Little Birdie
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Little Birdie

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"Live Review -!"

When Orit Shimoni, the face of Little Birdie, first grazed the stage at Inglewood’s Ironwood family day evening, she shared stories of adventure and laughter with jokes which ranged from her childhood to missionaries. There was an immediate atmosphere of comfort, as if she and the crowd were simply old friends sharing on a cold prairie evening. A small, intimate crowd gathered for the witty humor and acoustic ballads of Little Birdie. She kicked off the night with some light-hearted, warm tunes for some easy listening, though as the night progressed the depth and complexity of her music escalated. A few of her ballads included: “let’s get persecuted”, “sadder music”, and “farmer’s daughter”. The amusing highlight of the evening was “happy song” which sailed the crowd into an imaginative world of aliens and ships. The lyrics of the music she sung were fascinatingly relatable. The audience had a taste of a near-Johnny Cash experience. A friend of Shimoni’s once accurately described her music as; existential blue grass, a perfect fit. Since the rest of her band were unable to join this tour, it turned out to be a solo gig. Regardless she fostered an environment of warmth, ease and swaying melodies all on her own, like any talented musician would. Her tales of her Berlin and via rail adventures were reflected in her chosen songs of the evening. Her deep, melodic voice and finger-picking drew the crowd in nearly instantly and kept them there until the very end. She not only mastered the art of storytelling that evening though also sublime entertainment,which left the crowd left to only wait for another visit from the memorable Little Birdie. - Indie 403


"Little Birdie - LIve Review"

When Orit Shimoni, the face of Little Birdie, first grazed the stage at Inglewood’s Ironwood family day evening, she shared stories of adventure and laughter with jokes which ranged from her childhood to missionaries. There was an immediate atmosphere of comfort, as if she and the crowd were simply old friends sharing on a cold prairie evening. A small, intimate crowd gathered for the witty humor and acoustic ballads of Little Birdie. She kicked off the night with some light-hearted, warm tunes for some easy listening, though as the night progressed the depth and complexity of her music escalated. A few of her ballads included: “let’s get persecuted”, “sadder music”, and “farmer’s daughter”. The amusing highlight of the evening was “happy song” which sailed the crowd into an imaginative world of aliens and ships. The lyrics of the music she sung were fascinatingly relatable. The audience had a taste of a near-Johnny Cash experience. A friend of Shimoni’s once accurately described her music as; existential blue grass, a perfect fit. Since the rest of her band were unable to join this tour, it turned out to be a solo gig. Regardless she fostered an environment of warmth, ease and swaying melodies all on her own, like any talented musician would. Her tales of her Berlin and via rail adventures were reflected in her chosen songs of the evening. Her deep, melodic voice and finger-picking drew the crowd in nearly instantly and kept them there until the very end. She not only mastered the art of storytelling that evening though also sublime entertainment,which left the crowd left to only wait for another visit from the memorable Little Birdie. - Indie 403


"Sadder Music - Live Album Review"

Little Birdie is the name adopted by Canadian singer songwriter Orit Shimoni who with guitarist Andre Kirchhoff has produced two fine albums which at times recall the dulcet tones of Neko case delving into folk blues and gospel. Shimoni’s vocals have always been quite striking while her writing is informed and impressive.
Over the past year or so Shimoni has lived in Berlin, a city that has excited numerous artists due to its ever challenging musical scene and its position as a fulcrum in the tides of history over the past sixty years or so. In particular Shimoni by dint of her Judaism has had to deal with the personal ghosts raised by the events of the past and she addresses this on the song Old Synagogue.
Rather than a live presentation of songs from her albums Shimoni presents a set of songs written during her sojourn in Berlin. Backed by musicians she met while there this is a fairly raw fly on the wall (or as she describes it, “warts and all”) recording with applause, on stage whispers and MC announcement all included. Songs inspired by folk she met (Old Woman and Walls) are the most obvious results of her stay but the centrepiece is the song Old Synagogue where Shimoni tackles the dichotomy between Rabbinical teachings and the reality of history. She delivers this in a reverential tone with sympathetic backing from Nick Redell on violin and it’s the empathy between Shimoni and her pick up musicians that perhaps best reflects what she found in Berlin. Interestingly the opening song No Finer Place is reminiscent of Robyn Archer, a singer who explored pre war German cabaret and the likes of Brecht and Weill.
While Shimoni continues to sing powerfully and her writing is well up to par especially on the closing title song (which approaches Leonard Cohen territory) it will be interesting to see what her next release, also recorded in Berlin will be like. In the interim Sadder Music works well as a document of her progress. - Blabber N' Smoke


