Grey Gritt
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Grey Gritt

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | SELF | AFM

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2005
Solo Blues Folk

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Summer festival allows residents to chose their own headliner

Nicole Garbutt
Northern News Services
Published Friday, April 13, 2012

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE
"It's going to be gorgeous," said executive director, Penny Ruvinsky about the 2012 Folk on the Rocks festival.
NNSL photo/graphic

Juno-winning Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Bruce Cockburn is one of the more well known names on the Folk on the Rocks 2012 lineup, but that does not make him or anyone else the main headliner, according to festival organizers. - photo courtesy of Warner Music Canada

Lineup so far:

Wesley Hardisty
Washboard Hand and the Corn Pickes
Travis Mercredi
Timber Timbre
Timangia Petaulassi & Qauna Mikkiaq
The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra
Snake People
Said the Whale
Ron Sexsmith
Pura Fe
Phonogarde
The Jerry Cans
Indio Saravanja
Hot Vibrator
Grey Gritt
Fish and Bird
David Essig
Catfish Willie and the Buckle Busters
Bruce Cockburn
Bella Beats
24th Street Wailers

The theme for Folk on the Rocks this year is Spark Spur Inspire Stir. Ruvinsky said festival organizers hope the line up will inspire festival goers in their own creative endeavours.

As for a headlining act, Ruvinsky said it is always a question every year.

"When we released the lineup, you'll notice it's in alphabetical order," she said, adding this is done to allow people the chance to read through and pick out the act they are most excited for. "They are all headliners, you just pick your own."

"What is important to us is to have performers who will give it their all, that is what we are committed to. We have performers who will create a draw, and others who by playing the festival circuit, including Folk, will become a draw."

"You never know what will spark creativity...the bands this year cover a large range of genre, age and influences, some of these bands can influence each other, especially some of the long time performers."

As an example, Nico Todd-Cullen, artistic director for the festival, said that listening to Pura Fe and Phonogarde it is easy to see how they may have similar influences, despite there being about 20 years between them.

Quite a few Northern and Yellowknife performers will be making their way onto one of the stages at the festival this year.

"We try not to double up for local performers two years in a row, but it depends on who applies," Todd-Cullen said.

Runvinsky said the society is working on developing a policy for what "Northern" means for the festival.

The line up of performers was released this past Wednesday, a full month earlier than normal.

"It is usually released at the spring trade show," said Ruvinsky. "We are looking at people from outside of Yellowknife, people have to know when they are planning their summers, and we wanted to entice locals to stay in town until the festival ...We want to be part of people's summer plans."

There are still more acts to be added to this years roster, Ruvinsky said it is still changing. Shortly after the lineup was released on Wednesday morning, one of the bands called to cancel.

The final and complete lineup will still be announced at the Chamber of Commerce spring trade show. - Northern News Services


Northern Ontario musician Tina Roy will be bringing her "bittersweet" folk music to the Northern Lights Festival Boreal this weekend.

The 21-year-old has released two EPs and plans to record a full-length album in the next year.

How would you classify your musical style?

Roy:It's very truthful. It's just trying to make beautiful what is sad and sometimes hard. I don't sing about things that don't move me and that I don't feel. In terms of musical style, I guess it would be a folk acoustic,


finger-picking type music. What can people expect
from your show? Roy:They can expect

some great songs and some laughs in between, for sure. I have these bittersweet songs and then in between, I can't help cracking the audience up and getting them laughing a little bit.

You write your own music. What is your writing process?

Roy:I find every time it's a little bit different. Something will hit me and I'll have to go run and get a pen and paper or go reach for my guitar.

Is your music autobiographical?

Roy:Definitely. I find that the more I write, the more it is about the things I feel and how I feel towards people and places. I'm becoming a little more political in some of the songs.

How are you political in your music?

Roy:One of the more recent songs that I have written hit me at a party. Everyone was talking about, "Oh, we were born in the wrong time. We should have been born in the '70s when there was all this political movement going on." I was a bit frustrated with how people were romanticizing glorifying the past when there is still a lot of great things we could be doing now. Hopefully we are part of a movement now that we'll look back on in 20 years and say, "Oh, I was part of that, I didn't even see it coming."

You've released two EPs -- any plans for a full-length album?

Roy:Definitely. I just received a grant from the Métis Nation of Ontario to buy recording equipment to record my first full-length album.

