Northern Current 2023 Line-up Playlist
Meghan Parnell and Dave Barnes are the driving force behind Bywater Call, a powerhouse 7-piece Southern Soul, Roots Rock band out of Toronto, Canada Formed in 2017, the band has received an Independent Blues and multiple Maple Blues Award nominations including Entertainer of the Year and Best Female Vocalist for the 2023 Awards Season. They have toured extensively in Europe over the last few years, including in May and June of 2022, featuring a mainstage appearance at the Netherlands’ premiere blues festival MOULIN BLUES. Performances there have been praised in Dutch and German media, with references to Meghan as one of the best singers in blues and roots today.
In August 2023, the band will participate in Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea Mediterranean Cruise alongside headliners Blackberry Smoke, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and Bonamassa himself.
They have headlined festival stages from Belgium to Ontario, Canada, and in 2023 will be gracing festival mainstages from Germany to Florida, Colorado to Quebec City, Fredericton to Kentucky, among many other American and Canadian cities, including opening for White Horse at the inaugural edition of the Smoke Stack Music Festival in Hamilton Ontario.
Bywater won the opportunity to compete in the 2023 edition of famed International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee, but instead Meghan and Dave found themselves in the UK opening for the Joe Bonamassa supported band Robert Jon and the Wreck out of the US. Bywater will return in full format to the UK and Europe in late 2023 to embark on their own tour.
Bywater’s much anticipated sophomore album was released September 2, 2022 to rave reviews.
Born out of a love for southern soul, blues and roots music and a passion to create a powerful and moving experience for listeners, Bywater Call is completed by Bruce McCarthy on drums, Mike Meusel on Bass, newest member, John Kervin on Keys, Stephen Dyte on Trumpet and Julian Nalli on Tenor Sax.
Kaleta & Super Yamba Band
Brooklyn’s Kaleta & Super Yamba Band are fronted by Afrobeat and Juju veteran Leon Ligan-Majek a.k.a. Kaleta. The singer/guitarist from the West African country of Benin Republic lived his adolescent life in Lagos, Nigeria where Afrobeat was born. Kaleta's guitar chops earned him decades of touring and recording with Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Lauryn Hill and more. Kaleta got his start in the late 70s performing in church and was soon after picked up by iconic Juju master and world music pioneer King Sunny Ade. A few years later Fela Kuti came calling. Kaleta would go on to tour the world playing guitar for the King of Afrobeat in his storied band Egypt 80 through the 1980s and into the 1990s. Now based in New York City, Kaleta has been leading Super Yamba Band since 2017. Their debut album 'Mèdaho,' which was released by California indie label Ubiquity Records, draws on the group’s shared reverence for the raw, psychedelic sounds that captivated Kaleta as a music loving kid in 1970s Benin. Mèdaho means "big brother", "elder" or "teacher" and is dedicated to Kaleta's late brother Ligan-Ozavino Pascal who introduced him to funk and soul music at a very early age. The album was included on Bandcamp's “Best Albums of Summer 2019” list and two of the songs were chosen for the ABC/Hulu series High Fidelity staring Zoe Kravitz. Kaleta and his band have also erupted onto the stages and video screens of major music festivals and music publications across the US. They performed at the historic Apollo Theatre in 2019. They even prompted Action Bronson to stop his own show on VICELAND TV just so he could hear more Yamba. They also performed on Adult Swim's Fishcenter Live show in 2019. In 2017 they rocked Paste Magazine’s Emerging Music Festival in NYC and after that performance Afropop Worldwide fell in love with Kaleta, saying “his James Brown grunts have got to be some of the best in the business!”
Huntress & Holder of Hands
MorganEve Swain began The Huntress and Holder of Hands as a vessel for exploring grief and growth. Originally home-recorded using multi-layer tracks of voice and strings, Swain pulled creative energy from the experience of losing her husband Dave Lamb to leukemia and the bond they shared as the duo Brown Bird. With the ambition to perform live and explore past personal grief, The Huntress and Holder of Hands expanded to a 5-musician band, employing cello, string bass, electric bass, voice and drums, with Swain primarily on five-string viola and guitar. The band builds harmony, string and bass-driven pieces influenced by Post-Metal, Blues and Americana and offers an intense musical and lyrical experience that explores love, loss, power and strength. The Huntress and Holder of Hands self-released The Water Street Demos EP in November 2015. The band's first full-length album, "Avalon" will be released on September 15, 2017. The Huntress and Holder of Hands is the musical project of MorganEve Swain of the band Brown Bird & Devil Makes Three.
