Antje Duvekot (Arianna Gillis opens)
Former Rolling Stone music editor Dave Marsh says: "This is a brilliant, brilliant album. I have had this reaction once in the last 10 years and that was the first time I heard Patty Griffin."
Antje Duvekot has solidified her reputation as one of Boston's top singer songwriters with "Big Dream Boulevard" her debut studio release and "the Near Demise of the Highwire Dancer" and "New Siberia" her follow-up albums. The debut CD was produced by Seamus Egan, founder of the Irish super group, SOLAS and the project was released on songwriter Ellis Paul's label and quickly attracted international attention for Antje. It was voted "#1 Folk Release of 2006" by the Boston Globe and was named to the "Top10 Releases of the Year" by National Public Radio's, Folk Alley. Her follow up albums "the Near Demise of the Highwire Dancer" and "New Siberia" were produced by Richard Shindell and alongside with Richard feature other "folk royalty" such as John Gorka, Lucy Kaplansky, and Mark Erelli.
"What a blessing to have worked with someone as talented as Antje. With a voice like hers, and songs as good as these, a producer (especially a first-time producer!) just tries to get out of the way, to do no harm, and to let the artist speak for herself." - Richard Shindell
"Duvekot has gotten hotter, faster than any local songwriter in recent memory. Her songs feel at once fresh faced and firmly rooted, driven by the whispery sensuality of her voice. She believes in the redemptive power of the shared secret, and is utterly unafraid to mine the darkest corners of her life for songs that turn fear into resilience and isolation into community". The Boston Globe
Antje has won some of the top songwriting awards including the Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, the prestigious, Kerrville (TX) "Best New Folk Award" and in one of the nation's top music markets, she won the Boston Music Award for "Outstanding Folk Act", three of the top prizes in the singer songwriter world.
Antje has extensive touring experience, criss-crossing the US and Europe many times. She is a compelling live performer and has been invited to play some of the top festivals including The Newport Folk Festival as well as the Mountain Stage, Philadelphia and Kerrville Festivals. Internationally, she's headlined the Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland and the Tonder Festival in Denmark.
In December of 2007, The Bank of America featured Antje's song "Merry Go Round" in a national TV advertising campaign seen by millions, including a Super Bowl audience. Antje's fast-growing fan base, the viral spreading of her music and a track record of sold-out shows are a testament to her growing popularity. Neil Dorfsman, the producer of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Sting says, "When I first heard Antje I knew I was witnessing something very special. She creates an entire, detailed world in verse, and takes you there with beautiful and understated melody. Her songs are stunning paintings of color and shade and always generate the heat and light that real art should. In an unpoetic and 'in your face' world, she is lyrical and subtle"
In 2010, Antje played the TEDMED conference in San Diego according to CNN: "Then, this morning, the tone of the conference turned from intellectual to deeply emotional when Antje Duvekot got up with her guitar and sang about her grandmother descent into Alzheimer's disease. Twitter revealed that I wasn't the only one who was holding back tears - Duvekot's song was all too relatable for those of us who have watched loved ones slip away. 'And Anna tries to form a thought / But at the end she's forgotten where she started from / There's something she would like to say / But the words in her head seem to have got away' she sang".
Hailing from just outside Toronto, Ariana Gillis began taking singing lessons at the age of six, but she was hardly thrilled. So, her father encouraged her to write her own material and learn to play the guitar. An award-winning songwriter himself, he gave her invaluable insight into the process. However, musics importance didn't really become apparent until her final year of high school, when she came down with double pneumonia. She missed three months of school, and couldn't sing properly for about a year. "Within that span of time, I realized I needed music. I craved it."
With renewed focus, Gillis made an immediate impact on the Niagara music scene, winning Songwriter of the Year at the 2009 Niagara Music Awards, followed by Female Vocalist and Album of the Year in 2010. She networked at music conferences, which led to a quick, two-song performance for Dave Marsh in a stairwell in Memphis, following the release of her second album, Forget Me Not. Marsh then played Gillis on his Sirius XM radio show, which caught the attention of Elton John's songwriting partner.
I'm staggered by how good she is. There's not much that impresses me these days but after hearing her available tracks, I can honestly say she's the single most exciting artist I've heard in a long time.
Grammy Award-winning Lyricist, Bernie Taupin
The above quotes are typical of the excitement Canadas Ariana Gillis was creating from the earliest stages of her career. But after sustaining a serious concussion in 2015, Ariana believed that she would never be able to write and perform music again.
Well, shes proving herself wrong, as after an extended period of recovery she's back with new music currently being recorded with multi- GRAMMY® Award-winning producer, Joel Moss and CFMA Producer of the Year, David Gillis.
Freedom, the first song released from these sessions, presents a timely statement surrounding the repression of human rights and false promises in the U.S. and around the globe. Ariana explains:
"What occurred to me was the irony of the word freedom and how it is used politically as a positive and hopeful feelingbut in the wrong hands it always ends up becoming the opposite. At its core, Freedom touches on equity and the important value of
human kindness ".
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