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Their sound is panoramic, mischievous, fiercely unpretentious - and musically splendid. - Boston Globe
The Bills represent everything that is good about folk music in Canada - Hamilton Spectator
Pickin' music for thinkin' folks - Utne Reader
The Bills are back! New album to save world with optimism! This merry band
of freewheeling roots phenoms is exactly what the world needs right now - the antidote to every
bad news story about the sorry state of civilization. Bursting with exuberance and West Coast
joie de vivre, these two-time Juno nominees and one-time WCMA Entertainers of
the Year combine ebullient string arrangements, unparalleled song-craft, soaring harmonies, and
spry lonesome lead vocals into songs that celebrate the treasures of human experience - like the
community halls that stitch together the fabric of Canadian life, the effervescent face of a
child that makes a 4 a.m. wake-up call worthwhile, and the insanely hot peppers in producer
Joby Baker's homemade hot sauce. They also challenge the prophets of economic and environmental
doom with "Not the End," a song that wisely proclaims,
It fell down before but it grew back
again. But just in case there is an apocalypse, The Bills have also hedged their bets
by recording a shiny, happy tribute to the evil horticultural nemeses that will survive it:
"Blackberry, Ivy, and Broom." And how can you not laugh when you realize that the seemingly
universal anthem about interdependence in relationships is actually Marc Atkinson's song about
repeatedly almost killing his house plant out of abject negligence?
Of course, this boundless positivity, mischievous humour, and totally-over-the-top outstanding musicianship is precisely what rocketed The Bills to the forefront of the Canadian and international roots circuit in the first place. They've performed at the Kennedy Center; toured the U.K. and Scandinavia; played all the famous folk clubs, like the Ark in Ann Arbor and Freight and Salvage in Berkeley; and had their music featured on the Rough Guide's "Music of Canada" compilation. They've also received glowing reviews from the Boston Herald, Austin INsite, and Utne Reader. They've performed at Celtic Connections in Glasgow, the fabled Strawberry Music Festival in Yosemite, California, and Ottawa's B.C. Scene. Here in Canada, they've played all the big festivals, sold out folk clubs - sometimes for multiple nights - earned TWO consecutive Juno nominations for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year (group) and won Western Canadian Music Awards for Outstanding Roots Recording and Entertainer of the Year ... beating out Jann Arden and Michael Bublé!
If they weren't already a super-group when they formed back in 1996, they certainly are now. Guitarist Marc Atkinson has earned WCMA nominations with his eponymous hot jazz ensemble - whose second album was voted one of the top five albums in North America by Acoustic Guitar magazine. Bills vocalist Chris Frye was the rhythm guitarist in Marc's trio for ten years and appears on all their albums. He released a WCMA-nominated album of his own in 2006, featuring the Wailin' Jennys, Mae Moore and Oh Susanna. Adrian Dolan has leant his wizardry on accordion, fiddle, piano, mandolin, - you name it, really - to albums and tours with The Chieftains, the Rankin Sisters, Barney Bentall, Ruth Moody, The Arrogant Worms, and Ridley Bent, to name a few. He's also played with several classical orchestras and is a sought-after record producer. Joey Smith was a bassist and arranger for the Glenn Miller Orchestra and has performed with Cleo Laine, Rosemary Clooney, Herb Ellis, and Charlie Byrd. And the most recent addition to the Bills, fiddler and violist Richard Moody, almost needs no introduction. An alumnus of Acoustically Inclined, he is an accomplished solo artist, an award-winning composer of music for film, and one of Canada's most sought-after side-men and session players.
Together, the Bills have continued to "gel" as composers and lyricists, even during their absence from the touring circuit, making Yes Please their most mature and cohesive collection yet. But don't let that word "mature" frighten you. This is wildly fun, original and accessible music that will inspire you to youthful fits of dancing, singing, and whatever else you do when you're overflowing with joy.
This program is subject to change without much notice. Call the Rogue Hot-Line at 604-736-3022 for the latest information.