Maria Cherwick is certainly one of the busiest musicians in town! A highly trained classical violinist, she is also an accomplished fiddler who fearlessly (well mostly) tackles jazz, traditional styles and bluegrass with a skill and musicality that has made her one of the most sought after side musicians in St. John’s.
In fact, in addition to a slew of awards and nominations with her trad thrash punk outfit the Kubasonics, Maria was awarded the MusicNL Side Musician of the Year for 2018.
Aside from all that, she has performed from Victoria to St. John’s, as well as throughout Ukraine as a folk musician. She has played with a number of ensembles, in styles ranging from Celtic, to Old Time, to Eastern European thrash polka. In addition, she also studies, performs, and has a passion for improvisation and jazz. Maria can be seen frequently performing fiddle music in and around St. John’s with the Kubasonics, the Old Contemporaries, Strong Harbor Strings, the Newfoundland Symphony and many others.
Since the release of Stories and Strangers in 2009, Dave Penny has became known as a composer of songs that are truly unique to Newfoundland and Labrador, with topical references, wacky plots, and clever turns of phrase which comes from a lifelong fascination of comic ballads of Newfoundland and the British Isles. With his engaging stage personality, and a style that is entirely his own, he has been a key figure in resurgence in popularity of Newfoundland comic songs.
Dave’s 2017 recording—All Turned Around—has been nominated for a 2017 MusicNL award for Traditional Artist of the Year and a 2017 Canadian Folk Music Award for Traditional Singer of the Year. The album has given him the opportunity to travel around the province and parts of Canada, including the Mariposa Folk Festival in Ontario.
In 2020, Dave released his most recent recording–Chip Wagon Ahead. Along with completing and releasing this record, Dave continues to add to his repertoire and perform via online festivals, concerts, and videos during the COVID-19 setbacks.
Sean Panting is a songwriter, musician and actor from St. John’s. In a music career extending back three decades to the heyday of cassette tapes and acid wash, he has performed alongside musical luminaries like Ron Sexsmith and Billy Bragg, played in seminal Newfoundland bands Drive and Kelly Russell & The Planks, and released five solo albums. His sixth, The Simple Machines, showcases his deft songwriting and razor stashed in 9 installments of 3 minute hits.
Kelly McMichael is known for her sultry, versatile voice and melodic sense. Her start as an “Emerging Artist” for the Peterborough Folk Festival in 2007, helped her to develop a career as keyboardist/vocalist. She has toured North America and The U.K. sharing the stage with artists such as Sarah Harmer and The Hidden Cameras while playing keys with Arts and Crafts band “Gentleman Reg” and co-fronting Pride favourite “Rouge” in Toronto.
In recent years Kelly has focused her efforts on her band “RENDERS”, known for catchy sounds and underlying feminist themes that have gotten international attention and praise. Using her mother’s last name feels appropriate for the content which ranges from sassy “moving on” dance songs to angry “Take Back the Night” anthems, to soul-bearing softer songs about mental health struggles.
Inspired to break down barriers and expectations by experimenting with a variety of genres and instruments, Kelly constantly challenges herself to evolve, sometimes collaborating with local Maria Peddle who is an equally versatile and powerful performer. RENDERS features self-produced beats and synths, and Kelly will sometimes stick to her given name and do her stripped down guitar or piano-driven songs. A new album is in the making with no official project name or release date yet. Stay tuned in 2019, and in the meantime catch Kelly / Renders downtown St Johns at The Ship, The Blacksheep, The RockHouse or with other local bands JOHN (Joanna Barker), and Thelma & Louise.
Whether holding down one half or synth pop duo Renders, singing an acapella ballad or cranking out the trad tunes with the Freels, Maria Peddle is one of St. John’s finest and most honest musicians.
Not too shabby on the saxophone either actually…..
Andrea Monro is getting older, and while she always secretly believed she was of the perfect temperament to withstand the solitary days of life during a pandemic, the past seven months have proven her sorely wrong. Livestream, living room, or well spaced concert halls, she will happily be there, because she really misses sharing music. A singer songwriter, Andrea also plays banjo and sings in “Flower Hill” with Sherry Ryan and Maria Cherwick, who are amazing (really, ask anyone). She writes songs and stories and most of her thoughts (on her therapists advice), and lives with her two boys, bearded dragon, and 5 quail in St. John’s Newfoundland.
Nick Earle is a Canadian guitarist and singer-songwriter from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Nick began his career in the music industry as one half of the nationally recognized duo “Earle and Coffin.” He is a 2-time Canadian Folk Music award winner and a 5-time MusicNL award recipient. While celebrating the success of Earle & Coffin, Nick has now stepped out into a new musical endeavor along with his band “The Reckless Hearts.” Together, they channel a vintage style of Blues & Rock ‘n’ Roll which is garnering them attention nationwide. Their debut record is set to release on April 24th, 2020 as a follow up to Nick Earle’s 2019 release Breaking New Ground.
Always a highlight of the Folk Night season when we get this fantastic duo to host. Better come a shade early if you want a seat for this one, ladies and gents…even online it might fill up!
2016 JUNO WINNER for Children’s Album of the Year, The Swinging Belles, a swing band for kids from St. John’s, NL, are intent on getting both kids and adults to kick up their heels and have a swinging good time with the whole family!
The Swinging Belles feature child educators and performers Laura Winter and Erin Power joined by guitarist extraordinaire Duane Andrews. This show is all about getting kids and parents out to have a dance and enjoy some swing country and jazz…kid style. As primary school teachers, both Laura and Erin know first hand the joy that kids feel when they can boogie to some good time music, and as parents, Duane and Erin know the importance of enjoying the music that our kids are listening to! The show is packed with music, interactive storytelling and dancing…lots of dancing!