Jacob and Lily
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Jacob and Lily


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The best kept secret in music


"Stylus Magazine-Beer for Breakfast"

Karla Adolphe - Come Home

Karla Adolphe has a beautiful and strong voice, but it's the intangibles that set her debut, "Come Home" apart. She has a vibrant personality, a great sense of humour, and she is able to share those gifts with a honest performance. Listening between the lines, you can hear the glint in her eye, you can unmask the hurt her witticisms hide, and you can feel the comfort of her positive outlook. - Stylus/CKUW 95.9

"Uptown grants Come Home a B+!"


Remember this name for it won't be long before Karla Adolphe will be mentioned in the same breath as others such as MacLachlan, Arden and DiFranco. Springing from the same coffeehouse/Mennonite/faith-music scene that has spawned many talented performers in recent years, Adolphe rises above the rest on the strength of both her beautiful emotive voice and its application on nine simple aching songs.

With arrangements that alternate from stark piano, warm acoustic guitar and dynamic full band treatments, Adolphe becomes an artist whose dramatic sensibilities may come to rival those of Jeff Buckley. When she gets a few more years of living under her belt and taps into that experience in her songs, Karla Adolphe will be a major force.

John Kendle
Uptown Magazine
December 8, 2005 - Uptown Magazine-Winnipeg

"Karla & the 780 Family"

Review: Karla Adolphe Little Dipper Tour
Media Type:

I'm a little biased here, because I was on the bill that night - so I will skip over reviewing myself (though, let me saw I thought my son Jack did an excellent job playing his tiny blue guitar upfront).

So, let's get into the rest of the review of what was truly an incredible evening. And if you were there - you know that.

Karla came on and right from the start we knew. This is a solid songwriter with incredibly strong vocals - and we will see more of her.

I hope this awesome night was not just a blip on our radar here in the 780 scene - bit one more match to light the ever-shrinking fuse that is 'bout to blow.

- Dave Von Beiker

"One on One"

"I believe the key to being a great artist is to have a great love for the people who are listening. Karla Adolphe is that kind of artist, and I think her freshman album release, Come Home, reveals a very strong voice and some even stronger convictions about caring for others and dealing with real life."

Ben Pasley
Worship Circle Records & Blue Renaissance Creative Group - Ben Pasley

"Hard Core Canuck"

Arts & Culture
Issue 15, January 12th, 2006
Canadian to the Core
On her new album, singer songwriter Karla Adolphe pays her respects to Canadian icons, and our national game

Mike Lewis

“You’ve gotta do it because you love it,” she says as we exchange war-stories of life on the road, and life in the music world. Karla Adolphe has only been at this a couple of years now, but she’s learned the most important lesson in music. Many have crumbled in the hands of education as they fall short of full comprehension of that lesson; it can leave one bitter and angry and tired. Karla has come through it all with nothing short of boundless enthusiasm for her art and a kind of optimism that leaves this writer feeling good about life in general for hours after the interview.

Karla began her journey in 2000, when she began to write her own material. She spent the following years refining her work, distilling it down into something she felt was worth sharing. In early 2004, she began to play out to an audience that has been steadily growing. With a couple of small tours across western Canada, and one well-produced album under her belt, the singer feels she is ready to go at this full-time and that means more touring. This coming February and March, Karla will be hitting the road out west again, playing headlining slots across the prairies and the far side of the mountains on a tour she’s booked herself. It sounds like a lot of work, but, according to her, the only bad thing is that the Olympics are on at the same time that she’s out on tour.

“I watch every hockey game that I can watch,” she proclaims. “I love hockey. I’m hardcore! (laughs)."

Her passion for the sport is only outdone by her passion for music. She took formal music training in Edmonton where she honed her chops, learned her theory, and spent time singing in the school’s gospel choir. She learned how to lead a band while in the choir, including how to improvise as a band. This training has proved invaluable to Karla as improvisation is one of the key factors in her music and her live show where she and her partner-in-crime, percussionist Caleb Friesen, set about trying to have as much fun as possible.

“Caleb and I change things up all the time, just to try it,” she explains. “Every show is different. That was the point. When people come, they’re not sure what to expect.” The live show is always Karla and Caleb, but others do get involved on a regular basis, with a bass player joining them for most shows around town, and a cello player by the name of Sarah Hanan who played on the album.

