There’s a fantasy about show business that we’ve been fed since performers started offering up their hearts on stage for public consumption. The glamour, the jetsetting, and the parties all get played up over the reality of the whole thing: a career that seeps into your real life and can dismantle your relationships, the exhaustion of the road, and more than a few hangovers. On his third solo album, the self-produced Papercut—armed with a couple lifetimes of songwriting and touring in his rear view mirror—Carleton Stone gets honest about the toll of devotion to craft while illustrating his mastery of it. Through sax-blasted Americana, power-pop laced with ‘80s synth, and dreamy, sophisticated pop melodies, the Nova Scotia songwriter blurs genres to explore a tumultuous few years and some of the scariest questions someone can ask: what the hell have I done? What if I’d gone down some other path?
Carleton took a break from his award-winning solo career when he became a founding member of Port Cities. The band released music and successfully toured nonstop for five years before the world ground to a halt. During lockdown, Carleton worked to hone his skills as a producer and in 2021, Carleton produced Willie Stratton’s Drugstore Dreamin’ (2022) along with his own record.
An outstanding writer, Carleton has written songs for and with such diverse artists as Donovan Woods, Classified featuring Snoop Dogg, Ria Mae, Bobby Bazini, and Neon Dreams. Carleton has three solo albums to his credit and has toured internationally for the better part of the last decade.
For more than a decade now, Willie Stratton has been building his good name on stellar sonic shape-shifting and a charismatic, super charged live show. The Halifax-based singer-songwriter has proven time and again that he can dive into any of rock ‘n’ roll’s various iterations—heartsick blues, twanged-up country, hip-shaking rockabilly, groovy surf, anything and everything in between—and emerge, again, as a maestro of the style.
But on his latest album Stratton seeks synthesis: Drugstore Dreamin’ finds him playing alchemist, melting down the myriad sounds he’s mastered over the years to create singular sonic gold.
As Stratton deftly weaves and mixes musical forms, Drugstore Dreamin’s intoxicating concoction brings his timeless songwriting to the forefront.
Folksy, bluesy, soulful and a dash of the unexpected; three vocal powerhouses and Cape Breton based singer-songwriters come together to share their experiences of love, life and the feminine divine.
Mike McKenna Jr.
2021 East Coast Music Award Winner Singer-songwriter Mike McKenna Jr. has emerged on the Canadian music scene with a raspy, soulful, intimate voice, his distinct indie folk/Americana tones, and songs laden with captivating storytelling. Originally from Cape Breton Island, he continues to bring us the nostalgia of his home through carefully chosen narrative, poetry, protest, and true stories about life and death in Nova Scotia’s coastal, working-class communities. Known for his powerful lyricism and intricate musicianship, Mike’s newest record At The Edge of the World (2020) continues to be met with incredible support both in Canada and internationally.
In just over a year since it’s release, Mike’s sophomore album has received a long list of awards and nominations; WINNER of the Rising Star Recording of the Year by the 2021 East Coast Music Awards (along with nominations for for Contemporary Roots Recording of the Year and Fan’s Choice Video of the Year), nominee for Contemporary Album of the Year by the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards, nominee for Americana/Bluegrass Recording of the Year by the Music Nova Scotia Awards, and nominee for 2020 Album of the Year by Blues and Roots Radio. It was also listed on the Bluegrass Situation’s ‘Class of 2020 Playlist, Absolute Best of this Year’s Roots Music Releases’.
Several songs from the record have received high-profile features and recognition, including Spotify Editorial playlists Renegade Folk and Contemporary Folk, Mahogany Sessions’ Acoustic Coffeehouse and Chilled Folk Vol. 3, The Bluegrass Situation’s ‘Mixtape’, Americana UK, Exclaim!, Canadian Beats, Roots Music Canada, The East and many more. Two songs from ATEOTW finished as semi-finalists in the world’s largest songwriting contest, ISC (International Songwriting Competition); the opening song and title track At the Edge of the World in 2019 and the 7th song of the album, High Ground in 2020!
Produced by Berklee graduate, Victoria’s Quinn Bachand (Rosier, Kittel & Co, Brishen), At the Edge of the World delivers a wider, fuller sound than Mike’s previous records, lead by his incredibly raw, confident vocals and surrounded by a beautiful mix of electric and pedal-steel guitar, electric bass, vocal harmonies, strings, piano and drums. During post-production it would then pass through the talented hands of Canada’s top analog specialists; mixing engineer Jon Anderson (Andy Shauf, Rosier, Foxwarren) and Grammy-nominated mastering engineer, Juno/Polaris winner Philip Shaw Bova (Father John Misty, Feist, Bahamas).
Ria recently had her collaboration “Too Close’ with Canadian singer Dan Talevski certified Platinum, having garnered over 15 million streams on Spotify and counting.
Since the June 2016 release of her full length, self-title album, the three-time JUNO nominee, and multi-platinum selling artist has toured Europe with Tegan and Sara, North America with Dido, and Canada with Scott Helman. She has performed with Elle King, Xavier Rudd, Shawn Hook, Family of the Year, Francesco Yates, Coleman Hell and more.
Ria has enjoyed radio chart success in Canada with platinum certified singles, ‘Clothes Off, Ooh Love, and ‘Bend’, and her songs have been streamed over 70 million times worldwide.
