Saskatchewan At Folk Alliance 2018

Saskatchewan At Folk Alliance 2018

by SaskMusic

February 8, 2018 in SaskMusic News

SaskMusic is pleased to be attending the annual Folk Alliance International Conference, Camp, Show, and Awards in Kansas City along with six Saskatchewan artists. Joining together in a partnership under the banner of BreakOut WestAlberta Music, Manitoba Music, and SaskMusic will present our artists in private showcases for the thousands of international music industry professionals in attendance. Folk Alliance International provides the opportunity to share ideas, network, and celebrate traditional music and dance.

Saskatchewan artists performing at Folk Alliance this year are: Colter Wall, Eli Barsi, Gunner & Smith, Jack Semple, Kara Golemba and Rosie & the Riveters. Colter Wall, Jack Semple, and Rosie & the Riveters have received official Folk Alliance showcase invitations. In addition to performing, artists attend the Folk Alliance conference and keynote sessions, participate in the industry tradeshow, and are able to take advantage of networking opportunities throughout the weekend with talent buyers, festival bookers, radio programmers, record labels and many others from around the world, all oriented on the folk, roots and world music industries.

With SaskMusic fresh off of export opportunities in Montreal (M for Montreal), Germany (Reeperbahn Festival), Halifax Pop Explosion, Americanafest (Nashville TN), and numerous others, we are pleased to work with our artists to cultivate new business opportunities. We will be in Kansas City to assist with promotion of showcases and network with delegates from around the world, following up on connections we have cultivated at previous events. In addition to assisting our artists while in Kansas City, SaskMusic is working with the artists in advance of the event to ensure they are well-prepared for the opportunities it will present. 

About the Saskatchewan Artists

Colter Wall

Colter Wall

With a well-travelled, rumbling baritone and mindfully-constructed songwriting that intensely contradict his lack of years, Colter Wall’s debut full-length, produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson) (Young Mary’s Records/Thirty Tigers) has garnered that rarity: the esteem of both critics and fans. With achievements to date including performance at the Ryman Auditorium opening for Lucinda Williams, and Margo Price; show dates with Steve Earle, a publishing deal with Rick Rubin, and sold out shows across North America, Wall’s is an album that pays homage to country & western’s roots while firmly claiming a sound that is entirely his own. He’s been included in Rolling Stone’s “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know” (November 2016); #5 on the Rough Trade Best of Year; American Songwriter’s Top 25 Songs of 2017 (“Me and Big Dave”); and achieved over 2 million streams in 2017 alone. “Colter Wall is one of country music’s most exciting young voices. His debut album is strange and stirring, rarely ever rising above a gentle rumble,” writes Rolling Stone. “Wall writes country songs as stark and traditional as they come, accompanied by little more than an acoustic guitar. To call him wiser than his years would be an understatement: veteran songwriters go to great lengths to sound so gruff and world-weary.”


  • Friday Feb 16: 08:15PM – Benton’s 20th Floor *Official showcase
Eli Barsi

Eli Barsi

Eli Barsi is an original farm girl from the prairies of southeastern Saskatchewan. This traditionally-minded artist has spent many years in the entertainment business as a diverse entertainer, musician, songwriter, producer, yodeler, and landscape artist. Her accolades are many, and span over three decades. In that time she has written and recorded a large body of work, including in the genres of western roots, bluegrass, folk, country and gospel.  Eli has cultivated a loyal audience and fanbase performing full time internationally and celebrates independent success on USA, Canadian & European radio.  Throughout the years, she has been honoured with the coveted Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, along with numerous awards from her Canadian homeland.  Her ‘Carter Scratch’ style of lead acoustic guitar playing and crystal clear voice are well displayed at her live shows along with her great storytelling, humour, and the ability to quickly connect with her audience.


  • Thursday Feb 15: 03:00PM Governors Suite 529 (BreakOut West – 3 In the Round)
  • Saturday Feb 17: 12:30AM Governors Suite 529 (BreakOut West)

Gunner and Smith

Gunner & Smith

Hope and redemption. Philosophy and folklore. The music of Gunner & Smith has always been a collection of fiery elements, blending searing guitars, brawny rhythms and distinct folk-family vocals to produce tightly-knit rock anthems. But on “Byzantium,” the group’s second full-length album, the songs simmer and seethe with a newfound brooding energy that looks at the darker sides of love, loss and humanity. Anchored by the stolid songwriting of frontman Geoff Smith, the ever-shifting nature of the band has once again undergone another evolution, with a talented cadre of musicians joining the frontman at the helm. Featuring an ever-expanding sound that combines indie rock, alt-country and sizzling psych-Americana, Byzantium is borne from a deeper, darker place than the group’s previous material. It was overseen by Nashville’s Andrija Tokic (producer behind the Alabama Shakes’ “Boys & Girls.”)


