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An afternoon waterfront show featuring Amanda Rheaume, Ray Bonneville, and more, hosted at the Marine and Rail Museum! Amanda will be playing from 1pm – 2pm, followed by Ray Bonneville from 3pm – 4pm. One ticket is valid for both sets! Please remember to bring a mask. Gates open at 12pm.
The fifth album from Ottawa-raised, Toronto-based singer/songwriter Amanda Rheaume, The Skin I’m In presents a compellingly portrait of an artist fully comfortable in her own skin, personally and musically. Produced by Colin Cripps (Blue Rodeo, Junkhouse) at The Tragically Hip’s famed Bathouse Studio, it sports a full-blooded band sound, thanks to the contributions of an A-list musical supporting cast.
Rheaume’s supple and expressive vocals fit neatly in the centre of the sonic landscape, while her eloquent and well-crafted songs were written with such noted collaborators as Jason Blaine, Melanie Brulée, Jim Bryson, Justin Glasco, and Tim Bovaconti.
One of Rheaume’s great gifts as a songwriter is her ability to take the personal and make it universal, drawing upon her own experience to deliver messages with a wide resonance. She digs deep on The Skin I’m In, reflecting upon her Metis heritage, as on the profoundly moving title track and “Return To The Water,” and addressing issues of identity and mental health. Her earlier albums met with widespread critical acclaim. 2013’s Keep A Fire earned her a 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for Aboriginal Songwriter of The Year as well as a Juno Award nomination for Aboriginal Album of the Year, while 2016’s Holding Patterns received a Canadian Folk Music Awards nomination.
An engaging performer, Rheaume has developed a following across Canada and in Europe, where she tours regularly. She has long employed her music as a force for good, as shown by three trips to Afghanistan to perform for Canadian military personnel, plus visits to the Alert base in Canada’s far north and the Indigenous community of Attawapiskat. Rheaume co-founded Babes4Breasts, an initiative that, through concerts and recording projects, raised money for breast cancer charities across Canada over a 10-year period. This is an artist with a heart as big as her talent.
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Acclaimed raconteur Ray Bonneville strips his bluesy Americana down to its essentials and steeps it in the humid grooves of the South, creating a compelling poetry of hard living and deep feeling. His ninth release, At King Electric, delivers more than his trademark grit and groove. Songs such as “The Next Card to Fall” and “Codeine” gleam with intimate narratives of characters reaching for hope and wrestling with despair. Rich guitar and harmonica lines resonate over spare but spunky rhythms, while Bonneville’s deep, evocative voice confesses life’s harsh realities.
Jim Withers (Montreal Gazette) describes his sound as “folk-roots gumbo… a languid Mississippi Delta groove, seasoned with smooth, weathered vocals and a propulsive harmonica wheeze.” Whether performing solo or fronting a band, playing electric or acoustic guitar, Bonneville allows space between notes that adds potency to every chord, lick, and lyric. Thom Jurek (Allmusic.com) remarks, “With darkness and light fighting for dominance… he’s stripped away every musical excess to let the songs speak for themselves.”
Often called a “song and groove man,” Bonneville has lived the life of the itinerant artist. From his native Quebec, he moved to Boston at age twelve, where he learned English and picked up piano and guitar. Later, he served in Vietnam and earned a pilot’s license in Colorado before living in Alaska, Seattle, and Paris. Six years in New Orleans infused his musical sensibilities with the region’s culture and rhythms. And then, a close call while piloting a seaplane proved pivotal: After two decades working as a studio musician, playing rowdy rooms with blues bands, and living hard, Bonneville’s lifetime of hard-won experience coalesced into an urge to write his own music.
Ray recorded his first album, On the Main, in 1992. He’s since released nine albums, earned wide critical and popular acclaim, and won an enthusiastic following in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. His awards include a prestigious Juno, the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy, for his 1999 album, Gust of Wind. In 2012, Ray won the solo/duet category in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge. His post-Katrina ode, “I Am the Big Easy,” earned the International Folk Alliance’s 2009 Song of the Year Award, placed number one on Folk Radio’s list of most-played songs of 2008, and was recently covered by Jennifer Warnes for the BMG label.