Tara Williamson
Gig Seeker Pro

Tara Williamson

Peterborough, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Pop


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



"Review: Tara Williamson - "Lie Low" EP"

Anishinaabe author, poet, storyteller, and organizer Leanne Simpson reviews Tara Williamson‘s new EP, Lie Low.

I first heard Tara Williamson’s voice on a very hot summer night at the Red Garnet bar in Peterborough, Ontario. She was on stage with the swagger of Cliff Cardinal, and they looked like they were having more fun on stage that I’d had in my entire life. I remember Sundogs, but that can’t be right. I remember it being smoky but that can’t be right. The humidity and sweat must have just have been that thick.

Tara came off the stage and over to the bar where my friend Patti and I were sitting. She ordered whiskey, which impressed me. I told her she needed to record an album. She threw her head back and laughed, our brown eyes meeting ever so briefly and I remember thinking, she doesn’t know how good she is. She doesn’t know she had the room.

She played more shows. Peterborough. Toronto. Winnipeg, Saskatoon. She performed with Christa Couture, Billie Joe Green, and Arthur Renwick. She went to the Diverse As This Land vocal intensive with MC, singer, musician, and poet, Kinnie Starr at the Banff Centre and got inspired. She wrote more songs. She found a vocal coach. She applied for grants. Every month or so, she’d email me garage band tracks with sincere apologies for bad recordings and standardized drum tracks. They left me floored. I lent her my house and she wrote songs. I lent her my mic and she wrote songs. I drove her and her gear to the odd gig in my fake minivan just to be part of the sheer creative energy that she was radiating. She got out of relationships and wrote songs. She got into relationship and wrote songs. She quit smoking and wrote songs. She started smoking again and wrote more songs. She moved four times and wrote songs. She worked full time all day as a professor and wrote songs all night. We spent the winter protesting and round dancing. She was there with us and wrote a protest song. I wrote a book, freaked out because I thought it was bad, sent it to her for feedback, and she wrote a song sharing the name of the book.

I’ve never seen anyone write so effortlessly and prolifically over a sustained period of time. I started to think there was something wrong with me.

And these weren’t just any songs. They were songs that coaxed buried emotions and memories out of my body that I had long filed away. They revived old feelings of love and betrayal, ferocity and tension. They made me cry. They made me feel loved. They made me feel a little bit less alone, normal even, because these weren’t just Tara’s songs, they were my stories too.

Over the summer of 2013, Tara went into the studio with our local sound engineering hero, James McKenty who was fresh off a gig with Blue Rodeo, and recorded six tracks for her debut record Lie Low. I had the album for less than 24 hours and according to itunes I’d listened to it 48 times.

Of Anishinaabe and Nehayo ancestry, Tara’s first instrument is clearly her voice – beautiful, distinct, fluid, moving effortlessly from the gentle, acoustic love song “Come to Me” to the dramatic, whimsical, Anishinaabe/Nehayo show tune “If I were a tree”. Yeah, Anishinaabe/Nehayo show-tune reminiscent of Tomson Highway’s musical numbers (whom I’ve watched enormously enjoy her live performance of the song), but with a little more edge. “Boy” is seductive warning and raw exploration of the first negotiation of an intimate relationship. “July” is its counterpoint – a gentle, accepting letting go and appreciation of the way it is. Her lyrics are often raw poetic truths of want, loss, desire and more than survival.

