News


February 2 - Vancouver, BC

 Did you know that tomorrow Bandcamp is donating all their profits from album sales to the ACLU? I'm very happy about this, they've always been a great platform for sharing and selling my music, and now I can get behind their moral stance. You can read about it here! 
 
https://daily.bandcamp.com/2017/01/31/bandcamp-human-rights/

It's got me thinking about Canadian politics, and the frequently disappointing events of the past few months. So I'm going to pitch in and say that TOMORROW I PLAN TO DONATE ALL PROCEEDS FROM ONLINE ALBUM SALES TO LEAD NOW, an organization that is pushing for political reform and environmental change. If you have been thinking of buying my albums, or want to buy them for a friend, after NOON tomorrow would be a very good time to do it!  

https://jennyritter1.bandcamp.com/
 
You can read about Lead Now here:

http://www.leadnow.ca/
 IN OTHER NEWS - What better time than these depths of winter to hunker down and work work work? I finished the kids book illustration class I was taking at Emily Carr recently, and have been painting like crazy ever since. Music has been mostly the type played in living rooms with drunken folks, and choirs raising their voices to bury the winter blues. Taking a studio this month, to try to facilitate even more creation - my own self-worth tending to be based mostly on my creative output into the world. Yep...
 
I'm super excited to have been given the opportunity to place one of my paintings on Sarah Jane Scouten's upcoming album cover! 
 
There will be some show announcements coming up soon! 
November 10 - Victoria, BC

Hi friends, it's been a while. Sorry for the prolonged silence, life gets in the way of self-promotion occasionally. Tonight I've been listening to every version of Dance me to the end of Love that Youtube and Spotify have to offer. Rest in Peace Leonard Cohen.

With all this sad news and BS around the election south of the border, I've been writing lots of songs lately, or, bits of songs, later to be stitched together with some thread of sanity... Looking forward to showing them off some time in the new year, I'll keep you posted, ok? 


To my friends in Toronto, I hope you'll come out and see our one Ontario show on December 4th! We're playing the early show at Burdock, 6pm sharp. It's a Sunday evening, we'll make it sweet and intimate and you'll be home in bed before 9pm.

This past summer we played a concert in the backyard on a hot August evening. The air was sweet, the lights were twinkling and there were so many smiling friends gathered on blankets in the grass. It was a beautiful moment and was caught on camera by my friends Christoph Prevost, Michael Champion, Todd LeBlanc and Gina Loes, some of the same folks who made the lovely video for Wolf Wife. So here ya go. Things are looking up... or they're going to look up soon.... xoj




Jenny Ritter Band - Baby Moon - Backyard Concert 2016 from Jenny Ritter on Vimeo.


May 23 - Vancouver, BC

Some exciting events coming up: 

JUNE 8/9 
Two Night Stand - My 2 rock choirs are performing and also collaborating with local bands at the Wise Hall! 

June 8 - Kingsgate Chorus + Khari Wendell McClelland
http://twonightstandjune8.bpt.me/ 
June 9 - MPRIS + Wooden Horsemen









































Beautiful poster by Pamela Rounis! http://www.pamelarounis.com/
Immediately after these shows we take off for my first East Coast tour since 2008! Come find us! 

June 11th -  Petite Riviere Vineyards, Petite Riviere, NS
June 12th - Private Concert, NS
June 14th -16th - Festival of Small Halls, PEI
June 17th - House Show, Seaforth, NS 
June 18th - Full Circle Festival, Newport Landing, NS
June 19th - House Show, Annapolis Valley, NS
Contact jrvictoria1@gmail.com for more info on the house concerts in Nova Scotia!  

* Note - This tour would not be happening without 3 essential factors: 

1. The sweet people at Full Circle Festival going out on a limb and asking us if we would consider coming all that way to play, even with a small budget, because they like our music.

2.  The sweet people at Festival of Small Halls for responding to my corresponding inquiry out of the blue, and helping make the tour happen by booking us as well.

3. The wonderful wonderful Canada Council for the Arts for helping us fund this tour!!!





























And then we zip home to play Campbell Bay Music Fest in our favourite place on Earth, June 25th! More details on all of this in the shows page!
 
  
April 19 - Vancouver, BC

Good morning, friends! A new song and a little video for your Tuesday. 





We're excited to announce we'll be playing at THREE festivals in June, on two coasts:

June 14-16 - Festival of Small Halls, PEI
June 17-19 - Full Circle Festival, Newport Landing, NS 
June 24-25 - Campbell Bay Music Fest, Mayne Island, BC

Again, huge thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts for helping with the trip out East!


February 25 - Vancouver, BC

Freshly home from the International Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City, MO, we're happy to share some exciting news. We'd like to thank the British Columbia Arts Council for awarding us a grant for our UK tour! 









Not to mention the generous contribution of Music BC to our Kansas City travels! We had an amazing, exhausting, exhilarating weekend with the folkies, it's one of the most looked-forward-to events of the year. Thank you, FAI!
 

We had some travel woes, and ended up spending a confused night in San Francisco on the way to the conference. The highlight of which was in the middle of the night in the airport, the intercom was repeatedly paging "Kanye West. Kanye West. Please come to gate 83. Kanye West." We didn't get to see Kanye though. What a let-down.

Once safely arrived in KC we made some great new friends, and embraced old ones. Passed fancy bourbon around in the hallways and fiddled until our hearts were full. Okay, I didn't fiddle, (you don't want to hear that) but we were hosting the Fiddle Head Records room, and violins ran rampant. Here's Ryan the poster we made to show off our magnificent showcase lineup! 




 
























Here's a photo by our new pal Jake Jacobson taken during our official showcase. 























February 9 - Vancouver, BC

HOME! 

Damn Vancouver, you're pretty. Snow-dusted mountains. Winter sun. The promise of vegetables. Can't wait to get on my bicycle. Grocery shopping suddenly becomes a very exciting concept.
Touring is weird, hard, tiring, but well worth it. We've been zig-zagging around the UK, mostly England, for the past 2 weeks, playing the most incredible assortment of shows. Some highlights after Celtic Connections included:

SHERWOOD FOREST (!!!!) which, yes, is a real place, just radiating feelings of reverent historical significance. Robin Hood or not, it's a special park, huge old oaks and tangled undergrowth, England's biggest highway having passed through there for centuries... Here's Nate and I having a sword fight in front of the Great Oak, an 1,100 year old tree rumoured to have given refuge to bandits in the hollow trunk!


































HOUSE OF MERCY is a great, long-running radio show out of London, we did a live recording and interview there. Most impressed with Barry Marshall-Everett, and his views on music streaming sites.... Some new songs and book recommendations too! He's got a great roster of Canadian musicians who've played on his show over the years. You can listen here (but please excuse me, I had a little cough). 

https://www.houseofmercy.tv/Members/PlayList/HOM06022016.2.mp3




 




























 WHITSTABLE SESSIONS is an incredible concert series, and music community in the most picturesque little seaside town in England. We played perhaps our best show of the tour for the folks in the Royal Native Oyster Stores building, and had a blast doing so. During soundcheck I took this photo of the view from the windows on the stage: 
































Thanks to everyone who came to our shows in the UK, and to Brookfield-Knights for booking us a busy and fun tour! Looking forward to our return in the future!



January 22 - Glasgow, UK

Here we are in Glasgow! Been run off our feet with great shows, interviews, rehearsals, and soundchecks - as it should be. But we finally had a chance to sit down with friends last night and do as the Gasgwegians do.... 





























Our show at the Royal Concert Hall was spectacular, a full house who listened so closely and made us feel very supported. Lucinda Williams was, of course, a powerhouse, and we are so proud and happy to have opened for her. 

After our time at Celtic Connections we'll be driving south and doing a big loop right around London! Check out the "Shows" page for info about our upcoming shows. 
 
December 24 - Cultus Lake, BC

In October Light Echo Productions made us this little video at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto! Glowy lights and a song about "out with the old, in with the new". Happy holidays everyone! 


Jenny Ritter - Lost and Found, Live at the Dakota Tavern from Jenny Ritter on Vimeo.



November 1 - Vancouver, BC

 



























Home from some adventures in the east, I’m left with a little spark of inspiration, bestowed by all the amazing humans I know out there.

The Folk Music Ontario conference was a crazy hotbed of talent. I felt grateful to be a part of that community as we dashed from hotel room to hotel room, playing our allotted 20 minutes, taking a sip of whiskey, and then running on to the next. We made some new friends, and will hopefully be returning to that province before long!

Tour in Ontario and Quebec was a reminder that there are so many musicians and artists out there pushing the boundaries, making really quality art, and keeping the home fires burning. The election results gave us a little shiver of hope that maybe our country will put some real emphasis on the arts in the future, not to mention the environment, refugees, and more… I know that I would definitely not be a working musician now if it weren’t for the funded music program that I attended in public high school.

I spent a few days in New York City after the tour, visiting family and friends. I took the Adirondack train there, because it was cheaper than flying, but it turned out to be the most incredible scenic route. All the trees were bursting with colour - a novelty to a west-coaster - and the rural parts of New York were pretty as a picture. Once in NYC, one day I stood on Amsterdam Avenue at 145th street - to one side I could see clear down to the water, and to the other side I could see the same. It really hit met how Manhattan is such a wee island, and I understood how people can feel such love and loyalty for their tiny/enormous city. I was charmed. 


Thank you to the Canada Council for the Arts for helping fund the tour out east, and thank you to everyone who came out to the shows! Coming up is a tour in the UK in January, featuring a headlining spot at Celtic Connections! http://www.celticconnections.com/events/Pages/default.aspx?ar=Jenny%20Ritter%20Band


October 10 - Vancouver, BC

It's been a while, Ontario, but I'm coming for you now, yes I am. A new album and the entire 5 piece band in tow, we're going to where the 

 autumn colours dazzle, and the folk musicians get together and imbibe inhuman amounts of alcohol in a hotel.

Folk music Ontario is next week. FMO is not the same as FOMO. In fact it is quite the opposite of FOMO. Here's a postcard I made.




 















After the conference, when the hangovers subside, we're going to release the album to all our friends in Ontario and Quebec with the help of Home Base PR. Here are the tour dates.





 
 










News of UK tour dates coming soon. I love you, East, See you in a few days.

 September 1 - Vancouver, BC


So much is happening right now, I need to wear a hat just to keep my head from flying away. Excuse me while I talk about myself a whole bunch.

