SaskMusic at Folk Alliance International 2014

by SaskMusic

February 11, 2014 in SaskMusic News

SaskMusic will travel to Kansas City Missouri February 19-23, 2014 for Folk Alliance International, as our next presentation under an international marketing partnership with BreakOut West. Together with BreakOut West, Manitoba Music, Music Alberta and Music BC, SaskMusic will present private showcases to the thousands of international music industry professionals who will be attending the festival and conference. Folk Alliance International provides the opportunity to share ideas, network, and celebrate traditional music and dance.

Official Saskatchewan showcase artists selected by the Folk Alliance festival this year are Belle Plaine, The Midnight Roses, Gunner and Smith, and Zachary Lucky. SaskMusic will present additional, private showcase opportunities for these artists, and will also feature further Saskatchewan artists John Antoniuk (aka Smokekiller), Blake Berglund, Poor Nameless Boy, and Alissa Arnason. All showcases (both private and official) take place at the Westin and Sheraton Crown Center Hotels in downtown Kansas City.

Fresh from export opportunities in Montreal (Mundial and M for Montreal Nov 19-24, 2013) and Europe (Showcase Scotland Jan 21-26, 2014 in Glasgow UK; Canadian Cultural Centre Jan 30, 2014 in Paris FR; and MIDEM Feb 1-4, 2014 in Cannes FR), SaskMusic is excited to present this opportunity for our artists. We will be on-site to assist our artists with marketing and promotion of their performances, maintaining a presence in the Folk Alliance trade show, and networking with delegates from around the world, following up on connections we have cultivated at previous events.

For more information on this project, please contact SaskMusic at 1-800-347-0676 or 306-347-0676, or

Official showcase event information:

About Folk Alliance International
Since 1989, Folk Alliance® has served as the headquarters for Folk Music and Dance. With over 2800 members worldwide and an annual conference that is one of the five largest music conferences in North America, Folk Alliance continues to grow and mature while providing a unique range of member services to their community. Over the years, their community has grown to include record companies, publishers, presenters, agents, managers, music support services, manufacturers and artists that work in the folk world. Folk Alliance has five regional affiliates that provide the grass roots efforts in their respective markets. Folk Alliance International exists to foster and promote traditional, contemporary, and multicultural folk music and dance and related performing arts. 

About the Saskatchewan Artists

Alissa Arnason is as wholesome as fresh baked bread, served with a side of femme fatale. Both her spirit and her sound can travel from ethereal fragility to deep, down and dirty. Her music is instantly familiar and comforting while the melodies and lyrics are diverse enough to make you want to hug your mother, stomp your feet and sit down and cry.

Belle Plaine was raised on a farm near Fosston, Saskatchewan. She studied classical voice for 12 years, followed by Jazz at Grant MacEwan University. After several waitressing jobs, a misguided attempt to become a scientist and some globetrotting to Australia, she came back to Saskatchewan to start a career in music. Her first full-length album “Notes from a Waitress” unites jazz, pop and country into Belle’s own brand of jazz fusion. After two years of touring to support Notes, Belle is currently writing and recording its follow up, “Last Mountain Lake,” due in 2015.

Blake Berglund's unapologetic approach to “keep country country” is supported through a relentless tour schedule and grassroots marketing tactics. From a horse ranch deep in Saskatchewan's Moose Mountains, Berglund has sold 15,000 units door to door, has three studio albums under his belt and is the 2013 Saskatchewan Country Music Association's Roots Artist of the Year. He's set to release the upcoming album “Jasper” in summer 2014.

Gunner & Smith have evolved into a multi-member indie country rock ensemble that traverses the rocky line between post-prairies balladeering and grit-covered rockers for those given to heavy highway drives and long, expansive thoughts. They are gearing up for the February 25 release of their debut full-length album, “He Once Was a Good Man.” With The Deep Dark Woods’ Ryan Boldt as the producer, the album has found the band’s most realized sound to date. Gunner & Smith will be touring Western Canada this spring.

John Antoniuk (Smokekiller) is Americana the Canadian way, with a Wilco-esque vibe and a whole lotta heart. A singer/songwriter from Saskatoon, John’s music draws a diverse range of comparisons from Teenage Fanclub and Weezer, to Ryan Adams and Neil Young. In 2003, he released the “Side A” EP which quickly saw him sharing the stage with artists like Ron Sexsmith, and Hayden. “13” the first full-length release was selected as a National Finalist in the 2009 RadioStar Songwriting Competition. In 2011, John went into the studio with producer Leeroy Stagger, and together they created “Always With You.” Recently, John was named “Best Solo Artist” in the Planet S (Saskatoon) reader’s poll.

Poor Nameless Boy, born in southeast Saskatchewan, combines an indie folk, mellow, lyrically and vocally driven performance that is meant to get your foot tapping in person and your finger pressing the repeat button in your home. His songs are very personal, speaking honesty about love, life, and our changing hearts in a busy world.

The Midnight Roses are more than country and bluegrass. They are a captivating mix of old fashioned raw grit, fresh instrumentation and roots country twang wrapped in stunning harmonies, and presented with genuine honesty on stage. They're also Saskatchewan's “Next Big Thing”, presented with the title by Big Dog 92-7/Bell Media in 2012. With Paula McGuigan on upright bass, Liza Holder on guitar and mandolin, Eliza Doyle on banjo, guitar, and mandolin, and Myshel Pajuaar on lead vocals, they come together with powerful vocals and original songwriting.

Zachary Lucky was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He was never one to wander too far off the beaten track, until he showed up on the Canadian music circuit in August of 2010 with his debut full-length recording “Come and Gone.” Hearing Lucky’s songs, or reading or writing about this emerging and indelible Canadian artist’s past, it would seem impossible to separate the singer-songwriter from his prairie origins. With his sixth and latest release, “The Ballad Of Losing You” (September 2013), there is an inherent shift. The album has drifted from his folk beginnings into a country and English ballad tradition. Lucky is currently touring Canada and The United States.