Crooked House Road
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Crooked House Road

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Folk Blues Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Nov
27
Crooked House Road @ Junction City Music Hall

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Oct
23
Crooked House Road @ Cameron House

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Oct
02
Crooked House Road @ Humble Beginnings

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Music

Press


"10 Toronto Bands Ready to Break Out in 2017"

Crooked House Road
Far more on the folksy side of things, this female-dominated act has been playing all over town and put out an album. Tradition meets sass with molten vocals over top of a thrumming bedrock of a folk band. If you’re a fan of local musicals like Chasse-Galerie, you’ll be happy to know cast member Shaina Silver-Baird sings for this band. - BlogTO


"Show Review - Crooked House Road"

Nobody was shivering on one of the coldest days of the year at The Piston when the Toronto based indie-folk band Crooked House Road performed their set of delectable, harmony-driven tunes that melted into the souls of their fans. This five-member ensemble consists of Shaina Silver-Baird (vocals/violin), Mirian Kay (vocals/guitar), Derek Gray (drums), Gram Whitty (bass) and Joshua Skye Engel (electric guitar/mandolin). There is no mistaking the superior talent that each member brings to this band.

Crooked House Road played through a lengthy set list of eleven songs that left all fans feeling satisfied. Although their music is distinctly folk, the genres of jazz, blues and even pop could be felt. An element of storytelling was weaved throughout the songs, both in the lyrics and the accompanying stories told about the inspiration and meaning of their songs. Silver-Baird and Kay told the story of the trials of a long distance relationship in “Come Back Home”, later to echo these ideas in “Travelling Man”, where the song displayed the genesis of this aforementioned relationship. Highlights of their performance included the touching song “Goodbye My Friend”, which was written in memory of a deceased loved one and “Mountain”, which best displayed their ability to combine a variety of instruments in an ear-pleasing manner. The rich soundscape of drums and guitar filled the room during the performance of this song, leaving a satisfying aftertaste on the palate. - Canadian Beats


"Top 6 Albums to Stream This Week"

http://music.cbc.ca/#!/genres/Rock/blogs/2015/5/Bjork-to-The-Bad-Plus-6-albums-to-stream-this-week

There's so much music and yet so little time to listen to it, which means you barely have enough time to find it. Let us help you with this little roundup of some of the albums that you can stream online this week:

CROOKED HOUSE ROAD
"In addition to their folk roots, Crooked House Road incorporate elements of country ('Mountain') and soul ('Back to Me'), while showing off their pop sensibilities ('Bundle Up,' 'Little Girl Heart') and bluesier side ('Music Man,' 'Mama Taught Me')." - CBC Music


"Track Review: Crooked House Road"

Shaina Silver-Baird (is C.H.R.’s) stunning lead: an immensely captivating woman; a stunning beauty- a wonderful musician. Joining with her (musical brothers and sisters) Crooked House Road are a rare treat: their mix of Bluegrass-cum-Indie magic is insatiable. With their debut (self-titled) album on the market- a phenomenal achievement; the band are on the rise. Silver-Baird’s (stunningly evocative and scenic) words lead the charge: her talented crew lends their colour and candour- the resultant music is breath-taking to behold. The Toronto band- unlike most of their contemporaries- has a talent for cross-pollination: mixing genres and styles; fusing cultures and time periods. From Bluegrass and Indie, the band traverses R ‘n’ B through African music: all propelled by soaring harmonies and ethereal sighs. This year has been productive and fruitful (for the fledgling act): since they formed (back in 2013) the band have honed their sound; expanded their ambitions- their debut album is the summation of their promise and individuality. One of the most arresting and stunning acts about; the guys are a serious force- the future will be very bright indeed.

Their single "Mountain" is causing a lot of commotion: reviewers (and press alike) are salivating with delights- fans love what they hear. I was captivated by "Mountain"– a song that boasts etherealness and divinity. Starting life with languid and aching vocals- Silver-Baird stretches her voice: “I scream to the mountains” she sings with pride. Semi-operatic and huge; intimate and tender: the opening moments are a mixture of sensitivity and declaration.

