indie night-2nd Thursday

indie singer/songwriter nightThank you to everyone who attended indie night! We enjoyed trying out this series for a year. The series is now finished.








indie Singer/Songwriter night is a monthly public event held on the second Thursday of the month at 8:00 PM.  The event is hosted and coordinated by Matt MacKinnon.  Matt is a performing musician from Ottawa who teaches music at Alcorn Music Studios.  Indie Night aims to provide a comfortable place for aspiring singer-songwriters to share their music in front of a live audience.  The night begins at 8:00 pm with a one hour performance by the  featured guest artist.  The musical guests are professional singer/songwriters often living in the Ottawa area or touring artists available for an indie night performance.  This performance is followed by an open mic where participants are strongly encouraged to sing original songs rather than covers.  An acoustic piano is available for pianists.  All ages welcome. Suggested donation of $5.
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Thursday Nov. 8, 2012 11, 2012 Guest Artist: Gillian Kirkland is a Canadian singer, composer and accordionist.  Her music draws from both european and north american traditions and is most often described as Neo-Cabaret. Through various incarnations on either side of the Atlantic, she has collaborated with musicians from a wide variety of traditions as well as artists from many other disciplines.  She is currently devoting much of her time towards the preparation of her second self-authored album, to be released this spring in Ottawa, where she now lives.

Gillian Kirkland est une chanteuse, accordéoniste et compositrice canadienne dont la musique néo-cabaresque tente l’arrimage de sonorités d’autrefois avec des textes traitant d’actualité.  Après diverses incarnations de part et d’autre de l’Atlantique, elle s’est installé a Ottawa ou elle évolue depuis deux ans. Tout au long de ses pérégrinations, elle a participé à de nombreuses collaborations avec des musiciens de diverses confessions ainsi que des conteurs, cinéastes, poètes et dramaturges. Elle prépare actuellement son deuxième album prévu pour le printemps.

Thursday Oct. 11, 2012 Guest Artist:
Robert Larisey: Hailing from Carleton Place Ontario Robert Larisey baffled the roots world with his debut cd “Nights Take Forever”. With his blue collar lyrics and country roots it didn’t take long before Larisey was recognized as a songwriter’s songwriter. Drawing from the everyday life of the small town working man, Larisey has beautifully penned 13 heartfelt songs that can only be compared to such greats as John Prine and Guy Clark. “Nights Take Forever” was given 4 out of 5 stars from and was called “the most important alt-country record of 2010” by Spain’s Rock n’ Roll Circus.

Bluesfest pic by Caroline Yung

Thursday Sept 13, 2012: Guest artist Glenn Nuotio. CBC Ottawa’s Amanda Putz describes his songs as “well-crafted pieces fit to grace the stage and piano bench alongside a Rufus Wainwright or a Sarah Slean.”   Since his arrival in Ottawa in 2006, the displaced half-Finnish Newfoundlander and piano-player GLENN NUOTIO has made a home for himself in the capital’s multi-disciplinary arts community. With musical references ranging from 80s synth pop to new millennium piano pop; Cole Porter to Sonic Youth; from chamber orchestras to show tunes, Glenn Nuotio has been adored by all kinds of art fans for his rare blend of cheekiness and sophistication, accessibility and reckless artistic abandon.  Glenn Nuotio’s most recent EP “Live of the Gallery Floor” can be heard here:  8 pm, $5 donation kindly considered.

Thursday August 9th, 2012 -Guest Artist Kyla Dowden
Check our Kyla’s music: Kyla Dowden – Wasting Time 
Kyla Dowden is a singer/songwriter from Ottawa. Her talents as a singer have brought her into the studio working on various projects and she has performed at many local venues. Drawing from influences like Hank Williams, Gillian Welch, Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits, Kyla plays roots based music straight from the heart. She allows her voice and the writing be the focal point of her music to convey the strength of the song. Kyla Dowden – Wasting Time (soundcloud)
Start time 8:00 pm performance followed by an open mic. Suggested donation of $5

Our musical guests this month will be Musk Ox. Musk Ox is a Canadian Neofolk project formed by Nathanaël Larochette, blending Neofolk’s lush acoustic textures with the expansiveness of Post Rock, the intricate arrangements of Progressive Rock, and the emotional weight of Metal. Born out of a love for nature’s commanding beauty, and the captivating resonance of the nylon string guitar, Musk Ox is quickly establishing itself as one of the bright…est prospects in the Neofolk genre, with a debut full-length and three self-recorded demos already to its name.

