Chantal Vitalis
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Chantal Vitalis

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Band Alternative Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Kris Demeanor and His Crack Band: Party All Night (Best Before)"

You don’t have to hammer listeners over the head with your politics. But if you’re squatting on the banks of the Bow River and you’re hungry, you do have to whack that goose pretty hard on the noggin if you wanna eat. In “Dinner Tonight,” Calgary’s Kris Demeanor spins a yarn about Willie and Dan, a couple of men of vision who ignore city animal-protection bylaws in their quest for food. It’s a lively story with a poppy chorus, punctuated by the courtroom admission “We were helplessly led by our guts!” It’s classic Demeanor: an up-tempo number that starts all light and airy but becomes heavier and more troubling as it progresses, culminating in the realization that all ain’t right here our own backyard but we can still have fun while taking a few pokes at the truth. Recorded over a pair of nights at Calgary’s Ironwood Stage and Grill last fall, this live album from one of Alberta’s top indie artists is a perfectly structured concert recording. Complete with horns and pedal steel—and let’s not forget Chantal Vitalis on electric guitar and backup vocals—Party All Night showcases Demeanor at his playful and pithy best. Whether he’s using a neighbour’s cross-alley “Shut the fuck up!” yell to launch into a working man’s ballad (“Real Jobs”) or trading creative loving insults with Vitalis (“You’re You”), Demeanor has the uncanny ability to infuse clever, tight studio tracks with new energy onstage. Spin this one the morning after a big night out. SSSS —Dan Rubinstein - VUE Weekly (Edmonton)

"Today's Special CD Review"

Chantal has long been a guitar hero in Calgary. A 'girl' who could hold her own on a Stratocaster with the boys. She made a name for herself as part of the trio MAUD where she handled the guitar work backed by bass and drums. Maud did a lot of instrumentals, as she was reluctant to sing a lot. She was more confident with her guitar playing. But when she did it was a wonderful treat.
So Today's Special is really special - an album of Chantal's songs. In those years with Maud - who knew she could write and sing as well as this? Chantal's blessed with a hauntingly vulnerable sounding voice. Its poignancy suits her songs. Songs of love that isn't quite what love is supposed to be, songs of hope, and songs of quiet desperation.
"You fill my glass, I need to bite my tongue, Keep from tasting what this wine's become." And she has a wonderful knack of phrasing in an innocent, self-deprecating way.
"In the Ocean of Deep Thought, I've been a bubble."
But she's not just a serious introspective observer of love's foibles. You gotta love a woman who can pen a song entitled Pigs (Makes Ham) - paean to the culinary delights of the king of meats - Pork. Then follow it up with Herbert's Reply (yes, Herbert is a pig).
Chantal may have been known in the past for her guitar playing, but this recording proves she has more than one strong string to her bow. "Today's Special" is a terrific debut album from a talented and special artist.
By Les Siemiemiuk - Penguin Eggs

"CD Review"

Today’s Special
Ethel Records
• The former member of Same Difference and maud adds the talents of Kris Demeanor, Andrea Revel, Diane Kooch and the shining Jonathan Lewis to her solo album.
Sometimes, it’s hard to shine when the sun is your stage-mate. Guitarist and songwriter Chantal Vitalis, who has been a fixture in the Calgary music scene for more than 15 years, has shared onstage real estate with some gleaming talents. But over the past several years, Vitalis’ own songs and vocals turned up the brilliance, particularly when she performed "Water’s Edge," a spirited, jazzy romp that has had audiences clapping along to the cool, off-kilter break. It’s a delight to finally have a recording of the tune, especially when it comes elbow-to-elbow with several other songs of its calibre.
Whether telling tales of adopted children, the bitter taste of breakup, or insomnia, the songs on Today's Special soar on a clean sound that is distinctly Vitalis’ own. Laced with metaphor, the mood ranges from wistful to humorous, especially with a duo of songs about the joys of pork that trade the human’s perspective for the pig’s. Vitalis has a talent for using melody – sweet but never saccharine – as a candle to illuminate life’s seminal moments.
**** 4/5
- FFWD (Fast Forward - Calgary News and Entertainment Weekly)

"Very G'Day for Vitalis - Songwriter Goes Down Under"