"Sadder Music - Live Album Review"

Little Birdie is the name adopted by Canadian singer songwriter Orit Shimoni who with guitarist Andre Kirchhoff has produced two fine albums which at times recall the dulcet tones of Neko case delving into folk blues and gospel. Shimoni’s vocals have always been quite striking while her writing is informed and impressive.
Over the past year or so Shimoni has lived in Berlin, a city that has excited numerous artists due to its ever challenging musical scene and its position as a fulcrum in the tides of history over the past sixty years or so. In particular Shimoni by dint of her Judaism has had to deal with the personal ghosts raised by the events of the past and she addresses this on the song Old Synagogue.
Rather than a live presentation of songs from her albums Shimoni presents a set of songs written during her sojourn in Berlin. Backed by musicians she met while there this is a fairly raw fly on the wall (or as she describes it, “warts and all”) recording with applause, on stage whispers and MC announcement all included. Songs inspired by folk she met (Old Woman and Walls) are the most obvious results of her stay but the centrepiece is the song Old Synagogue where Shimoni tackles the dichotomy between Rabbinical teachings and the reality of history. She delivers this in a reverential tone with sympathetic backing from Nick Redell on violin and it’s the empathy between Shimoni and her pick up musicians that perhaps best reflects what she found in Berlin. Interestingly the opening song No Finer Place is reminiscent of Robyn Archer, a singer who explored pre war German cabaret and the likes of Brecht and Weill.
While Shimoni continues to sing powerfully and her writing is well up to par especially on the closing title song (which approaches Leonard Cohen territory) it will be interesting to see what her next release, also recorded in Berlin will be like. In the interim Sadder Music works well as a document of her progress. - Blabber N' Smoke


"Sadder Music - Live Album Review"

Orit Shimoni is a singer-songwriter in perpetual motion, with little slowing her down as she travels from city to city, gig to gig. But it was a 2008 first-time visit to Berlin that gave her uncharacteristic pause. She had gone to the German capital to check out the music scene, where, she said, “you can show up and let things happen… Berlin is a hot spot for people who are just hovering.” Yet she couldn’t ignore the fact that she was a Jewish person in Germany and consequently grappling with being both “comfortable and uncomfortable” there.
From this tension emerged an album’s worth of songs, which Shimoni recorded live and has just released as “Sadder Music: Live in Berlin” under her performing alias, Little Birdie. The 10 tracks on this, her third independently produced album, are fine examples of her intimate and direct style, regardless of whether you label the album folk or country. Her sound, which is hard to pin down, is actually a bit of both. Shimoni herself likes to refer to it as “dark country.” She sings lead vocals, plays acoustic guitar and is backed up by a band that includes violin, electric guitar, bass and percussion.
Of her approach to singing, the angular, dark-haired Shimoni said, “I don’t hold back, and I don’t censor myself. Things just happen on their own and then I analyze them later.” The same applies to her songwriting, which she describes as “in response to my personal experience, but done in a way that is as universal as possible.”
Indeed, there is no mistaking that the 32-year-old Shimoni is singing as a Jewish woman and writing from a liberal Jewish ethical stance, but not many of her songs are explicitly Jewish. The one exception on “Sadder Music” is the fifth track, titled “Old Synagogue.” She told The Arty Semite that this was the one song on the album that she did not write in Berlin, but when she returned home to Canada. It is about her re-evaluating her religious identity in light of her experiences in Berlin as she celebrated Shabbat at an old declining congregation (recognizable to locals as Anshei Minsk Synagogue, or the “The Minsker”) in downtown Toronto’s Kensington Market.
Other songs on the album, some ballads, some up-tempo numbers, deal with issues and people that Shimoni encountered while in Berlin. “The River Banks” is about urban gentrification and displacement. In “Old Woman,” Shimoni tells of her uncomfortable interactions with an elderly woman with dementia who roamed the streets of her neighborhood. “Walls” recounts a conversation the singer had with a woman she met in a bar who told her about her memories of when the Berlin Wall came down, which, in turn, made Shimoni think about the separation wall between Israel and the Palestinian Territories that had recently gone up.
The song titled “Survivors” seems fitting on an album about a Jew’s experience of Berlin. But this song is not about Jewish Holocaust survivors; instead it is “more about them than about us,” Shimoni explained. “It’s about young Germans. I had never before realized how they are dealing with the guilt.”
The worldly and emotionally intelligent lyrics of these songs reflect Shimoni’s rich life experience and accomplished academic background. Born in England to an Israeli father and a Canadian mother, she grew up with two older sisters in Jerusalem and later Calgary, Alberta. She moved back to Israel after high school, where she earned an undergraduate degree in English at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Later, she relocated to Montreal and taught in Jewish schools while pursuing a master’s degree in theology at Concordia University.
A self-taught musician, Shimoni had always played and written songs, but for many years she did it only on the side. “It took a long time to clue in to my wanting this to be my career,” she said. Fortunately for us, she has decided to go where her heart and talents lead her, be it to gigs across Canada or on tour in Europe, where she is performing this spring. Once you have heard “Sadder Music,” you’ll want to know what will follow.




Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/the-arty-semite/137785/#ixzz1WTK6Fkoq - The Forward


"Cinematic Way album review"

Montreal is home to fabulous musicians. The Blue Seeds, Projet Orange, onlyforward, and now Little Birdie has chirped their way into our hearts. Cinematic Way, as its name suggests, is highly narrative country music that soars with delightful echoes from songwriter and lead singer Orit Shimoni and her talented musical friends.

Opening with “Everyday I Fasten My Shackles”, it leads the listener through a personal journey of faith and continues on through the album with Shimoni's signature Bob Dylan-esque slurs. A favourite on the album is the fun and jumpy “These Days” which shows Little Birdie at their best. "It's OK" also features a stellar Neil Young-like chorus with Andre Kirchoff on backing vocals. - Soul Shine Magazine


"Birds and Brains"

In case you didn't already know, Little Birdie are one of the many bands emerging out of the vibrant Montreal alt-country scene. They're headed up by chief songwriter Orit Shimoni, a siren singer who merges her songwriting pearls with Barfly stalwarts Lil' Buck. Shimoni's velvet croon grabs you by the heartstrings with tales of destitution, drinking and nursing a broken heart, with Lil Buck proving to be no slouches as the support group. Guitarist Mark Goodwin deserves an extra mention here for delivering a stellar production job. - The Mirror


"Atlantic Seabreeze"

Little Birdie performed in Toronto at the 2007 Canadian Music Week at Cadillac Lounge, and listeners there were astonished . . .

Little Birdie is an artist to watch out for, and no doubt about it, she is a star in the making. Atlantic Seabreeze gives the album top ratings, and personally it is one of the top CD's received in a long time to review.

Listening to the album, one gets wrapped up in the beautiful words and outstanding music.

It's not very often an artist comes along as talented as Little Birdie, both as a singer and songwriter, and we have to give her as much support as we can. She is a true gem in the music business. - John Gavin


"Bluegrass Bands Unite"

"Little Birdie is one of the strongest performers right now. She can freak anybody out. . . The last time I saw her I was astounded . . . She tries to broach subjects that are not really talked about today . . . It's incredible, so poignant and insightful." - The Suburban


"Bluegrass Bands Unite"

"Little Birdie is one of the strongest performers right now. She can freak anybody out. . . The last time I saw her I was astounded . . . She tries to broach subjects that are not really talked about today . . . It's incredible, so poignant and insightful." - The Suburban


"Montreal talent with promising debut"

"With vocals reminiscent of Neko Case . . . Shimoni stamps her personality all over the record and proves to be a very engaging artist."

"... the album engages from start to finish and should delight anyone . . " - Paul Kerr - Americana Uk


"Montreal talent with promising debut"

"With vocals reminiscent of Neko Case . . . Shimoni stamps her personality all over the record and proves to be a very engaging artist."

