Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Wry and Witty Pop and Folk Musician Tours to Horizon Stage

Two-Time Juno Nominee Jeremy Fisher Performs with Ariana Gillis in Spruce Grove on October 3

After developing a devoted fan base through five folk-influenced releases, Jeremy Fisher boldly ventured in a new, more pop-influenced direction with his 2014 album The Lemon Squeeze. Known for his witty lyrics and distinctive videos, this two-time Juno nominee has toured with Said the Whale, Hannah Georgas, Sarah Slean and Xavier Rudd, opened for the Proclaimers and Great Big Sea, and recorded with Hawksley Workman and Serena Ryder. Now touring in B.C. and Alberta with young singer-songwriter Ariana Gillis, the pair will make a stop in Spruce Grove on Saturday, October 3, at 7:30 p.m.
Jeremy Fisher is currently based out of Ottawa, but has previously made his home in Montreal, Seattle, Washington, and on Vancouver Island. Never one to travel down the most obvious – or easiest – paths, Jeremy spent six months touring across Canada to Halifax by bicycle. The tour, dubbed “One Less Tourbus”, in support of his 2001 independent album, Back Porch Spirituals, travelled 7500 kilometres, and included 30 performances. His videos are quirky and animated: 2007’s “Cigarette” was hugely popular on YouTube, 2014’s “Uh-Oh”, which pokes fun at politicians,  and the puppet-themed “The Bride is Dead” have been gaining similar momentum.

The decision to make The Lemon Squeeze a pure pop record was solidified after a discussion with producers Gus Van Go and Werner F. “When we first sat down, we batted around the idea of a pop record that would stay true to my typical, acoustic guitar-driven solo show. But when I started to write, the songs just weren’t coming on guitar.” says Jeremy. The end result was everything from Randy Newman-inspired piano ballads with strings, to Queen-esque guitar licks, to Billy-Joel-styled pop. Opening track, “I Love You...So”, is a tight pop tune owing more to Ben Folds than to any folk artist and “Uh-Oh”, featuring vocals by Canadian pop/folk favourite Serena Ryder, is cheeky and catchy.

Chosen as Young Performer of the Year at the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards, 22-year-old Ariana Gillis is fulfilling the promise many saw in her when she released her first EP at the age of 17. Hailing from St. Catharines, Ontario, Ariana launched her second CD with a live appearance on the US satellite station Sirius XM. When host Dave March played the track, “John and the Monster”, they got a call from an enthusiastic listener who wanted to know more about the unusual song and singer. That caller was Elton John’s lyricist and songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin. Later, Bernie told Ariana’s father, musician and producer David Gillis: “I’m staggered by how good she is. There is not much that impresses me these days but after hearing her available tracks I can honestly say she’s the single most exciting thing I’ve heard in a very long time.” Now that’s a ringing endorsement!

Don’t miss what is sure to be fun, funky, and unpredictable concert - Jeremy Fisher with Ariana Gillis at Horizon Stage on October 3. Tickets are just $35 for adults and $30 for students and seniors and may be purchased at the City Hall Ticket Centre (315 Jespersen Ave) or by phone at 780-962-8995 or 1-888-655-9090, and online at Ticketpro.ca.

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