Their (self-titled) album is bound with wisdom, sensuality and storytelling: a concoction of true-to-life honesty; romantic desire; stunning highs. Across the ten tracks- my highlights are Tell Me A Story, Racin’ and Mountain– you get a lot of diversity: new stories and scenes; plenty of wonder- the band amaze (across every track). The band- and their leading heroine- seem at ease and relaxed: their music comes across effortless and instinctive- although tight and well-rehearsed. Silver-Baird would feel at home in London: the mix of cultures (our capitlal is famed for) comes out in her words; the bustle and cosmopolitanism (of London’s clans and streets) reflects in the sounds: variegated and multi-national. It is the strength and vitality that strikes hardest: that empowered kick that is impossible to ignore- a pavement-pounding slam that gets into your heart; into the brain (and never lets go). Maybe I am being overly-romantic, but (Silver-Baird) has a way of speaking to the masses: writing words that represent the city-dwelling dreamer; the woods-loving naturalist- the honest and earnest lovers. The entire band has a close bond (that defines their music); a real knowing and understanding- they blend with supreme confidence; that natural kinship- every note produces something quite amazing. - MusicMusings


"Crooked House Road (album stream)"

Toronto's Crooked House Road are set to release their self-titled debut album next week, but before it officially arrives, Exclaim! is giving you an early listen to the whole thing.

Originally formed after an open mic meeting between Shaina Silver-Baird and Mirian Kay, the folksy band have since expanded to a full-fledged five-piece. Their debut effort was produced by Ken Whiteley and hears the band offering up 10 new tracks, including the recently revealed single "Tell Me a Story."

In addition to their folk roots, Crooked House Road incorporate elements of country ("Mountain") and soul ("Back to Me"), while showing off their pop sensibilities ("Bundle Up," "Little Girl Heart") and bluesier side ("Music Man," "Mama Taught Me").

The eclectic mix of influences come together on the band's self-titled debut, and now you can hear the final result. Crooked House Road will be released on May 26, but you can give it an early listen in the player below. - Exclaim!


"Folk Band Crooked House Road Leads Benefit Concert Series"

Benefits west-end charities Redwood Shelter, Sistering and The Stop Community Centre

Indie-Folk band 'Crooked House Road' plays a benefit concert series at 3030 Dundas West in support of local women's charities on the last Thursday of February, March and April. The band releases its debut CD in May.
Bloor West Villager
Passionate about women’s issues, Shaina Silver-Baird, lead singer and founder of the indie-folk band Crooked House Road, has created a benefit concert series in support of women’s charity organizations in west-end Toronto.

Crooked House Road will host a benefit concert on the last Thursday of February, March and April at the Junction’s 3030 Dundas West.

Inspiration came in the form of Silver-Baird’s aunt, a women’s rights lawyer, who was instrumental in passing the law that gives women the right to own property after divorce.

“We’d been playing traditional shows and felt like there was something missing,” Silver-Baird admitted. “We wanted to find a way to do more while incorporating the passion of our lives.”

Each evening, starting Thursday, Feb. 26, will feature three acclaimed musical acts. Proceeds from the pay-what-you-can admission will go towards the selected charities, including the Redwood Shelter, a safe haven for women and children fleeing domestic abuse, Sistering, which serves homeless, marginalized and low-income women in Toronto, and The Stop Community Food Centre.

Silver-Baird, a graduate of York University with a fine arts degree, said she reached out to musicians she has known from school.

“We told people what we were doing and we got a great response,” she said.

Like Silver-Baird, many of the musicians performing as part of the benefit series are Junction-based. The Toronto-born singer says she was tone deaf as a child – and her parents chose not to let their daughter in on this tidbit of information.

Playing the violin trained her ear, she said.

“I fulfilled my own prophecy,” Silver-Baird said.

The singer-actor says lyrics and story-telling are most important to her. Crooked House Road, founded in 2013, releases its first CD, the self-titled debut produced by Grammy nominee and Juno winner Ken Whiteley, May 23 at the Cadillac Lounge.

Joining Crowded House Road during the benefit series will be Taylor & Bryn (www.taylorandbryn.com) and Jane’s Party (www.janesparty.com), among others.

For further details, visit crookedhouseroad.com, www.facebook.com/crookedhouseroad and @CrookedHouseRd - Bloor West Villager / Inside Toronto


"Indie Music Flowing in from The U.S. and Canada"

Canadian folk band Crooked House Road recently release their latest self-titled full-length album. It was produced by seven-time Juno award and Grammy nominated Ken Whiteley, whose recorded alongside legends Pete Seeger and John Hammond Jr. The new ten-song release begins with the dark harmonies of the quick swinging "Mountains" led by the singing duo of Shaina Silver-Baird and Mirian Kay. They slow the tempo down for the wonderful uplifting vocal flow of "Back To Me," while "Bundle Up" shows the emotion and depth to their performance. The wonderful musicianship of "Tell Me A Story" sounds like it belongs in a Disney movie and "Music Man" incorporates a little blues into their folk backdrop. The album closes with the gentle shuffle of "Goodbye My Friend" as the music of Crooked House Road is easy to get lost in. - JP Music


"Crooked House Road "Tell Me A Story" (Current Session Video)"

Toronto five-piece folk unit Crooked House Road are gearing up to release their self-titled debut album later this month, but before the record arrives, they've teamed up with the Current Sessions video series for a live performance — and Exclaim! has got your first look at it.