It's September now, and our blinding hot summer has given way to the familiar rains of Autumn. The promise of inspiration is always here, tucked in your pocket while you tie up loose ends. Lots of new things: 
New necklace (silver, wolf themed)
New (well, Craigslist - $100) sailing dinghy perched in the back yard (needs sail)
New art supplies (an endless addiction)
NEW MUSIC VIDEO
NEW ALBUM

!!!

Though the album is not officially released for 3 more days, The Bluegrass Situation granted us "first listen" so you can stream the whole thing here! http://www.thebluegrasssituation.com/read/stream-jenny-ritter-raised-wolves
 

The music video we made last October is also out now, and I'm super proud of my pals at Obscurior for making such a lovely west coast-y journey out of my song... Check it out!


Jenny Ritter - Wolf Wife (Official Video) from Jenny Ritter on Vimeo.
  
I also wanted to let you know that our West Coast CD release shows are coming up. In Vancouver (sept 12) and on Mayne Island (sept 11) we'll be joined by the amazing Rachel Ries!  Rachel may be known as the harmony singer for Anais Mitchell but her original songs are just to die for, strong and melodic, riding a line between folk and rock that you, reader must be familiar with. She'll be here from Vermont/NYC and I believe you may hear some collaborating on our parts. 

If you're up early this coming weekend on the coast - woken by the birds, the rain, or the chainsaw bucking up the fallen trees in your neighbourhood, have a listen to NXNW on CBC! Sheryl MacKay will be airing an interview we did last week, and playing some of the new tracks.


July 28 - Vancouver, BC

Announcement! Announcement! Over a year ago I recorded a record with some very good friends on Mayne Island. This September we're going to release it and play a handful of Canadian dates to celebrate! Keep an eye on the Shows page for more info. 





















On another note, Ryan, Adam, Elise, Ben and I had a blast playing the Mission Folk Festival again last weekend! This is one of my favourite festivals as it really stays true to its folk music roots, bringing artists from all over the world. Here's a sweet picture from Saturday by the lovely Kimberly Strain! 





























April 21 - My back porch

Hazy day in East Van. We've been getting the garden all turned over and little envelopes of seeds are patiently waiting to be sown. The rest of our trip to Europe was fantastic, as was our collaboration with Nord/Langbåcka/Dahl. I just love playing music for people in Sweden, their minds are wide open, and they never hesitate to come up to me afterwards and share the particulars of what they liked about the show. I just feel like I'm getting through, y'know? Here's a photo taken by the wonderful Stigmanus Thorsen at Oceanen in Göthenburg.




















As for Spring/Summer:

Coming up are many wonderful things. Some vague announcements.
MAY brings us a private house concert and some live video filming. I'll also be releasing to your eyes and ears the music video I made with Unfamous back in the fall. 
JUNE is the time when my rock choirs showcase our year's repertoire. This year we're bringing the singing at The Rickshaw theater on June 26th. Also there's a Vancouver house concert with myself, Corbin Murdoch, and Leah Abramson on June 27th. E mail me for details!
JULY I'm excited to announce that we're performing at South Country Fair near Lethbridge, Alberta on July 18th! With stops on the way in Fernie, Nelson, and Twin Butte. 
...more to come...

I was nosing around at my Dad's place last week and found this little gem... a remnant of the year-long tour in the US I did with my old band, Nicely Nicely. Here's little 18-year-old me with the biggest pants you've ever seen... Oh nostalgia... 





























February 19 - A fast train headed north in Sweden

Zipping through the Swedish countryside, all white snow and red houses, skinny birches and tall pines, spiral staircases and cinnamon buns. So civilized to recline on a speedy train and type out a blog entry, yes, I love so many things about Europe!

Myself and Ryan Boeur just completed a session at BAM, a little artist residency in the very center of the great snail which is the map of Paris. Living just a few blocks from Notre Dame, we walked up and down the Siene, rehearsed a lot and played a bunch of delightful shows for really appreciative people. We also spent a great deal of time with our sweet friends and hosts, David Simard and Anne Vegnaduzzo, and consumed an unholy amount of pastries and red wine. Here are some photos of our beautiful time in the city of love. 

































We also had an impromptu photo shoot at our Valentine's day concert with Canadian world traveler photographer, Jessica Lee. You can see the pictures here, she's a very talented lady!! https://jleephotogrphy.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/jennyryan-paris-france/

 PS. Just because she's a wedding/engagement photographer doesn't mean we're getting married, ok? Geez calm down.

And now here we are, safely in Sweden, where the people are as sweet as pie and we're on our way to the Umefolk festival in Umeå. The last three days we've been rehearsing in Stockholm with three amazing Swedish musicians, Livet Nord, Lisa Langbaka, and Johanna Dahl, as well as our old friend Simon Nyberg. So we'll be traveling together for the next 3 weeks, playing together and separately. And the best thing of all: The day we arrived in Sweden was Semla day! A special day to celebrate cardamom cream buns, one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten.




























January 30 - Vancouver, BC

Dear friends. How are you? I am fine thank you. 

In two days I'll be zooming off to France where I will find my pals and stay in tbeir little artist residence (http://www.breakartmix.com) for a couple weeks of relaxation/practice/writing/tourism/wine drinking. We'll be playing a couple of small gigs in the city of love, so check out the "shows" page for more info. 

After that we're off to Sweden for what is shaping up to be a wonderful tour! I'll keep you posted, and I'll certainly eat many gallons of yogurt and many jars of pickled herring. Not at the same time. 

Canada. I have some big news for you. You might not like it... While the new album Raised by Wolves is complete, I've decided - with some difficulty - to put off the Canadian release until September. There is so much work to be done, and currently, no time to do it. There will be a West Coast release in September, and some Ontario/Quebec dates after that. I hope you'll be patient with me. 

In the meantime I can give you a sneak preview of the album art, and also of the video which will be released in the Spring! 




















One more thing: If you're in Vancouver, I'll be singing with my old friend David Newberry tonight at Imperial, for his going away show! And tomorrow the Kingsgate Chorus will be singing at 9:30 at Astorino's on Commercial Drive, to support the Kickstand fundraiser. Come on out and celebrate bicycles! 


December 19 - Vancouver, BC

The rain and the Christmas Cheer are coming down in equal amounts right now. Buckets of cheer. The houses up the road are decorated to the nines and I've already consumed more wine and sweets than I had previously thought possible. Some really fun things have been happening and even more are coming up: 

Announcing three shows with my absolute best music pals, Fish & Bird and David Newberry. Performing under the sponsorship of "Campbell Bay Presents", we will be playing, filming, and recording, all at the same time! These shows are going to be really gorgeous, intimate and special, and are definitely not to be missed. And you can be part of the whole thing.

January 3 - Ag Hall - Mayne Island
January 7 - Merlin Sun Home Theater - Victoria  
January 8 - Biltmore Cabaret - Vancouver
(See SHOWS for more details)




























Also coming up is another exciting trip to Sweden! Ryan Boeur, Trent Freeman and myself will be meeting up with some amazing Swedish musicians, Nord/Dahl/Lanbacka, to do a 3 week co-bill tour. Collaborations are in the works, and I anticipate some pretty rad results. AND! The most exciting part is that we're playing the Umeå Folk Festival, a six hour train ride north of Stockholm. I've never been to the northern parts of Sweden, and the festival is world renowned. 

My two rock choirs sang a sold-out show at the Rio Theater last Sunday, and we raised a whole lot of funds for this year's non-profits - the WISH drop-in center, and Ambiguous Arts. The choirs performed their best yet, and we were excited to introduce a new addition to the East Van Choir Colletive - ESCHOIR (East Side Choir), led by Ian Bryce. Here's a video of Kingsgate Chorus, from our last rehearsal, singing TLC's No Scrubs. I've arranged a lot of songs for choirs now, but this was definitely my first time figuring out how to get them to rap! What do you think? 



Ooh! And one more thing... Kate Stewart and I hiked ourselves out to Iona Beach on a very cold winter day to take some photos. Katie is the creative director of Sad Mag and exclusively shoots with film! Here are a couple of my favourites. 





































October 3 - Vancouver, BC

Dear pals, thank you for yet again tuning into the adventures of JR. 

In the autumn I come alive. I love the cool air and the changing trees, the beginning of decay, and the smell of decomposing leaves. How the ocean begins to show off its collection of grey tones. How I hunker down and get creative.

I'm keeping things pretty chill this fall. With some international touring on the horizon of the new year, it's time to stay home and get some ducks in a row. Creative ducks, administrative ducks, and financial ducks, they've gotta get lined up and learn to quack in harmony. I've put together an online portfolio of my illustrations, in the hopes of wrangling some work making art. If you need a poster design, a tattoo design, a wedding invitation, a greeting card, a portrait of your hamster, or just some art for your wall... well, then I made this for you!  https://jrillustration.allyou.net/3387435 





























 On another note, I had a really good time composing and performing for my very first film project! Vancouver Cycle Chic had me come in for this adorable video, and I'm grateful to my friends there for giving me this opportunity! 





August 10 - Vancouver, BC

Hello friends! Well, it certainly has been a while! Summer is always the most difficult time to sit down in front of a computer and think of witty, yet informational things to say, while the sun is blazing and the festivals are festival-ing, and the highways are beckoning... 

Overall, I've been hitting the BC Festivals hard this year! 

Tiny Lights
Mid-June found me with Elise Boeur, and members of Fish & Bird, touring to the Kootenays to play the amazing little mountain festival, Tiny Lights. This festival, though only a few years old, is an institution already, and as well as playing under my own name, I moonlighted with O'Mally and David Newberry as well. It was a pleasure to be there, see the thunderstorms passing overhead, watch the dogs playing at the roadside, and be a part of the coming-together of so many amazing BC musicians and artists.

Campbell Bay Music Fest
The following weekend was the 6th annual CBMF , for which I designed the t-shirt, and AT which I was lucky to lead the Kingsgate Chorus in some of the most magical musical moments of our lives. 




Also, I made a bunting! Do I take commissions? Why, yes, yes I do!


I was lucky to be invited to play the Harrison Festival with two young fiddlers, Jocelyn Pettit and Wesley Hardisty. They are two of BCs up-and-comers, and their skills belie their years. We had a good West Coast fiddling session to a great crowd, perched next to the enormous Harrison Lake on a hot day. 