  • Thursday Feb 15: 02:00PM Governors Suite 529 (BreakOut West – 3 In the Round)
  • Friday Feb 16: 01:30AM Governors Suite 529 (BreakOut West)
Jack Semple

Jack Semple

Saskatchewan's Jack Semple is a joyous yet ferocious flamenco technique guitarist with influences from Gordon Lightfoot to Lenny Breau to BB King. Equally strong as a vocalist and songwriter - a triple threat who is a JUNO recipient, Gemini nominee, and winner of two Western Canadian Music Awards for Album of the Year.


  • Thursday Feb 15: 08:15PM Pershing North *Official
  • Thursday Feb 15: 02:00AM Governors Suite 529 (BreakOut West)
  • Friday Feb 16: 02:00PM Governors Suite 529 (BreakOut West - 3 In the Round)
  • Saturday Feb 17: 11:00AM Folk Music Canada Showcase Suite 534
  • Sunday Feb 18: 02:20PM American Folklife Archive Challenge, Washington Park Place 1
Kara Golemba

Kara Golemba

Kara Golemba digs deep to draw strength from her roots. Having grown up and lived in cities across Western Canada, it took moving to small town Saskatchewan to find her voice and be able to succinctly portray her unique perspective on life, relationships, natural environment and ancestral heritage. Her voice can be a sweet mixture of warm honey with a little grit, or she can raise it up to rattle the teacups. Through music, she is dedicated to exploring new realms of emotion, thoughtfulness, and compassion with her audience.

Her debut EP, Every Little Light, is a down-to-earth mix of country, folk, and roots music and established her as a part of the emerging independent prairie music community. Golemba spins her songs from the threads of her daily experiences, relationships, natural environment and ancestral heritage. Golemba is often compared to artists like Susan Tedeschi with her powerful vocal or Brandi Carlile for her unique lyrical perspective. She has played festivals include the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, The Gateway Music Festival, Craven Country Jamboree, Telemiracle, and appeared in CBC/Creative City Centre’s ‘Empty Room Series.’ She also won the 2016 CKRM 620 “Proudly Saskatchewan” artist showcase and the “Spirit of Saskatchewan” songwriting award for “Mason Jar of Memories.” In the prairie tradition, it’s clear that instead of putting on songwriting airs, Kara Golemba uses her unpretentious, rural surroundings to fill her creative well. 


  • Thursday Feb 15: 03:00PM Suite 727 (LilFest)
  • Thursday Feb 15: 12:00AM Governors Suite 529 (BreakOut West)
  • Friday Feb 16: 02:40PM Suite 633 (Pushing Chain Presents)
  • Friday Feb 16: 02:00AM OLEMANJOE Suite 736 (4 The Luv of Music)
  • Saturday Feb 17: 10:30PM Governors Suite 529 (BreakOut West)
Rosie and the Riveters

Rosie & the Riveters

The Canadian trio's unmistakable red lipstick and pin curls may be deceiving, but don't be fooled - this not a throwback band. Listen closely to hear playfully defiant lyrics and confident talk-back harmonies. Their upcoming new album, “Ms. Behave” is a collection of gritty, sultry, vintage-inspired folk anthems that paint a portrait of a woman’s voice in a man’s world. For it, the band wrote over 40 songs in a cabin in Northern Saskatchewan before travelling to Toronto to collaborate with heavy-hitting Canadian songwriters like Royal Wood and Matthew Barber. Produced by Joshua Van Tassel (Sarah Slean, Rose Cousins, Great Lake Swimmers), their sophomore album echoes Aretha Franklin’s demand for R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Their debut record, Good Clean Fun!, garnered an impressive list of accolades from sell-out shows across Canada to performing for British royalty and multiple nominations along the way. In 2016, they took home a Saskatchewan Arts Award, reached the #5 spot on the CBC Radio 2’s National Top 20 countdown, and picked up nominations for a Canadian Folk Music Award (Vocal Group of the Year) and a Western Canadian Music Award (Roots Duo/Group of the Year). Since the band’s formation in 2011, the Riveters have quickly taken the folk scene by storm, called “one of the best live [acts] you’ll ever see” by CBC Radio 2 host, Rich Terfry.


  • Thursday, Feb 15: 06:00PM Benton’s 20th Floor (Merlefest) *Official
  • Friday, Feb 16: 11:00PM Governors Suite 529 (BreakOut West)
  • Friday, Feb 16:  12:30AM Green Room Music Source East Nashville
  • Saturday, Feb 17: 02:00PM Governors Suite 529 (BreakOut West – 3 In the Round)
  • Saturday, Feb 17: 10:30PM Maven's Music




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 ( 

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Saskatchewan At Folk Alliance 2018