In the lead up to the 2016 edition of the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Coastal Jazz asked various members of the jazz "family" to share their thoughts about artists who will perform at the festival. Today, marketing consultant Emma Lancaster talks about her connection to Sarah McLachlan and case/lang/veirs.
I was a true child of the ‘80s. The soundtrack of my teenage turmoil was heavy on the sensitive singer-songwriters, (as well as the punk-rock screamers—don’t ask me to explain the contradiction), and Sarah McLachlan’s 1988 album, Touch, was one of the first I’d heard by an artist who was a) young, like me! b) Canadian, and c) cool as hell. When I saw her opening for The Grapes of Wrath, I was transfixed.
Fast-forward to 1996. My musical tastes had changed quite a bit (thanks to Ken Pickering and my brand new job at the Jazz Festival), but the whole idea of Lilith Fair really resonated. At a time when radio stations wouldn’t play two female artists in a row for fear of alienating listeners, a whole festival with nothing but woman-led bands and female solo artists was radical and revolutionary. In her own quiet way, Sarah was changing the face of pop music.
I really admire her dedication to doing things her way. The Sarah McLachlan Music School changes the lives of thousands of under-served kids, and her advocacy work on behalf of numerous charities changes lives.
Another really cool discovery is Marin Patenaude, who opens for Sarah. She's played around town a bit, but has just released an album with Jazz Fest pal Kenton Loewen (mastered by Chris Gestrin!) that is killer--just the right mix of mellow and rootsy, but with an edge. I've posted a video of her guesting with Debra-Jean Creelman, who plays Downtown Jazz's Georgia Stage June 26 at 2:15.
There was nothing quiet about k.d. lang. During the same 80s period, she ripped it up at the late lamented Railway Club, sowing the seeds of an iconoclastic career that would see her perform with Roy Orbison and Tony Bennett; Anne Murray and Ann Wilson.
Neko Case is my musical companion of the millennium. The Virginian and Fox Confessor Brings the Flood are still in regular rotation, and The New Pornographers remain one of my favourite bands.
The mystery delight of case/lang/veirs is, for me, Laura Veirs. She’s a favourite of many people I love (Bill Frissell, Bela Fleck, Colin Meloy, Sufjan Stevens) and her breakthrough 2013 album, Warp and Weft, is now in heavy rotation. Her Americana/rootsy sound has just enough weirdo edge to it that it intrigues while simultaneously soothing.
The coming-together of these three musical mavericks promises to be nothing short of extraordinary. As vocalists and songwriters all three are powerhouses. When they join together, there will be musical fireworks.
If you’re looking for interesting women artists, look no further.