Musically, the album is difficult to describe because I’ve never heard anything like it before. At its core, this is an emerging singer-songwriter that is already an accomplished songwriter moving effortlessly from pop to R&B to jazz. This is a collection of songs meant to be sung on stages, in bars, on the shores of big prairie lakes and around fire pits in backyards. These are the songs of our times, of our lives, our loves. - RPM - Revolutions Per Minute


Lie Low - EP - November 2013

Untitled - EP - February 2014



Tara Williamson is a poet and provocateur- the spark that ignites the flame, from Winnipeg, by way of Peterborough. A First Nations singer/songwriter, her new record is an unflinching document of self: the truth that hurts before it heals. After ending a relationship, she channeled her unyieldingly hopeful spirit into writing seductive, emotional songs. Her poetic exploration of love and romance bleeds with desire and a brutal honesty that stops just short of cruelty: bold quirky lyrics are at times sarcastic, sentimental and sexy. Melodically and rhythmically intriguing piano accompaniment flows from jazz to pop to R&B and blues. Her, achingly sincere delivery tells an intimate story through every line: its the kind of music that moves you to dance and to forget. After relentless live performances across Canada with the likes of Christa Couture, Billie Joe Green, and Arthur Renwick, Williamson is releasing her first record Lie Low- an exceptional offering from a remarkable emerging talent.

This collection of tracks is an introduction to a unique perspective on love, longing, and hope. I Should Have Been A Tree is at once playful and haunting: the desperation of regret and loneliness set against the cheerful arrangement creates a powerful nostalgia. Boy is a dark and real warning: dont get involved with me, unless you want to have a lot of fun. Despite the warning, the rhythm is so infectious youll hear whatever you want. Fuck Pretty begins melancholic and operatic as the notes sear you. The tempo increases; assaultive lyrical style overlying a menacing rhythm track elicits a visceral reaction- a song with a taste, a touch. Long languorous notes drape over the piano like a second gin n tonic in July. Spare composition highlights a charismatic vocal presence allowing the listener to get lost on the journey of her phrasing. The record flows into R&B in the title track Lie Low, as her carefree aesthetic catches up with her in this double-edged confessional of an affair youd ache to be a part of. Youll judge her unless youve been there, then youll be glad youre not alone. In Come To Me she finally gives in and seduces the boy. Asking for kindness and open heartedness (if not singleness), her poetry and unfaltering delivery burn through the distance of winter. Lie Low is co-produced by James McKenty, singer/songwriter for The Spades, and recording engineer and owner of The Narrows. McKenty has recently worked with Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor and has done studio work for Grammy Award-winning Arcade Fire and Juno-nominated Cuff The Duke. Tara has studied in Banff at the Diverse As This Land Vocal Intensive with MC, singer, musician, and poet, Kinnie Starr, who will be producing Taras upcoming fall, spring release.

Tara is soon to be embarking on a tour of western Canada in support of Lie Low with her band The Good Liars, an ensemble of regulars and stand-ins including Paul Brennan on drums(Animal Slaves, Odds, Big Sugar, and Sarah McLachlan), bassist Scott Kemp (Elisabeth Shepherd as well as composer and band leader in his own right), Sean Conway (The Avenues) and James McKenty on guitars with Ryan Weber (Weber Brothers) on trumpet. Her work is also supported by the OAC, the Canada Council, Manitoba Music, Banff Centre for the Arts.

Taras live performances are special every time and shes bringing her high energy, playful live show to dive bars, benefit concerts and festivals: anywhere theres a piano that thought it already played its last show. Feel the pull of her words, get lost in the rhythm and dance. Hear this unique perspective in the music landscape, an undeniable Canadian talent. Personal performance highlights include performing for Tomson Highway, headlining the Kimiwan Zine Lunch Party in Saskatoon, borrowing Billy Joe Greens guitar strap for an opening slot and being interrupted by cheers at the Toronto #j11 Idle No More Show. She was the winner of the Native Trailblazers Peoples Choice Award and a featured entrant in CBCs Expand Your Bandwidth competition. Whether the audience is big or small, shell give you a piece of her heart before the night is through.

A Nancy Sinatra-ish talent - raw unpolished beauty without the showbiz patina. Pure voice. Vince Schilling, host of award winning radio show Native Trailblazers

Sweet, edgy, and sultry. ANDPVA (The Association for Native Development in the Performing Arts

I'm a fan of any song that starts with half a bottle of whiskey and a pretty dress" Meg Wilcox, host of CBC show Bandwidth.

Band Members