Roy is playing on the acoustic stage at noon on Saturday. She will also be performing on the acoustic stage Sunday at noon and 1 p. m., and the village stage at 9 p. m. Her music and videos can be found at myspace.com/tinaroymusic.
- Angela Scappatura - The Sudbury Star


Tina Roy, a Sudbury singer-songwriter and guitarist, will be releasing her CD,New Lessons in Anatomy,at a show starting at 8 p. m. at Little Montreal on Friday.

Roy has performed in cafes around town, southern Ontario, as well as big venues like the Northern Lights Festival Boreal.

Opening for Roy on Friday will be Dominique Royer. Tom Birch will join her on guitar, banjo and mandolin. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased in advance at Innovative Guitar Ideas and Little Montreal, or at the door. Visit www.myspace.com/tinaroymusic.

R&J:Where did the name for your CD come from?
TR:It's kind of a theme in my songs. I talk about hands and hearts and ears and all these different body parts. I turn them into something different than what they are biologically, I guess. I think that's called a metaphor. (laughter)

I was going to call it, Last Week. But I change things at the last minute because I get some last-minute inspirations. It drives me a bit crazy.

R&J:How long have you been working on it?

TR:Since last June, July-ish. Here and there. I got a grant from the Métis Nation of Ontario to buy recording equipment to record this project. So, I've been working on it whenever I could. It was also so I would be able to record other people in the community and other musicians. So, I've kind of started my own recording company, called Oh My Productions. I've recorded a couple musicians so far.

R&J:Where did you record yourself for this CD?

TR:I got to record anywhere that I wanted to. I recorded in St. Catharines, mostly the guitar part. Then my friend, Tom Birch, he played some guitar parts, banjo and mandolin. I recorded him at his place in White Fish. Then some more guitar and my voice in Sudbury in my apartment ... and at my parents' place in Warren. And then some percussion at my friend Paula's at her place in Minnow Lake.

R&J:How do you describe your sound and your music?

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TR:A musician will always see him or herself one way. But that's pretty biased. But I guess it's acoustic, folk, finger-picking, yeah. It's just tough. I just feel if I say I'm something, someone else will say, 'You're more like this.'

R&J:I hear you're leaving Sudbury soon.

TR:I'm leaving June 1st with my girlfriend and my dog. We're going coast to coast to coast -- from the west coast to the north coast and then all the way back to the east coast. We're not really sure where we will end up. We might find places we've never seen before where we would love to live.

R&J:Will you be performing as you go?

TR:Yes, I have a couple of places lined up. - Lara Bradley - The Sudbury Star


Yellowknife singer and songwriter Tina Roy will perform this weekend at Le Frolic.

Roy will perform songs from her latest album, New Lessons in Anatomy, in addition to many of her old tunes. Catch Roy on stage on Friday and Saturday from at 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Yellowknifers can also catch a performance by Roy when she is scheduled to play drums with The Break Up at the Snow Castle on March 26. - Daron Letts - The Yellowknifer


Singer/songwriter Tina Roy performs at Javaroma tomorrow evening. Roy and her acoustic guitar share the cafe stage from 7:30 until 9:30 p.m.

The 22-year-old Metis recording artist will play songs off her third album, Lessons in Anatomy.

The free concert is organized by Music NWT as part of the group's ongoing featured performer series. - Daron Letts - The Yellowknifer


Songwriter Tina Roy is a big fan of the Thursday-night jams at Twist. She and her band, The Break Up, crashed the stage a couple of weeks ago and she said she plans to come out again tomorrow night.

The Thursday night jam begins upstairs at Twist at 8 p.m. each week.

"It's pretty cool," Roy said. "They have a good set-up, a full drum kit and really nice hand drums, as well."

The Break Up, which also features songwriting duo Amanda Dei and Melvin Leonard and bassist Ryan Silke, are busy rehearsing for future gigs this fall.

"We're so excited to have a set list that's really tight," said Roy, who released her third solo album, New Lessons in Anatomy, last spring. - Daron Letts - The Yellowknifer


Daron Letts
Northern News Services
Published Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Tina Roy is a poet, folksinger, recording artist and sound tech who plans to share her diverse skill set with the Yellowknife arts scene this fall.

The 22-year-old bilingual Metis musician moved to Yellowknife with her partner, writer and philosopher Laura Boileau, earlier this summer. The pair travelled across Western Canada as Roy played gigs at various venues, busking on a few street corners along the way.

Their road trip began in Sudbury, Ont., and reached all the way to Whitehorse before they chose to settle in Yellowknife.