I've been waiting to play the folk fest since the first time I attended, exactly 10 years ago. This is one of the biggest, best organized, best programmed festivals in the country, and I am so grateful to have been chosen to play there this year, with a 6 piece band. One of the highlights of the folk fest was an "early" morning workshop with Eliza Gilkyson. I've been a fan of her music for many years, and could barely contain myself when I got to pluck the banjo and harmonize a little on the side... It's always humbling to share a stage with your influences. 

Here's a picture of my backup band and pals, on an early evening workshop stage. 


If I remember correctly, this was my 6th year playing at ArtsWells, and the 3d year under my own name. This is one of those festivals that, the minute you are driving away from it, you're looking forward to next year. This year I played my favourite set of the past 5 years, in the Sunset Theater with the 6 piece band. One of those perfect shows where the sound was great, the band was great, and the music just flowed like a river. 

Roadtripping up there with O'Mally and Elise was the smokiest yet. The forest fires are raging up there in the interior, and by the end of the weekend our thoughts were with the people of the town of Likely, BC. You can read about the disaster there at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/mount-polley-mine-spill-drinking-water-ban-lifted-for-most-of-likely-b-c-1.2732279

Watching Tanya Tagaq that weekend, performing a 45 minute piece with Jesse Zubot and Don Kerr was the closest I've been to a religious experience while watching a show. If I ever have one ounce of the emotional output in my music that she has in her throat-singing, I will be blessed indeed. Seems the older I get, the more interested in experimental art-forms I am. This show just perfectly filled thiat niche for me. 

ArtsWells was also home to the real debut of a collaborative covers project I'm doing with O'Mally called Go On Old One. It's good to create low-pressure musical endeavors for yourself, and this one is very fun. As Scott Cook himself said at the festival that weekend - "Cover your friends!"




Coming up are a couple more exciting events for the Summer! 

1. August 28th I'm playing with the "big" band again at the Biltmore Cabaret as a fundraiser for the album I recorded earlier this year! There will be presales for the record ONLY at the show, and my new pals, Wooden Horsemen will also be playing. If you're in Vancouver, I hope you will come down! Thursday is the new Friday. 

2. Sunshine Music Fest is coming up on the last weekend of the month. This is a charming little festival in Powell River, where I will be opening for my friend Old Man Luedecke, and David Francey will be opening for me (YEAH RIGHT!). I am very much looking forward to it, and to the amazing blackberries that grow like... well... blackberries up there!





May 26 - Kailua, HI                                                                                               




























Greetings from Hawaii! I have family here, lucky me, so I get a combination of vacation and family hang outs. From paddling the turquoise waters of Lanikai beach to memorizing repeated episodes of Bob The Builder, I'm decompressing for the first time in ages. Right now big grey clouds are rolling in over the mountains, and thunder is mumbling a few miles away. Myna birds chatter on the roof tops and soon I will meet up with another vacationing pal and go for a hike.

Oh, but what I was really writing to say is that after much humming and hawing - two years of it, actually - I've finally gotten myself signed up with CD Baby, and thusly, with Itunes! If you're interested in digitally buying my record, head over here - http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jennyritter - and get it, or search Jenny Ritter in Itunes.

If you're going to be anywhere near the Kootenays in June, why don't you stop by Tiny Lights, an amazing arts festival in Ymir, BC! I'll be waiting for you. And here is the artist lineup: http://www.tinylightsfestival.com/music-2014/

May 8 - Vancouver, BC                                                                               

Some big news for Jenny Ritter (and pals)! We will be playing at the 37th annual Vancouver Folk Festival this year. JOY!


I have been wanting to play this festival for as long as I can remember. I'll be backed up by members of Fish & Bird, and they will be playing their own sets as well. Check out the amazing festival lineup here: http://thefestival.bc.ca/years/2014/



 ***And here is my yelp review of last weekend's mini-tour with the David Newberry outfit

DAVID NEWBERRY FOLK-ROCK MUSIC FOR THE PEOPLE - 1 review   $$$$$







 Jenny Ritter
Vancouver, BC 
"I am a big fan! One of the best bandleaders in the city!
David Newberry is a delight for all kinds of musical adventures. A casual listen, or a formal first date, this guy brings it all! 
On top of quality gigs David himself cooks dinner for his band, AND washes the dishes the next morning. He's been known to provide sweet accommodations such as cottages (with a side of bluebells and apple blossoms), and encourages pre-show beverage consumption. 
Newberry will even go so far as to drive his band around in a Subaru Outback, and join them for grapefruit-flavoured beers.

I will return to Newberry as often as possible, despite the fact that he likes his monitors slightly loud.





























Tour with David, Ryan, Terri and Peter was a blast! We are so lucky to live on the west coast right now, and scoot around on mini-tours to paradise on the Islands. Took three BC ferries in 3 days, and from them saw whales, dolphins, eagles, ospreys, and some English Country Dancing.
Playing at the Victoria Folk Club was a blast, something I have done many times in my life, and in fact is where I cut my teeth on performing folk (ish) music. So fun to go back there, and see that nothing much has changed. Many familiar faces, and sweet music supporters. 
Festival season is coming up, and you can check up my ever-evolving schedule http://www.jennyrittermusic.ca/p/shows.html
More soon! Love, JR
  
February 25 - Vancouver, BC                                                                            

A couple of days of home and food and rest haven't been nearly enough to recover from the folk music debauchery of the International Folk Alliance conference in Kansas City, MO last weekend. With Fish & Bird playing as my backup band, I had a sweet time, made new friends, and discovered a whole lot of amazing music. The conference was basically too much goodness to be able to properly communicate to you, so..... Here are some links to music which I hope you will enjoy, and perhaps will give you a shot of inspiration, as they did to me!


Matt the Electrician - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MReek8iugTk
The Railsplitters - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTMcloMaaB8
The Mountain Firework Company - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xyo_CEwdChk
The Mae Trio - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIHiecWLK8c
Maja and David (Nord) - http://majandavid.bandcamp.com/album/nord
Steve Brockley Band - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tya5whA_zag
Jordie Lane - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4nKB9t6yos
The Jessica Stewart Few -  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBKcT_Uv3fs

Also! Danny from the great music blog, Take Em As They Come wrote up a nice review of our performance in the Comboplate Booking room, and has some good insight into other musicians he saw there too: http://www.takeemastheycome.blogspot.ca/2014/02/folk-alliance-calling-na-na-na-nananana.html

That is all for now. Thank you.

February 6 - Vancouver, BC                                                                        

Home again in Vancouver, and it's like the city is playing tricks on us, all sunny and cold like this. But who's complaining, it's great to be back, and the lovely weather is a super-mega-bonus!


Our trip to the UK was about the most fun one band can have on the road. Shows at Celtic Connections were fantastic, full of big, enthusiastic audiences, and live BBC radio coverage, what more could a girl ask for? We got to drive on the other side of the road, see many castles, eat many strange foods, and celebrate Robbie Burns day, to boot! Scotland is a beautiful place indeed. I felt right at home there, due to high ginger content.
































I wanted to tell you about a few projects I discovered over there, which are exciting, and I want to share!

1. Our new friends Catriona MacKay and Olov Johansson playing their peculiar and gorgeous brand of Swedish folk music:
 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01qjdng

2. The Olllum (yes, 3 "L"s) is some of the most ground-breaking, boundary-pushing traditional stuff I've ever heard. This is the kind of music, frankly, that I crave all the time. So few people really eff with trad music to the extent I desire...
http://theolllam.com/#841/custom_plain

3. Some American colleagues, the Stray Birds! Gorgeous songs. MMMM! http://thestraybirds.com/music

4. Heard Alastair Fraser and Natalie Haas play some incredible string-arranged fiddle music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiSmDekZbes

I hope to go back to the UK when the album is finished. We still have a bit of work to do, some vocal harmonies, and a great deal of mixing, but all is on track! I can't wait to share these new songs with you people!

We got up to some photographic hijinks while recording...



















 

One more thing! The International Folk Alliance conference is coming up, and this year we'll be headed off to Kansas City Missouri for the weekend of madness! I'm really excited to be doing an official showcase this year, as well as a ton of unofficial spots! Made this advertisement last night! Hope to see you there...






















December 26 - Vancouver, BC                                                                        

  So much has been happening over the past couple of months, I must apologize for my absence!

In November I was on a Home Routes tour with my lovely pal, Meg Iredale-Gray, known on stage as O'Mally! Together we navigated the snowy roads of Alberta, meeting amazing people, fearful blizzards, seeing the all-day-sunsets, and Jim Henson-esque four-horned sheep along the way. House concerts are a wonderful way to tour, the hosts being most generous type of folks, and the drives being mostly short! I took some pictures of mountains! My next album cover, perhaps?






























Mid December was our annual choir fundraiser, where I get my two rock'n'roll choruses together (The Kingsgate Chorus/Mount Pleasant Regional Institute of Sound), and we make the most amazing sounds (and party our faces off)! This year our chosen organizations to receive the funds were Spartacus Books and the Hastings Urban Farm. We raised $2,300 for them, and had a great dance party afterwards - DJ'd by the amazing Michael and David of City of Glass. This year the choirs sang their best yet, and I got delightfully choked up when they presented me with a bottle of my favourite (expensive!) scotch! Here is a little article about the show: http://www.vancourier.com/entertainment/state-of-the-arts-kingsgate-chorus-keeps-things-hip-and-harmonized-1.755503

Now! The best is yet to come. In a couple days my band and I will zip off to Mayne Island to record an album in "RECORD" time. Eh? Eh? I am so excited for my new material to take shape with the awesome crew on the project.

As soon as we are finished, five of the six of us are headed off to Glasgow to play at the most prestigious Celtic Connections festival. I'm so excited, I'm bouncing up and down as I type this. Some other gigs in the UK will follow this, so check the Shows page for more info! Send your friends and family abroad to Scotland and England to see us!

So... happy boxing day everyone, stay the hell away from the malls, love your loved ones, and keep your stick on the ice. Oh, and here is a picture of our Christmas "tree". Using the holiday to worship music, as it should be.






























Oct 14 - Vancouver, BC                                                                                  

Hi people! Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for so many things, did you know that I am a very lucky lady? While I'm extremely grateful for my loved ones, pie, our health and happiness, I'm thinking a lot about music today.


