Tannis Slimmon

Tannis Slimmon

 Guelph, Ontario, CAN
BandFolkAdult Contemporary

Chosen Contemporary Vocalist of the Year by the Canadian Folk Music Awards, Tannis has been singing, songwriting, recording and touring locally and internationally for over 30 years in numerous bands, and now as a solo artist with stellar recordings 'Lucky Blue', 'Oak Lake' & 'In and Out of Harmony'

Biography

Tannis Slimmon is a critically acclaimed Canadian musician who has been singing, songwriting, recording, and touring locally, nationally and internationally for over 30 years. In 2008 she was honoured with the Contemporary Vocalist of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards for her second album 'Lucky Blue'.

Tannis' third album 'In and Out of Harmony' released in February, 2013 features many musical friends including David Francey, Harry Manx, Ray Bonneville, Rosemary Phelan, Treasa Levasseur and Martin Tielli.

Tannis grew up in a musical family on a farm in the prairies of western Canada. In 1980 she moved to Guelph, Ontario, where she began a serious professional music career. During the 80s and 90s she was a founding member of various regional roots bands (the Reverbs; Benji, etc.), and appeared as a special guest on recordings and performances with key players in the CanRock Revolution (Rheostatics, barenaked ladies, grievous angels).

After eleven years with the legendary trio The Bird Sisters she struck off on her own in 2001 with her solo debut 'Oak Lake', and followed it up with 2007's award winning 'Lucky Blue'. Both albums are highly regarded by critics and audiences alike.

Broadening her horizons even further, Tannis also traveled to Mali, West Africa in 2004 with a quartet of musicians exploring the role of music in development and appears in the documentary of the trip 'Road To Baleya', by Bay Waymen (Close Up Films). She subsequently visited Matanzas, Cuba where she studied afro-cuban rhythms with master bata drummer Gilberto Morales-Chong. She has hosted Malian musicians in her home for two summers as part of an ongoing cultural exchange. Her experiences in Mali and Cuba have had a significant influence on the musical texture of her recent album “Lucky Blue�.

Recognition:
In addition to the Folk Music Award, 'Lucky Blue' garnered the Independent Music Award for Best Folk/Roots Song for "Ernest, Charlie & Allan", a nomination for Best Folk/Roots Album from the same, a spot in the Top 10 Critics Albums of the Year by Penguin Eggs; Canada's Premier Folk/Roots Music Magazine, a Porcupine 'Golden Quill Award' for songwriting, and was 16th on the Galaxie Folk/Roots Channel's Top Spins of 2008. Lewis Melville was nominated for Producer of the Year for 'Lucky Blue' as well at the 2007 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Tannis' 2001 album 'Oak Lake' won the Porcupine award for Favourite Album of 2001 and the Orillia Folk Society's 'Songs for Living Rooms' for "There's A Lift".

Tannis Slimmon's beautiful voice has been featured on more than 80 albums, contributing harmony vocals for fellow musicians like Willie P. Bennett, Valdy and Rheostatics, and added her voice to the chorus on the Barenaked Ladies hit 'If I Had A Million Dollars'.

In performance:
Tannis has a gift for engaging an audience with her voice and original songs, loves collaboration, and particularly adding voices to her many singalongable songs.

Lyrics

Ernest, Charlie & Allan

Written By: Tannis Slimmon & Lewis Melville

Ernest called down, come look what I found
I pulled back a layer of wallpaper
Sweet revelations from a younger nation
It seems that I’ve stepped back in time

Charlie came up with a story or two
‘Bout the silent movies on Saturdays
In the dark and light they came of age
And the piano played all the way through

They drove down through Assiniboine Valley
To the top of the Beaver Dam hill
Where the stars go on forever
And probably always will

Allan recalls in his particular way
His face lights up as he remembers
The big screen stars now faded
Oh there were good times in this town

They drove down through Assiniboine Valley
To the top of the Beaver Dam hill
Where the stars go on forever
And probably always will

Edmonton

Written By: Tannis Slimmon & Lewis Melville

I didn’t even know we were having a war
Till he came home in a uniform
We had a big fight because I didn’t like guns
But I loved that boy from Edmonton

His mother, father, kids and I
Never really got a chance to say goodbye

He said he had to go but he couldn’t say where
I said if I could, you know I’d follow you there
He said he’d come back but he didn’t know when
I took one last kiss in Edmonton

I wasn’t any good at long goodbyes
I watched him go and dried my eyes
All I could think of was I didn’t like guns
And I loved that boy from Edmonton

In the middle of the night got a telephone call
That was the beginning of the end of it all
Now I got to tell it to his daughter and son
About that boy from Edmonton

I told them he was gone but I couldn’t say why
They didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye
All I could think was how much I hated guns
But I loved that boy from Edmonton

I didn’t even know we were having a war
And all that came home was a uniform.