“We did a show in September with accordion and banjo, and it was really rootsy. For my album release party we had more of a rock show; two guitars, big sound. I like that. I like doing different arrangements. It keeps us challenged and interested. If I had a fiddle player come in, I’d say this is the song, this is the key, go nuts.”

Though Come Home is Karla’s first album, it sounds as though she’s been doing this for years. The album as a whole has a warm feel, and despite the power coming through from the vocals, it is not intrusive; just the opposite in fact. Although her musical training is rooted firmly in her church background, Karla felt it necessary to step away from that with her own music.

“I felt that the music I wanted to record that was true to me, was more general, lyrically more broad, not necessarily a spiritual message,” she explains. “I didn’t want it to be something that people would only listen to on a Sunday morning. I didn’t feel comfortable with that.” Karla is able to write in a folk style, but avoid the usual clichés that come with the genre, focusing less on story and more on emotional content. It is this that helps her stand out from many of the self-described singer/songwriters that currently occupy coffee houses everywhere. Come Home has the kind of feel that suits highway driving, or quiet afternoons at home. In that way, Come Home sounds a lot like Neil Young’s latest album, Prairie Wind, though while the vocal delivery is closer to Jann Arden than Young, it still carries the sincerity of both aforementioned singers.

It is this sincerity that seems to be Karla’s greatest strength. She credits her vocal coaches from school with helping to understand the importance of sincerity in music.

“I had an instructor who said ‘Karla, if you don’t feel it and can’t communicate the meaning of the number, I don’t even want to hear it.’ A lot of times I’d be singing in Latin or French, and so I had to feel it based solely on melody.”

While on the subject of honesty, Karla describes the theme behind the album as being based on the “feelings and thoughts behind the songs, but not the music. It’s about returning to something happier, more pure, peaceful or restful. In your early 20s you’re forced out into the world and that can be very disheartening and very disillusioning. I wanted to give something to people tha - Uniter Magazine - January 12, 2006

"The Real Thing"

When I interviewed Karla, first impression was…She’s so passionate about her music! After hearing her sing I now know why. Karla Adolphe is the REAL THING……

Tracy Koga
Shaw TV Arts and Entertainment
January 2006 - Shaw TV


Come Home - Independant Release 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


Born out of backyard jam sessions, Karla Adolphe is a wrestling soul singing on a street corner. Her compelling and soaring voice is layered over moving melodies and insightful lyrics; each song commanding your attention. Her songs are a warm blend of raw emotion, meaning and depth, and are based on the everyday experiences of the people who surround her.

Moving 1000 miles away from home at 17, she picked up a guitar and began to write. Three years of classical training and collaboration with percussion-based musicians fostered a confidence and drive to create her own music. Recently, Karla has partnered with drummer/percussionist Caleb Friesen to create an intensely creative and spontaneous live show. Many listeners have compared her driving style and haunting voice to singer/songwriters such as Martha Wainright, Sarah McLaughlin and Jan Arden.

Since her first coffeehouse performance in 2000, Karla has developed a diverse live performance which includes performing at the University of Alberta, Manitoba and Winnipeg, coffee shops, pubs, bars, festivals, house concerts and recently returned from tours in British Columbia’s lower mainland, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Highlights include performing at the 2005 Winnipeg Folk Fest-Young Performers Showcase, 2005 Fringe Fest – Old Market Square, 2005 Fallout Artfest (Minneapolis, MN), Live Music Is Better Coffee House February 2005, Winnipeg Poetry Slam in November 2004, the Regal Beagle’s Wimmin’ and Songs show in July 2004, Manitoba Independent Songwriter’s Circle West End Showcase in March of 2004, and singing at the 2002 David Suzuki Elements Tour, which featured Bruce Cockburn.

Karla has also enjoyed sharing the stage with Manitoba songwriters such as: Manitoba Hal, Jaylene Johnson, Steve Johns, J.P. Hoe and Marcel Desilets.

Karla has recently released Come Home, a full-length independent release, and looks forward to touring Canada with fellow recording artist Rik Leaf.