Guest Artist June 14th, 2012 – Chrissy Lovingood    Chrissy Lovingood has been writing songs since she learned her first three chords. For her songwriting is “a playground with endless possibilities to explore, and a chance to see life through lots of different lenses.”  Folk, blues, country, soul and rock n’ roll get together to stew and then filter through to become the catchy melodies and clever, heartfelt lyrics she offers to everyone who listens. “Performance is about bringing everybody along for a ride outside of themselves so why shouldn’t I try with all I have to make it happen?” With expressive vocals that run the range from warm and sweet to gritty and tough she brings the tales of hopeless romantics, dreamers, addicts, the world weary and broken-hearted ramblers to life.

Guest Artist May 10th, 2012 –  rorie kelly
“Independent, free, and full of complexity. Difficult to cage. rorie kelly is that type of indie rock.” – LI Pulse Magazine 
“Her sound was so powerful, she acoustically filled every square inch of space.” – Canvas Magazine
rorie writes catchy, melodic rock songs that she plays with enough passion to break guitar strings–and go right on playing without batting an eye.  rorie is also well known in NYC and Long Island’s singer/songwriter scenes, and her solo performances are just as intense as when she’s rocking with the band behind her.  More information can be found on the web at

Guest Artist April 12th, 2012 Devin Johnstone
“Devin Johnstone is blessed with a deep, resonant voice you feel in the centre of your chest…he shares it generously with poetic insight, down-to-earth candor, and charismatic sensuality. His guitar grooves lift you up, mellow you out, make you dance – he knows how to take you to deep places and spin you out into the light.

Guest Artist March 8th, 2012 Shannon Rose
Over the past year Ottawa singer-songwriter Shannon Rose has been very busy recording four seasonal, five-song EPs. Each was written, recorded and released in its respective season, highlighting the influence of Canada’s diverse seasons on the songwriter and her band, The Thorns.
Shannon’s love of music was born in Pembroke, Ontario, where she grew up, but she only started writing songs while studying English in Toronto. After graduating, Shannon moved to Ottawa with her guitarist husband and enlisted the talents of some of the city’s finest musicians to help turn her bedroom demos into her first full-length album, Sing Me a Song (2008).   Inspired by artists like Sarah Harmer and Laura Veirs, Shannon crafts  solid folk-pop melodies that are set on a lush backdrop that includes horns, piano, and strings. For more information or to listen to  Shannon’s music visit

Guest Artists February 9th, 2012 – Orienteers
“Orienteers are the heavy-lidded lords of a sweet, sleepy land of achingly pretty melodies, peaceful reflection and fuzzy warmth… almost impossible to dislike.” – Trebuchet Magazine

Ben  Wilson – Vocals, keys, Guitar
Tom Thompson – Pedal Steel Guitar, loops, Ipod,  Guitar
Brennan Pilkington – Vocals, Drums
Laura Greenberg –  Bass
Orienteering is defined as a cross-country race in which participants use a map and compass to navigate along checkpoints across unfamiliar terrain. In the case of Ottawa’s Orienteers, music is both navigational tool and terrain. The result is their unique brand of space-folk that seems less intent upon any sort of race, than it does with taking its time exploring the outer limits of an uncharted aural galaxy.  In 2011 they released the full-length, Orienteers (out via Antique Room), which in their own words, “…is a travel focused collection of fragile space-folk, layered with looping pedal-steel guitar, wind chime acoustics and warm blankets of bass and brush sticks.” On Orienteers, the experimental melancholia is heightened by countrified guitars, undulating synth and subdued vocals–all swirled into a melodic psychedelic dream, bolstered by solid song writing throughout. Speaking of song writing, we’ve been told that since adopting their new moniker, they’ve been writing at a furious pace.
In other words, expect Orienteers to be the first in a series of space-folk masterpieces. However, until the arrival of the next album, feel free to bask in the glory of the current release. And when they come to your town, be sure to catch the live act. Each delicate performance draws you in to a carefully composed world of sonic exploration.

