The release of the Juno nominated record Pink Strat may have resulted in Afie Jurvanen being better known as Bahamas, his solo stage name, but Jurvanen has been an active self-taught sideman for the likes of Feist, Jason Collett and Zeus for years. Since the release of Pink Strat in 2009, Bahamas has performed with Elvis Costello, Sam Roberts, the Weakerthans, the Constantines, Amy Millan, and most recently finished touring with Wilco.
Afie Jurvanen performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Blues and slide guitarist Alan Haynes is known best for his clean tone and complex chord arrangements. Haynes handily blends Texas blues and jazz with southern country licks, and his mastery of such a variety of styles has brought him to perform with legends such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bonnie Raitt, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and others. Haynes also led the house band at Antone’s, Austin’s famed and undisputed “Home of the Blues.”
Alan Haynes performed at the Sleepwalk Guitar SXSW Jam, 2012
With a Latin Grammy and two Juno Awards on the shelf, Alex Cuba has brought his worlds together to make one impressive career. From Havana to British Columbia, Cuba blends sugarcane-sweet melodies, pop-soul hooks and honest to goodness rock into a musical cocktail all his own.
Alex Cuba performed at the Sleepwalk Guitar SXSW Jam, 2012
Juno Award winner Amos Garrett’s career has spanned decades and genres. A founding member of Great Speckled Bird and session man on the scene during the incredibly fertile period in Americana/roots music in the 70s, Garrett is known for developing his signature technique, a method of bending multiple strings that results in a pedal-steel sound. This Stony Plain Records artist is best recognized for his famed guitar solo in Maria Muldaur’s 1974 hit, “Midnight at the Oasis.”
Amos Garrett performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Garage rock singer-songwriter Andre Ethier, formerly of The Deadly Snakes, also has three solo records and a visual arts degree to his name. One of Toronto’s favourite live indie acts, The Deadly Snakes’ album Porcella was short-listed for the inaugural Polaris Music Prize (2006).
Andre Ethier performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
A veteran of the Canadian scene in the 90s, Andrew Dickson brought “voluminous” guitar solos to Montreal’s Tricky Woo, a band with 9 albums to its name, including the Juno nominated Sometimes I Cry. As founding member and principal songwriter in the band, Dickson was a key mover in the country’s garage rock revivalism.
Andrew Dickson performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
With The Skydiggers, Andy Maize was a central figure in a golden era of Toronto’s roots rock history, the Spadina Hotel scene in the 1980s. Juno winners and quintessentially Canadian music-makers, Maize and The Skydiggers are responsible for crafting timeless songs with a caliber of harmonies and melodies that rival any of their contemporaries. Their most recent release is the album, The Truth About Us: A Twenty Year Retrospective.
Andy Maize performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
This Titan of the Telecaster slings “dieselbilly” licks that blend country, blues, rockabilly, western swing and boogie-woogie – all the good stuff. The Grammy nominated Kirchen made his name playing the unmistakable lead guitar on “Hot Rod Lincoln” by Commander Cody, a Top Ten hit. With a career over 40 years long, it’s no surprise that Kirchen has worked with the greats, including Nick Lowe, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello and more.
Bill Kirchen performed at the Sleepwalk Guitar SXSW Jam, 2012
Guitarist Brad Rice has toured and recorded with such artists as, The Backsliders, Ryan Adams, Tift Merritt, Son Volt, Keith Urban, Marius Westernhagen, and the Court Yard Hounds. Rice released a solo record, Karma Bed, in 2005. He has also recently started a new project, Brad Rice & the Electric Mud
Brad Rice performed at the Sleepwalk Guitar SXSW Jam, 2012
12-time Country Music Guitarist of the Year and multiple Country Music Association Award winner Brent Mason, based in Nashville, TN, has played with artists from Chet Atkins (who discovered Mason in Nashville) to Neil Diamond, George Straight, Shania Twain, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson and countless other giants of country music. Mason has also contributed to a Grammy-winning effort for Best Country Instrumental (“Cluster Pick”, from Brad Paisley’s album Play). A premiere session musician and composer, Mason is recognized as one of the most recorded guitarists in history and a Master of the Telecaster.
