July 8 ► Martin Simpson
Widely acknowledged as one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world, British musician Martin Simpson’s interpretations of traditional songs are masterpieces of storytelling. His solo shows are intense, eclectic, spellbinding and deeply moving. With 35 years of experience as a professional musician there is no-one who has more successfully combined the diverse elements of British, Afro-American and old-time music than Simpson. Martin has been nominated an astounding 26 times in the twelve years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - more than any other performer - with 9 consecutive years as nominee for Musician of The Year, which he has won twice.
Whether playing traditional folk, blues, a Dylan song or his own material, Martin Simpson is unpredictable, individual and a guitarist of immense subtlety.
July 15 ► Nudie & Whitney Rose ► Classic Duets
An Island sensation for years, Nudie has toured long and far and played in venues of all sizes across North America. He plays traditional country music the way Hank Williams would have liked it: great songwriting, minimal instrumentation, a strong voice and an everyman attitude.
Since storming onto the Toronto singer-songwriter scene in 2011 Whitney Rose has endeared herself to just about everyone with her intriguing, affecting and effective songwriting, powerful voice, immense personal charm, and throwback style influenced by Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells and, gender-be-damned, the likes of Tom T. Hall and George Jones. She started singing at her grandparent’s kitchen parties as well as in their little PEI bar at approximately the time she was able to walk and/or form sentences. This comes across.
In addition to performing selections from their original catalogs, these award winning singer/songwriters will be teaming up for duets in the classic country style!
July 22 ► Allan Rankin with Rik Barron
Allan Rankin is a unique singer-songwriter from Prince Edward Island with an unmistakable voice. Steeped in the history and traditions of Prince Edward Island, and writing out of a deep conviction for its people and way of life, Allan’s songs tell stories about heroic people, secret places, adventures at sea, and change.
Allan is re-establishing his solo career this summer with the launch of his second album Lost No More, produced by legendary folk roots producer Paul Mills. Here at the Playhouse Allan will be joined onstage by seasoned musicians Rik Barron and Brad Fremlin, both well known to local and regional audiences.
“Allan is such an honest ‘layin-all-the-cards-out-on-the-table’ songwriter with a signature voice,” writes Todd MacLean in the Charlottetown Guardian, “it’s no wonder his career is spanning into its fourth decade.”
July 29 ► Catherine MacLellan
"Catherine MacLellan's voice strikes you immediately, insinuating itself into your heart, and just won't let go. Her deeply confessional folksy-country blues songs are where Gillian Welch meets Emmylou Harris.
MacLellan is a lyricist well beyond her years and with a voice like honey dusted in gold, she shares the gentle darkness of her lyrics, which are sometimes countrified, sometimes lamentful, and sometimes tinged with joy"
- Boston Herald
We welcome Catherine back to the Playhouse stage. Always a pleasure and a priviledge!
August 12 ► Ray Bonneville
Ray Bonneville is a roaming blues poet, inspired by the road and the many other places he has called home—New Orleans, Colorado, Arkansas, Alaska, Boston, Seattle and Paris, France. Born in Canada and raised in the United States, Bonneville has lived all over. No place, however, has been more influential than New Orleans.
In the streets and clubs of New Orleans, Bonneville soaked up the prevalent take-your-time attitude that ran through the music being played there. “There’s something about the heat and humidity that makes people slow down,” he says. “New Orleans is where I learned to take my time, to allow space between the notes so the songs could truly groove.” That groove is at the core of Bonneville’s sound. A one-man band, he backs up weathered, storytelling vocals with a highly percussive guitar style, dramatic harmonica lines and a foot that keeps the rock steady beat. The result is a big sound with an almost primitive quality. It's visceral, raw music.
August 19 ► Two Alans and an Erskine - A Tribute Concert
This will be a very special evening - paying tribute to the late Erskine Smith through the Island stories and songs he loved so well. For may years, Erskine, storyteller Alan Buchanan and singer/songwriter Allan Rankin presented an evening of hilarious stories and original songs highlighting the rural life and times of Prince Edward Island.
This concert will celebrate those stories and songs and pay tribute to Erskine's contribution to the oral tradition of Prince Edward Island.