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Canmore, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2016

Canmore, Canada
Established on Jan, 2016
Duo Folk


Trundled @ Canmore Cave Tours

Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Trundled @ Canmore Cave Tours

Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Canmore, Alberta, Canada



"Bands to play acoustic concerts deep in Alberta mountain cave"

Ellen Braun admits she was a little nervous when she and bandmate Joe Shea were asked to perform in a cave deep in the heart of Grotto Mountain.

But the singer-songwriters who make up the folk duo Trundled got harnessed up, put on their helmets and went to what's called the Grand Gallery — part of the Rat's Nest Cave near Canmore, Alta., — in October.

"It's a big, giant room in a cave," she said in an interview.

They immediately started a sound check and sang an a cappella version of one of their songs.

"It was so cool how our voices just resonated off the walls," said Braun. "It was a really amazing experience."

The musicians will haul in their guitars on the next trip Dec. 16 for a full acoustic concert — one of four shows which are part of the Spirit in the Mountain concert series at the cave this winter.

Ellen Braun and Joe Shea are part of musical duo Trundled. (Canadian Press/Handout, Ellen Braun, Trundled)
Similar concerts have been taking place for about a decade in an area called the Volcano Room, which is about 100 metres underground inside Tennessee's Cumberland Caverns. They draw fans from around the world who are interested in live music and cave exploration.

Adam Walker, who owns Canmore Cave Tours, said the Grand Gallery concerts started in 2015 when the company was asked by the town of Canmore to get involved in its Christmas festivities.

"We've always known it to be a pretty incredible place to have some music, but we never formally created an event," he said. "In 2015, I said, 'What the heck. Let's give it a go."'

A local community choir performed in the cave for five nights.

Walker said the experiment provided a template for holding other cave concerts, which include a 30-minute hike up to the cave and then a 20-minute journey down about 10 storeys — nearly 50 metres — into the Grand Gallery.

'A really private performance'
"You have to earn it," he said. "It's not for everybody, but it's a really private performance. There are only 24 people plus the musicians inside, so it's really small and intimate."

Walker said they will hand out blankets and cushions for people to sit on as they listen to the hour-long concert.

"The acoustics in the cave are phenomenal."

Braun said she and Shea are looking forward to performing and will even record a few of their songs in the cave.

"I was actually in that cave maybe 15 years ago or more," she said. "I never would have imagined ... that I would be a full-time musician and booking a gig in there.

"Neither of us had ever sung in a cave before."

Other bands involved in the concert series include The Silkstones, an indie-rock group from southern Alberta on Dec. 14; Elk Run and Riot, a Canmore folk-rock band, on Dec. 15; and Seth Anderson, a local folk musician with East Coast roots, on Dec. 17. - CBC

"Awkward beginnings lead to Trundled EP release"

It was a bountiful year of gigs for Canmore folk duo Trundled and they’re closing it out with a hometown performance.

It was a bountiful year of gigs for Canmore folk duo Trundled and they’re closing it out with a hometown performance.

The singer-songwriters’ – Joe Shea (vocals, guitars, keys) and Ellen Braun (vocals, guitars) – hometown EP release of the self-entitled, Trundled, is Friday (Dec. 8) at artsPlace, where the duo will perform the EP’s seven original tracks, plus others, starting at 7:30 p.m.

“Seven is my lucky number,” said Shea, in regards to the track-list on Trundled.

“It is?” asked Braun. “My lucky number is 13 and I think we could have easily done 13 (tracks for the EP).”

In the Outlook interview, there were recurring jests between the friends and musicians, which have increased since a preliminary, and somewhat uncomfortable, jam session late last year between Shea and Braun.

“We had an awkward musical date,” as Shea put it.

But the backstory needs to be laid out before said awkward session happened, and it starts in 2003 when they were completing their Masters at the University of Calgary.

It was at open mic nights at nearby coffee shops where the students found an outlet to perform their stuff.

“It’s funny because we played open mics, but we didn’t know each other that well at all,” said Braun.

She even bought Shea’s CD at the time, but “felt pretty badly” about quickly forgetting about it – until this year.

“So, for 14 years I had it and never actually listened to it and now I have and it’s great,” she said.

Going separate ways after university to start careers and raise families, the two reconnected on social media when they both found themselves living in the Bow Valley after over a decade since the university open mic days.

“I put it put there (on social media), and asked if he wanted to play guitar some time,” Braun said.

They got together for the jam session, sort of familiar with each other from the coffee shop open mics, and it was a feeling out process, complete with some “What do you want to play?” And, “What are you going to sing?”

“But it worked out,” said Shea.

They officially formed Trundled in late 2016, and have played their original music around the community since.

Performing together isn’t exactly unique to the formation of Trundled for Shea and Braun – well, in a way.

Braun and Shea played together on stage once before – in 2003 – it’s just that no one can seem to recall that gig.

“We played a show together, there’s proof in writing,” said Braun. “At some point, we knew each other well enough to do that, but I guess you know a lot of people at that time.

“And now, all a sudden, we have a CD,” Braun added.

Trundled’s seven-track EP was completed over three, five-hour studio sessions in Calgary, where Braun and Shea recorded three individual songs they wrote each and one they collaborated on.

Their most recent performance was at Calgary’s Ironwood Stage and Grill for an EP release party last month.

Shea, though, was battling an illness at the time, which forced a little creative revamping of the playlist.

“I couldn’t sing and I had no voice,” he said. “It was a Monday night show and by Sunday I sounded like death, and on Monday I had nothing.”

“It was actually kind of neat,” Braun added, “because you worry about what’s the worst thing that could happen – lose my voice – and then it happened. But I think we pulled it off, people had a good time and got a taste of our music.”

Trundled’s fingers are crossed that come showtime for the hometown EP release on Dec. 8, things will go a bit smoother.

Before Trundled hits the stage, the opening act, local five-piece band The Shoulder Season will perform.

Tickets are $20 for the general public and $17 for artsPlace members.

It might be a few months before Trundled plays together again, as Shea is headed to Europe for work.

“People should definitely check it out … or you’ll have to wait a while,” said Braun.

For more information, visit - Rocky Mountain Outlook


Listen @  

+ High Water (full length album), expected release: Jan 2020

+  Paper Cup single, released Jul 2018

+  Eponymous EP, released Oct 2017

+ Trundled EP, released Nov 2017


Feeling a bit camera shy


Based across several mountain ranges, two time zones, and a continental divide, Joe Shea and Ellen Braun are talented singer-songwriters who first met playing Calgary open mics in the early 2000’s. They reconnected in the Bow Valley in 2016 to write and perform powerful and persuasive songs that combine guitars, pianos, and harmonies with unique perspectives on lives lived and worth living. With live shows that range from mountain tops to cave bottom, their self-titled EP and recent single ‘Paper Cup’ can be heard across Canada. 

In 2018, their song “Inchoate” reached the Top 100 in CBC’s Searchlight competition. 

Trundled has just finished recording a full length album with acclaimed east coast music producer, Daniel Ledwell.

Band Members