Brent Mason performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Best known for lap steel prowess, Toronto’s Christine Bougie’s reputation for versatility and originality has placed her at the top of fellow musicians lists of Go-To recording artists (she’s appeared on over 30 albums, including releases by Amy Millan). With three solo releases as well, Bougie pushes the boundaries of instrumental music.
Christine Bougie performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Austin’s Cindy Cashdollar specializes in dobro and steel guitar, and her ability to add just the right notes at just the right times has brought her name to album credits that include Rod Stewart, Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan and Daniel Lanois. “Equally at home picking a vintage Dobro, an old National resonator guitar, or laying down fat horn voicings on a tripleneck 8-string steel, Cashdollar is a master of bluegrass, gutbucket blues, honky tonk, swampy R&B, and Western Swing,” gushes Frets Magazine.
Cindy Cashdollar performed at the Sleepwalk Guitar SXSW Jam, 2012 and will be performing at the 2012 Sleepwalk Guitar Festival.
A longtime, highly in-demand guitarist and producer on the scene, Hamilton, ON native Colin Cripps’ name appears in liner notes with some of Canada’s biggest acts, past and present, from Bryan Adams to Blue Rodeo, Crash Vegas, Kathleen Edwards, Junkhouse and The Headstones. Cripps produced and played on the Juno-winning Jim Cuddy album The Light That Guides You Home (2006).
Colin Cripps performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
For over two decades, the Multi-platinum, JUNO Award winning recording artist Colin Jameshas played and toured as one of the most respected guitarists of his time. A musician who got his break opening for Stevie Ray Vaughan, James has released 12 records to date, won multiple Junos (his first for his debut record in 1989, others for everything ranging from Vocalist to Blues Album to Producer) and toured with Keith Richards, Steve Winwood, ZZ Top and others. International hit singles and Canadian chart toppers attest to James’ winning combination of dedication, professionalism, and above all, electrifying guitar mastery.
Colin James performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Juno Award nominated singer-songwriter Danny Michel comes with the approval of a long list of fans in fellow Canadian musicians. With eight solo albums, the fiercely independent Michel has also worked with a who’s who of favourites, from Sarah Harmer to touring with the Vinyl Cafe and earning top standing in the David Suzuki “Playlist for the Planet” competition.
Danny Michel performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Derek Downham is a multi-instrumentalist/producer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He provides dexterous and dynamic drumming as the timekeeper for Toronto based band The Beauties (Six Shooter Records). Not to mention, he has backed up a virtual who’s-who of Canadian musicians.
Derek Downham performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Les Paul-slinger Duke Robillard’s multiple Grammy Award nominations confirm his status in the Blues community, where he is regarded as a master in the jump and electric blues traditions. Robillard has toured with Tom Waits, recorded with a long list of roots and blues icons (including Bob Dylan). Named Best Blues Guitarist for four years running by the Blues Music Awards, this Stony Plain Record artist is also the winner of three consecutive Maple Blues Awards, numerous international accolades and praised by of peers and critics alike.
Duke Robillard performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
As a key member of Montreal’s indie music community, bassist Eric Larock has recorded and/or toured with such artists as Tricky Woo, Starvin Hungry, Blurtonia, Sam Shalabi, The Besnard Lakes and Black Ox Orkestar, just to name a few. He is currently based in his hometown of Ottawa, ON.
Eric Larock performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Glenn Milchem is best known as the drummer of Blue Rodeo for the last two decades. He has also played with dozens of other artists based in Toronto, including Holy Fuck, Starvin Hungry, Groovy Religion, Change of Heart, Andrew Cash, The Garbagemen, Whitenoise and many others. He has released four albums with his band The Swallows, in which he sings, plays guitar and composes.
Glenn Miclchem performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Gordon Grdina is an accomplished Oud/Guitarist whose sound is a combination of his interests in free-form improvisation, Punk, and Arabic classical music. His main touring ensemble is the Gordon Grdina Trio. They have toured across North America and Europe consistently for the past five years most recently across Canada this past festival season in support of “Barrel Fire” (Drip Audio) which features Swedish sax maniac Mats Gustafsson.
