Grier Coppins and The Urban Highlanders are coming back to church!
Bagpipes, whistles, 6-string violin, soprano sax, piccolo, clarinet, acoustic guitar, mandolin, an array of drums and percussion… all join the fray in an inspired musical dust up. Based in Toronto, the URBAN HIGHLANDERS draw on a broad collection of influences to create original instrumentals, homemade and traditional tunes, story-based songs and tales.
In 2015 Grier Coppins began a monthly residence at the Cameron House, one of Toronto’s most storied musical venues. Starting as a duo playing mostly original songs, then as a trio adding tunes and instrumentals, the monthly performance spontaneously grew into a five-piece roots, cross-border organic musical adventure.
Thus, URBAN HIGHLANDERS were born.
Grier began his musical career on the street in Toronto playing bagpipes at the corner Yonge & Bloor in the mid 1970’s. He was an original member of critically acclaimed Canadian bagpipe/funksters
Rare Air in the 1980’s. In 1993 he founded Taxi Chain, a rhythm & blues infused cocktail of song & tune. Coppins has played almost every major folk fest in Canada & the USA. He released a solo record, ‘The Prince that Nobody Knows’ in 2014 rated one of 2014’s top 10 by Penguin Egg’s Andy Donnelley, and has most recently recorded bagpipes with Al Tuck on his ‘Stranger at the Wake’ CD and on the Paul Gross film, ‘Hyena Road’.
Jim has is a versatile and wind-driven musical force that has played with such diverse acts as Screaming’ Jay Hawkins, the Somalian Opera, Toronto Calypso combo Shak Shak, and Taxi Chain.
Ayron is a tower of a man and musician that has performed extensively with Taxi Chain, the Mahones and his own band, The O’Deadlys, with his wife Lindsey. He is a graduate of the Humber College Music Program and also teaches guitar.
Chris Bartos is a master class jazz guitarist and violinist and a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. He has played extensively with and/or produced recordings for Kaia Kater, Sarah Harmer, The Ennis Sisters, Jonathon Bird, the Barr Brothers, and Quique Escamilla. He has released one solo recording ‘Fort William’ to critical acclaim.
Larry has studied drumming extensively in Ghana, Africa and teaches drums. He is a composer and the musical leader a few local acts: DRUMHAND, Surefire Sweat and Orkestra Gatigo. He was an original member of Juno nominated world beat orchestra Mr. Something Something.
Bill Durst is an award winning Canadian Blues Rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, entertainer who has written and recorded over 125 songs on 12 albums with 7 national radio hits. The Jack Richardson Hall of Famer has opened for Areosmith, Rush, BTO, Yardbirds, Johnny Winter, Savoy Brown, Bobby Rush, George Thorogood, Bad Company, Edgar Winter Group, Jeff Healey, John Mayall, Downchild, David Wilcox, Little Feat and more. Mr. Durst has toured across North America and in Europe and tours extensively in Canada.
Born in Wingham and growing up in London, Ontario, Bill was heavily influenced by Motown R&B, Toronto Psychedelic Soul, British Blues, Hendrix and BBKing. Durst entered the national/international stage with his classic rock band Thundermug who had a number one hit in 1972. Thundermug recorded 5 albums, (3 albums in the 1970s, two CDs in the 1990s), releasing records in the US and Europe. Bill’s first two solo albums came in the eighties but it wasn’t until the early 2000s that Durst got some real career momentum.
Awards & Nominations
Propelled by raw lyricism and earthy production, Dylan Ireland’s debut solo album Every Other Night is a powerful statement from an artist ready to carve out new folk-rock terrain.
The Peterborough, Ontario-based singer/songwriter has already made his mark on the Canadian music scene through his former band Express And Company. Their 2013 album, Ontario, contained the single “Carry Me Along,” which received heavy airplay on CBC Radio 2 and 3, and helped land showcases at the Mariposa Folk Festival and the Peterborough Folk Festival—he earned the Emerging Artist Award at both—as well as South By Southwest.
With Every Other Night, Ireland has entered a new phase, building upon his past work with a fresh and fearless songwriting approach now all his own. Co-produced by Ireland and James McKenty (Blue Rodeo, Michelle McAdorey, Matthew Barber), Every Other Night’s stellar cast of contributors includes guitarists Jim Bryson and Gord Tough (Kathleen Edwards), drummer Loel Campbell (Wintersleep) and bassist Anna Ruddick (Daniel Romano, Bry Webb, Randy Bachman).
Medieval & Spanish blues, Guitar & Songs
Ready for a unique and talented take on a wide range of musical traditions? Claude Bourbon is known throughout
Europe and America for amazing guitar performances that take blues, Spanish, Middle Eastern, and Russian stylings into uncharted territories. Each year Bourbon plays more than 100 shows around the world.
Born in France in the early 60’s, Claude Bourbon grew up in Switzerland, where he was classically trained for many years. This finger picking guitarist has performed and studied all over the world; He has played countless venues, including Glastonbury Festival, Isle of Wight Festival, Colne Great British & Blues Festival, Rock O’Z Arene, Avenches, Switzerland, among others. He has shared the stage in Europe and the USA with countless musicians, Calvin Russel, Charlie Morgan (Elton John, Gary Moore), Jan Akkerman (Focus), Steve Grossman (Miles Davis), Herbie Armstrong ( Van Morisson), Jose barrense Dias and many more.
Now based in the UK, some of this guitarists’ influences allow us a fascinating insight into this remarkable musician; Paco De Lucia: Deep Purple’s Richie Blackmore; Joaquin Rodrigo; JJ Cale; JS Bach….
One reviewer even noted that although “Claude’s roots were in blues, that is like saying Leonardo da Vinci was a painter”. Intrigued ?
Experience an evening of exploration in the unique ambiance of the Thumb !
Claude’s official website : www.claudebourbon.org
“… not a same ole same ole gig…”
“ Claude Bourbon is a unique figure today… his playing is almost indescribable“ – The Hook, Charlottesville, USA
“Never heard anyone get that much beautiful sound out of a J-45”, Bob, Tucson, AZ
“A breathtaking acoustic fusion of blues, jazz, folk, classical and Spanish guitar from a stunning guitar virtuoso…”Altadena News, USA”