I'm thankful for all the years of experience I have behind me, the crazy times touring with The Gruff, and Nicely Nicely, and all the things I've learned with them . I'm grateful for the hard work and support of all the audiences and folks in the music industry who have helped me immeasurably. I'm grateful for inspiration, in all it's fleeting glory, and for the beautiful instruments hanging on my walls. The past few days I've been particularly thankful for open G tuning on the guitar, and Last Chance tuning on the banjo! Fun! Did I mention Pie? Let me just mention pie again. I had a quarter of an apple pie for breakfast this morning. I'm not ashamed.




 



























I'm also thankful for.... News! Looks like I'm going to be playing one of my dream festivals in January - holy cow, Celtic Connections, here we come! I've never been to Glasgow, and I'm kindof flipping my lid! We'll be sharing a bill with incredible band - and my pals - Joy Kills Sorrow, and following it up with a little tour. Hoping to see some of our Scandinavian friends, and we'll definitely be doing some shows in the UK. Keep your eye on the Shows page for new developments and details.

We'll be heading to Scotland straight from Fiddle Head Studios on Mayne Island where I'll be recording my second "solo" (not) album. The album band consists of some of my favourite people in the world, Fish & Bird are generously loaning me Adam Iredale-Gray (producer), and Ryan Boeur (guitar/electric guitar), and Elise Boeur will be home from Berklee school of music in Boston for that time, playing some genius fiddly-things on it. Lucas Goetz of the Deep Dark Woods will be whooshing out from Saskatoon to put drums and pedal steel on the record, and a mystery bassist is still to be revealed...!




Oct 2 - Vancouver, BC                                                                           



Greetings and salutations from my cozy home in Vancouver. For a touring musician, I sure do love being at chez moi. Just home from a jaunt around the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands with gentle, yet gregarious ginger, James Lamb. Touring with James? A real treat! Mostly house concerts, bouncing between islands, small towns, the homes of old friends I don't see enough of… How lovely. James and I spending surprisingly short drives immersed in deep musings and conversational explorations of songs, songwriting, songwriters, singing, performing, recording, dreaming, and the metaphor and subtlety to be found in a good small town thrift store. 

    


























Before this tour I needed to set some goals for myself. To keep healthy/sane. Would you like to know what they were? If so, read on! 
      1. Exercise: I am the worst at this. The WORST. But it's got to be done, either running or stretching or hiking, or anything I can force my gelatinous jiggly non-muscles to endure. Exercising on tour is torture, but I've been told the benefits are worth it. Feel better, act better, sleep better, play better… combat the effects of the small town bakeries we've been frequenting. 
      2. Dynamics and nuance: Especially in this context of mostly-acoustic shows, I have a tendency (formed long ago in the noisy bars of Victoria) to play and sing as loud and hard as possible. In the desperate hope that someone might just be able to hear. Thus I don't utilize my dynamic range as much as I could. House concerts are the perfect place to practice this, small rooms, attentive audiences, no hubbub… 
      3. Breathe and eat: Self explanatory, no? Touring is hard. Humans get tired. Tempers get short. Always breathe, everything works better if you do. Chances are, if I'm pissed off, I'm hungry. Something to keep in mind. 

We met a number of amazing animals on this tour. Here are some pictures of them. 

                                         






























And now Summer is officially finished, and there are some really exciting things on the horizon... I'm gonna tell you about them real soon.... But in the meantime, it's back to this kind of thing: 





























July 28 - Vancouver, BC                                                                               

So many things! So much to tell you! So little time! I just got home, and am only here for 3 days, before the trek North to ArtsWells, for the 10th anniversary of the most amazing little festival that ever there was. I'll be playing there with members of Fish & Bird as my back up band, and also as a member of David Newberry and the Matriarchs. Many hats. So many hats.


Side note: But while I was gone, look what my garden was making!! Yum! Yellow zucchini is my favourite.

 

























Ok! Speaking of hats: Salt Spring Island Fiddle Camp wrapped up at Stowel Lake Farm (AKA, Paradise) yesterday, and the whole week was a whirl of wonderfulness, between the incredible food, the blazing hot weather, the gorgeous surroundings, OH and the lovely STUDENTS, I had the time of my life. I taught songwriting, Drop D guitar accompaniment, and rock choir, and all three classes were amazing. Teaching big groups is hilariously fun, all that energy bouncing from person to person, and ideas rolling into snowballs, into mountains, into worlds! I like my group-teaching hat.

So thank you to Fiddleworks for the beautiful week. I'm simultaneously drained and electrified by my experiences there.

The preceding weekends found us at the Vancouver Island Musicfest, and the Islands Folk Fest - Got those two straight, yeah?

Jay Hosking and I played my songs as a duo at the Musicfest, and my two festival highlights were definitely seeing John Hiatt play an incredible set - age is of no consequence, it seems, the guy still rocks, and writes the most beautiful songs! - and having a sit down conversation with Kiran Ahluwalia, a Canadian festival icon who I admire so much. Kiran told me that she has similar issues with people trying to hire her as a solo act, something which comes up frequently with me. How can I operate under my own name, but still convince people that I am/have a band, and am not just the dreaded (GASP!) singer-songwriter?

Rewind one more week: I attended the Islands Folk Fest as a member of the Matriarchs, David Newberry's back up band, along with Elise Boeur, and Terri Upton! We had a blast, camping up in the woods with an entourage of lovely friends. Some quality time was spent at the river with our pals, the Ruth Moody band, just back from opening up for Mark Knopfler (in case you didn't already know that, pffffft!), and we ran into my old chum, the gorgeous Victoria poet, Jeremy Loveday. Most inspiring.




 


























On a side note, less music-related, more antics-related: Yesterday as I was planning to leave Salt Spring Island, some swashbucklers pulled into Ganges harbour in a sailboat with a big orange spinnaker. They kidnapped me, like good pirates do, and fed me beer and dinner. They then forced me to watch the sunset on a remote island, and play a rousing round of Bumper-Dinghys (need I say more?). Then the darn ocean rocked me gently to sleep, and I just really had a terrible time.

June 17th - Vancouver, BC

Just a quick note to let you know I got a lovely album review on Americana Roots Music UK! So complimentary, it's making me blush!

"This already crowded folksy-country genre that Jenny fits comfortably into is not an easy one to stand out from but thanks to her tremendous song-writing, her ability to write beautiful catchy melodies and those gorgeous vocals, she is already head and shoulders above the pack. A tremendous album by a hugely talented lady!" Mike Morrison, Americana Roots Music, UK


Also, The Kingsgate Chorus and the Mount Pleasant Regional Institute of Sound really rocked it yesterday at Car-Free Day. Here's a picture of us in all of our patterned glory, with Ian Bryce directing a song he arranged, and no, we are not the Artnzen Brothers... 































June 12 - Vancouver, BC                                                                          

Anybody hear that Joni Mitchell interview on Q yesterday? Absolute coolness... what a rad lady! Please let me and my music career go for that long without losing my voice, or becoming bitter.... Here's an excerpt! http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/Shows/Q%2Bwith%2BJian%2BGhomeshi/Joni%2BMitchell/ID/2390966990/

Speaking of super-cool ladies (and men), it's CHOIR SEASON, and last week my rock'n'roll choir, The Kingsgate Chorus did our first show with... dun dun duuuunnnn.... Other Choirs! T'was a fundraiser with the Solidarity Notes Labour Choir, and a teeny tiny teen quartet from Surrey, The Awesome Cats. It was a true inspiration to see the massive Solidary Notes group, mostly older folks, singing their hearts out about unions, protests, and No Oil Tankers. Their director, Earle Peach is quite an amazing character, and I tip my hat to him for organizing such a productive, politically active, and musical group! And inviting us to participate.  

More choir stuff: This weekend Kingsgate and my other choir, MPRIS, will be singing at Car-Free day on Main at 14th! Walk, pedal, skate, skip, hover your way there between noon and two, and we will entertain you!

In Jenny Ritter band news: I've just confirmed a couple of shows this August with my favourite band of all time, Fish & Bird, and we'll be hitting Vancouver on the 15th, and Victoria on the 17th! See my "shows" page for more details. 

AND! In a week the band will be heading over to Mayne Island to play Campbell Bay Musicfest, which is my favourite weekend of all time. Campbell Bay always marks the Beginning of Summer, the Beginning of Festival Season, My Birthday, Swimming Weather, and all the wonderful things that come along with the season. I've said it before, I'll say it again. Heaven is a music festival. See you there?


May 15th - Vancouver, BC                                                                       

There are so many exciting things to share with you, coming up this Spring and Summer! But these past few weeks, I've been laying pretty low, ever-so-gratefully cruising on my Canada Council grant to study old-time banjo. Yeah, I'm basically a clawhammer ninja now. Well, not really. But my banjo skills are really improving greatly, and the grant has provided me with an amazing opportunity - the TIME to practice like crazy, and write EVERY DAY! Something I am rarely able to do. I'm really so glad to have this freedom, and looking forward to sharing what I produce. 

Hey! Did you guys know I'm on twitter? It's actually kind of fun. Ritter's witty twitters... Okay, they're not that witty, but find me at @jrsingsongs

I also have a Facebook musician page which just got up to 400 likes - Yipee! Wanna help me go for 500? https://www.facebook.com/jennyrittermusic

Meanwhile, things are stacking up in the old google calendar... 

May 18 - THIS SATURDAY! - The Kingsgate Chorus is going to dress in 80s retro fashion (as if that's something new), and sing an all new-wave and electro-pop set at the launch party for the new issue of Sad Mag. I've been working really hard on arrangements of songs by Humans, The Knife, Bjork, and more, and two of the choir members have also been arranging songs which will be debuted that night! You'll also find the heart-rendingly melodic City of Glass performing, and there's a rumour that one J.R. might be singing a certain duet by Human League with them.... You'll have to show up to see!
Remington Gallery, 108 East Hastings, Vancouver, BC, 8:30PM

May 20 - I'll be joining one of my favourite people and musicians, David Newberry on a set of his music at Guilt & Co, in Gastown. I'll be playing banjo and hollering through his set. This is part of the awesome series, The Resurrection of Folk, concerts hosted by Bob Sumner, of The Sumner Brothers. How much do I love to see the young beautiful people, digging on folk music? SO MUCH!
Guilt & Co, 1 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC, 9PM

Last week Daniel Robbins Media recorded a video for Dave, with me and Elise Boeur backing him up on banjo and fiddle. We played Dave's gorgeous melencholy tune, English Bay in Stanley Park on a rainy day, overlooking the blanket of tankers in said bay. It was really great. Keep your eye on the youtubes for the finished product!