"We were only supposed to stay here two days, but we ended up staying three weeks so we decided to apply for some jobs," Roy said. "Yellowknife is ultra-friendly. It's easy to fall in love with this place."

Boileau, who now works at the Yellowknife Public Library as a library assistant, said she's also pleased by the welcome they received from their new community.

"We felt immediately at home the minute we got here," Boileau said. 'We're so happy to be in Yellowknife."

Roy grew up experimenting with music in Northern Ontario. She released her third self-produced CD in April with funding through the Metis Nation of Ontario. New Lessons in Anatomy features 11 original tracks she describes as "bittersweet, folky, finger pickin' acoustic."

Inspired by the sensitive imagery of 20th century Bohemian poet Rainer Maria Rilke, Roy's personal lyrics offer abstract meditations on emotions, relationships, hopes and dreams.

In the song Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat, Roy expresses the need for self-actualization in the workaday lives of youth. In Sea Shell, she sings about the way loved ones struggle to communicate by comparing conversation to whispers in a seashell.

"I love metaphors having to do with the human body that give people a new, poetic way to look at hands and hearts, ears and and eyes," she said.

In addition to her plans to perform her music on stage, the versatile artist said she wants to fill a behind-the-scenes role for local musicians and actors.

Roy completed the sound program at a digital arts college in Montreal. After doing recording work for campus radio and sound for theatre, she started her own company, Oh My! Productions, last year. She uses the company to host songwriting and technical sound workshops.

She said she wants to empower musicians by providing soundboard tutorials to help make them more self-sufficient.

"I really think it's important that people get an understanding of what their equipment does," she said.

Her own recording gear will arrive in Yellowknife this month. The portable set up allows Roy, with Boileau as her assistant, to travel anywhere for independent recording projects.

Roy has performed in Yellowknife at the Saturday night Javaroma jam and at the Top Knight.

(Photo)
Poet, musician and songwriter Tina Roy heads her own company, Oh My! Productions, that offers technical and creative workshops for musicians and performers. - Daron Letts/NNSL photo
- Daron Letts - The Yellowknifer


Radio Taiga supported by performers at annual fundraiser

Daron Letts
Northern News Services
Published Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Radio Taiga supports Yellowknife musicians by airing their music every week, often hosting performances live in studio. Local musicians returned the favour this weekend by supporting the francophone station during its ninth annual radio-thon fundraiser.

"The music scene in Yellowknife is just incredible," said program director Rudy Desjardins. "I think to put musicians on the radio and give them airplay is good for them and it's good for us, too, because we get more listeners. I think it's a win-win situation."

Among the performers who played during the radio-thon was East coast balladeer Jim Taylor.

"Radio Taiga is an integral part of the community," Taylor said. "Even though I don't speak French, I listen to their music quite a bit. Rudy is a great guy and a good musician himself."

The music started at 7 p.m. on Saturday night as volunteer announcer Stephane Gagne embarked on a 12-hour on-air marathon. Gagne was joined in the studio that evening by musicians with Three-Across-Dee-Eye, Priscilla's Revenge and The Skinnys and soloist Alex Beaudin.

On Sunday the station hosted a sunny outdoor concert from 1 until 4 p.m. Corn on the cob was served as families gathered in the parking lot behind the station on 48 Street.

Bilingual songwriter Sophie Leger kicked off the live performances with selections from her upcoming album, Places In Me, along with several traditional francophone tunes. Other musicians included Jonathan Churcher, Mary Caroline, Ron Kent and Tina Roy.

Roy, a bilingual Metis songwriter originally from Sudbury, Ont., began volunteering for the station shortly after moving to Yellowknife this summer. She said she is impressed by the vibrancy of Yellowknife's francophone community.

"It's a lot bigger than I thought it would be," she said.

The radio-thon raised $4,785, breaking the record set in 2007 by more than $500.

Rudy said the funds will be used to purchase a Blue Box, a small, simple device that allows volunteer announcers to broadcast live music and other events on location around the community without extensive technical training.

Desjardins is Radio Taiga's sole employee, but the station maintains regular volunteer radio hosts throughout the year. More than a dozen volunteers took shifts on-air during the fundraiser.

"We're always looking for more volunteers," Desjardins said.

The station will release its fall programming schedule later this week. Listeners can tune in 24 hours a day at 103.5 on the FM dial. - Daron Letts - The Yellowknifer


Le festival multiculturel « Hay Days » a reçu un duo d’artistes francophones, Tina Roy et Natasha Duchene, la fin de semaine dernière. Les deux musiciennes ont offert plusieurs performances tout au long de la première édition de l’événement, à Hay River. Une visite qui ne tombera pas dans l’oubli!