The pig. A great and noble beast. And a delicious one, too.
It’s a timeless contradiction and one that no artist has had the pure fearlessness and audacity to approach in their work – that is until local singer-songwriter Chantal Vitalis took a stab at it.
One of the highlights of her latest disc, Today’s Special – a Top 10 of 2002’s local offerings – is the tongue-in-cheek faux country track Pigs (Makes Ham) – which features the chorus: “Pigs makes ham makes me happy” – and its companion piece Herbert’s Reply, which gives voice to the port we put on our fork.
“It was important to do that – keep it balanced,” laughs Vitalis, “People have really been responding to it, especially the vegetarians.”
Next album she’s thinking of tackling the lobster, but that’s for another day. There are more pressing matters on her mind, including what SPF suntan lotion she needs and whether or not Foster’s really is Australian for ‘beer.’
Vitalis and her musical companions Kris Demeanor and Diane Kooch are part of a Calgary contingent heading Down Under next week for two months of shows in Sydney, Adelaide, and Melbourne.
“We really wanted to play outside of Canada… so it was like, ‘If we’re going to lose money, let’s do it in a really beautiful country where there are beaches and lots of sunshine.’”
Tonight the group is hoping to help offset the costs of representing Calgary abroad by putting on a fundraiser at Crump Manor as Kris Demeanor and His Crack Band.
For Vitalis, the extra financial help will be welcomed, as she’s finally, after well over a decade of service in the Calgary scene with bands Same Difference and maud, made the jump to full-time musician. “It’s funny because I went to a seminar a year and a half ago – kind of re-program your mind on how you deal with money and your goals and stuff like that,” she says. “One of the things that came out of there was that I really wanted to quit my day job and just do music. It wasn’t until three months ago I’d actually realized I’d done that.”
And she does so equipped with not only the talent and skills to do it, but also with some of the best lessons you can learn if you ever want to make it in the music business.
“You’ve go to be tenacious and thick-skinned and sometimes oblivious,” she laughs. “I’ve been doing this long enough that I’m quite good at it.”
- Calgary Sun

"Kris Demeanor Rocks the Big Secret Theatre"

Saturday night once again found me back at the Big Secret Theatre. This time it was for a performance by Kris Demeanor and his Crack Band. His performance was the closing party for the Solocentric Festival.

Over the past 5 years I have seen Kris Demeanor perform about 5 or 6 times. His albums are great but he definently shines in a live performance. The onstage bantor between songs makes the entire evening.

Having recently arrived home from an Austrailian tour Kris commented on the Flames: "It's amazing to see all the Flames flags on the cars. It's like 1943 Germany out there. Not that Alberta is a Facist state or anything." This might not be an exact quote but close enough. :)

The highlight of the evening was his raging performance of 'Airborne Bastard'. Words can't really describe the song so I urge you to pick up his live CD 'Live at Ironwood'. Support local talent dammit!!!

Kris' backing band is quite talented and very tight. There is a lot of chemistry between them all. Other highlights included his guitarist, Chantal Vitalis, doing vocals on a few songs. Not only an amazing guitarist she has a wonderful voice as well.

If you get a chance be sure to check out Kris Demeanor live. At the very least go down to Megatunes and pick up his CDs!


GREAT FOLK ... Above: Elvis Costello was headliner July 24 at the Folk Festival. The festival which runs until July 27.
Tickets are available for July 25 and 27, but July 26 is sold out.

You can tell a great deal from a first date. You learn a lot about the other party, as you feel each other out, trying to get a read on things. And it also sets the mood for the rest of the relationship, even dictating whether or not you want to continue on with things or call it a wash and just be friends.
If that’s the case, after date one — or day one, if you wish — the 24th edition of the Calgary Folk Music Festival set things up for a relationship with incredible possibilities and, hopefully, limitless rewards.
With a lineup that included local talent, world artists and international superstars, on July 24 festival organizers gave but a glimpse of what was to come over the course of the next three days on Prince’s Island.
Not putting everything on the line, but holding little back.
On the other side of things was an audience, that, while around 9,300 and approaching a sell-out of 10,000 — which had already been attained for Saturday and Sunday, and was a fair bet for Friday — didn’t seem ready to fully commit.
Case in point was the reception given Calgary urban folk voyeur Kris Demeanor, who was afforded the great honour of opening the entire fest with his Crack Band — Chantal Vitalis, Diane Kooch and Peter Moller. The quartet were spot-on, showcasing their gifts at building roots-based tenements for Demeanor’s wry, witty and very human observations about life in a glass, metal and mortar environment. Maybe it was because the audience hadn’t yet let down their nine-to-five defenses, or maybe off-kilter wasn’t quite a Thursday at 5:30 p.m. frame of mind, but whatever the case, the crowd were a little stoic, cracking not much of a smile for Demeanor’s witty banter.
- Calgary Sun

"Taking Musical Stalk"

Taking Musical Stalk: Vitalis, Revel and Demeanor take a chance on musical romance

