Clela Errington

Clela Errington


Acoustic folk meets Jazz Clela’s beautiful evocative harmonica instrumentals resonate with a unique and personal call for home. Clela sings directly to the reflective heart, creating a mood of intimacy at once reserved and passionate. Her material vibrates with emotional insight.


I hold with the Dr. John school of music; ’ keep it simple ’ and I look for the groove.

Performances include:
Toronto City Roots Festival Concert Series
Peterborough Folk Festival, Thousand Islands Jazz Festival, Brockville ON
Folk Harbour Festival, Lunenburg N.S.
Pelee Island Women’s Retreat Gala, Pelee Island,ON
International Development and Relief Foundation, Toronto Gala

Collaborated with York University dancer and choreographer Terrill McGuire and performed with Sashar Zarif Dance Theatre,
Founder and Artistic Director of Dancers for Peace Toronto

Recorded three indie albums: Lace Curtains, In The Eddy & Corazon.
Here’s what they’ve said:

"One of the highlights of this year’s festival, Clela is a warm, engaging singer with a great voice."
Garry Woodcock, Artistic Director, Folk Harbour Festival, Lunenburg, N.S.

"Congratulations on producing a very fine album. You did a lovely version of ’Radiates’ & I love your harmonica playing!"
Chris Whiteley, Toronto musician and songwriter

"It’s wonderful Friday night music, thoughtful and reflective, sad and hopeful at the same time."
Toronto editor Philippa Campsie

"Clela’s haunting velvet voice takes you on a lazy daydream river ride."
Toronto songwriter the late, Norm Hacking

I was raised on the St. Lawrence river in the Thousand Islands. My sister Wendy came home from Hay River, Northwest Territiories with a cool looking harmonica belt and I was hooked! I learned to play the harmonica while travelling out to Prince Edward Island on Canada’s east coast. As a member of P.E.I. acoustic string band The Rubber Boot Band and vocal duo Dawne and Clela, I performed throughout the Island, in Halifax N.S. and in Newfoundland.

In the early years in Montreal, Quebec and on the East coast, I saw performances by; Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Pass, Gary Burton, The McGarrigle Sisters, Ellen MacLwaine, Willie P. Bennett, Stephen Barry band, Harmonium, Ray Charles, James Cotton, Dutch Mason, Rita MacNeil, Scott Parsons, Ladies Choice Bluegrass Band and Sam Moon

In Toronto, I had classical voice training with Canadian Opera Company member Helga Tucker. Our acapella trio ’ The Spadina Sisters ’ was busking in Yorkville and we were invited to perform at the Mariposa Folk Festival. As member of the Toronto Singer’s Guild, I participated in a vocal workshop with Jon Hendricks and Annie Ross of Bebop vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross.

Heard Toots Thielemans and discovered World Music: Moved by the music of Cape Verde, Cesaria Evora & Cuban vocalist Ibrahim Ferrer. I adapted my harmonica style, more melodic, rhythmic and warm.


River Song

Written By: Clela Errington

In my dreams I go back home
to the river where I was born
cool water and warm stone
and the darkness down below

The sky is open wide
wheeling birds they cry
westward wind flies by
over the rocks and pines

Diving, diving down
turning tumbling round
gliding without a sound
under a seaweed crown

Lay my Burden Down

Written By: Clela Errington

Walkin' down this dusty road
Carryin' my heavy load
I'm weary, Lord I'm weary
Weary, I want to lay my burden down

Fallin' down I'm on my knees
Prayin' Lord for my release
I'm weary, Lord I'm weary
Weary, I want to lay my burden down

Lay my burden down Lord
Lay my burden down
Wash my body in the river
I wanna lay my burden down

Down in the river
Lay me down in the river
Lay me down in the water
Cool water covers my skin
luring me under, pulling me in

Now I lay me down to sleep
Pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
Pray the river my soul to
Take me down,Turn me round
And I will lay my burden down

Shoulder to Lean On

Written By: Clela Errington

Give me your shoulder to lean on
Give me a hand I can hold onto
Give me the warmth of your body
Give me the strength of your spirit too

My days are so heavy I feel I'm like sinkin' like a stone in the water
Nights I'm so low I lay on the bottom like a wreck under water

I need a shoulder to lean on
I need a hand I can hold on to
Is there a path I can follow out of this place?
Is there an angel to guide me through ?

Give me your shoulder to lean on
Give me a hand I can hold on to
This is the prayer of your daughter
This is the plea of a lover
Give me your shoulder to lean on


Lace Curtains
In the Eddy
Compilation cd's:
Rainy Day Sunshine
One Voice - Tribute to Norm Hacking
Radio airplay CBC Toronto, Halifax, P.E.I.
CIUT University of Toronto Radio, Toronto
CKLN Ryerson University Radio, Toronto
Trent University Radio , Peterborough, ON
Hamilton University Radio, Hamilton, ON

Set List

2 sets- approx. 45 minutes each

Repertoire: original songs and harmonica instrumentals - blues and jazz standards
1st Set :

Birds - Neil Young
I Got it Bad - Duke Ellington
Lace Curtains
River Song
I Like Trains - Fred Eaglesmith
Sidewalks of the City - Lucinda Williams
P.E.I. Song
In The Eddy
Summertime - Gershwin
Shoulder To Lean On
Ashes By Now - Rodney Crowell
Out of Left Field - Dan Penn
All of Me - standard

2nd Set

Everyday I Have The Blues - Jimmy Rushing
San Fransisco Bay Blues - Jesse Fuller
Centerpiece - Edison/Hendicks/Mandel
Grace of the Blues
Chocolate Jesus - Tom Waits
The Thrill is Gone - Darnell/Hawkins
Lay My Burden Down
Rise from the Ashes - Roseanne Cash
Klezmer Blues
Moondance - Van Morrison
Guilty - Randy Newman