Gordon Grdina performed at the Sleepwalk Guitar SXSW Jam, 2012
Where Gord Lewis and Teenage Head went, riots followed. This original member of Canada’s punk scene, revered by fans and feared by promoters, originally from Hamilton, ON, is known for his on-stage intensity and unique chord structures. Gord still resides in Hamilton and is an active part of the music community, where he performs and teaches.
Gordie asked us to include a list of performers he has played/recorded with over the years outside of his career with Teenage Head. They are all great people to work with and he learned so much from all of them:
Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls)
Dennis Dunaway (Alice Cooper Group)
Marky Ramone (Ramones)
Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls)
Dee Dee Ramone (Ramones)
Joe Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult)
Albert Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult)
Andy Shernoff (The Dictators)
Clem Burke (Blondie)
Corky Lang (Mountain)
Cyril Jordan (The Flamin’ Groovies)
Cheeta Chrome (The Dead Boys)
Tom Wilson (Blackie and the Rodeo Kings)
Gordon Lewis performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
A self-confessed lover of classic riffs and simplicity, Winnipeg’s Grant “Demon” Siemens values tone and ‘playing the song’ over all else. As Corb Lund’s guitarist, Siemens has been involved in albums that have won countless awards, including 2 Junos, 10 Canadian Country Music Awards, 2 gold records and a range of accolades for his guitar and lap steel skills.
Grant Siemens performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Musician and producer Ian Blurton has been a part of the Canadian indie scene since its beginning. From member of Change of Heart to founder of C’mon to solo artist, Blurton’s name can be found on album credits across genres. Blurton is known for his love of vintage gear, blood-splattered, chipped and all. Function over fashion.
Ian Blurton performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
The “monolithic” guitar riffs of Dinosaur Jr. founder J Mascis have been immortalized in the Fender J Mascis Signature Jazzmaster, a Purple Sparkle finish with Mascis-approved modifications. Since the early 80s, Mascis has been blazing trails with Dinosaur Jr. and beyond, and is responsible for some of the great “guitar rock touchstones” of our time; “Across his career, Mascis has let distortion, excess wattage, and virtuoso technique do most of the talking for him.” (Pitchfork). J Mascis is currently touring an acoustic album, Several Shades of Why, released on Sub Pop in 2011.
J Mascis performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
From Toronto’s Cameron House regulars Run With The Kittens (“Canada’s most entertaining live act”) to the wildly experimental and inventive interpretations of Elvis Bossa Nova to Outlaw Indie up-and-comers New Country Rehab, James Robertson’s “face-melting” guitar playing has been at the centre of Toronto’s music scene for years. Robertson has also played with Sarah Slean, Justin Rutledge and Brandi Disterheft.
James Robertson performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 20
Winnipeg’s Jason Nowicki is a member of the Juno, Maple Blues and WCMA nominated blues band The Perpetrators. In addition to work with The Perps, Jason tours with fellow Manitoban blues artist Romi Mayes. Influenced by everything and known for his unique mastery of scrappy blues/rock foundations, Jason is recognized as one of Canada’s top guitar players by both critics and fellow musicians.
Jason Nowicki performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Toured and recorded with K.D. Lang, Bruce Cockburn, Bryan Adams, Natalie MacMaster, and Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, to name a few. John has Performed on Saturday Night Live, The Grammy’s, The Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien, and more. John is a 5 Time winner of CCMA’s bass player of the year.
John Dymond performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Although guitarist Johnny Moeller hails from Austin, Texas, you won’t hear any SRV or Albert Collins mimicry in his playing. Instead, Moeller has melded his own style informed not only by those Texas blues guitar heroes but also by the sounds of soul, jazz, funk, and rock ‘n’ roll. In addition to his main gig in the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Moeller also serves as the house guitarist for Severn Records, recording sessions with many of the label’s artists. Moeller’s latest solo album, Bloogaloo!, is available on Severn Records.