ROGUE FOLKS Featuring Kris Demeanor, Chantal Vitalis and Andrea Revel
Friday, April 12, 2002
Engineered Air Theatre (CPA)
Serendipity at the outdoor equipment store check-out. Sounds like the plot for some dime-store romance novel, but it’s a slice of this city’s music scene, where six degrees of separation gets ya back four in change – or at least a trio called Rogue Folks.
Meet our heroine, Chantal Vitalis, recently recovered from two musical divorces, obliviously escaping the pain musical unions can cause, at least for the duration of her day shift.
Enter Andrea Revel – teacher, marathoner, and buoyant dewy-eyed newcomer – not yet jaded into repetition as she makes a purchase at the mecca for anally precise environmentalists. Pure coincidence puts Revel at Vitalis’ till, stirring a memory in the guitarist’s sleepwalking psyche. "I was working at my day job, and she came to my till and handed me her membership...." says Vitalis. "I looked at her name and I said, ‘Oh, you’re that songwriter’ because just that afternoon, I’d heard a song of hers on CJSW and I remembered her name because I waited to hear who it was. I said, ‘Oh, I heard your song’ and she looked at me and said ‘Are you Chantal? It’s so weird because I’ve been meaning to contact you because I wanted to do a show with you and Kris (Demeanor).’"
Well, at least when Vitalis tells it, it sounds serendipitous enough. But, poor innocent dear, after her sugar ’n’ spice ’n’ sorrow-type parting from ’80s darlings Same Difference, and the dissonant dissolution of her second band, maud, you’d think she might be a little wary of those "musicians wanted" kind of relationships.
Because, you know, it seems like a coincidence, and all, that Ms. Revel, with her winsome golden locks (oh, we never suspect the dark wiles of the beautiful ones) and store-bought naiveté just happened to be in Vitalis’ line-up. On a more sinister note, it turns out she was so sure of snaring her prey in her pretty lair that she booked a date for a mutual gig before she even met Vitalis.
"Yeah, the date was pre-booked," says Vitalis. "(Andrea) was thinking it will all work. Actually, I told her that Kris was to visit his girlfriend on the coast that day, but it turned out he changed his departure by one day to be here." A chat with Revel confirms that she’d actually had her ear on Demeanor’s music since the folk fest in 2000 – she was impressed but a little too shy to contact him. And who could resist Demeanor, with images of his fetching countenance and sound bites on national television for the past several months with his video for "Extreme To Me?"
Although that "chance" meeting was only a couple of months ago, the talented trio will appear in Calgary and Cochrane before hitting the highway together this summer and spreading their gifts across the land. Scene veteran Vitalis finds Revel’s presence inspiring, not stalker creepy. Although Vitalis and Demeanor have played together for over two years, Revel fit in from the first practice.
"Actually, it’s been really fun – she’s quite funny herself. It takes you out of your orbit onto a different path. She’s a keener. Kris is a real keener, too, but I’d have to say she’s a lot more organized. She uses her daytimer. She comes to rehearsals after doing a 32 km run – it’s really cool to be around someone who’s got that much energy."
Somehow, in spite of the fact that the Rogue Folks talent pool has no shallow end, the three will manage to divide the set evenly to accommodate each writer’s songs. Revel will draw from her Mile 0 album, released last year, and Demeanor’s plate will be full of tunes from his two previous albums and one that is due in the next few months.
Vitalis, whose earliest memories are of songs she made up as she walked to school, is busy in her home studio. The songs that will make up her forthcoming album, Today’s Special, are subtle masterpieces. There is a quiet precision to her melodies, and she’s mastered the art of drawing the listener close with gentle surprises and then snaring their imagination with the things left unsaid. The singer has also begun to write and record for movie soundtracks, including the film Screaming Fish, which will play May 2 at the Uptown Screen.
Revel has the energy and drive to organize the Rogue Folks tour, and her seriousness is balanced by the humour of the other players. Newcomer Revel was initiated into the fun almost immediately when she was playing piano onstage looking just a bit too much like a plumber. "Yeah, Kris snuck up behind her and dropped a nickel in her coin slot!"
Rogue Folks will also perform May 18 at Cochrane Folk Club.
- FFWD Calgary arts weekly

"KlonDykes: Alaskan Women's Music Festival"

A Review of the Alaskan Women's Music Festival by: Nicole Blizzard (edited for space – CV)