May 24 - Daniel Lapp is hosting his annual Joy of Life concert in Victoria, but this year it's a 2 day festival!! I've been invited to join the pan-celtic supergroup with Daniel, Patrick M'Gonigle, Eric Reiswig and Kelby MacNayr on the first night! If you're on the island, come check it out!
First Metropolitan United Church, 932 Balmoral Rd, Victoria, BC, 7PM

And in June, festival season starts!
June 21/22 - Jenny Ritter Band - Campbell Bay Music Fest, Mayne Island, BC
July 12-14 - Jenny Ritter with Jay Hosking - Islands Musicfest, Courtaney, BC
July 19/21 - Jenny as part of the David Newberry Band - Islands Folk Fest, Duncan, BC
*more to be announced! I'll keep ya posted.

Over the past few weeks I've been witness to the amazing album-making that's been going on at Fiddle Head Records on Mayne Island. Fish & Bird is recording a new record, which is going to be their best yet. No sneak preview, but just trust me, it's going to be incredible! While they were tracking, my banjo and I spent a great deal of time in the sunshine at the beach. See below.





























It was Taylor's birthday one weekend, and the band took some time off to eat ice cream on the dock.





























And the last thing here is that we discovered this great video by our buddy Morgan, of our lovely show in Stockholm in February. You've probably heard this song before, but here it is in Sweden, with a string band! Best version yet.


So anyway, happy Spring, everybody! Hope to see you soon! Over and out. xo

April 11th - Vancouver, BC

Lions and lambs, lions and lambs! The big trees in the park across the street from my house are tossing madly in a cold wind, while surprisingly, the sun has showed its almost-forgotten face and is slowly gathering strength. People ask me what living in Vancouver is like. As a country mouse in the city, I'm ambivalent about the urban landscape, but recently I've been up in the mountains just North of the city. And I've gotta say, I'm crushing. Hard. In one short afternoon up there we hung out with bald eagles, baby salmon, deer, and hummingbirds. Those same mountains dominate Vancouver's landscape, no matter where you are, and they are gorgeous and inspiring.

But enough about my mountainous muses... I've got newses! 

1. There's a really sweet review of my album up on Scottish Americana blog, Blabber n' Smoke. http://paulkerr.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/jenny-ritter-bright-mainland/ This guy really GETS what I am trying to get across, and also seemed to enjoy it a lot! This part made me laugh uproariously: "The band shine brilliantly on the enigmatic Ghost, a song that is central to the album as it ponders the duality of the duplicitous male and realises that a girl’s best friend is ultimately her mum." 

2. There's also a glowing article about the Folk Alliance conference in Maverick Magazine this month, which features my beautiful buddies Oh My Darling, and gives me the most honorable of mentions: "British Columbia's Jenny Ritter lit up every room with a wired-to-the-force quality that is irresistible and immensely charming, proving that her wish to go it alone after the demise of popular band, The Gruff, was meant." How lovely! All of this media attention in the UK, including a great deal of BBC radio play is thanks to my new affiliation with Brookfield Knights and Bloody Great PR. They are doing a flawless job getting my album out over there! 

3. I don't know if I'm supposed to tell anyone this yet, but I've just been asked to play the Vancouver Island Musicfest in Courtenay this Summer! This is one of my favourite festivals, and I'm totally flattered. We'll be playing as a duo, myself on banjo, and Jay Hosking (my usual bassist) on guitar and harmonies. I'm already impatiently counting down the days. 

4. Last weekend I played accompanist to Daniel Lapp, with amazing instrumentalists, Eric Reiswig, and Kelby MacNayr (who happens to have been my highschool sweetheart, sixteen years ago! Blast from the past!) in Tofino. The show was sold out, the music was on FIRE, and Tofino is basically paradise. Check out this picture of a wild day at Long Beach: 





























5. My Scandinavian instrumental nerd-trad-trio, Marmota, recorded a new EP at the turn of the new year at Fiddle Head Studio on Mayne Island. Here it is on bandcamp for your listening pleasure. http://marmotamarmota.bandcamp.com/ Me on guitar, Elise Boeur on fiddle, and Adam Hill on double bass. The fascination with Scandinavia continues! I'm really proud of these arrangements, and I love this project so much, so... Enjoy! 

6. The Kingsgate Chorus has a bunch of gigs coming up, so I'm going to list them on the "shows" page, so you can check them out! 

7. My friend Leah Abramson (who I kinda believe is a musical genius, don't tell her, I will be embarrassed...) is in the process of releasing a new Abramson Singers album! You should most definitely check out her stuff, and watch her new video, which I love, here: http://www.leahabramson.com/news.html

I could go on and on, but the sun is out so I'm gonna spare you. For now. JR, over and out. 





March 7th - Nipissing, Ontario                                                            

Hi friends. So... I just wanted to backtrack a little, and tell you about the end of tour in Sweden, and go from there. Our last date was in Stockholm, at the amazing folk music venue, Stallet. I guess this place used to be a big old horse stable, but the theater was amazing, and so wonderfully full of bums in seats. 

When you play a venue (especially in a big city) for the first time, you have a certain expectation of... well... not quite failure, but we'll call it a slow build. You figure there won't be many people there, and you likely won't break even, but it's an "investment in your career". Hm. Not so, with our show at Stallet. The amazing all-woman vocal group, Kongero opened up for us (which is basically a joke, as they are some of the most incredible and seasoned musicians I know, and we should have been opening for them). We got them up on stage for the loveliest version of You Missed The Boat to date, and it was a total honour. Stockholm was an encouraging experience for me, the music scene there feels very rich and supportive. The demographic at our show was diverse, and people's enjoyment was very apparent. I'm really excited to go back. 

So much of the tour was made possible by the help of our Swedish guitarist/multi-instrumentalist, Simon Nyberg. Simon plays in about a million bands in Sweden, including Bister, Mohlavyr, and Trio 323, and there's no way we could have made the tour work without him. Follow the links and have a listen to some of the sweet Swedish folk and pop music he plays!







Upon returning to Canada we only had a few days to prepare for our Folk Alliance showcases with Zoe Guigueno of Joy Kills Sorrow on bass. The conference was, predictably, utter chaos, but I would say we rocked it. Had a great time schmoozing with old friends, and new, despite a brutal head cold which had me feeling like I was wearing a diving bell the whole time. I'm real happy to tell you that I'm going to start working with Brookfield Knights and Bloody Great PR on some UK booking, which is most exciting! There are also some Canadian festivals in the works for Summer, 2014, and so much more to look forward to. So thanks, Folk Alliance for the great conference, and all you do for folk music in North America and around the world. 




                                                 





























 Now I'm here writing you from Piebird B&B Farmstay (above), my most Happiest Place in the world. My amazing host-friends Yan and Sherry had a parlour concert for me, my tour buddy David Newberry, and some dear pals from winnipeg, The Crooked Brothers. And now I am never leaving. Just kidding. But I'm here for a full 12 days, resting, goat snuggling, banjo-ing, and brainstorming the rest of my life. I'm so lucky to get to stay here with these inspiring people at this ridiculously picturesque place. They are hosting a yurt-building workshop in May, so if you find yourself anywhere near the North Bay area then, you really want to check that out!










And finally, I'm bouncing off the walls with the news that I am the ever-so-grateful recipient of a Canada Council grant which will allow me to study banjo with my favourite Vancouver old-time musician for 5 whole months! Starting almost immediately upon my arrival next week, I'm gonna put my head down and live, breathe, and eat banjo music, until I drop. I also plan some serious gardening projects, some bicycle maintenance, some tour booking, and to excitedly resume running my amazing choirs, The Kingsgate Chorus, and MPRIS. Spring is in the air!


February 18th - Toronto, Ontario                                                    

 A quick update from Toronto! I'm in town for a week, just back from Sweden, for the International Folk Alliance Conference! Many exciting things to do and people to see, I'm kinda losing my mind. In a good way. On top of a gig at C'est What tomorrow night with the amazing David Newberry and Belle Plain, I have 8 showcases over the next few days, accompanied by my dear Elise, Adam, and ZoeIt is going to be so much fun. 

In other news, I'm in the CBC Searchlight contest, which is scary, 'cause it's a big popularity contest in which I am up against a whole bunch of my friends and colleagues... Holy crap. So with an almost guilty conscience, I suggest that maybe you go and vote for me at http://music.cbc.ca/#/searchlightHome/
 And seeing as you can vote once a day, maybe you will spread the love around, and vote for some of my nearest and dearest, the other incredible artists: The Chimmney Swallows, David Newberry, Hannah Epperson, or more! 
 






  












January 29th - Getterum, Sweden                                                                

We played a fantastic show in a bar on a boat in Gothenburg! Photo courtesy of Stigmagnus Thorsen

Sitting here by candlelight (and computerlight) at the kitchen table of Simon's family ”cabin” in a tiny area called Getterum, 40 minutes away from the East Coast of Sweden. Adam and Elise are in the living room playing chess as if their lives depend on it. It's a non-stop battle. We've been raiding the Nyberg family music collection, and are now actually listening to Abba, as the snow lies a couple feet deep outside, and Simon makes us dinner.

We've been largely without internet for the past few days, and there's not a whit of it to be found here, so I write this with the intention of posting as soon as possible. It's actually so nice to be on a little tour vacation without the possibility of working and booking and organizing on the internet. I imagine when we're back in town there will be some irate e mails lurking in my inbox. Screw it. The fire is blazing, and last night we went for a midnight snow hike in the powerful rays of the full moon. Everything was sparkling! The word for ”sparkle” in Swedish is ”tindra”. The words for ”my nose is freezing off my face” in Swedish are ”min näsa kommer frysa till is”.

