Kim Fontaine
Gig Seeker Pro

Kim Fontaine

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada | SELF

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada | SELF
Band Americana Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"CD Review of Life Happens"

By Calvin Daniels

OK Saskatchewan music fans, as soon as you have finished reading the edition of Yorkton This week you hold in your hands head over to the personal computer, type in and order yourself a copy of Life Happens.

This is pure GOOD!

When I think back on my collection of Saskatchewan produced CDs only a handful are clear-cut standouts, lead in my mind by the 1995 release of Mouse by Jay Semko. Well Life Happens by Kim Fontaine is right up their folks. The interesting thing is that there is a connection between Fontaine and Semko. Semko provides the lead vocals on Sad Love Song. That's pretty heady company for Fontaine considering Semko is most famous as a member of the Northern Pikes (who will be in Yorkton this summer as a highlight grandstand concert of the annual summer fair).

So what does Fontaine offer up to rate such a high mark? Well to begin with she has a unique quality to her voice, one that has an almost male timbre to it, that really catches the ear.

Next, like Semko's Mouse, the lyrics are good here, not as poetically moving as Semko achieved, but still solid enough to earn a strong review.

Musically this is that sweet musical genre of pop folk. The music via its lyrics and approach is very much true to folk roots, but the addition of a broader range of instrumentation, including electric guitar takes it into the rock world too.

Cuts such as This Old Train, The Story of Mona, Home and the CD title-cut are my favs here, although the entire CD works for me too.

This CD should get good play on college radio, but deserves a much broader audience. Mark this one a definite winner. Grab it now.

Calvin Daniels - Yorkton This Week


Visit for more reviews. - various

"Fontaine Train Keeps A-Rollin'"

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fontaine Train Keeps A-Rollin'

by Craig Silliphant

Rollin', rollin' keep on going,
All this time and never knowin'
Every track and every mile
Close your eyes it passes by
Rollin', rollin' keep on going.
Never stopping, never slowing
This old train keeps movin' along
"This Old Train" (Kim Fontaine)

That's the chorus of "This Old Train"—a song set to a driving beat, with guitar strums that chug along like a runaway locomotive, and one that stands as the opening track from Kim Fontaine's new album, aptly titled Life Happens. The album showcases Fontaine's latest mingling of folk, alt-country, jazz, blues, and the bit of rock and roll she throws in for good measure.

As the album's title suggests, one of the major themes on the record is a running commentary on the way that the best laid plans of mice and men often go, well, awry. In examining that theme, Fontaine expounds on the metaphorical journey she's been on for decades: carving out a long and varied career as a prairie musician who also happens to be a modern woman.

"Think I'll throw my watch out the window," her smoky voice boldly declares near the end of "This Old Train." To be sure, Fontaine has learned in her own life that it's better to ignore the press of clocks and calendars, because all things develop in due time—and rushing the experience means you don't get to enjoy the scenery, or learn the things you need to know. Starting as far back as 1981, Fontaine spent many years in the background of other musical acts, playing bass for bands like Barricade and Shyne in the '90s, doing backup vocals for Mayfly, and working plenty of gigs as a studio musician. But about four years ago, some friends finally convinced her to do what she had always wanted to do—strike out on her own. So she put down her bass, picked up her acoustic guitar, and sauntered from stage left to front and centre.

"That's one thing I regret in life," says Fontaine. "That it took me so long to figure out that I could do it. Why so long? [Playing] solo is a different animal—there's pros and cons. With a band, you're a team. You write together, live together, and starve together. As a solo artist, everything is up to you and you're the last one to get paid. Playing live in a band, you feed off of each other. Playing solo, it's just you up there, so the pressure is on."

But once she made the decision to go solo, it didn't take Fontaine long to prove that she could stay cool under the hot centre-stage lights. Her long career provided her with plenty of experience, and it wasn't long before her fears were mostly behind her. Now, one can hardly go a day without seeing her name on posters or postings for upcoming shows. In the near future, for example, you can see this pro at work firsthand on July 18th at the Taste of Saskatchewan, and July 20th on the Ness Creek stage—one of her favourite gigs.

"With Ness [Creek]," says Fontaine, "you've got to expect the unexpected. You never know what will happen. Last time, I was sitting in the band area, casually sipping on a beer when someone suddenly handed me an acoustic bass and asked 'can you sit in with [Ness Creek legend] Jack Millikin?' Needless to say, I was honoured in a deer-in-the-headlights, dumbfounded sort of way. It really feels like you're part of a community when you're up there."

