Category: NEWS

Guitar Talk

Be sure to check out the new Guitar Talk videos featuring interviews from James Burton, Junior Brown, Cindy Cashdollar and more. Click here for the videos.


Hello Sleepwalkers.

As many of you know, we at Sleepwalk are offering a scholarship to a player 19 years or younger. After much deliberation, we’ve selected Will Hansen for the 2012 Sleepwalk Guitar festival Scholarship comprised of $1000.00 and an amplifier courtesy of Traynor Canada. Will Hansen is a player with great dexterity & improvisational abilities. He presented two different renditions of the same piece and his ability to think on his feet was in full display, revealing him as a player who will potentially mature into a master, should he pursue it further. As with our 2011 winner, Graham Young, Will Hansen’s abilities are humbling to the best of us–regardless of our ages–and he is very deserving of this award.

You may notice that Will’s approach falls somewhere close to Country music in flavour. You may also have noticed that many of our guests at Sleepwalk 2012 also fall into (or fairly close to) that category. This is purely a coincidence. We are very much on the lookout for talent from all corners of the guitar world & we welcome and encourage all flavours and disciplines.

This year’s submissions were a fairly huge leap from last year’s. We received a greater number of videos and many showed young players playing at a very high level. We also received a number of really impressive submissions from young women, who, as we all know, are not as well represented in the guitar geek community. But if offerings by The Command Sisters & Camille Belair are any indication, the future of ‘Girls with Guitars’ is in good hands. Other notable offerings came from Nick Lavkulik and Alex Laurie, both of whom show great promise in the jazz/fusion realm. But truly, I could describe in great detail the passion & commitment that exudes from virtually all of our young entrants, as without exception these players are showing dedication and maturity that belies their youth.

Congratulations to Will Hansen and a huge Sleepwalk “Thank You!” to all the young players who took the time to pour their hearts & souls into their guitars for us.

Keep on picking’!!!!

Luke Doucet

Steve Briggs added to Sleepwalk line up

Steve Briggs has been added to Sleepwalk line up. On a workshop featuring some of the world’s best steel players, including Austin’s Cindy Cashdollar, as well as Canadian steelers Burke Carroll, Bob Taillefer, and Don Rooke, Steve Briggs of the BeBop Cowboys provides the six-string backbone to “Steel Away”, on Saturday, Nov 3 at 2:30 pm.

James Burton Singers!

We are pleased to announce the James Burton singers, who will perform with James Burton on Sunday, Nov 4:

Andy Kim: Pretty Woman (Orbison)
Andy Maize: Hello Mary-Lou (Ricky Nelson)
Emma-Lee: Hound Dog (Elvis)
Luke Doucet: Workin Man’s Blues (Merle Haggard)
Meissa McClelland: Ooh Las Vegas (Parsons, Grech)
NQ Arbuckle: Last Train to Clarksville (Monkees)
Paul Pigat:  Suzie Q (Dale Hawkins)
Peter Elkas: Little Sister (Elvis)
Shakura S’aida: Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis)
Shawn Creamer: Mystery Train (Elvis)
Terra Lightfoot: You Win Again (Jerry Lee via Hank Williams)
Everyone (Finale): In my Hour of Darkness (Parsons)

Also, we’ve made some changes to the workshop times on Sunday. Check Tickets/Schedule page for details.


We are pleased to announce some of the headliners and guest guitarists for Sleepwalk Guitar Festival 2012, held at the Great Hall (1087 Queen St. W) in Toronto on the weekend of Nov 2-4, 2012. They include: James Burton, Albert Lee, Junior Brown, Nels Cline (Wilco), Cindy Cashdollar, Colin Linden, and Paul Pigat.

Friday night (Nov 2) concert sets will be performed by Nels Cline and Zeena Parkins at 9:00 pm, and Luke Doucet and the White Falcon at 10:30 pm. Saturday night (Nov 3) concert sets will be performed by Albert Lee at 9:00 pm and Junior Brown at 10:30 pm (both artists will be accompanied by their bands).

Check out the workshop schedule HERE.
Tickets available via Six Shooter Records.


If you are 19 or under, you may apply for the annual Sleepwalk Scholarship. Paste your best youtube link on the Sleepwalk Facebook page by October 23, 2012. The composition can be an original composition or an interpretation of an existing work. Entries will be judged on innovation, artistry, and technique.

The successful candidate will receive a cash sponsorship of $1000 and an amplifier from Traynor.


We are very pleased to be presenting the Sleepwalk Guitar Festival SXSW Jam in Austin! We are honoured to welcome some of Austin’s hottest players, including Johnny Moeller, Cindy Cashdollar, Phil Hurley, Bill Kirchen, Alan Haynes, and Brad Rice. Rounding out the bill are Canadians Alex Cuba and Gordon Grdina. The whole thing is led by Sleepwalk curator Luke Doucet. It’s going to be a killer jam that will take you on a musical journey that encompasses blues, country, “beautiful noise”, and everything in between. The event is Thursday, March 15 @ noon. We know this is early, so we’ll be serving up some delicious breakfast tacos and Caesars.

SLEEPWALK 2011 Photo Gallery

SLEEPWALK 2011 Photo Gallery by Dan Hinde »»» FULL GALLERY HERE


The inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival is set to launch at Toronto’s Great Hall on Friday, November 4, 2011. This first year brings together slingers from across genres and eras for a full weekend of all things six string.

In addition to concerts and workshops, Sleepwalk Festival programming includes a series of intimate interviews with festival performers. Sleepwalk Guitar Talk will cover vintage gear talk, tips and lessons on techniques, historical details and more. Festival curator Luke Doucet goes one-on-one with an impressive lineup of guitar masters.

Just added to the lineup is the Sleepwalk Tone Clinic, lead by Colin Cripps (Sunday, 3pm).

Sleepwalk Guitar Talks are open to the public, and will be held in the Parlour of the Great Hall. The interviews will also be webcast on following the festival.

Click here for full festival schedule.


After close scrutiny and some really inspiring listening, we have selected our Sleepwalk Emerging Guitarist for our inaugural 2011 year. Graham Young, of Newmarket Ontario will take home the 1000 dollar prize as well as the amplifier from Traynor.

Remember when you were playing hockey as a kid and the opposing team had a player so advanced and mature that your coach had to confirm that he/she was in fact 15 and not 19? Graham is that player. His touch and phrasing are extraordinary for any player but as a 15 year old, he is simply astounding. What is even more remarkable about Young is the evidence of the countless hours he has spent with the guitar in his hands. I know many seasoned 40 year old pros who clearly haven’t spent the hours that this 15 year old has. As he matures, we will see where he goes as an artist. I look forward to hearing what kind of music he creates as he pulls out from under the (many) influences and establishes himself as a contributor to the greater musical landscape, both as a guitar player & a musician in general. I expect we will be hearing a great deal from him in the future.

See Graham’s winning entry here

Congratulations Graham!