Guest Artist January 12th, 2012
Abigail Lapell is a folk-noir singer-songwriter from Toronto. Her debut album, Great Survivor, showcases a rare talent for evocative songwriting and addictive melodies—along with a crowd-hushing voice, rich in emotional colour. Drawing from folk, indie and traditional influences, Abigail has won over audiences of all stripes with her precise, crystal-and-smoke vocals and sparse-plucked electric guitar. Her music is often likened to leading lights like Sandy Denny, early Cat Power or a stormier Natalie Merchant — but there’s something distinctive in Abigail’s bittersweet tones and darkly playful lyrics that defies easy comparisons. Abigail has toured across Canada, Europe and the U.K.; been featured at festivals like NXNE, Pop Montreal, Winterfolk (Toronto), Sappy Fest (Sackville, NB) and In the Dead of Winter (Halifax); and shared stages with the likes of Rae Spoon, tUnE-yArDs, Snailhouse, and Greg MacPherson, among many others. Abigail’s relentless performance schedule in the past year has included tours on Greyhound Buses, trains, and — most quintessentially Canadian — a 10-day canoe tour along Ontario’s Grand River. Recorded by Heather Kirby (of Ohbijou), Great Survivor was released in Spring 2011 and features talented collaborators like Jessica Moore (banjo, vocals), Lisa Bozikovic (piano, vocals), James van Bolhuis (drums), Aaron Lumley (double bass) and Julia Collins (violin). “Great Survivor is an emotional chamber, furnished with bare acoustics and anchors around Lapell’s confident, smoky vocals. It’s an impressionistic debut, one that feels like it comes from inside.”- BlogTO

“There’s beauty indeed in the smoke that flows from her lungs, the way her words disperse storms, set the sky to gently falling.” – Said the Gramophone

“Clear as a bell vocals, fluid and resonant guitar playing and a little bit of foot stamping for emphasis to boot… Take the chance to see a show if you can.”– Muso’s Guide

If you can’t find it in your heart to give Lapell points for spending almost every day on a Greyhound bus for a good half of August, then you might consider giving her a kudo or two for really knowing her way around a personal and plaintive tune… Go ahead, let yourself be impressed.” –


Guest Artist December 8/2011
Neil Gerster once fronted the Ottawa pop-folk quartet Lighthousekeepers from 2001-2003. As far as public profile goes, he thereafter buried himself under a rock, re-emerging in 2011 with his “ukulele album”, Hearts and Other Shipwrecks, containing 14 tracks of poetic lyrics, summer sounds, sea imagery, tales of online dating, mellotron accents, but especially the sounds of ukuleles and banjoleles throughout.
His first ukulele was an bought grudgingly: a week of imagining a high-pitched, gut-stringed strumming in a song he was writing ended in a trip to a music store and an impulse buy. The next week, he wrote three new songs. The uke was almost instantly the easiest instrument for him to compose with.  Besides his present ukulele fixation, Neil plays guitars, keyboards, basses, flute, kalimba, glockenspiel, cornet, guitarrón and drums (he’s in the market for a mandocello or cittern). Mom started him on violin lessons, he begged to quit, she said no, he moved to piano, begged to quit, she said no, he moved to vocal lessons, begged to quit, and Mom finally let him. Mom was gracious enough to then get him a guitar as a birthday present a couple of years later, and even more graciously sprung for guitar lessons when Neil begged to start. Playing guitar turned music from a language of too many precise and individual notes into a more manageable slang of chords, which were so much more flexible. Suddenly any instrument was an easier tool for expressing himself.  Neil has been fortunate enough to play with Mélissa Laveaux, the Urban Aesthetics, Marie-Josée Houle and the Attention Deficit.

Guest Artist Nov. 10/2011
Eleanore Altman A native of Montreal, Eleanore Altman studied voice with Beverly McGuire (Concordia) and Colette Boky (UQAM), and currently studies composition with Lisa Heffter in New York and Alan Belkin (UdeM) in Montreal. She is also an alumna of Berklee College of Music. Eleanore has been heard at Place Des Arts, Centre Pierre Péladeau, and Berklee Performance Center, and regularly performs her original music in and around Montreal. She has appeared as a soloist with the Atelier D’Opéra de l’UQAM in productions of Jepthe, La Flute Enchantée,and Carmen. In 2008, Eleanore wrote and conducted an original score for a production of Mother Courage and Her Children (Gerald W. Lynch Theater, New York) and the following year released her debut album Degrees of Freedom with RCM Records (Québec). Her second album, Biologic, is scheduled for release in early 2012. Eleanore is co-artistic director of Festival Alexandria, a summer concert series in Alexandria, Ontario. In addition to her career as a musician, Eleanore also holds a master’s degree in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and is active in community and mental health work in Montreal.

Guest Artist October 13/2011:
Jon Laurie-Beaumont