“Amazing show! A great combo of new and old songs. Lots of audience interaction – she even came off stage into the crowd to dance with us! Great lyrics and dance beats. Always a fun show to see Ria!” – loriesen
“Francey’s clear, simple songs speak volumes to his followers. After a decade in music, David Francey is known as one of Canada’s finest tunesmiths and a champion of the Everyman, admired for his less-is-more approach to writing. It’s amazing how he manages to address deep stuff with such spare ingredients” – The Edmonton Journal
David Francey is a Scottish-born Canadian carpenter-turned-songwriter, who has become known as “one of Canada’s most revered folk poets and singers” (Toronto Star). Born in Ayrshire, Scotland to parents who were factory workers, he moved to Canada when he was twelve. For decades, he worked across Canada in rail yards, construction sites, and in the Yukon bush, all the while writing poetry, setting it to melodies in his head and singing it to himself as he worked.
A truly authentic folk singer, Francey is a documentarian of the working person who never imagined earning a living from his music. But when he was in his 40s, his wife, artist Beth Girdler, encouraged him to share his songs and sing in public. The reaction was instant. His first album Torn Screen Door came out in 1999 and was a hit in Canada. Since then, he has released eleven albums, won three Juno Awards and has had his songs covered by such artists as The Del McCoury Band, The Rankin Family, James Keelaghan and Tracy Grammer.
Francey also had the honour of receiving the prestigious SOCAN Folk Music Award as well as taking home the Grand Prize in both the International Acoustic Music Award and in the Folk category for the John Lennon Songwriting Award.
“David’s straightforward songs tell honest stories of real people and real places. Poetic perception and a keen eye for the heart of the matter are trademarks of the man and his music. His songs and stories are a direct connection for audiences seeking depth and meaning in the day-to-day.” Shelter Valley Folk Festival
David Francey was born in Ayrshire, Scotland where he got his first taste of the working life as a paperboy. At age 10 he was devouring the newspapers he delivered, establishing a life-long interest in politics and world events while developing the social conscience that forms the backdrop of his songs.
He was twelve when his family immigrated to Toronto. He says he can trace his love of the land, the history, and the people of his adopted country to weekend family drives exploring southern Ontario. Music played a large part in these family outings. They sang traditional Scottish tunes as they drove through the Canadian countryside. Dad and sister Muriel sang melody, while mother and David sang harmonies.
His attachment to Canada grew with travel. He hitched across the country three times, then thumbed his way to the Yukon. This attachment surfaces in his songs of rail lines, farms, and the St. Lawrence Seaway. He grew to understand the people while working in Toronto train yards, the Yukon bush, and as a carpenter in the Eastern Townships. These experiences colour his first CD, Torn Screen Door, with songs like Hard Steel Mill, Gypsy Boys, and Working Poor and his second, Far End of Summer, with Highway, Flowers of Saskatchewan and February Morning Drive.
In concert David is a singer and a storyteller. His wry humour and astute observations combined with his openhearted singing style have earned him a loyal following.
David lives with his wife, artist Beth Girdler in the quiet but charming Lanark Highlands in southern Ontario. They are visited often by their son Colin, daughters Amy and Julia and grandkids Tristan, Alice and Millicent.
The Town Heroes Acoustic Show
Whether a sweaty rock show or an intimate acoustic environment, The Town Heroes want you to be entertained.
Born and raised in small town Nova Scotia, Mike Ryan and Bruce Gillis have played together for the past 10 years — touring the world, releasing 5 critically acclaimed albums and winning an array of industry awards. Anthemic choruses, danceable arrangements, and tender falsettos highlight their catchy yet thoughtful songs. At heart, a perfect soundtrack for contemplating life with a bounce in your step.
Musically, the band blends their 90’s alt-rock influences with singer-songwriter stylings in the vein of Neil Young or Ryan Adams. On stage they move like intense caricatures – soaked in sweat, pushing every chord, note and beat to the limit. A structured wall of sound emerges; familiar yet distinctive. Camaraderie shows in their musicianship, their song-writing highlights what they are: friends playing music for the love of it, in it for the long haul.
The band released their sixth full length album Home during the summer of 2021.
Home is a concept album. The entirety of the storyline takes place over a two week period during a summer in Cape Breton. The 9 songs, told from 3 different perspectives, tell the chronological tale of coming home, youth, summer love, and ultimately lost love. A father — longing for what he left behind — returns to his hometown after moving to San Francisco for work. A young “local” boy falls for his daughter, a short romance ensues, and the romance dies upon her inevitable return home. The album captures the energy and spirit of a youthful summer and coming of age.
Summer Series – Coming Soon
This is our annual Summer Series, featuring some of Canada’s finest musicians.
It is a ticketed event, and once we have the musicians lined up, we will release the tickets.
Shows generally range from $25 – $50, and go from 8PM to 10PM, with assigned seating.
Full bar and kitchen service as well.
Keep your eyes peeled on Instagram/Facebook and our website for the shows releases.
Cape Breton Celtic Trad Sessions
Come and enjoy a casual gathering of musicians who have come together to play traditional Cape Breton celtic music.
Anyone is welcome to join in, or just sit back and enjoy the tunes.
Sundays at The Frolic 430 – 730pm
Full kitchern and bar service.
Minors allowed till 10pm
Get a taste of local celtic music & culture with our Saturday ceilidhs (kay-lee).
Expect to see world-renowned talent & budding entertainers from all over our native Cape Breton.
General admission seating ranging from $5-$10
First come first serve at the pub. No reservations. Minors allowed up until 10PM