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.
Denis Parker has been playing the blues for a long time. In fact, before emigrating to Newfoundland from London, England in 1972, he recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios for EMI/ Harvest in the late sixties and the resulting two albums by Panama Limited Jug Band have been just been remastered and released on Cherry Red Records. After 45 years, a lifetime of gigs, and a slew of recordings ranging from rock to acoustic blues, Denis still has the fire, is playing and singing better than ever and his 9th studio album “The Golden Years” is scheduled for release in late 2020.
Originating from Labrador and residing in the midst of spectacular Gros Morne National Park, it’s no wonder that Shirley’s songs are filled with nature’s imagery.
Whether through live performance, recordings or Festival organization,Shirley has long been one of our most treasured artists.In 2019, she was awarded the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society Lifetime Achievement Award for her unwavering support and promotion of the the traditional folk arts of the Province.
The Dandelion Few is the collaborative work of artists Tiffanie George (NL) & Seán Bradley (IRL) whose gentle modern folk music has been described as both beautiful and dark with touches of the recent past. Often working in conjunction with other musicians and artists of various mediums, they write music reflecting themes such as the ocean, gin soaked bar rooms, haunted mansions to name but a few. They have become well known for their harmony rich vocals and intimate performances and are currently working towards the release of their sophomore record ‘Sure We’ll go Home by Water’ for the fall of 2020.
This father/daughter duo represents the essence of traditional NL music; the passing of our culture from one generation to the next. Tamsyn plays button accordion and also sings and plays guitar. Notable performances include many years on the Neil Murray Stage, Young Folk at the Hall, Harbourside Park Concert Series, and featured guest on A Feast of Cohen (2018). Her Dad is well known for his work with many groups and musicians over the years and has received various awards for his work promoting and preserving NL music, most notably The Order of Canada. Together they are currently performing in the new musical No Change in the Weather playing at the LSPU Hall this summer and touring Canada in the September & October. You can also hear them Monday nights during the summer at Tunes & Tales with Kelly Russell at The Crows Nest and occasionally at Folk Night at The Ship Pub, both in downtown St. John’s. They are accompanied on their Folk Festival performance by Jason Whelan.
Photo credit: Naomi Russell
Monica Walsh is an actor, writer and singer living in St. John’s. She grew up in a family of singers and has a lifelong interest in the traditional music of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Two of Newfoundland’s most respected performers combine instrumental prowess and humorous repartee, to cover a broad spectrum of Newfoundland folk culture, including songs, stories and dance tunes. Their repertoire includes rousing sea shanties and work songs, poignant ballads, comic ditties, folk tales and recitations, and toe-tapping jigs, reels and polkas on a variety of instruments.