There were three performers on opening day. First up was Tamaras from California, who performed solo and did very well. With a smoldering voice and unique guitar style, Tamaras was a great way to open this year. She is a festival favorite having performed at two previous ones. Following her was Chantal Vitalis from Calgary, Alberta. Her bass player from Calgary, Diane Kooch, was with her and they were joined by local musician Dolores Catherino on drums (more about Dolores later). Working through a hour-long set of mostly original material, with a couple of awesome covers thrown in, Chantal (who plays a mean electric guitar) and company wowed the audience (including this reporter) in her first festival appearance. Her first album is called Today's Special (Ethel Records). Closing out the day was local artist Rachel Hollander on piano with her own powerful and heartfelt songs. Rachel also sign language interpretation at the Pride festivities the week before.
Next came lesbian magician Ann Lincoln, who hails from Colorado. Girls, she's cute, funny, and a darn good magician if you ever need one for that next party you're planning. Lesbian comic Michele Balan from NYC followed Ann and had everybody laughing so hard that some people almost needed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (being a nurse, I would have done my part, especially for a couple of certain girls I had my eyes on). The final performer for the evening was Dolores Catherino in her own set. Now Dolores is worthy of the title "The Hardest Working Woman in Show Business" -- the woman can play bass, drums, electric & acoustic guitar, and keyboards, as well as her very first instrument, the saxophone. And she's teaching herself the violin and cello next. I told her that the fact that she can do it all so well brought one word to mind --"Bitch", but I was joking and she got a big laugh out of it. She does this signature piece on acoustic guitar full of percussive beats, hammer-ons, other flourishes that are mesmerizing. At one point she was joined by Chantal, Diane, and Tamaras for a finale jam session of "Venus" (a suggestion by yours truly who provided the words) and "Life During Wartime" (from the Talking Heads). Everyone present was hooping and hollering.


"Calgary Buzz: 2002… Local Release Bonanza!"

The words "stellar" and "amazing" are used far too often in year-in-review columns, and the accompanying glowing reports and breathless predictions don’t usually hold much water. While there are lot of great things happening in the Calgary scene, it finds itself facing more challenges than ever before. Between the ever-decreasing lack of venues, all-ages crackdowns and the seemingly endless relocation of some of our finest talents, the Calgary scene might appear to outsiders to be in the death throes. There have been, however, enough highlights in the past year to cast aside these worries, at least for the length of this column.
Bands that start with "The"
From The Agriculture Club to The Von Zippers, the bands that make up Cowtown’s scene have offered up some incredible releases in the past year. Clocking in at number one in the year end chart for airplay on CJSW, The Minks’ Van Gundy is a sizzling piece of plastic that won over the Calgary music community through both their hooks and their frighteningly young age. The Dudes’ This Guy’s The Limit cemented their place as one of the most entertaining and popular band's in the city. With the release of Whole Mess O’ Trouble, The Neckers finally gave their ever growing audience something to take home and play for friends, and the group has been packing rooms ever since. And The Daggers saw to it that their rather raucous live attitude wasn’t tamed down at all when they went into the studio to record Right Between The Eyes, an album that sounds as though it’s going to snarl and spit its way out of your speaker.
They’re new, aren’t they?
Reverie Sound Revue took the city by storm, blending math rock, post punk and sweet pop melodies into one of the most promising sounds to be heard in Calgary in years. Their self-titled debut – a decidedly lo-fi affair – is still on local record store charts months after being released, and their live shows are drawing more and more people to find out what the buzz is all about. Now if the singer would just get rid of the music stand she brings onstage to hold her lyric book…
Other notable debuts included Holding Onto Nothing by The Beagle Ranch , a CD that falls somewhere between Luna and Nick Drake and proved that there are Calgarians who don’t need to rock out all the time. The Burnettes’ Album Schmalbum wasn’t nearly as rock 'n' roll as their live show, instead it profiles their quiet, sensitive side.
The Usual Suspects
While newcomers were making waves throughout the year, Calgary’s scene veterans weren’t sitting on their laurels either. The Agriculture Club ’s aptly titled Farmageddon showed a country-punk band that had learned a thing or two since their first release, and garnered attention nationwide. Kara Keith’s The Love Years saw an all star Calgary band filling out songs that prove Keith’s one of the city’s finest songwriters.
XL Birdsuit, made up of members of some of Calgary’s favourite (but now defunct) bands unleashed In Minotaur City on an unsuspecting listening public, immediately drawing rave reviews from across the country for their entirely unique brand of post-punk. They backed this up with a live show that was never the same twice, veering from searing up tempo numbers to subtle textured songs on the drop of a hat. The Long Run set girls running for their boys, and boys running for their girls with their live shows featuring new drummer Jay Wooley, who's taken the place of the moved-to-Vancouver D. Booth. Over the course of their relatively short career, they've become one of the best pop bands the city has seen in years.
Other familiar faces still putting people in clubs: the rock triumverate of Kybosh, the Red Hot Lovers and One-900; the punk rock of Belvedere, Downway, The Martyr Index and The MotherFuckers; Burning Man enthusiasts and perrenial folk favourites Kris Demeanor, Anne Loree and Chantal Vitalis; Hot Little Rocket, who will be profiled in an upcoming Muchmusic program along with Mico , who were signed this year to the respected G7 Welcoming Committee label – this list could go on forever. Even more impressive is the fact that, with the exception of HLR and Mico (both of whom were still riding high after successful releases in 2001), every one of these artists released a CD this past year.