Johnny Moeller performed at the Sleepwalk Guitar SXSW Jam, 2012
Two-time Juno nominee and twice Polaris long-listed Justin Rutledge is a Toronto-based songwriter whose refined albums garner impressive amounts of critical acclaim. Known as one of Canada’s most literate songsmiths, Rutledge’s most recent record, The Early Widows, came out of a collaboration with author Michael Ondaatje. Justin made his theatrical debut in the production When My Name Was Anna, also based on the novel Divisadero.
Justin Rutledge performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Kurt Swinghammer is a Canadian singer-songwriter, visual artist, composer and sideman on the scene since the 1980s. With a solo career that spans genres and decades, Swinghammer has also appeared on albums by Ani DiFranco, Sarah Slean, Great Big Sea and others. Anointed Best Local Guitarist by Toronto’s NOW Magazine readers, Swinghammer’s unique stamp can also be found on numerous film score and TV credits. His most recent release is a song cycle/animation project Turpentine Wind, based on the life and work of Group of Seven painter Tom Thomson.
Kurt Swinghammer performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
As a landmark singer-songwriter in the Canadian indie landscape, Doucet has made his name as a first-rate guitarist and creative force, with five solo albums to date. His band’s namesake, the prominent white Gretsch guitar, has become Luke Doucet’s musical and visual calling card. Doucet’s fifth release on Six Shooter Records, Steel City Trawler, was rewarded with a second Juno nomination for Adult Alternative Album (the award was again taken by Neil Young). The album, described as “a late-’70s ride to the grocery store in a big, gas-guzzling Lincoln Town Car,” attracted four-star reviews. In addition to multiple production credits, Doucet has spent two decades as a studio/session guitarist, with recording credits that contain a long list of Canadian icons, including Sarah McLachlan and Bryan Adams.
Luke Doucet & The White Falcon performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011 and at the Sleepwalk Guitar SXSW Jam, 2012
Melissa McClelland is a study in contrasts; a crystal clear, blue sky voice meets swampy, gritty guitar instincts, a synthesis of Patsy Cline and Tom Waits. A celebrated songwriter in her own right – she won Best Americana Song for the “Passenger 24” from the Independent Music Awards – McClelland is also the Go To voice of choice for heavies from Blue Rodeo to Sarah McLachlan Jesse Cook, with whom she had a Billboard chart topper. McClelland’s most recent solo album, Victoria Day showcased her ability to seamlessly fuse ‘Canadiana twang with Dixieland blues’.
Melissa McClelland performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Phil Hurley has been all over the musical map, touring with Tracy Bonham, recording with Lisa Loeb and Fountains of Wayne and doing both of those things with his own bands since he was sixteen. Hurley’s versatility as a guitarist and singer-songwriter has taken him from east to west, north to south. His current creative home is Austin-based country-rock group Stonehoney.
Phil Hurley performed at the Sleepwalk Guitar SXSW Jam, 2012
With a Grammy for Best Country Instrumental Performance, Telecaster slinger Redd Volkaert has come a long way from his early days noodling in a country and western swing band in Edmonton, AB. Making his way from LA to Nashville, scoring a spot in Merle Haggard’s band, and winding up in Austin, TX, Volkaert has built a reputation as one of country music’s preeminent pickers. Volkaert has also released five solo records.
Redd Volkaert performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
A student of Jimi Hendrix, guitarist in New Wave pioneers Television, Richard Lloyd’s name stands alongside the giants of the 1970s New York era. Drawn to New York by the New York Dolls, Television landed a regular gig at CBGBs when the time was right. Television’s debut, Marquee Moon (1977) consistently appears on any list of greatest guitar albums in rock and roll’s history. As a solo artist, teacher, producer and engineer, Lloyd and his famous pinstriped Stratocaster continue to make their mark.
Richard Lloyd performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.
Beyond their impressive country music bloodlines, The Sadies are known both for their distinctive sound, a blend of “garage, folk-rock and psychedelia” with influences ranging from Link Wray and Ennio Morricone, and their unique ability to back musicians from Neko Case to John Doe. Together for over a decade, with countless album credits and nearly 10 releases of their own under their belt buckles, The Sadies defy the assumption that bands get worse over time. Their most recent album, Darker Circles, made the 2010 Polaris Short List and won international accolades.
The Sadies performed at the inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival, November, 2011.