Tina Roy, une auteure-compositrice-interprète franco-ontarienne, a fait plusieurs petites prestations au festival « Hay Days » avec Natasha Duchene, une compositrice-interprète de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Invitées par l’Association franco-culturelle de Hay River, elles ont offert une adaptation des chansons originales de Tina Roy ainsi que quelques interprétations de chansons francophones. Tina, à la guitare et au chant, et Natasha, au clavier et aussi au chant, ont su créer une ambiance unique se mêlant à toutes sortes d’occasions. Du restaurant-bar, aux petites heures du matin, à la salle de curling, en plein après-midi, les deux filles ont, à tout coup, charmé leur public. « Ils ont vraiment gardé le meilleur pour la fin! », s’est exclamé Tyler Hawkins, musicien reconnu aux Territoires du Nord-Ouest, à la suite de la première performance des deux artistes, vendredi soir. M. Hawkins s’est dit franchement impressionné par le talent et les arrangements musicaux du duo. Lorsqu’on leur a demandé depuis combien de temps elles jouent ensemble, les deux filles se sont données un regard de connivence, avant de répondre en riant : « Depuis quatre jours?! ». Vraiment? Incroyable.

Le duo a d’abord présenté son premier spectacle vendredi dernier, à minuit, au restaurant-bar Back Eddy’s, devant une dizaine de personnes. Le lendemain, à 14 h, elles ont animé la salle de curling de leur musique. Tout juste après, elles sont allées profiter des micros ouverts au pub sportif, le Doghouse, au grand plaisir des gens qui ne tarissaient pas les éloges à leur égard. Certains d’entre eux les ont d’ailleurs suivies, tout au long de la fin de semaine. Pour Nanette Duford, l’une des propriétaires du restaurant Back Eddy’s, Tina et Natasha ont été un réel coup de cœur. « Parfois, le plus gros festival te fait sentir anonyme, ici, ça a été facile de connecter avec les gens! », a raconté Tina, face à son expérience à cette première édition du festival de Hay River.

Offrant une panoplie de chansons anglophones et francophones, les deux filles se sont adressées au public en français, à quelques reprises : « Ça nous a permis de découvrir à quel point les francophones sont présents dans le Nord! », s’est exclamée Tina, satisfaite de ses prestations à Hay River. « Je me sens vraiment chanceuse d’être ici », a-t-elle aussi confié, soutenue par Natasha. « Ce fut si agréable de jouer un peu partout, de jammer avec toutes ces personnes différentes, de revoir des visages familiers de Yellowknife et, du même coup, de rencontrer aussi toutes ces nouvelles personnes », a raconté Natasha

Il faut mentionner que les deux artistes sont des musiciennes de formation. Natasha est titulaire d’un baccalauréat en musique de l’Université de Montréal, et Tina a obtenu son diplôme du programme Techniques de sonorisation et d’enregistrement musical à l’Institut d’enregistrement du Canada. Elle a d’ailleurs déjà lancé son premier disque, New Lessons in Anatomy. Quant à elle, Natasha travaille actuellement à l’élaboration de son propre album : « Je vise l’automne », a-t-elle partagé. Le duo projette de retravailler ensemble à l’avenir : « Ce sont des moments comme ça, quand tu rencontres quelqu’un et ça clique, c’est vraiment spécial! Quand ça arrive, il faut travailler avec… », a partagé Tina, approuvée par Natasha. - Édith Vachon-Raymond - L'Aquilon


Radio Taïga et l’Association franco-culturelle de Yellowknife soulignent l’arrivée de la saison chaude avec une série de concerts mettant en vedette des groupes ensoleillés. Yé!



Incapable de dormir? No hay problema! Radio Taïga et l’AFCY ont quelque chose pour occuper ces interminables soirées d’été : des spectacles musicaux exotiques pour vous bronzer les tympans.

La vague de chaleur commence le 15 juin, alors que le duo Alcaz, de Marseille, en France, débarque à Yellowknife. En tournée canadienne, ces deux gitans des plages s’arrêtent également à Iqaluit et à Inuvik. À Yellowknife, ils vont vous emmener tout droit sur la Côte d’Azur avec leur mélange flemmard de blues, de balade, de folk, de java, de jazz et de chanson française. Peuchère!