For someone who has been doing a lot of sitting around and consuming excessive amounts of cheese, I seem to have limitless energy for playing in the snow. We went out on the lake yesterday and created a fancy new game called Snus Hockey. First you hand-zamboni (shovel) a V shape in the snow. Then you drop the Snus (tiny tobacco pouches popular in Sweden) container which is vaguely puck-shaped, on the ice. Next, you kick the container towards the other team's goal at either end of the V, and slip and slide around until you either fall on your ass or you score. Extra points for maniacal giggling. Simon and I won, 2 to 1. Elise probably won the giggling points though.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have so far met three of Simon's (four) amazing aunts, two of whom hosted house shows for us, despite having never done such a thing before! They feed us and feed us, tell us all kinds of interesting stories, and we are so lucky to have them! Speaking of gracious hostesses... Two nights ago we played a concert in a decomissioned train station, where the organizer of the concert, Kina, lives upstairs. The station was gorgeous, a big space with fantastic acoustics. About 38 people came, and one older man was the last person to have ever worked in the station house! Must've been weird, watching foreign folk music in the space where you once did your daily grind... and I was once again reminded of how special it is to get to play in people's personal spaces, how generous they are to do this work for minimal monetary gain. Kina has set up the main floor of the station house just for these concerts, displaying her own art, and really making it a great experience for everyone.

If you have never been to a house concert, I suggest keeping your ear to the ground until you find one, and attend it! The particular situation breaks down all kinds of walls between performers and audience, and it's like nothing else. If you have a big space available to you, and have never hosted a house show, I suggest trying it out! In the wake of the recent closure of Vancouver's awesome Waldorf Hotel, and now The Royal, in Nelson,BC, I'm even more aware of how the individual can take some responsibility for maintaining the arts in their community. If our governments will not support the arts, only new condo developments, we all need to step up.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So far on this tour, I'd say we've had one show which was... well, a little rough around the edges. It also happened to be the one show which had a reviewer at it... OH the irony! Good thing I don't know how to read Swedish. The only thing I know about it is that the reviewer compared the colour of my hair to that of some famous Swedish hockey player... A fact which may be true, but I can't quite figure out how it's relevant to our musical performance. We've been having a good laugh about it, and hoping that someone will say something nice about another show.

Since that bunk show, we've been all around Denmark, and had a series of really lovely shows at a bunch of folk clubs. How sweet to play for Danish listening audiences! They are rapt! And never let us leave the stage without at least a couple of encores, and then they feed us. Again. We had some amazing Danish funky cheese, too ripe for even me to eat. I didn't think it was possible. But in Nykobing Mors, Dorothy's preserves, and Lars' home made bread were divine and we stayed up till the wee hours drinking bourbon and talking fiddles. I think I am going to start collecting recipes from the road, and maybe one day put them in a book with accompanying stories, drawings, and lyrics.


January 22 - Copenhagen                                                 

We've been having the most amazing time in Copenhagen, thanks to gracious hosts, and the delights of an old city steeped with history. The first night we had a gig at Kulturhuset Islands Brygge, sharing the bill with Sarah MacDougall, our lovely Swedish-Canadian songwriter friend, and local dark-folk fellows, Drowned Session. I heard that Dan Mangan played the same venue a few years ago, to a crowd of a dozen, so I don't feel bad about our enthusiastic 30 person audience! A great start! 






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took the next days off to rest, go off on our own, sight-see, and visit with friends. There were great meals had by all, and a lot of hoofing around on cobblestones. We went up in a 400 year old tower, which I found insanely fascinating as there were no stairs, just this steady brick incline, spiraling up and up and up. The wals and ceilings were all roundeded too, and there was barely a hard corner to be found. I talked Adam into playing his fiddle in there, which sounded like whale songs from the 1600s. At the top the wind was whipping like mad, but I managed to snap a few pictures. 

Unbeknownst to me, a friend from Vancouver had moved to Copenhagen in December, and saw my face on the poster. I spied him across the room a dozen times during our show, and kept thinking, "boy that Danish guy looks like Alex", but didn't clue in for ages! Talk about out of context! How fun to run into people you know, halfway across the world. Note to self: Always put your own face on your poster. 


January 17 - Aarhus, Denmark                                                                 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello! Here I am in the hipster cafe in Aarhus, Denmark, where there is, to my delight, a goat on the sign, and all the Danes seem to be incredibly good looking. I don't have long before we head to Nykobing Mors for our gig at the folk club there. But I wanted to tell you that we are having an amazing time. Our first days in Sweden were wonderful. We played some sets of my music, and some of Swedish dance music for the locals. One Swedish fiddler asked me incredulously - How did you learn to play Swedish music like Swedes? Success!  

Everybody in Sweden seems to give us top quality chocolate, as well as paying us, putting us up, feeding us, and making us feel pretty much like kings and queens. We have a stash of chocolate in the trunk of our tiny tiny rental Volvo which could rival Willy Wonka's collection. 

 

 

 

 

In Sösdala, Sweden, Simon's Aunt Evelyne and Uncle Thomas hosted us at their gorgeous house in the country. Evelyn took us for a hike in the snow, and even arranged a private concert in a gorgeous art studio of a friend of theirs. Their dog's name is Tindra, which I believe directly translates to Sparkles.

 In Svendborg, Denmark, we played an awesome show to a group of folkies in a tiny underground bar where you can still smoke, but only until 7pm. There was an interesting woman from Columbia, who waltzed in halfway through with a rain stick and started making her own show, during ours... Later on she told me (quite correctly, I think) that I have too much fire in me. Therefore I must drink cold water, take lots of showers, swim frequently, and never, ever wear shoes. Even in the winter. Then she gave me a blue rock, dipped her fingers in a stranger's beer, and wiped it on Adam's face. 

That's all the tour stories for now, I will write more later! Thank you for reading! 

 


                                                  
































January 9 - Örebro, Sweden                                                                    





































Greetings from a little barn-shaped house in Örebro, Sweden, where Elise, Adam and I are resting up post trans-Atlantic flights. Tour starts in a couple of days, and Simon Nyberg, our Swedish guitarist is graciously hosting us while we shake the jet lag out of our bones. There's only a little snow on the ground, and we were doused with some suspiciously Vancouver-like drizzle while out walking today. I have to admit, I was hoping for winter wonderland. Instead it's 1 degree, and my hat is too warm. I know, I know, I should be careful what I wish for, yeah?

Today we learned the word "saltkärring" which directly translates to "salt bitch", and for some reason is printed all over the side of the milk cartons here. However neither of our Swedish hosts seem to be able to explain why. Quite a mystery.

I'm so looking forward to hitting the road, feeling like there's a purpose to being here. Tomorrow is our big rehearsal day, working out the string arrangements we've started for some of my songs. The first two shows involve accompanying a Swedish dance set, so that's going to be an adventure... 

One piece of news I'm following pretty closely from back home is the Chief Theresa Spence story, and the Idle No More movement. It's pretty marvelous stuff, though the mainstream media is trying their darndest to dismantle the feelings of solidarity we get when we see people actually DOING something for their beliefs... My dear friend Yan wrote this article which was published by the Huffington Post, and it's a really good read, so here ya go: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/yan-robertccs/theresa-spence-activism_b_2434714.html


More from Scandinavia soon...... 


December 7  - Vancover, BC                                                                        

The other night I had a dream that I walked into a MacDonald's and Paul Simon was working behind the counter. I totally freaked out. I was so ga-ga, I leaned over the cash register and proceeded to babble at length how much I love and admire his music. I couldn't stop myself. He was most polite about it, nodding and smiling, and saying thank you, thank you... But truly, the most unlikely thing about this dream was that I have not set foot in a MacDonald's for over 12 years, and I never will again for as long as I live. 

I'm going to write this down alongside the dream where Weird Al was working at the ticket booth for the Capilano Suspension Bridge at Christmas.

Anyway, back to business. A couple of weeks ago, Jay Hosking (my bassist/mulit-instrumentalist/harmony genius) and I got a teeny tiny Car To-Go and smartly zipped up to UBC. We were filmed playing a song in front of the life-sized Blue Whale skeleton at the Beatie Museum, by Rod Matheson of everydaymusic.ca. It's a neat project where he is recording 1000 live songs in 1000 days. We are so glad to be a part of it! 



Also, I would like to point your attention towards CBC Radio 3, or CBC Music, as it's now known. I just made a profile on there, so yes, it's yet another social-network-web-presence doohickey for y'all to enjoy. Check it out! CBC Music

A bit o' news - I hear that The Good Lovelies have a new album out! It's a live album, and you will likely want to check out their amazing Christmas record at the same time. It's one of my favourites! 

And one more thing - My song, We Must Sing is not just about people who sing, but also an ode to everyone involved in the arts, who use creative expression to make the world a better place. Excuse me while I just pour on the props for some good people I know at Sad Mag independent arts and culture magazine. My friend, and official photographer, Katie Stewart is the creative director of this amazing publication, and my delightful roomie Lise Monique of  Wintermitts fame does reviews and local music! My best lady-bro, Monique Jeanne Wells  draws the Sunday Comic Strips online, and our bud Ariel Fournier is a great interviewer for the magazine. All of these people work on a volunteer basis, and yet creative amazing art. And this is only a small handful of the talent who contribute to Sad Mag, and  I suggest you all check it out online, and maybe even get yourself (or someone special) a hella-cheap quarterly subscription for Christmas! 

                                                       
November 24 - Vancouver, BC                                                          
Hello friends! I am writing to you from a little nook in a sunny coffee shop, where I'm all buckled down to work today. When I try to organize my life from home, I end up playing hours of banjo, washing every washable surface in the house, and re-organizing my bedroom. While it's nice to have a tidy house, I've been neglecting things that need doing - such as website updates. So here we are, out in the world, and I'm very excited to tell you about a few things that are coming up in the near future. 

Let's get all chronological here:

Friday, November 30th I'm happy to play a little opening set for some friends at my neighbhourhood venue, Cafe Deux Soleils. The headliners are the lovely Gabrielle Papillon and Corinna Rose. These two are madly-touring troubadours, and still find time to write the most gorgeous music. I also have two new songs to debut, and am going to play more songs on banjo than ever before! 9pm.

Friday, December 7th at 8 pm is a fundraiser for my good friend Young James' EP! She is one of the most touching, hilarious songwriters I have ever heard, and I'm going to show my face and play a few songs at The Artbank that night. You'll also hear amazing talent such as David Newberry, my newest choir project, MPRIS, and Young James herself. 

Friday, December 14th I am so excited to be performing a few songs at the Tribute to Harry Smith's American Anthology of Folk Music, at the Columbia Theater in Seattle! The whole band is coming with me, and we'll be playing some fairly unconventional renditions of old-time recordings from the '20s and '30s. It's a real honour to be asked to do this show. 