Formed by Shaina Silver-Baird and Mirian Kay after a chance meeting at an open mic night, the project has evolved into a full-fledged band. Their sound is based on "rich harmonies, powerful vocal delivery and honest storytelling," and it's a formula that shines through on "Tell Me a Story."

In the new clip, you can watch the band cram into the aisles of a local bookstore to deliver their musical tale. It's a tight squeeze, but they manage to bring the folksy song to life, nonetheless.

You can see the band's upcoming live shows listed below, and scroll past those to see the premiere of their video performance of "Tell Me a Story."

Crooked House Road was produced by Ken Whiteley, and will be self-released on May 26. - Exclaim!


"Premiere: Crooked House Road "Racin" (Current Sessions Video)"

Folksy Toronto five-piece Crooked House Road recently unveiled their self-titled debut LP, and now they've offered up an alternate rendition of album cut "Racin'" thanks to a new video from the Current Sessions.

The upbeat, jangly bluegrass number is a quick-paced, fun tune and despite the cramped quarters, the band seem to be enjoying themselves just fine throughout the performance.

The new video was recorded during the same session as the previously released clip for "Tell Me a Story," which went down in the biography section of Balfour Books in Toronto. Scroll past the band's upcoming tour dates to watch the premiere of the session video for "Racin'" in the player below. - Exclaim!


"Between the Trees Music Series"

First Time Favourites: Crooked House Road (August 29th)

Crooked House Road is a Toronto­-based indie, folk, pop outfit comprised of Shaina Silver­-Baird (lead vocals/violin), Mirian Kay (vocals/guitar) and Tom Mifflin (vocals/piano), joined by Derek Gray (percussion), Darren Eedens (banjo) and Matthew Riggs (bass).

 Folk music wrapped in delicious harmony, Crooked House Road helmed by Shaina Silver-Baird’s powerhouse vocals is a band to watch out for. Foot-stompin’ fun- Crooked House Road will get you dancing up out of your seats and revved up for an evening in the park. The raw power and emotion of the vocals paired with the incredible musicianship of this band makes for a sweet, sweet set that is not to be missed. - Shakespeare in the Ruff


"Crooked House Road Delivers Modern Indie Blues with Old School Flare"

Let's talk about CROOKED HOUSE ROAD! Haunting, harmonic, captivating, indie blues with some bluegrass accents and gorgeous acoustic harmonics define this group of creative folks founded and envisioned by the beautiful and talented Shaina Silver-Baird. Featuring Mirian Kay, Tom Mifflin, Derek Gray, Gram Whitty, Darren Eedens and others, the band is currently in the process of recording their first album and performing all over the place to captivated crowds throughout the GTA. A rare treat in this industry that seems stuck on copying the innovators, this band is true innovation mixing old school blues and folk with a modern indie feel - banjo, acoustic guitar, stand up bass, percussion and Shaina on the violin. - Across the Board Music


"CHR for Women"

Last Thursday I made my way to the Junction for the first night of the CHR for Women Benefit Concert Series. CHR for Women is the latest project spearheaded by Toronto indie-folk band Crooked House Road. On the last Thursday of February, March, and April 2015, Crooked House Road is performing songs from their upcoming debut album to raise support and awareness for women's charities. Each month also features a different line-up of local bands to open and close the evening so that returning fans are guaranteed a unique show every night. Tickets are Pay-What-You-Can and 100% of the proceeds go directly to a women's charity.

Last week's first instalment featured Bryn of Taylor & Bryn, Jane's Party, and, of course, Crooked House Road. All proceeds from the evening were donated to The Redwood: a shelter for women and children who've left abusive situations.

It's a night of great music in support of a great cause. If you're a fan of indie folk with soulful melodies and rich harmonies you're definitely going to become an instant fan of Crooked House Road. After hearing just one song I was ready to buy their whole album. Turns out I'll have to wait for their CD release party at the Cadillac Lounge on May 23; so, in the meantime, I'll be in the front row for the rest of their benefit concert series.

The next night of CHR for Women is Thursday March 26; Simeon Ross and the Heavyweights Brass Band will join Crooked House Road in support of Sistering, an organization serving homeless, marginalized, and low-income women right here in Toronto. On Thursday April 30, the final night of the series will benefit The Stop Community Food Centre and feature Georgian Bay, Horsey Craze, and Crooked House Road. The doors at 3030 Dundas West will open for both shows at 9:00pm.

After the show I caught up with Crooked House Road singer Shaina Silver-Baird to chat about the inspiration behind CHR for Women.