"... the album engages from start to finish and should delight anyone . . " - Paul Kerr - Americana Uk


"Deep Dark Country - I Left the City Burning Review"

From Montreal, Little Birdie’s first album, 'Cinematic Way' drew favourable comparisons with Neko Case, primarily due to Orit Shimoni’s glacial singing augmented by the strum and twang of songs like 'The Temple'.

Four years later and they return with a stripped down sound as a duo consisting of Shimoni on guitar and accordion and Andre Kirchoff on various guitars and harmonica. The result is a spooky folk and blues infused meditation on life’s’ foibles, vignettes that say little of events but speak volumes on the emotional wreckage thereafter. The style is reminiscent of Freakwater’s forays into the American folk hinterland with echoes of Dylan and Woody Guthrie and on 'Don’t Go Blaming Me' a touch of the Everlys’.

Shimoni’s vocals throughout are outstanding and comparisons with Case and Margo Timmons abide while Kirchoff provides harmonies that gel well with her voice. This is best realised on 'Farmer’s Daughter' where the accordion affords a true folk bedrock. The stark country blues of 'Nothing More' seems as if it should have crows flying around it. On 'Roam No More' a simple prayer is turned into a gorgeous lament that sounds as if it could have been written anytime in the last hundred years or so.

Occasional violin from Laura Lee and mandolin from producer Mark Goodwin add to some of the songs but the final impression is of a very fine singer and songwriter who has gathered folk, blues and gospel influences into a very satisfying whole. - Americana.UK


"Deep Dark Country - I Left the City Burning Review"

From Montreal, Little Birdie’s first album, 'Cinematic Way' drew favourable comparisons with Neko Case, primarily due to Orit Shimoni’s glacial singing augmented by the strum and twang of songs like 'The Temple'.

Four years later and they return with a stripped down sound as a duo consisting of Shimoni on guitar and accordion and Andre Kirchoff on various guitars and harmonica. The result is a spooky folk and blues infused meditation on life’s’ foibles, vignettes that say little of events but speak volumes on the emotional wreckage thereafter. The style is reminiscent of Freakwater’s forays into the American folk hinterland with echoes of Dylan and Woody Guthrie and on 'Don’t Go Blaming Me' a touch of the Everlys’.

Shimoni’s vocals throughout are outstanding and comparisons with Case and Margo Timmons abide while Kirchoff provides harmonies that gel well with her voice. This is best realised on 'Farmer’s Daughter' where the accordion affords a true folk bedrock. The stark country blues of 'Nothing More' seems as if it should have crows flying around it. On 'Roam No More' a simple prayer is turned into a gorgeous lament that sounds as if it could have been written anytime in the last hundred years or so.

Occasional violin from Laura Lee and mandolin from producer Mark Goodwin add to some of the songs but the final impression is of a very fine singer and songwriter who has gathered folk, blues and gospel influences into a very satisfying whole. - Americana.UK


Discography

Cinematic Way (2006)
I Left the City Burning (2009)
Sadder Music - Live in Berlin (2011)
Bare Bones (2012)

All albums available for purchase or download on
www.cdbaby.com/littlebirdie
www.cdbaby.com/littlebirdie2
www.cdbaby.com/littlebirdie3
www.cdbaby.com/cd/littlebirdieoritshimoni

Photos

Bio

When Mark Rheaume, music director at CBC radio, named Orit Shimoni one of his top three Canadian artists of the year, it was in response to her debut album, Cinematic Way. Since its 2006 release, Orit, (musically known as Little Birdie), has been touring across Canada and in Europe, playing festivals, bars, cafes, show venues, house concerts, and even trains.

Little Birdie has released three more critically acclaimed, radio played albums. Writing and composing all of the songs, she tours mostly solo and is a captivating and successful performer as such, she is often graced by several talented musicians in the different cities and countries she plays in , such as in Amsterdam, Berlin,Calgary, Vancouver, and Toronto.

Having dedicated herself entirely to music, she sleeps on couches and rides the Greyhound bus, going from performance to performance, well over 100 a year. Little Birdie puts on diverse and engaging shows, and continues to prove her mettle and dedication to the craft and profession, as well as to her own crazy but consistently articulate, sincere and engaging art.

An immensely prolific and versatile songwriter, Little Birdie is hailed for her writing, (which has been compared to that of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, among others) as well as her moving singing voice, which has been compared to Norah Jones and KD Lang!

Band Members