"No Demerits for Demeanor"

Chameleon of the local music scene, Kris Demeanor has a more varied repertoire than freaks at a circus. Praised across the country for his originality and ability to make extraordinary music from the ordinary happenings of life, Demeanor is a musician able to do anything.
It's impossible to describe Demeanor's sound without the words "varied" and "diverse." It's what happens when you mix rap, country, blues, and folk-rock into an eclectic mix.
Demeanor, on an early Monday morning, ruminates on the eccentricity of his music: "It's a combination of being a fan of many different things, and realizing they're not that different. People realize that it's still the same person talking." This year, his name's on the bill the Calgary Blues and Roots Festival at McMahon Stadium, an honour he has reservations about, but he's worked through it. "It's problematic calling yourself the Blues and Roots Festival, because I don't categorize us like that," admits Demeanor. "I think people's first impression is that it's going to be Taj Mahal and Colin James."
Though many of his lyrics deal with universal themes, others reveal Demeanor's Calgarian roots. The song, "One of Two Things," for instance, recalls the bookmobiles that once roamed the local streets distributing books to young boys and girls and were eventually converted into mobile clinics for street teens. "It's a little easier to get with other musicians here. I think that's what makes Calgary good. If someone's going to write, they're going to find things to write about and get turned on by. I'm inspired by the people who have made music a lifestyle," he says, immediately naming locals such as the Co-Dependents, as well a bandmates Chantal Vitalis, Diane Kooch, and Peter Moller. "They've been playing for so long, it's not an issue of whether they're going to play, it's in what configuration."
His future remains bright. When asked what he has on the stovetop for the next couple of months, he answers simply. "Planning upcoming tours," he says, explaining that they're setting up to his Scandinavia in November and a return trip to Australia in December.
Since going solo in 1999, Demeanor's released three albums and another one sounds in the planning stages. "In the midst of planning tours, I'll have to block off time to deal with the new album. I'll probably start recording in the fall," he says.
In the mean time, Demeanor is taking it easy. You can almost hear the grin across the phone lines as he says, "I try to dring wine and watch movies and stuff, too. I do need something to write about."
After all he's done and what promises to be a stunning performance at the festival, this is something nobody will begrudge him. After all, Demeanor's the type of musician who can do anything. - Gauntlet Entertainment - Chris Tait


"Today's Special" by Chantal Vitalis (CD)
"BYOP" Compilation CD - Tribute to Stompin' Tom Connors
"Just Looking" by Chantal Vitalis (EP)
link to for streaming MP3s



Her first foray into original music was playing electric guitar with the much-loved Same Difference, who toured Canada extensively and whose positive energy won the hearts of many a late night campus radio DJ. From there it was on to maud, a tight unit whose music challenged while it entertained. After over a decade in the Calgary indie music scene, Chantal’s path eventually led to recording her own CD, “Today’s Special,” a recurring role as part of Kris Demeanor’s Crack Band, and discovering the joys of composing for film (The Girl Who Married a Ghost, The Riders).
Chantal has performed at music and/or folk festivals in Calgary, Winnipeg, Cochrane Valley, Dawson City, Alaska, and Mt. Beauty and Yackandandah (both in Australia). She just returned from a second Australian tour in April as part of Kris Demeanor’s Crack Band where she also performed her own material. She played Alaska for the Alaska Women’s Music Festival and has hosted events like MuchMusic’s Much Does Calgary broadcast in February, and the Asian Heritage Month night of music in May. She was one of the songwriters featured in the Epcor Centre’s Alberta Sessions songwriter series which CKUA recorded and later broadcast. Her back up band, The Entire Canadian Army, consists of 3 seasoned musicians who get to show off their experience, confidence, and love of music.
Influences: Talking Heads, Pretenders, Who, anything with great songwriting and strong musicianship.