Ann Walton
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Ann Walton

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Band Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"A new one to watch"

August 16, 2007
Ann Walton's name will be heard more often thanks to debut record
-John Kendle

When she sings, Ann Walton sounds like a world-weary troubadour, not so much enunciating her words as breathlessly slurring them. It's an affecting vocal style and, though I've never seen her perform, I imagine Ann with her eyes closed in reverie, playing her piano and emoting for an unseen listener.

Speaking on the phone, Walton sounds younger than her 28 years - like a young Cyndi Lauper, without the Noo Yawk accent.

A relative newcomer to the local music scene - she only began performing at the likes of Academy Bar & Eatery some 18 months ago - Walton is about to release a debut recording, Top of the Hill, that should bring her attention from across the country.

Yes, the album - which will be officially launched with an Aug. 19 show at the Park Theatre - is indeed that good. Earlier this year the singer/songwriter applied to the NXNE music festival in Toronto and was accepted solely on the basis of her music.

Not bad for a girl who rebelled against classical piano training as a teen and took up playing guitar instead. Walton didn't really touch a keyboard seriously again until she was in her mid-20s and decided to bring one along on a songwriting retreat.

"That's when I fell in love with the piano all over again," she says. "It took some time for me to go out and find my own style, and it turned out that involved me discovering the piano again."

Walton's style is old-tyme and jazz-inflected pop which meanders between spry, upbeat numbers and slower, more mournful reflections. The sound is not surprising, given that she says she and her siblings grew up in a house full of jazz albums owned by her "huge music fan" parents.

Walton's twin brother Chris is a drummer who played on and co-produced the album. Her older sister, Jenn Dupas, played accordion on the recording, which also features the guitar of Matt Foster and the upright bass of Gilles Fournier.

Ann says making an album is something she would never have considered even a couple of years ago.

"It was really my family and my closest friends who pushed me into going into the studio and putting something down," she says. "People who know me would say I'm very shy and introverted but after the second time I performed for people I realized that I was doing something that was so exciting to me.

"Until then I never felt that I'd feel comfortable telling people about myself."

. . . - Uptown Magazine

"Top of the Hill CD Review"

August 18th, 2007
It will be fun to watch local songstress Ann Walton progress. Her debut 10-tracker is full of surprises -- just when you think you have her pegged, she lightly swishes over in another direction and blows the lid off your expectations. Her odd little ditties will appeal to fans of early Tori Amos and the jazzier asides of Rickie Lee Jones. There is a delectable and undeniably clever innocence in airy tracks like Homecoming and Brian Stewart that show Walton's way with a simple, childlike melody is sweetly attractive. Her CD release is Sunday at the Park Theatre. 3 stars. -- Monk

- Winnipeg Free Press

"Top of the Hill CD Review"

November 8, 2007
Ann Walton is the sort of performer who comes along and causes people like me to go over-the-top crazy with praise. Playing cabaret-infused piano ballads and waltzes, and singing in a quiet, almost slurred drawl, Walton is an immediately arresting singer/songwriter who backs up her unique sound with plenty of substance. Her lyrical imagery is precise, well-considered and wonderfully off-kilter (the album's closing song is a paean to CBC TV correspondent Brian Stewart) and her songs emerge here as fully realized entities, replete with standup bass, brushed snare, occasional accordion and deliberately distressed, old-tyme sonics. Hearing this album is as exciting as discovering Jane Siberry, Mary Margaret O'Hara or Veda Hille for the first time.
— John Kendle
- Uptown Magazine

"Top of the Hill CD Review"

A star of the 2007 NXNE music festival, Ann Walton is a Canadian pianist-singer-songwriter with a real feel for the past. It’s not that ‘Top Of The Hill’ is particularly retro in sound - though her MySpace page lists as influences Sarah Vaughan, Bessie Smith and Ella Fitzgerald - it’s more subtle than that. Possibly it’s the sparseness of the sound which gives rise to the impression of yesteryear or perhaps the jazz inflections that provide the clues to Walton’s motivation. Either way, it’s an easy way to lose yourself for 40 minutes. - Leicester Bangs, UK

"Healthy New Local Releases"

Ann Walton – Top of the Hill

With a voice that mumbles and stumbles along, bouncing off her piano lines, Ann reminds me of a female Tom Waits. Jazzy, yet seedy—it’s perfect ( - WMOnline by Chris Brown





Ann Walton is a Canadian singer/songwriter who has been honing her craft for years. Growing up she wrote poetry and listened to old jazz greats like Sarah Vaughan, and her good ear meant picking out melodies on her parent's old upright piano.

Since she first took the stage in her home town of Winnipeg, fans have been captivated by Walton's seemingly effortless piano playing and her original poetry set to song.

Since releasing her debut album in August '07, Ann has graced stages from Vancouver to Toronto and has performed at a variety of conferences, showcases and festivals, including the Winnipeg Folk Festival in 2008. She has also recently shared stages with Mark Berube, Danny Michel and Steve Forbert among others.

In addition to her career as singer/songwriter, Ann also lends her talents to the theatre and dance communities. She most recently wrote original music for Prairie Theatre Exchange's production of Love Letters by A.R. Gurney, and was also a contributer to the Carol Shields Festival of New Works.

'In a moment of teen rebellion, Ann Walton decided she’d stop taking piano lessons and play the guitar instead. But in her mid-20s, when she came back to her senses — and back to the keyboard — Winnipeg’s music scene became a whole lot richer. Walton’s is not a sound we hear often in the ‘Peg: an old-time touch on the ivories meets a new-school sense of song. That smoky, jazzy sound (which thrilled audiences at the 2007 NXNE festival, and debuted on last year‘s Top of the Hill album) could be the musical child of Tom Waits and Ella Fitzgerald, or stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Rufus Wainwright; but for all those comparisons, Walton is a true prairie original.'
-courtesy of Melissa Martin and the Winnipeg Folk Festival 2008