"The idea first came from our manager Josh Van Altenberg who organized benefit concerts in university to great success with his company Decent Exposure. It was something he was passionate about and wanted to do again and I was totally on board.

As an artist it’s easy to get caught up in your own little world. As much as it’s about the art, it’s also about marketing and selling your brand, and constantly broadcasting to the world what you are doing. I was getting tired of it, and I wanted to do something more. I wanted to use the work I was doing to benefit a cause that I was passionate about. Growing up in a family of strong feminist women and men made me very aware of the challenges women face in this world."

Shaina also spoke about the importance of activism and charity work here at home.

"We thought about helping women abroad, but then we stopped ourselves. There are women in our own neighbourhood who desperately need help. So we chose local charities that make a real difference in our own communities. I think there’s something really special about coming together as a community to help our own community. We’re saying: 'the problems aren’t only over there on the other side of an ocean. There are women suffering from poverty and abuse in our own backyards and we’re not going to turn a blind eye. We’re going to acknowledge it and we’re going to try to do something about it.' "

Since the first charity show in February, the word has gotten out and is generating a lot of buzz in the lead-up to the next two events.

"The response from audience members and musicians alike has been amazing. I’m humbled by the truly fantastic artists that are giving their time to these concerts, and the audience members who come out and spread the word," said Shaina. "It’s really hard work producing something like this (I turned around and realized we were producing a 3 day music festival) but it’s totally worth it. So many people at the Feb. 26 concert had never heard about The Redwood and the amazing work they do to help abused women and children. Getting the word out there about their organization was a success in itself."

CHR for Women encourages people to support important issues in our city by giving them a fun evening of good music and a chance to get introduced to some new local talent.

"We want our audience to have a fun, amazing night listening to the best of local music," said Shaina. "We’ve carefully curated each night to feature some of our favourite local acts and we want to share that music with the audience. These events are exciting because they are really a celebration of local music and local charities. We’re building our community."

If you make it out to one of their upcoming shows, Crooked House Road would love to hear from you! Facebook or Tweet @CrookedHouseRd with the hashtag #CHR4Women to share what you thought of the bands, the charities, or to share your own stories and artwork.

For more information visit www.crookedhouseroad.com - Cardinal Press


"15 Minutes with Shaina Silver-Baird"

Shaina Silver-Baird is a professional singer, actor and the lead songwriter for Crooked House Road, a folk/blues band that will be releasing their self-titled debut album in May 2015. This week, the band kicks off a monthly concert series, CHR for WOMEN, dedicated to helping women in poverty.

SDTC: What spaces in Toronto do you go to escape your regular routine?

Yoga studios, dancing at The Piston, any swing set in any park.

What aisle do you spend the most time in at the grocery store?

The vegetable aisle. Veggies usually fill about 75% of my cart. I eat sweet peppers like they’re apples, without cutting them. People look at me weirdly when I do that.

Which virtue do you try to cultivate within yourself?

Ease. I try really hard and I work really hard. But nothing is so productive and healthy as ease. It’s something I’m working towards.

The receipts in your wallet would indicate what?

I spend too much money on eating out, yoga classes and cabs when I’m running late… which is often.

What did you think you were going to be when you were 8 years old?

A writer. Specifically of children’s books with lots of magic in them.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

Probably London, England. The artistic culture there is amazing: so rich and appreciated.

What makes you happy?

My man, his daughter, my friends, my mom, performing, moving.

What makes you cringe?

When women talk in that baby voice that they think they need to use to get what they want by being subservient. I love strong women who aren’t afraid to take up space.

What quality do you loathe most in others?

Narcissism.

What, in your opinion, is overrated?

Booze.

What frustrates you the most?

Feeling powerless and inactive. Like I can’t achieve what I need to. Also when people look down on me because I’m a young woman.

CHR Habits 13 500x332 15 Minutes With Shaina Silver Baird

What quality do you value most in a lover?

Respect & understanding – I don’t think you can have one without the other.

What is your favourite thing to do on a Saturday?

Homemade brunch, movies and then a Crooked House Road gig at night!

What is your comfort food?

Sweet potatoes. All ways.

What word or phrase should we all use more?

NO. I often have trouble saying no. I want to make everyone happy. But the truth is I just don’t have the time or energy to do EVERYTHING! I think “no” is a really important word for everyone to be comfortable saying and it really represents a certain level of self-respect.

CHR for Women kicks off at 3030 Dundas St. W this Thursday Feb. 26 to benefit The Redwood, an organization that provides safe and reliable services to help women and children escape abuse. Follow Crooked House Road on Facebook & Instagram for more information. - She Does The City


"Premiere: Crooked House Road Single - Mountain"

Grab your square dancing shoes because Toronto’s Crooked House Mountain is dropping an album on May 26th and we have a sneak preview of the track “Mountain”. The band started when Shaina Silver-Baird met Mirian Kay at an open mic, so singing in front of random strangers was totally worth it for these guys. - Ride The Tempo


"Crooked House Road Q & A"

Crooked House Road Q&A
Your name:
Shaina Silver-Baird.