« On est en voyage, on est ce que l’on appelle des nomades, affirme la moitié masculine du duo, Jean-Yves Liévaux. Il y a la culture qu’on a pu engranger durant toute notre enfance, notre adolescence, la culture de Marseille. Maintenant on est davantage dans l’échange culturel, le partage. »

Si la bohème n’est jamais loin pour ce groupe qui a enregistré son premier album On se dit tout aux États-Unis, l’humour occupe aussi une place de choix dans leur démarche. « L’humour est très important, commente Vyvian Cayol, l’autre moitié. Il y a assez de lourdeur dans le monde, on est là pour ajouter une touche de légèreté. »

Présenté au Champagne Room, ce concert est également un festin. Le chef Kaven Paradis (Twist, Fuego, World Catering), qui nous avait sucré le bec lors de la cabane à sucre ce printemps, prépare un repas quatre services aux saveurs de la Méditerranée, pour un dépaysement total.

Dès 18 h 30, la première partie du concert sera assurée par l’auteure-compositeure-interprète Tina Roy. Le directeur de Radio Taïga, Rudy Desjardins, affirme qu’il cherchait depuis un bout de temps une occasion pour présenter la Franco-Ontarienne établie à Yellowknife.

« Tina est une artiste très talentueuse, dit-il. Son rock alternatif intimiste est certainement une des plus belles découvertes de la scène musicale des TNO ces dernières années. Nous sommes très fiers d’avoir été les premiers à faire tourner ses chansons. »

Durant leur séjour à Yellowknife, Alcaz présentera également un spectacle pour enfants à l’école St-Joseph, pour les élèves des programmes de français langue première et d’immersion. - Batiste Foisy, Radio Taïga/L'Aquilon - 10 Juin


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Its almost as if somewhere on the Canadian shield, maybe 25 or so years ago, the soul of the new generation bluesmen and the passion of the grrls with guitars gave birth to a most unlikely love child:  a tattooed, gender queer, punk rock-loving troubadour who played with a raw, percussive guitar style that at times recalled Ani DiFrancos and who could sing with the pure, passionate, boyish and elastic voice of a young Colin James in his prime.

Using these gifts, the award-winning Yellowknife-based artist would then channel the spirit of the austere North through clever, soulful, bluesy roots numbers sung with just a hint of punk rock attitude.

In return, northerners would vote the artist into the number one spot in the Northern division of the CBC Radio Searchlight competition.

Now, Greyson Gritt is preparing a return to the rest of Canada.

Gritt was born of an Ojibway mother and a French Canadian father who raised their child in a non-musical home in the tiny town of Warren, Ontario, not far from North Bay.

The nom de guerre derives from the gray area the artist occupies on the gender binary.   (Grey prefers to be referred to in the third person using they as a gender-neutral singular pronoun.)  

Musically, Gritt was forged at a place where the soul of early Motown wafts through a wood stove-heated houseboat on a frozen Great Slave Lake; where the furious intensity of the riot grrls echoes off a secluded cliff overlooking downtown Yellowknife; and where the frenzied social conscience of punk rock hangs in the air in a private corner of a run-down northern bar. 

Gritt had taken up guitar in high school, studied audio engineering in Montreal, and then beat a path across Northern Ontario, gradually carving out the circuit of festivals, bars and coffee houses that would mold the artist into a seasoned performer included repeat engagements at Sudburys Northern Lights Festival.  But it was in Yellowknife the final destination of a cross-Canada road trip from which Gritt would never return that a relationship ended, and the blues seeped into the music.  It was in Yellowknife that Gritt stumbled upon the vintage Harmony Rocket that has become central to their sound.  And it was in Yellowknife, with its environment of scarcity, that Gritt found inspiration in the ethos of making do and expressing ones authentic voice with whatever tools one has at hand.

Fans have responded to Gritts style with enthusiasm, making the artist a highlight of the regions Folk on the Rocks festival. Gritt also represented them at Northern Scene at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and as an opening act for Harry Manx.  A debut EP, Nickles and Dimes, was released in 2012, and most recently, Gritt was accepted into a career mentorship program at the Northern Arts and Culture Centre with the official goal of turning Gritt into one of the territorys next big cultural exports. 

You heard it here first.

If the sound of the Yukon is the sweet sound of Appalachia tempered by a desolate landscape and embodied in artists such as Kim Beggs and Annie Lou then the sound of the Northwest Territories is the threadbare soul of acoustic folk-blues infused with a vast sense of space and solitude and sharpened by the chill of a freezing wind blowing through a deserted downtown street. 

And northerners have elected Gritt their musical ambassador.

Band Members