Roses
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Roses

Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Band Folk Acoustic

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"Roses gives Sevigny a fresh start (Talentedsinger-songwriter with new name launches disc and eyes the Big Apple)"

She still looks like a kid. And her soaring vocals still intoxicate. But life is fast changing for Katie Sevigny.

Three years ago, Sevigny was working at a depanneur in St. Henri by day and singing her heart out next door at a place called Pages, a second-hand bookstore-cum-coffee house that could have passed for a Greenwich Village boho-spot, circa 1964.

An overflow crowd was blown away by her range, her stage presence, her touch on the keyboard. She simply radiated. She sounded like an intriguing cross between Joni Mitchell and Rickie Lee Jones in crooning her own bluesy compositions.

Consensus was that Sevigny was destined for stardom.

A year or so later, Pages closed, and Sevigny seemed to have faded away as well. Several of Sevigny's fans were concerned about her whereabouts and called to inquire what had become of her.

Happy to report that Sevigny is back on the scene. She has gone in a new musical direction. She has cut a new disc -her first. And she has taken on a new stage name.

And as she puts it, "everything is hopefully coming up roses," for Roses, Sevigny's stage moniker now. Her debut disc, called Roses, is being launched Friday night at O Patro Vys.

Her latest compositions reflect a still-soothing shift from blues to folk. In lieu of a keyboard, she accompanies herself on guitar. The Joni influence is still evident, with a touch of Kate Bush, for good measure, but gone are the Rickie Lee strains, for now.

"After years and years of being ingrained with the music of the '60s by my parents, it has all finally sunk in -but on my own terms," quips Sevigny, 29, over coffee at Grumpy's -where she can occasionally be caught performing these days.

"Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills and Nash are in my blood. Can't shake them. All I need now is to find my own little Woodstock."

As for the stage-name change: "I just wanted to make a fresh start with my current music, but I'm still the same Katie in spirit." As for her disappearance from the St. Henri depanneur, Sevigny suffered a foot injury on the job and was unable to work for an extended period.

"But the good news was that during my time off I was finally able to learn how to play guitar. It also afforded me the time to write the songs for this album," says Sevigny, who has written close to 100 songs for herself and other artists.

Following the launch of her disc, Sevigny heads off to Toronto and Ottawa for gigs. In the spring, she will set her sights on breaking into the New York scene.

But she pretty much remains a one-woman operation. She still has no agent or manager. However, she did conscript a team to put together Roses, recorded in Toronto: Lee Meillor produced the disc and played lead guitar; Gene Hughes served as engineer and bassist; Dominic Whelan was the drummer; and Agnes Malkinson contributed on cello.

A few of the cuts on the album have been getting frequent airplay on CKUT and CBC Radio. "It's so tough to promote while trying to concentrate on performing at the same time," says Sevigny, who lives with her longtime boyfriend in N.D.G.

"But right now I'm more interested in perfecting my music. I know that good things will come if the music is right."

Some good things are already happening. Canadian pop star Ron Sexsmith caught Sevigny in concert at a Toronto club recently and was quite taken by her performance. "We had drinks together after the show and he was very positive. He said I reminded him of Kate Bush -which I take as a huge compliment," she says.

Despite temptations to move, Sevigny plans to stay based in Montreal. "This city is a breeding ground for musicians and artists. Must be something in the air. But the reality is that if you get to a certain level here, you have to move on to Toronto, particularly when it comes to showcasing and promoting.

"There are a lot of great venues where one can perform in Montreal. It's just a different way of life. It's so laid-back, which is really conducive to writing and performing. But if you want to make it in this business, you almost have to go elsewhere."

Sevigny knows full well the rigours of the music biz. Her dad, Lloyd Sevigny, known in his day as the Canadian Elvis, experienced all the ups and downs. His group Lloyd and the Escorts was once all the rage but quickly drifted into obscurity. "As I have said before, I totally understand the nature of this beast. It can destroy you. It has destroyed so many. But I feel I have a different sound and I really think I have something to offer," she says softly.

"I have no illusions or desires about becoming the next Lady Gaga. But the dream to simply support myself doing what I love continues. It's what keeps me going."


- The Montreal Gazette - Bill Brownstein


"In full bloom - Roses, by any another name, is still the ridiculously talented Katie Sevigny"

There are a lot of folks in town who are going to have a tough time reimaging Katie Sevigny as the quieter and contemplative, country-coloured, guitar-based folk artist Roses, so married were we to the cerebral, borderline progressive piano rock and pop the Montreal songwriter has been laying down for the last 10 years (and she's still only 29). Sevigny, or rather Roses as she shall henceforth be known, isn't one of them.

"I knew that I wanted to change my style - I felt kind of lonely in what I was doing, and I felt that people didn't appreciate the singer/songwriter sitting at the piano shtick anymore," says Sevigny, who spent the better part of the last two years learning guitar. "I didn't really know what I was going to do... but I had written these songs and I felt like I was just sitting on them, and I got an offer to record them from [producer and country singer/songwriter] Lee Mellor, who said he had a deal for me, so now it seems like this is what I'm doing."