One More Day

Written By: Tannis Slimmon & Lewis Melville

They gave me a year and said what will you do
Put down my tools, my work days are through
Arrange my affairs, take stock of my life
And what I got wrong, I'll try to make right

I need one more year among the living
I need one more year before I'm dead

How many hands that I want to hold
While listening to stories I haven't been told
So many verses that haven't been sung
I'm going to sing until my day is done

I need one more day among the living
..need one more day before I'm dead

I wait for my friends to say their farewells
They promised to come but you never can tell
Time has a habit of slipping away
Like water through your hands

I need one more hour among the living
I need one more hour before I'm dead
I need one more minute among the living
I need one more minute before I'm dead

I need one more second among the living
I need one more second before I'm dead

Hey Hosanna

Written By: Tannis Slimmon & Lewis Melville

I’ve been down but I’m getting stronger
I’m not ready for the judgement day
Life is hard but not much longer
I’m going to stand up tall and take my place

When work is over and the day is done
I lie in bed but sleep won’t come
I count the sheep, I close my eyes
I wake up burning with the devil’s fire
Beside the bed, a shadow waits
Blocking the path to the pearly gates
Tried to drag me down to the mouth of hell
But I chased him off with a glory yell

Hey hosanna, hey hallelujah
Oh, hey hosanna, hey hallelujah

Will my feet still walk when I get old
Will my backbone ache when the house gets cold
With my mouth talk, my eyes still cry
What am I gonna do when the years go by

No food on the table, heavy in debt
Long as I’m breathing, I’m not dead yet
Don’t believe in original sin
But if Gabriel knocks, I’m gonna let him in.

Hey hosanna, hey hallelujah
Oh, hey hosanna, hey hallelujah

I’ve been down but I’m getting stronger
I’m not ready for the judgement day
Life is hard but not much longer
I’m going to stand up tall and take my place

Hey hosanna, hey hallelujah
Hey hosanna, hey hallelujah
Hey, hey, hey hosanna, hey, hey, hey hallelujah
Hey, hey, hey hosanna, hey, hey, hey hallelujah

Sekou

Written By: Tannis Slimmon & Lewis Melville

There was a drum on the wall that the old ones made
Many long years since the drum had been played
And where it came from ... nobody knows

Her grandfather told her believe it or not
If the chosen one played then the drum would talk
With the power of love ... or so the story goes

Like a spider and a web there was a drummer that played
With the music of love, the rhythm of pain
And the sound of a mother’s voice and a lullaby

Called out the moon, brought back the day
When you called with the drum everyone came
They moved as one, they moved as one

Everyone needs to follow the drum
You got to keep playing till the song is done
Nobody knows exactly where or when
It stops until you reach the end

At the end of the summer the rains came down
Red dust settled into mud on the ground
The devil grew wings and took to the sky

On the first go round he gathered the old
When the children came out he swallowed them whole
The devil gonna take us all before our time

The drummer man played like the wind in the trees
Devil man’s feet got caught in the breeze
And he danced and he danced while everyone ran

White turned to yellow in the back of his eyes
Couldn’t be saved, the next day he died
Now there’s red sand drifting on his grave

Everyone needs to follow the drum
You got to keep playing till the song is done
Nobody knows exactly where or when
It stops until you reach the end

But the story lives on how they got away
While the devil man danced and the drummer man played
And the drum still hangs on the wall in the back of the room

She picked up the drum, she started to play
Everyone danced to put their sorrow away
In the heat of the sun til the devil comes back the next time it rains.

Everyone needs to follow the drum
You got to keep playing till the song is done
Nobody knows exactly where or when
The song is ever gonna end
Everyone needs to follow a dream
No matter how strange or hard to believe
Nobody knows exactly where or when
We stop until we reach the end

Discography

Tannis Slimmon - "Lucky Blue" (2007) (Outside Music Distribution)
Tannis Slimmon - "Oak Lake" (2001)

In addition, Tannis appears on 79 other albums, including:
Robert Atyeo's "Angels on a Cliff" and "Heart Like A Rubber Ball"
Danny Bakan's "...And Truth Is Spectacular"
Bare Naked Ladies' "Gordon"
Willie P. Bennett's "Heartstrings"
The Bird Sisters "She & She & She" (1995), "Different Stories" (1992) and "FLO" (1990)
Laura Bird's "The Water In Between"
Black Cabbage's "A Recording by Black Cabbage"
Don Bray's "Chosen" and "Taxi Moon & I"
Nick Craine's "November Moon"
Douglas John's "Rainbows"
Vicki Fraser's "Dynamite Opening"
Funky Mama's "Pickin in the Garden"
Eve Goldberg's "Crossing The Water" and "A Kinder Season"
James Gordon's "Mining For Gold: Twenty Years of Songwriting", "Looking For Livingston" (on vinyl) and "Farther Along"
the kramdens' "Radio For Now"
Grit Laskin's "A Few Simple Words"
Beth Martens' "Where There's Beauty"
Lewis Melville's "Niagara", "Not Really A Bluegrass Album" and "Noah's Work"
Muddy River Stringer's "Life's Too Short"
Rosemary Phelan's "Wake The Nightingale"
Rheostatics' "Whale Music" and "The Whale Music Concert - Sets #1 and #2"
Charlie Sohmer's "Dying To Have A Good Time"
Gwen Swick's CBC compilation series recording
Dave Teichroeb's "Dog Tales" and "Yesterday Motel"
Pat Temple & The High Lonesome Player's "Stone Boat"
Jude Vadala's "Do You Ever"
Valdy's "Viva Valdy - Live At Last"
Katherine Wheatley's "Landed"
"The Woodchoppers Association & Abdoulaye Kone"
"The Woodchoppers Association & Jah Youssouf"
Luther Wright and the Wrong's "Roger's Waltz"

(For complete list: http://www.tannis.ca/recordings2.htm)

Movies:
'The Road To Baleya' - a documentary DVD: Canadian and Malian musicians come together in an extraordinary journey of musical collaboration in West Africa. Emphasizing music as a cross-cultural communication form, Road to Baleya travels into the rich traditions of one of the world’s poorest countries. (http://closeupfilms.ca/Films/Road_to_Baleya.php)