team at OLM will need to verify it before it shows up below.