Where are you from?
Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Name of band:
Crooked House Road.

Who else is in your band?
Mirian Kay (vocals/acoustic guitar), Derek Gray (drums/percussion), Gram Whitty (bass) and Joshua Skye Engel (electric guitar/mandolin).

How would you describe yourselves?
Known for soaring harmony and raw emotion, Crooked House Road pulls on folk, blues, soul, bluegrass and pop inspiration to create a sound all their own. Having just released their debut album with producer Ken Whiteley, CHR’s strength is in their live performances which are both intimate and powerful.

Who are your main influences musically?
Modern Americana bands with lots of harmony like The Lone Bellow and The Civil Wars. Classic folk like Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills, Nash. And the blues and jazz greats old and new like Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Adele.

What do you hope to achieve in music?
My aim has always been to tell stories through my music. I think the more honest a song is the more an audience can connect with it. And that’s really what this is all is about for me: connecting with an audience and putting on a performance. If we’re having a blast up there, then our audience is bound to have fun as well.

What has been the highlight of your career so far, and why?
The highlight of my musical career has to have been the process of recording this album. There’s so much work that goes into a project like this, over so many months. But the couple weeks in the studio, recording with the band, Ken and our guest musicians, was bliss. It was an exciting time, having all these amazing musicians dedicated to working on my music. It was surreal.

And what’s the moment you want to forget?
About a year ago we played a gig closing off the night for a friend’s band, and I lost my voice mid set. And I mean seriously lost my voice – I could barely make a sound by the third song. I had to end our set halfway through and it was the worst feeling.

If you had to pick just one of your songs to represent your music, what would it be and why?
Goodbye My Friend. It’s one of the first ones I wrote and has this exhilarating, uplifting quality despite the fact that I wrote it after a crushing break up. I love that it makes people in a crowded bar shut up, listen and clap along, despite being so bittersweet.

Where can we listen to it?
You can find it on exclaim.ca in their premiere of the album:
http://exclaim.ca/Music/article/crooked_house_road-crooked_house_road_album_stream

Where can we find out more about your music?
www.facebook.com/CrookedHouseRoad
www.twitter.com/CrookedHouseRd
www.crookedhouseroad.com

Anything else you’d like to say about your band/music that I forgot to ask?
If you like what we’re doing or want to have us come to your local venue we’d love to hear from you! Write us at crookedhouseroad@gmail.com; find us on Facebook or tweet us at @CrookedHouseRd! - RealSoundsOk


"Interview: Crooked House Road"

I had the chance to ask the band a variety of questions about their background, the new album and so much more.

How did you decide to name the band, “Crooked House Road”?

Our original name actually already belonged to a Christian Rock band in the States and several people had gotten us confused, so we knew we had to change it. My boyfriend and I had just spent a breath-taking 4 days on a canoe trip in the remote Algonquin park, and as we were driving home we passed this street sign that pointed down a tiny, dead-end, country road that said “Crooked House Road.” He read it out as we passed it and it just resonated with me. It brought to mind such a clear image and seemed to mirror the music I was writing: rootsy, full of story, raw and imperfect. A week later at rehearsal I proposed the name and it stuck!

If you look at the album art on the CD, all the photos are of an abandoned house in a ghost town in the Namib desert. The lyrics of each song are printed over a different room in this decaying house, so in a way with this album we built a full house, with a story in each room.

Photos by Joel Andrew Johnson (www.joelandrewjohnson.com)

How did you all meet and form the band?

Crooked House Road began when I met Mirian Kay at an open mic and we immediately sparked a friendship. She became my musical partner in crime and we began performing my original songs around Toronto along with my old university buddy Tom Mifflin on keys and back up vocals. In a way the Crooked House Road musicians found us: Derek Gray was my upstairs neighbour; Gram Whitty was a substitute musician we brought in for one gig and never let go; and I met Joshua Skye Engel at synagogue playing a show for kids. We went through several incarnations of the band, playing with different musicians: some of which, like Darren Eedens (banjo), make an appearance on the album. But we naturally settled into a groove with our current members. The ones who really worked just kind of stuck.

You recently released your new single, “Mountain”, how has the response been?

The response has been truly amazing. It’s been featured on multiple websites internationally and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve been playing “Mountain” at gigs for a while and it’s always been one of our fan favourites. One thing I love about the response, is I can’t quite pin point a specific demographic for our growing fanbase. I’ve had people write me saying their 2 year old wants to listen to it on repeat and a big percentage of our fans are middle aged and older. I love that I’m writing music that resonates with so many people beyond my generation.

