An American-citizen born and raised in the heart of the Canadian prairies while maturing on the west coast of British Columbia, roots / Americana singer-songwriter Noah Derksen writes with the groundedness of harsh Manitoba winters mixed with the optimism of British Columbia’s coastline. He currently lives in the West End neighbourhood of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Ever seeking motion and progression, Noah has spent the past three years honing his live performance skills across Canada and the United States, playing concerts from BC to Nova Scotia, and New York to California. In 2019 Noah released his third full-length album entitled America, Dreaming. The album was produced by JUNO-award winning producer Murray Pulver. The album represents an observation of the United States and Noah's identity as an American-citizen; an observation of how things change with time, and internal, on his own shift in perspective. Plus, Noah's got long, flowing auburn hair and a twinkle in his eye. What's not to love? He'll be backed up by fiddler (member of the Juno nominated group Aerialists and Berklee Alum) Elise Boeur!
As defined in the title of his remarkable 2015 solo debut VIP: Very Interesting Persons (which ranked at No.2 in the Daily Telegraph’s top dozen folk albums that year), Scottish singer-songwriter Findlay Napier categorically commands musical VIP status. He now turns those same supreme songwriting and storytelling gifts, allied with magpie-minded imagination and truly magnificent vocals, to his adoptive home town, on VIP’s hotly anticipated follow-up, Glasgow. The new album combines freshly-penned originals with classics and rarities from Glasgow’s vast, colourful and diverse ballad canon. Together, they form an extended musical love-letter to Scotland’s metropolis, celebrating 20 years since Napier first arrived as a student, swapping his idyllic Highland childhood home for the 14th floor of the city’s notorious (and since demolished) Red Road flats.
Napier’s song-craft today vibrantly reflects this increasingly rich stylistic melting-pot – a mix he’s played no small part in creating, especially the cross-fertilisation between Glasgow’s folk and indie communities, as both co-host of a long-running open-mic night, and promoter of the decade-old Hazy Recollections concert series. In 2016 Napier launched the Glasgow Songwriting Festival, a weekend of workshops and performances which completely sold out its inaugural year.
Napier himself remains happy to identify as a folk singer – even if he does enjoy stretching the term’s already elastic parameters. “I do fit that one-guy-with-a-guitar template,” he says. As well as calling himself a folk singer, he simultaneously aspires to another, likewise timeless role: “I do love that old-fashioned, all-round idea of an ‘entertainer’ - I think it’s a brilliant thing,” he says. But then that’s totally what the best folk singers are; they’ll have you in absolute hysterics, in between punching you in the gut - people like Loudon Wainwright, John Prine, Michael Marra: that’s the absolute pinnacle, as far as I’m concerned.