Sunday, December 16th is my favourite event of the year: Not-So-Silent-Night is our second annual Rock-n-roll choirs Christmas fundraiser, and this year the bill features The Kingsgate Chorus, my brand new choir, The Mount Pleasant Regional Institute of Sound (MPRIS), and DJ Ruggedly Handsome. The whole thing is going down at the Cobalt, at 8pm Sharp, and is a fundraiser for the Vancouver Crisis Center. This could be the best Christmas party you've ever attended... You will hear the choirs sing songs by Black Mountain, Kishi Bashi, Bjork, and more. There will even be some Carols and I hear a rumour that there will be drunken Christmas crafts, a photo booth, and a dance party. Check out this ridiculously adorable poster made by Pamela Rounis, soprano elite! (http://www.pamelarounis.com/)   



Over the holidays after family-time on the Sunshine Coast, I will be spending some short winter days on Mayne Island with Elise Boeur, Adam Iredale-Gray, and Adam Hill, and recording a new Marmota EP! I'm so looking forward to working with all of the exciting new things Elise has learned during her semester in the winter wonderland of Rauland, Norway. 

Sunday, January 6th, it's not that I don't love you, but I'll fly away (oh lordy!) to Stockholm for a month of really exciting touring in Denmark and Sweden! See the "shows" page for more info. 

xo - JR



 October 20 - Vancouver, BC                                                 

A few exciting things to share with you on this crisp October day in East Van: 

1. The sun is trying to shine and the leaves are extraordinarily bright and beautiful! Woah Vancouver, who do you think you are... Toronto? We've really been blessed with a wonderful Autumn so far, and all the grumpy Rain City humans are looking a little less dour for the moment. 

2. Devon Leger of hearthmusic.com did an extensive interview with me, and published it on his folk music blog. Acting as an album review as well, this is the most glowingly complimentary thing ever written about me. It makes me blush just to read it. I'm totally tickled. You can read it here, as well as getting the background stories behind some of my songs: http://www.hearthmusic.com/blog

I gotta say, this is an awesome site, and not just because they seem to like me so much! Since I discovered Hearth Music (an arts promotion agency, based in folk and roots music), I've been cruising their sites and discovering so much great new music in all kinds of acoustic-ish genres. It's a treat to find such a cache of folk music, new and old, and presented by people who really know their stuff! 

3. The three album release shows were fantastic, particularly the one at Saint James Hall in Vancouver. There was an awesome, enthusiastic, heckling, hilarious crowd, just the way I like it. Jay, Kevin, and Tim were amazing players as always, and the whole night was a great success. 

Brian Lye took video footage of the whole thing, and I've put four songs up on youtube. How about you start with this one: 







 October 13 - Vancouver, BC                                                                     






























The autumn has resumed it's usual character, and tonight is all the fun at St. James Hall! I'm gonna release this project to all you loving Vancouverites, and I'm gonna release it so good. I woke up super early this morning in a delicious tizzy about tonight. Sad Mag published an interview about the album today, and you can check it out here. http://www.sadmag.ca/news/2012/10/qa-jenny-ritter/
I'm super grateful, as I love that magazine!! I hope to see lots of you tonight. 


October 4 - Vancouver, BC                                                                                                                            


Just a quick note as I run out the door to catch the ferry to Victoria for tonight's shows... Today is release day! Feels like a birthday! I celebrated by uploading it to Bandcamp. You can download it here! http://jennyritter1.bandcamp.com/album/bright-mainland

Enjoy! And see some of you tonight and tomorrow in Victoria!

 September 29 - Vancouver, BC                                                                                                                          



































Please excuse me while I dole out just a little more shameless self-promotion for you all... 

The album release shows at Solstice (Victoria, Oct 4/5), and St. James Hall (Vancouver, Oct. 13) are fast approaching. Back in the days of The Gruff we used to compare our release shows to having a wedding: You prepare for weeks and weeks. You invite all your friends and family. You carefully choose a venue. Everyone is there to support you. Sometimes they cry. You blush. You buy a new dress. 

So said shows are coming up... but who's going to take me on my honeymoon afterwards? 

Tickets for Victoria are available at Solstice, and seating is extremely limited, so I recommend getting them in advance, or arriving early as heck. Tickets for Vancouver are available at Highlife Records, or online (no service charge) at: https://www.ticketturtle.com/index.php?show=30208

This week I've been riding the social media pony real hard. It's been trying to buck me off, ornery thing, but I've persevered, and here's a plug: 

I would like to bring your attention to my new facebook artist page, which you can "like" at http://www.facebook.com/jennyrittermusic
I invite you to do so as I'll post brief updates on shows and projects, and it'll be much less long-winded than my activity on this blog!

I've also just joined Twitter (which I still don't really understand the usage of), at the urging of many artistic, self-promoting friends. You can follow me at @jrsingsongs, and I will do my best to tweet the most pertinent information laced with wit and charm... All under the tagline "Ritter Twitters". Somebody stop me. 

                                             
                                                  September 12th

Feedback (the good kind, not the kind that liquefies your brains through your ears when the sound tech is wasted) is coming to me from the advance copies of the record I've sent out into the world. Here are some quotes from some extremely talented musicians who may or may not be famous, and may or may not be my friends, roomates, or related to me.... 

"Jenny Ritter is your favourite up and coming band" - David Newberry

"Her voice sounds like home and it soothes me." - Ariel Rubin

"Woah, this thing sounds amazing!" - Nathan Shubert

Okay, are you enticed? I'm going to put the whole album up on Bandcamp for download on October 1st. And I'm gonna procrastinate putting it on itunes as long as humanly possible. So there. 

Here is the facebook invite to the Victoria double-show on Oct 4th/5th! 
http://www.facebook.com/events/284558614982073/?notif_t=plan_user_joined



                                                             
          
                                                            August 25th

 Hi friends! GUESS WHAT? I'm sure you've been having a very music-ful Summer, but to perk up your tired little ears, I'd like to offer you this song off my new record! It's not available for download yet, but you can listen as many times as you like at:

I am very excited.

I have also made a facebook artist page, and although I am a little skeptical, I'd like to invite you to come on by and "like" it, for what it's worth!  http://www.facebook.com/jennyrittermusic


What a Summer! WHAT A SUMMER! So many wonderful things happened in the past few months, including a dreamlike tour through the interior of BC, meandering through mountains, running alongside rivers. On so many of the stages where we played, my own voice bounced back at me off of canyon walls or craggy mountainsides, reminding me again and again what a beautiful province we live in. 

    
The Mission Folk Festival was a blast. Simon Nyberg and I played a set on Saturday, and then kicked back and enjoyed all the amazing perks of an immaculately well organized festival. Meals, friends, jams, sweet digs.... I hope to play there again and again. Thanks to Music BC for affording me the opportunity. 


 In Kispiox, up a dirt road, the Kispiox Valley Music Festival was one of a kind. Traveling with my road band and darling friends, Simon, Elise Boeur, and O'Mally, we met up with our brother-bands, Fish & Bird and The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra, an proceded to bond, make beautiful music, and fall in band-love over and over again for almost two weeks. 
  
And this year, the ArtsWells festival was a record love-in, as the little town lit up and painted itself red (not literally) for a week! This town always amazes me, I feel so lucky to be a part of the festival community there. 


So enough tour memorabilia! Here's what's happening nowadays. My album is finished, and in my eager little hands. I'm so happy with the result, audio, visual, everything. The release date is booked for October 13th in Vancouver, and ideally, the weekend before in Victoria, so save the dates! I'm still solidifying the band for the shows, but I tell you, it's looking very exciting. 

               Thank you for all of your interest and support. This is the best job in the world. 




June 5th

    As all of these green growing things jump up in my back yard garden, so is my album slowly slowly reaching for life. Really, it's all I can think about. It's in the gestational phase, I guess, and I'm the nervous-proud mother. My genius friend and producer Adrian has been laying his touring tire tracks all over the world, leaving little time for the final steps in record-making, but come the beginning of July he should be slaving away (with me as wing man) in his Victoria studio to put the finishing touches on it. 

    So with the music in limbo, all I can do is work away at the album art, which after much deliberation, I've decided to do myself... Maybe I shouldn't give it away, but I'm so excited about it, here's a sneak preview of the front cover.... 



    I'm hand painting (inking) the liner notes, and a portrait of myself too... and big enough that some day, when I can realize my dream of getting the thing printed on vinyl, there'll be full sized images. 

    To all of the amazing people who contributed to the album via Rockethub, or some other means, I'm terribly sorry it's taking so much longer than anticipated. Yet "everyone" tells me to buck up, this is just the way it goes. These labours of love are indeed laborious, and it's important to get them right. At this point I anticipate having the album in your hands by the beginning of September. I'm looking at CD release parties in Victoria and Vancouver around then too, and will keep you posted on all of it. And thank you for your patience. 

    I plan to release a track or two online ahead of time, something to hold you over, so do stay tuned to this site! 

            A while back, Adrian sent me this photo, taken on Mayne while recording. 


     In other news: Apparently I'm a terrible singer. Nono, not in terms of sound, but the reason I've been losing my voice has been revealed as atrociously bad technique. So thanks to the help of a really wonderful speech pathologist I now have a regime of embarrassing and hilarious exercises to do every day. Basically retraining myself to speak and sing again from scratch. These things include; pulling my tongue as far out of my mouth as possible and then yelling "HAHA!", making motorcycle noises, and blowing bubbles through a straw. It's like being four years old again. But I think it's working, and more often than not, it makes me laugh my head off. 

               If you're in Vancouver, I'd like to recommend two upcoming events: 

                 1. Fish & Bird perform with Headwater and White Ash Falls
                 at the Biltmore on  Thursday the 14th. These are some of the best 
                 musicians around,  and real nice guys to boot.  What a plethora of 
                 gorgeous folk-country-rock-indie-lovely-babes. I mean sounds. 