You worked with Current Sessions Productions to release a live video of “Tell Me A Story”, what was that experience like?

It was so much fun. Nicholas Posthumous and his team at Current Sessions are just great people to work with. And I love his concept of capturing bands playing in unconventional locations. It allows us to say something about the music in a visual capacity. I was the biggest bookworm as a kid, so when he proposed filming in Balfour Books it was right up my alley. And with a song like “Tell Me A Story” the fit was too good to be true. It was winter and everyone was freezing from outside, the instruments kept going out of tune and we were under a time limit. But with these guys we just laughed through it and somehow managed to pull it off in no time.

Do you plan to work with Current Sessions again in the future?

I would love to work with them again. We actually shot a second live video with them already for our tune “Racin.” Keep your eyes out for it in a few weeks!

You released the new album on today (May 26), what can you tell us about the writing process behind the album?

The writing process is somewhat unconventional. As a singer/violin player I don’t play an accompanying instrument like piano or guitar that most people use to compose. I write my tunes a ccappella, often starting with the lyrics and then adding a melody, sometimes the other way around. It’s pretty organic. Some songs are written all in one shot in a couple hours and others, like “Red & Gold”, were gestating in my head for months, being written a little bit a time. Once I have a loose structure, Mirian and I meet and we come up with a chord structure and do some more arranging. Then we bring the tune to the band and we workshop it with each musician developing their own parts. But I don’t feel like a song is really complete until it’s been played in front of an audience. That’s the only time you know whether it really works or not.

The album has been produced by Juno winner/ Grammy nominated, Ken Whiteley, is there anyone else you’d love to work with in the future?

I’d love to work with some of the guys from Do Make Say Think. They’re instrumental music blows my mind. It’s the modern day symphony. And I’d love to do a future album that has a bit more of a rock edge mixed in with the folk.

When can fans expect some tour dates?

We have all our upcoming gigs for the next few weeks on our website now and we’re in the process of booking more, focused on Southern Ontario for the summer/fall. A larger Canadian tour is something to look forward to in the future. If you want us to come to your town/city write us!!!

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, who are you current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

Oh man, there are so many! Recently I’ve been really digging The Highs and local folk singers Georgian Bay. And if I’m in the mood to party I love Lemon Bucket Orkestra. My parents ran a folk dance troupe that I performed with as a kid, so I grew up around traditional Balkan music and dance. Their music feels like home to me.

Here, at Canadian Beats we like to include a small portion of questions that may help your fans learn something new about you, so here goes:

What was the first album you bought?

I have to admit I think it was Christina Aguilera. I was caught up in the pop craze as a kid… I still love a solid pop song. And while we’re being honest: damn that woman can sing!

What was the last concert you attended as a fan?

Dark Day Revue – it’s a revue at the Dakota Tavern hosted by the musicians in ONCE at Mirvish. They use the opportunity play some of their own tunes on their day off. It was a blast watching these amazing talents just jam and have fun. And who doesn’t love 4 fiddles all playing at once?!

If you were able to put together a festival, which other Canadian bands/ artists would you want performing with you?

Mirian Kay (solo act), The Good Lovelies, Cai’ro, Samantha Martin, The Beams, Darren Eedens, Ventanas, Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Monsoon, Brooklyn Doran, EmmyRouge.

Let’s say you are able to write a song for any existing television show, which show would you choose?

Orphan Black. Hands down. I’m addicted. Plus I like to support Canadian content.

What is your favourite warm weather activity?

Park hangouts: picnics, Frisbee, jamming, napping on blankets.

What is the one thing you can’t leave the house without?

My metropass and … my cell phone.

Last but not least, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

If you like what we’re doing or want to have us come to your local venue we’d love to hear from you! Write us at crookedhouseroad@gmail.com; find us on facebook or tweet us at @CrookedHouseRd! - Canadian Beats


"Crooked House Road Single - Mountain"

Indie folk outfit Crooked House Road came to be from different corners of Shaina Silver-Baird’s life. Like a five-piece puzzle, the lead singer/violinist met Mirian Kay (vocals/guitar) at an open mic night, recruited her upstairs neighbour Derek Grey, added in university-buddy Tom Mifflin, held on to substitute musician Gram Whitty, and brought in Joshua Skye Engel after seeing him perform at a synagogue.