In addition to all her songwriting and gigging, Fontaine has also been heavily involved in the development of up-and-coming Saskatchewan songwriters, sharing her experience by hosting a plethora of Songwriting Circles, including a three-day songwriting retreat in August at the University of Saskatchewan's Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus. In addition to the workshops, Fontaine is also the instructor for an ongoing U of S songwriting course, which she is thrilled to be associated with.

"The opportunity came up and I jumped on it," says Fontaine. "I'm having a lot of fun with it and I think the people taking it are having fun too. It gives me juice. I get to sit down with a group of people who want to write songs and help them get started. We do some groundwork on structure and lyrics, then we break into different groups and start co-writing. People like Jay Semko [of Northern Pikes fame] and [producer] David J. Taylor will come in to talk about how they do what they do. [For the] last class, we record a demo at one of the studios."

For Fontaine, the train she's been on throughout her musical journey seems to keep a-rollin', showing no signs of pulling into the station in the near future: she'll continue to share her music, her stories, and—according to her website—spread a slightly mysterious personal philosophy.

"I think I need to update my website," Fontaine jokes. "But since you bring it up, I guess I do kind of have a philosophy that creeps into a lot of my work. It's got to do with hope, optimism, and some empathy."
- PlanetS Magazine

"Jaded Insider Billboard Blog (SXSW)"


March 15, 2008

South By Southwest: Christman On The Loose, Part One

So as soon as I get in the cab at the Austin airport, the hustle begins. An acoustic female vocalist is coming through the speakers crystal clear. The singer's name is Kim Fontaine, I learn, and she hit town a few hours before I did, but she already has won over the cab driver, who is hawking her music to me.

On my way to my hotel, I learn that she is from [Saskatchewan] and she is playing tonight at 10 p.m. at the Victoria Room. As it turns out, I don't get to see her, but that's the way SXSW is. You bounce from one event to the next, sometimes getting waylaid to see some act you didn't even know existed until that moment....

"Life Happens Album Review by Jonathan Sanders"

Life Happens Album Review by Jonathan Sanders
Friday May 16th, 2008

Kim Fontaine has been referred to as the matriarch of Saskatoon, an apt title for an extremely talented Canadian singer/songwriter you probably haven’t heard of. Kim’s most recent album, Life Happens, is a well-crafted album which showcases her earthy style. It’s an unabashedly simple acoustic album which allows her strong songwriting skills and surprisingly distinct vocals to come through in spades. You haven’t heard of her, but if you like meaningful music, when you’re done reading this review you soon will.

Life Happens features eleven songs which clock in at a relatively tight thirty-eight minutes, and even her ballads, such as the heartfelt “Hello Mr,” know how to come in, say what needs to be said, and then back off for us to soak it in. Fans of the Indigo Girls will enjoy the structure of these songs, and Kim’s voice is comparable to Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, along with a more restrained Melissa Etheridge. “Sad Love Song” in particular sounds like something Etheridge would feel comfortable recording, and as far as the album’s ballads go it seems the most single-worthy.

If the album has a fault, it would be that too many of the songs fall into a slow, methodical state, as songs merge one to the next in a way that may relax the listener a little too much. That said, in this case that musical progression fits her style. The songs are arranged in a way that best suits the development of the concept, and “Life Happens,” the methodical title track, plays the role as the album’s lynchpin, putting Fontaine’s vocals at the forefront and allowing the bare acoustic melody and heartfelt lyrics to truly shine. Taking time to listen to the album at the pace she intends allows the music to soak in and fully resonate. The style doesn’t require flashy hooks, so what would be a detriment to other bands ends up playing to her strengths.

The album also builds nicely to the end, with strong single candidate “I Am Lucky” coming close to the end, using a simple chord progression and evocative vocals to create a soundscape that would make any respectable community radio programmer swoon. Fontaine won’t likely ever be a pop songwriter, and her music’s never going to appeal to pop radio. But songs like this infer that she could have a long career and make inroads into the US indie folk scene. When the song ramps up in intensity at the end, becoming one of the album’s most upbeat numbers (even if only for a small moment) we get a glimpse of what Fontaine’s music can truly become. And in the era of online distribution, perhaps it’s possible she’ll find an American audience even without a big promotional budget.

