David Essig

David Essig


Iconic Canadian roots artist - a legendary singer/songwriter, an amazing slide guitarist, and a brilliant live performer. The Victoria Times-Colonist has called David "one of the finest Blues guitarists and songwriters in the world."



DAVID ESSIG was introduced to Canadian audiences in 1971 as a “talented newcomer” at the legendary Mariposa Folk Festival. Now, nearly 40 years later, he has an international career as one of Canada’s finest interpreters of original, contemporary folk music. Always paying homage to his roots in Bluegrass and Country Blues, David uses these traditions to create timeless new songs.

David is highly respected as a thoughtful and intelligent songwriter, with Canadian folk standards like “Albert’s Cove” and “High Ground” to his credit. His work moves from pieces as contemporary as today’s news, to songs that sound as if they were rediscovered from old country blues 78’s. These are songs that tell stories that will start you laughing and leave you crying.

Equally renowned as an instrumentalist and traditional performer, David is a master of the blues and slide guitar. Whether on the lap-style Weissenborn or the electric slide guitar, his spontaneous style crosses all the borders between country, blues and the avant-garde. With his 5/8” socket and a sound that could peel the petunias off your mother’s porcelain, he is considered one of Canada’s finest slide guitarists.

David’s masterful songwriting is the theme of A Stone in My Pocket, the milestone double CD project released in 2004 by WEA in Canada and by IRD in Europe. For this project, David recorded fresh new versions of 30 of the most popular and moving songs from his 35 years of writing. He was joined by renowned musicians Oliver Schroer on violin and Tobin Frank on bass. A Stone in My Pocket has received critical acclaim as a landmark recording in Canadian roots music.

In 2007, a collective of alt-country Winnipeg musicians, led by Romi Mayes, Jaxon Haldane, and the D-Rangers, recorded the acclaimed CD Beverly Street: an album of their new performances of some of the best of David’s original songs. David joined in for cameo appearances on the CD and contributed the title song for the project.

In 2008, David teamed up with fellow roots performer Rick Scott to record and release Double Vision, a duo CD of original songs that has garnered enthusiastic praise across Canada. David and Rick have toured together and performed at festivals across Canada, adding bassist Shelley Brown as a third member of the group.

Since the release of his acclaimed Delta Blues CD, "Rolling Fork to Gallows Point," in July, 2011, David has been concentrating on solo career, touring in Canada and Europe.

He will be releasing a new solo singer-songwriter CD, "One More Song," in June, 2012 followed by performances at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival and Folk on the Rocks in Yellowknife, NWT.


David has had a parallel career in music as a producer of some of the finest recordings in the history of Canadian roots music. He was the producer on the late Willie P. Bennett’s first three LP’s, including the legendary Hobo’s Taunt and Blackie and the Rodeo King. David has worked as the producer on over 75 album projects with a wide variety of artists including Fred Eaglesmith, Chris and Ken Whiteley, Cathy Fink, Walter Michael, Trapezoid, and the late Jackie Washington.

For the past 8 years, David has owned and operated Watershed Studio – an independent production facility specializing in recording Canadian singer-songwriters and roots musicians. At Watershed, David has produced and recorded album projects with over 20 artists including Allison Brown, Doug Cox, Steve Dawson, Trish Clair, Jane Eamon, Hal Brolund and Raghu Lokanathan.


Rolling Fork to Gallows Point - 2011 (CD)

Double Vision (with Rick Scott) – 2008 (CD)

Presbyterian Guitar – 2007 (CD)

Beverly Street – 2007 (CD)

A Stone in My Pocket – 2004 (double CD)

Declaration Day – 2002 (CD)

Into the Lowering Sky -1998 (CD)

Tremble and Weep - 1996 (CD)

State of Origin - 1993 (CD)

Small Guitar Departs - 1992 (CS)

Rebel Flag - 1990 (CD,CS)

Morning Calm - 1988 (CD)

Running Light - 1987 (CS)

Two Kayagum Solos - 1986 (CS)

Whose Muddy Shoes - 1986 (LP)

While Living in the Good Years - 1984 (LP,CS)

In the Tradition - 1981 (LP, CD)

Sequence - 1978 (LP)

Stewart Crossing - 1976 (LP)

High Ground - 1975 (LP,CD)

Redbird Country - 1974 (LP,CD)