With the final product now performing as one, Crooked House Road are set to release their debut, self-titled album May 23rd at the Cadillac Lounge in Toronto. In anticipation for the album, the folk/bluegrass group have shared the lead single “Mountain”. Describing their music as containing “rich harmonies, powerful vocal delivery, and honest storytelling”, Crooked House Road have found a spark between folk and indie rock influences; the single will have you up on your feet in no time! - Dusty Organ


"Independent Clauses Top 10 Single's List"

Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music
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May MP3s: Indie-pop/acoustic
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June 4, 2015

1. “Goldface” – Tussilago. This indie-pop tune just feels effortless: Tussilago slides along with a bass groove, a low-key dance vibe, and a great melody. It’s the sort of song that you forget when you heard it the first time: it seems timeless, like it’s always been there.

2. “Break the Chain” – Ultimate Painting. Classic popcraft here, hearkening back to songsmiths like McCartney, Lennon, and Nilsson.

3. “No More Hits” – The ZZips. Do you miss slacker acoustic/funk/groove Beck? Hit up the ZZips, who clearly do as well: the clattering beats and gentle acoustic guitar come together via the funky bass and chiming electric guitar.

4. “Firefly” – Jeremy Bass. The press for this says bossa nova, but all I hear is smooth, gentle acoustic pop with a genuine, earnest vocal performance. It sounds like the sun was shining when he wrote this one.

5. “A Weaker One” – The Henrys. Sometimes I just like a song, and don’t want to kill it with definition. Chill out to this calm, excellent acoustic tune.

6. 'MOUNTAIN" - CROOKED HOUSE ROAD - I know Mumford & Sons kinda killed the market on indie-rock/folk fusions, but I’m surprised that more people haven’t taken Nickel Creek’s bluegrass/indie-rock fusion route. Crooked House Road goes that direction, adding in some klezmer flair and dramatic female lead vocals as well.

7. “Austin” – Tyler Boone. There’s some sweet pedal steel action on this modern country tune, featuring (who else?) a down-and-out narrator.

8. “Eastern Time” – Runner of the Woods. Here’s a tune that appeals to all the old-school country vibes that it can: weeping pedal steel, plain vocals, and bouncy piano (with some John Denver twinkles thrown in). It comes together into a swaying, smile-inducing whole.

9. “Our Garden” by Fox Street. If Ray LaMontagne got a little more Needtobreathe Southern rock in his blood, he could have written this tune. Passionate, raspy vocals meet wailing organ in a mid-tempo ballad.

10. “Too Little Too Late” – Mi’das. I’ve been getting a ton of soulful songs thrown my way recently. Mi’das stands above the pack by delivering not just his vocals but his expressive guitar playing.

11. “Money in the Evenings” – Hermit’s Victory. This white-boy slow jam has a Iron & Wine rustic feel (just the vibe, not the arrangement), while maintaining its own flavor through the accents and Tyler Bertges’ unusual, carefree vocals.

12. “Tz, Ka” – Inner Tongue. More soulful slow jams, but with some major synth contributions that give this also a bit of a dance vibe. It’s, at least, super re-mix ready. The head-bobbing vibe is hard to beat on this one.

13. “Sadie” – Gold Star. Slurry, emotional, and passionate, this vocals-led tune dances around the genres of country, slow-core, and singer/songwriter. Whatever you call it, it grabbed my attention immediately. - Independent Clauses


"How CROOKED HOUSE ROAD Singer Found Her Voice"

Listening to the soaring vocal harmonies of Mirian Kay and Shaina Silver-Baird on Crooked House Road’s debut CD, it’s hard to believe that one of the singers thought she was tone deaf when she was a child.

Silver-Baird said that she found the pitch in her voice and at the same time discovered herself as a singer while she was preparing for her bat mitzvah.

Violin lessons, “finding the tones with my fingers and having the tones so close to my ear,” also helped her learn pitch, she said.

Her Torah coach, Kim Doron, the children’s choir director and music leader at Toronto’s Congregation Habonim, encouraged her to sing when she heard her student imitating her tones. “I guess my bat mitzvah was like my first concert,” Silver-Baird said.

“I ended up singing the whole service when I was 12.” Now, an actor in musical and straight theatre – the 25-year-old played Juliet in Citadel Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet last year – Silver-Baird is also a songwriter. She wrote the 10 songs on Crooked House Road’s eponymous CD after “a big breakup,” she said.

However, it’s not just a breakup record, and focuses on loss in general. In the opening track, Mountain, Silver-Baird remembers her father, Bill Baird, who died when she was 14. But there’s also much joy in this CD, released last May to critical acclaim, with its songs about family, her current partner and life in the city.

Four songs on the CD explore different aspects of breaking up, including trying to make a relationship work despite the obstacles, the difficulty of letting go and the feeling of being taken advantage of. The lyrics of the CD’s final track, Goodbye My Friend, are “about losing love and losing the friendship that comes with it, but the music is uplifting, celebrating that goodbye,” she said.