                2.  Car Free Days is coming up, probably my number one favourite 
               Vancouver event, June 17th! Main street and Commercial will be closed 
               off to traffic, and there will be vendors and music and street festival 
               goodness galore. The Kingsgate Chorus will be performing at 3 pm at 
               Main and 14th, and just might be making a surprise appearance on 
               Commercial drive a little later!
                                       http://www.carfreevancouver.org/


             And a couple more pieces of news: Marmota has a new website!!! Katie Stewart         
                                 http://www.katiestewartphotographics.com/
 did yet another amazing photo shoot, this time for Elise and I, and the multitalented Elise Boeur made us a wee website. There's even a one-tune-video for you to see!   
                                           http://www.marmota.ca/photos/
   AND! This is coming up! My Dad is putting on a show for The Crooked Brothers, Carly Dow, and myself in Powell River later this month! The second in PapaScott's Concert Series. I made the poster, and it was fun. 


        
                                                        

                                                                   March 16th

     Home again in Vancouver, sitting at the window in the middle of a flash hail storm. Spring is so temperamental, I just love it. Probably because I can relate. A time of renewal, and so perfect for the undertaking of new endeavors. 

     The recording sessions wrapped up nicely, and in fact, the loss of my voice actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. As most crappy things tend to do. The time we had allotted for vocals ended up being a time to put the most detailed textures on the record. I've been really into texture these days, so it became important to find the right ones for me. Some of the tracks turned out much rock-ie-er than I had expected, but the results are really really pleasing. I'm peeing my pants in excitement to get over to Victoria next month and complete it all. 


     During recording we had, so generously on loan, Adam Dobres' custom built Erickson guitar (http://www.ericksonsoundlabs.com/Photos.html#2), and since we couldn't have the REAL Dobres, Adrian psychically channeled him and played some serious shreds. Even Luke put down an electric track, and so did I! Thank you Adam!

    Shanti Bremer of the Sweet Lowdown also so kindly lent us her Romero banjo (http://www.romerobanjos.com/), which sounds like mellow sunshine and plays like butter... mmmm. Thank you Shanti! 


     Katie Stewart (of http://www.sadmag.ca/), my friend and oh-so-official photographer took these photos on Mayne with her magic iphone. I love them! Above is pictured Ryan Boeur with the aforementioned banjo, and a little outdoor choir practice. 

      I can hardly express my gratitude to all the people who've made my album come together. So much support, and so much belief in my music. It's overwhelmingly wonderful. I could gush on and on...  So000, ANYWAY, now back in Vancouver, the hail has suddenly stopped and now the sun is beaming merrily away. Pfttt. Spring.  Last night was a late one, singing at David Newberry's album release at the Railway Club, and that was downright lovely. There was a great turnout. 2AM chocolate peanut butter milkshakes afterwards. Next week I'll play the backup singer again with Melisa Devost at the Wise Hall. It's fun to be in demand! 


    Temperamentally yours, 
      JR

                                                             March 12th

Mercury retrograde MADNESS!! I don't really know what Mercury in retrograde means, other than the past few days have been crazy! Any concrete plans we've made in the last 48 hours have been derailed like a freight train that hit a penny.

I am the first to admit that I am a very lucky lady. I'm on semi-work-holiday-vacation, making music on a gorgeous island with good people. We have one million eggs to eat, possibly more, and a warm fire in this cozy house. There are adorable purple crocuses coming up in the orchard. However, here is a list of fun and interesting hitches in our plans, and the knots we're tying to remedy them:

Hitch: I've lost my voice real good, and am no longer going to be recording any vocals at all while I'm over here. 
Knot: I'm going to figure this voice thing out, and then record vocals over some of the time we have allotted for mixing next month. I've accepted that this might mean that the album comes out later than I had intended, and am now feeling much more relaxed about it all. I sound like a drunk dinosaur. I hope you never hear this voice. 

Hitch: There was a mega wind storm last night. It was so violent, a piece of the deck roof actually ripped off and flew into the night! The most wind ever. And….THE POWER IS OUT!
Knot: GENERATOR!!! Yay! Just enough power to run Adrian's computer and a guitar amp. Perfect. Also there's a lovely wood stove upon which we cooked eggs and coffee this morning. Also It's raining like tigers and wolves (that's even more than cats and dogs) outside, so we have plenty of water. 

Hitch: Because of the wind storm the folks who were over for recording on the weekend couldn't get their ferry this morning, because it wasn't running. I'm secretly happy about this. I hope they stay forever.
Knot: The wind has died now, after taking with it a part of the deck roof, and we're quite sure the evening ferry will be running (dammit!). 

Some hitch-less knots are these: The bed tracks sound amazing. Luke and Adrian have played the most wonderful drums, bass, pedal steel, mandola, SPACE mandola, viola… it's all sounding better than my wildest dreams. The mini-Kingsgate Chorus came over and put some 10 piece choir on 3 tracks, and they were incredible. For many of them, it was their first recording experience, and while I suspect it was a bit intense for them, they really rocked it. I'm going to be so excited to put each of their names in the liner notes! Elise and Ryan Boeur both put tracks down on my newest song, viola and electric guitar. And being the newest, I hadn't really planned that one out, so it was really neat-o to hear it come together (Insert "A Little Help From my Friends" here, wa waaaaaa).

Basically, all is well, but all is a little screwy. So goes life. And record making. One more day of tracking after today, and then I'll be back to Vancouver for some crazy St. Patrick's day gigs. If anyone was wondering, the Ginger Ninjas show on the 15th is cancelled, so you should definitely all come to the David Newberry CD release party (his album was recorded right here on Mayne, exactly one year ago!) at the Railway Club that night!  Happy Spring! 



                                                           March 6, 2012

Hello from Mayne Island, where the Pilsner flows like a river, and where recording is off to a tortoise-like start, but you know who always wins the race...

First few days we've had a couple of helpful human friends over here, as well as two adorable canines. Hula (the little girl dog in the picture is up for adoption in Victoria, so contact me if you think she might be your soul mate! I'm falling in love with her myself...). We just started tracking today after some marathon rehearsals, and it feels good to be actually recording. Seeing the little sound graphs write themselves across the glowing face of the computer, hearing it played back. The drums (which take up most of the living room) are particularly exciting to me, as well as Adrian's awesome bass playing. He told us that when he was a kid he made himself a cardboard bass, he wanted to play so bad. Now his dream has come true.

This place is one of my favourite places in the world. The houses are so gorgeous, designed and built by talented architects, and the families who own this property put so much love into it. This morning the sun had regained some of its summery self and put some real power out. Robins chirped, geese honked, dogs barked, and the ocean gleamed blue as anything. We drank coffee on the deck and watched the dogs play. A very good start to the day. I'm decompressing like crazy.

Right now dinner's a cookin', a la Adrian/Heather, filling the house with enticing smells. The fire's blazing and Vetiver's on the stereo, and I'm glad to be in such a wholesome place with good friends. Ahhhh. More bed tracks after dinner.

I heard David Newberry's album came out today, and honestly, it's the best album of the year. And last year. He's my favourite. You can get it on Bandcamp (http://davidnewberry.bandcamp.com/album/no-one-will-remember-you), and itunes and all that stuff.

More updates to come...

                                                                March 1, 2012

Time just marches forward unstoppably!  I'm so busy planning for the future it's a struggle to be present in the present. Gigantic grocery lists, gear checklists, and all manner of preparation (musical and otherwise) for recording consume my mind while my body goes about my daily life like a good little robot. 

Saturday I board the big old ferry for Mayne Island, and Sunday Adrian and Luke arrive and we get right down to business. Very exciting!! Poor Luke'll be jetlagged to hell after flying home from the UK and then getting up the next morning to come here. 

In regards to technology: My phone doesn't work on Mayne, or seemingly anywhere but metro Vancouver (Wind, it's a cheap company but moderately useless). There's no house phone or internet at the Iredale place so I'm eager to break my many techno-habits, refocusing that time and energy on the music.  If we really need to get connected we can go across the street to the barn and steal the internet from the tenant there. So. Off the grid we go! Yeah! 

This is a really unique project for me, because as a newfound band-leader, I don't really know what my sound is. All of the instruments will be played by me, Adrian and Luke, and a bit by my Marmota-partner, Elise Boeur. I've never had a band with a full drum kit before, and while I completely trust Luke to come up with great stuff, I barely even know what a kit drummer is capable of, or how the drumming will change "My Sound"... So in a sense, "My Sound" is being created, almost from scratch, over the next couple of weeks on Mayne! This gives me a little thrill! This is why it's important that only good friends work on this album with me, musicians I both respect and trust professionally, and love and trust as humans. Because they're helping me make something which will become part of my career, and even my personality (the two being tied very closely together). 

I've got some new shows listed on the shows page, so check em out, and then check me out! And I'll keep you posted from the barn, on album progress, the general happiness of the sheep, and the increasing increments of green growing things. 

Love and BC Ferries. 

                                                            February 4, 2012

After a couple of gorgeous mild days in Vancouver (complete with that big bright thing in the sky, what's it called again...? ) some reassuringly concrete plans are coming together for the new album. If my thoughts on the record were colours, they would totally clash.  

Excitement would be the most blinding of yellows, streaked with HOT PINK! But then the inevitable worry would be more of a navy blue, and that combination just seriously hurts my eyes. What a lot of stock we put into our artistic endeavors! We pressure them (as if they were our children!) to be successful and productive, to help secure our future! So... the goal this month is to get ready to record, while maintaining an awareness that it's an artistic endeavor. The result is important, but the process is really what it's all about. 

Preparations: 
Luke's plane ticket has been purchased, the house (studio) has been SO generously made available by the Iredale-Greys, and I'm brainstorming ideas for the album art (Yep. At the urging of many good and supportive friends, I've decided to do the art myself... if I can ever find the time to sit down and draw...) I had a fun chat with Cheryl MacKay and Derek Bird at the CBC the other day, post Newberry concert, and they seem real excited about my ridiculous musical endeavors. And I tell ya, there is nothing - NOTHING - more reassuring to a Canadian folk musician than to have CBC on your side. 

 In the meantime, I'm revamping my day jobs in a major way - 'BOUT TIME! you all shout now! - and dreaming dreaming dreaming about getting a dog. Which just ain't gonna happen. I know. BUUUUUT, I'm volunteering for Shout White Dragon's next square dance at the Wise Hall on Thursday, and I seriously encourage you all to come out and have the most fun of your lives. You don't need to know how to do it, it comes with INSTRUCTIONS! And it'll make you laugh and jump and make eye contact with smiling strangers and swing them round and round.
 

Doe-see-doe! 
Over and out!