If you get the chance to give this album a listen, do it! You won’t regret it, if you’re a fan of well-crafted alternafolk in the acoustic vein. She avoids the pratfalls many similar artists have faced in the past, and has managed to craft an album which sounds ultimately timeless. As she says on the album’s final track, “All Been Done,” which turns into a countrybilly stomp, it’s not like this has never been done, but on Life Happens, Kim Fontaine points out wholeheartedly that while there’s nothing new under the sun, the old can be repackaged to be just as good under the right musical eye. This album’s definitely worth forty minutes of your time.
- Stereo Subversion Music Magazine

"Project Thrusts Closet Writer into Spotlight"

It was only a matter of time before you read about Morning pages in the morning pages. Local Musician Kim Fontaine will be getting her share of ink with the release of her debut album."

"Having spent the last couple of years performing solo, Fontaine is more comfortable in the spotlight–a good thing because the songs aren't going to stop coming."

Cam Fuller
Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Full article available on the media page at - Saskatoon Star Phoenix

"Press Quote"

"Good intentions, that's what most CD's I get are filled with but that (as most Program or Music Directors know) is certainly not enough to get a song or album played on the radio. Kim Fontaine's music woke me up when I first heard it. Good intentions and freakin' amazing music."

John Beaudin, Program Director
California 103 (CIQX-FM), Calgary - John Beaudin, California 103

"Press Quote"

“Her work speaks to me on so many levels. I watched as she swayed back and forth and sang to a crowd that moved with her in their seats. Her music is beautiful, her performance was brilliant, and you would be very hard-pressed to find another like her.”

Ray Whitton, Singer/Songwriter,
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - Ray Whitton

"Press Quote"

"Her unique vocal phrasing is refreshing, her music engaging and if you can't feel the vibe then you don't have a heartbeat."

Shane Clark
Saskatchewan Spotlight, CHAB800/Shaw TV. MooseJaw, SK - Shane Clark, CHAB Radio


November 2010: Semko Fontaine Taylor: Heartaches & Numb3rs, released on Busted Flat Records

September 2010: Blue Sky Girl, recorded with support from the Saskatchewan Arts Board

2007: Life Happens
Check it out at
• various cuts played on CBC
• "Coincidentally" receives regular rotation on Magic 98 (Saskatoon)
• Kim Fontaine and Jay Semko co-CD launch concert in Regina at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum Theatre is recorded live and broadcast regionally on "The Gallery" and nationally on "Canada Live" (May 26, 2007)

2004: Morning Pages.
• Cuts added to California 103 (Calgary) playlist include: Angel, Forgive Me, Tenderness, Don't Feel Sorry for Me, Feel Good Today and Thankin' You.
• Cuts added to C-95 FM (Saskatoon) playlist include: Angel
• Cuts added to CBC Saskatchewan playlist include: Thankin' You, Angel, Tenderness, This Night, Feel Good Today and You and Me.
• "Angel" was licensed for Renegade Press and two CBC documentaires.
•Additional cuts have been featured on various artist spotlights throughout Saskatchewan and Alberta.



Born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Kim made herself at home on local stages – most often stage left, with a guitar, bass or some sort of percussion instrument in her hands. She learned to navigate the industry by touring as a side musician, but came to realize that songwriting is her true calling. Now, you most-often see her centre stage, armed with nothing but a Taylor acoustic and her voice that has been described as extraordinarily unique.

Kim has spent several years honing her writing skills and is regarded as one of Saskatchewan’s most noteable songwriters. She developed and instructed a series of songwriting programs for the University of Saskatchewan CCDE; has developed and co-facilitates an annual songwriting retreat for the University of Saskatchewan Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus; and is often invited as a guest speaker/panelist/instructor to present in areas of songwriting at events such as the WCMA’s, Boreal Arts Jam, SaskMusic workshops and others. She was affectionately nicknamed "Mamma Kim" by a group of songwriters she has mentored.

Kim is a performing singer/songwriter who has released two solo albums: “Morning Pages” (2004) and “Life Happens” (2007). She has showcased at some of the world's most prestigious music events including SXSW (2008/09) and North American Folk Alliance (2009). She also lends her talents to other artists as a studio musician/vocalist and regularly performs with Jay Semko (of the Northern Pikes). She, Jay and David J Taylor also have a side project called Semko, Fontaine & Taylor.

With support from the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Kim has recently launched her third solo album entitled "Puzzles & Pieces - scheduled for official release in Fall, 2010.