Those among you who may take philosophical issue with a Sevigny sans-piano can take some small measure of solace, however, as Sevigny plans to bust out the keys for the launch of her debut, four-track EP this weekend, the self-titled Roses.

"I'm actually going to be playing the piano on one song at the launch, just for kicks. 'Cause I can," she laughs, "and I think people - and when I say people, I mean my sister - will be disappointed if I don't."

She'll take the stage with the support of a full band this time
out - drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, violin, "and there was supposed to be a cello player, but I don't know what's happening with that" - and her pre-concert enthusiasm has an almost touchable, tangible aspect to it.

"I'm super excited! I was at a jam session last night, preparing for Friday, and I just sort of had an out-of-body experience thinking, 'Wow! I really did this - I learned to play the guitar, and I changed things up a lot, and it all seems to be coming out of nowhere, so I'm very excited." - The Hour Magazine - Jamie O'Meara


"Canadian up-and-comers to watch in 2006"

Katie Sevigny, singer, Montreal Sevigny's piano-driven songs, which have been likened to the works of Fiona Apple and Sarah McLachlan, landed her a guest spot on Global TV's This Morning LIve in June. Her appearances at the Cabaret and Club Soda - where she made the semifinals at the 2005 Emergenza competition - also added to her growing fan base this year. - Montreal Gazette


"KATIE SEVIGNY @ CABARET MUSIC HALL, SEPTEMBER 1, 2004"

Even with a moderately big venue such as the Cabaret, she achieves a sense of intimacy with her audience as she does a great job "sorytelling" her way through her songs and keeping the communication musically flowing back and forth with the crowd.

Wether you catch her ar a local jazz show bar or at a packed up theater hall, you can expect that she will lift you up into her mystical musical journey.
- Lex-MMS


"Star in waiting sings her heart out by night, works at a dépanneur by day"

It's a precursor of the winter nastiness to come. Slipping along St. Jacques St. in St. Henri and seeking immediate escape, we hear a voice call out to us. Nah, not from above. Don't be confusing this for some Jimmy Stewart religious allegory- certainly not when my sidekick is fun-lovin' colleague and childhood chum Hubie Bauch. Someone is belting the blues inside what seems to be, from the outside, a fairly nondescript shop. We take the bait. We enter. And - whoa! - we're in a time warp. Think Greenwich Village, circa 1964. The place is called Pages, a second-hand bookstore-cum-coffeehouse. Books everywhere. Chess sets. Comfy chairs and sofas. Warm primary colours rule - oranges, reds and yellows. Okay, maybe no hooch, but cappuccino will work on this night. At any moment, we expect a young Bobby Zimmerman - Dylan - to saunter in with a young Joan Baez in tow. They, too, would likely be blown away by chanteuse/keyboardist Katie Sevigny. An intriguing cross between Joni Mitchell and Rickie Lee Jones, Sevigny is singing her heart out. Mostly her own compositions. Her range is exquisite; her stage presence, stunning. The audience is rapt. The kid is going to be a star. The kid also happens to have a day-job at the dépanneur next door. This is the stuff of which dreams are made.The kid also happens not to be a kid. In her jeans and sneakers, she may look 16, but she is actually 26. After her set, Sevigny reveals that she's been singing and playing the last eight years. She's never had any singing or piano lessons. She doesn't have an agent or manager. She doesn't have any impending record deal. Yet. So in the interim, she will continue working at the dépanneur next door. And she will continue writing more songs - she has 75 already in her repertoire. "All I can do is sing wherever I can. Hopefully I'll get the ear of a producer ready to take a chance on me," says a no-nonsense Sevigny. "I have no illusions. This is a tough business. And there are lots of great singers out there." Perhaps, but as one spectator tells her, Sevigny beats all to heck anyone she's ever heard on Canadian Idol. Sevigny smiles. Also smiling is Pages manager Whitney Ellie. The place is as packed as it can be. "The seating capacity here is as many seats as I can find," she jokes. She found at least two dozen. Others find standing room where they can. Since its opening six months ago, Pages has served as a sort of cultural hub in St. Henri. In addition to stocking close to 10,000 second-hand books - on all manner of subjects in English and in French - Pages also provides a showcase for local writers and performers in the evenings. © The Gazette (Montreal) 2007
- BILL BROWNSTEIN, The Gazette


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Folk singer Roses is writing romance, an honesty that ignites pure emotion and will capture your attention instantaneously with soaring vocals comparable to those of Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell. "Roses" by any other name would be Montreal's own Katie Sevigny, known mostly for being behind a piano,this acoustic poet is now laced with a guitar for the first time. "An intriguing cross between Joni Mitchell and Rickie Lee Jones. Her range is exquisite; her stage presence, stunning. The Kid is going to be a star." - Bill Brownstein (The Gazette + Montreal 24, a book by Bill Brownstein) Roses' debut EP to be released this Winter (Produced by Country Singer/songwriter Lee Mellor),is a small token of what is to come. Her single "Part of me" has already stirred attention and gained local radio airplay."One of Montreal's finest Songwriters, Katie is about to take the world by storm" - Justin Ford (CKUT radio) .. .. Find Out More: .. .. facebook.com/thisisroses .. thisisroses.com ( BLOG) .. twitter.com/thisisroses

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