Three tunes based on Silver-Baird’s current relationship balance the sadness of the breakup songs. Back To Me looks at a long-distance relationship, Music Man is about falling in love, and she wrote Little Girl Heart with her partner’s young daughter in mind.

Silver-Baird workshopped the songs with different musicians, who collaborated on the instrumentation and arrangements. After some personnel changes, the band, named after a road in Haliburton, Ont., was solidified with co-vocalist/guitarist Kay, drummer Derek Gray, bassist Gram Whitty, and Joshua Skye Engel on electric guitar and mandolin. The band’s exhilarating sound, a fusion of folk music, gospel and blues, can be compared to the music of indie folk groups like the Civil Wars and the Lumineers.

Earlier this year, Silver-Baird and her partner organized a benefit concert series at which Crooked House Road and other bands performed. CHR For Women supported organizations dedicated to helping women in poverty, including Redwood, a Toronto organization that helps women and children to live free from domestic violence.

“The support from other musicians was overwhelming,” she said. Silver-Baird, who said she’s always called herself a feminist, plans to continue to work with Redwood. Still active with Congregation Habonim, Silver-Baird connected with her bandmate, Skye Engel, the music director of the Jewish Heritage School at Habonim when she was helping to lead children’s services at the synagogue during Rosh Hashanah.

He asked her to sing with his band, Oozakazoo, and she asked him to join Crooked House Road. “It’s a fun group and the music is great,” he said. Silver-Baird has also been training as a cantorial intern at Habonim with its spiritual leader, Eli Rubenstein.

“I’ve done several weddings and been an assistant on a bat mitzvah,” she said. “We are working periodically on me learning the songs and prayers for the services.”

Crooked House Road plays at Uncorked on Main, 72 Main St. S., Georgetown, Sept. 11, 8 p.m.; Bloor Ossington Folk Fest, Christie Pitts Park, Toronto, Sept. 19, at 1:15; Humble Beginnings, 3109 Dundas St. W., Toronto, Oct. 2, 8 p.m. For more information about Crooked House Road and or to purchase their CD, visit www.crookedhouseroad.com. The CD is also available for download on iTunes. You can find the band on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. - Canadian Jewish News


Discography

Crooked House Road (self-titled debut album) 

Release May 26, 2015

Photos

Bio

Known for rich harmony, powerful vocalists and honest storytelling, folk/blues band Crooked House Road has been growing a steady following in their hometown of Toronto since their inception in late 2013. They recently released their self-titled debut album in May 2015, produced by Juno winning and Grammy nominated producer Ken Whiteley.

The album was premiered on Exclaim.ca and was named one of the 6 top albums to stream that week by Judith Lynch at the CBC under her weekly feature "Albums to Stream." Their tunes have been featured on CBC programs across the country including "Fresh Air" CBC Radio 1; CBC Fredericton; CBC Saint John, CBC Kelowna and CBC Saskatchewan. 

Shaina Silver-Baird (vocalist/violinist) formed Crooked House Road as a vehicle to bring her music to life. She teamed up with Mirian Kay (vocalist/guitarist) and together they are currently collaborating with Derek Gray (drums), Gram Whitty (bass) and Joshua Skye Engel (electric guitar/mandolin), among others.

Recently they have played on the same bill as The Lovely Feathers (EMI); Juno nominee Annabelle Chvostek; Jane's Party; The Heavyweights Brass Band and Horsey Craze (side project of members of The Constantines and DoMakeSayThink). In 2015 they’ve been gaining attention for their benefit concert series CHR4WOMEN: a three part series raising money for charities that help impoverished women in Toronto. Upcoming they will be playing the Bloor Ossington Folk Festival in September 2015.

 

“Folk music wrapped in delicious harmony, Crooked House Road helmed by Shaina Silver-Baird’s powerhouse vocals is a band to watch out for. Foot-stompin’ fun - Crooked House Road will get you dancing up out of your seats and revved up. The raw power and emotion of the vocals paired with the incredible musicianship of this band makes for a sweet, sweet set that is not to be missed.”

                        ~ Between The Trees, Music Series

 

“Haunting, harmonic, captivating, indie blues with some bluegrass accents and gorgeous acoustic harmonies define this group of creative folks founded and envisioned by the beautiful and talented Shaina Silver-Baird. The band is currently performing all over the place to captivated crowds throughout the GTA. A rare treat in this industry that seems stuck on copying the innovators, this band is true innovation mixing old school blues with a modern indie feel.”

                        ~ Across the Board Music

Separating from the pack, Crooked’ outrank their peers: better harmonies (more stirring and striking); keener insights (more cutting and nuanced lyrics); stronger songs- that beg you to keep coming back for more. 

MusicMusings

 

Band Members