Soggy Po Boys
The Soggy Po Boys, native to New England, have quickly become an institution. They are spreading the good news of New Orleans music across the northeast and beyond, playing at concert halls and street corners; music festivals and burlesque festivals; bars and libraries; wherever the party requires. Part of the beauty of New Orleans music is that it's celebrated and appreciated wherever it goes, from the street to the theater.
The Po Boys formed in 2012 to shake the walls of a local club on a Fat Tuesday but have honed their sound and become more than a Mardi Gras centerpiece. Exploring the vast musical traditions of New Orleans and expanding their repertoire to look beyond NOLA jazz, the band includes traditional Caribbean tunes (it’s been said that New Orleans is the northernmost city in the Caribbean), as well as Meters funk, soul, and brass band / street beat music.
“...These guys have done their homework, worked it out on the bandstand and put in the hours in the studio. It all adds up to a party you can bring with you when you want to treat your friends to a real good time.” -Ben Schenck of New Orleans’ Panorama Jazz Band”.
There are a myriad of traditions that flow into New Orleans culture just as there are tributaries that feed the Mississippi, and the Po Boys are eager to explore what makes the music of New Orleans so damn special. You’ll hear the heavy influence of the New Orleans sound across the band and in the stories told by their original tunes. Despite the scope of its sound, the outfit is only seven people, and thrives on the interplay and group dynamics that bring this music to life.
'The DiTrani Brothers, by way of bent melodies and driving rhythms, play perilous tunes for the hopeful influenced by elements of Balkan music and early American jazz and swing.'
We are a Vermont based 4 piece acoustic jazz/folk/punk(ish)/balkan band. We've been an active, touring band for about 8 years. And have had the pleasure of touring nationally with such bands as The Devil Makes Three and Lost Dog Street Band.
Richie & Rosie
Richie Stearns and Rosie Newton grew up 150 miles and a few decades apart. Having originally met at Saratoga Springs’ Flurry festival, the two reunited in the Ithaca old-time scene, where Richie grew up and Rosie had moved for college. During Rosie’s freshman year, they began touring together regionally as members of the Evil City String Band and eventually decided to pursue a more intimate project as a duo. In 2013 the duo released their first album, Tractor Beam, a 12-track mix of originals and classics, designed to mirror the experience of a live performance.
After three years of touring and writing, Richie and Rosie returned to the studio last December to record their second full-length album, Nowhere in Time. Set for release November 10, 2017, the record finds itself at a junction of Americana, old-time, and folk, bringing a new sound to traditional music. Recorded with producer Alex Perialas at Pyramid Sound Studios, the project gives fans a look inside the band’s personal lives with a variety of introspective lyrics. With singles like, “Honey Bee”, “No Longer Lonely”, and title-track, “Nowhere in Time,” the album highlights the incredibly-refined skill of both musicians.
Before joining forces, both members were well-established within the old-time community. Rosie has toured with multiple bands, including an appearance while she was in high school with folk-rock band The Mammals. In 2010, she released a self-titled album as part of the duo The Pearly Snaps. In addition to releasing two solo albums, Richie’s discography includes collaborations with Natalie Merchant, Jim Lauderdale, Donna the Buffalo, and Carrie Rodriguez. He has performed internationally with bands like Bela Fleck, Pete Seeger, David Byrne, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Joan Baez. He is the President of the iconic GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance.
With the fated combination of Richie and Rosie’s unique skill, varied musical influence, and honest storytelling, Nowhere in Time defines exactly what the duo hopes to achieve -- music that people can connect with. As two musicians in two very different parts of life, Richie and Rosie are proof of two things: the power and magic of two people making music, and that the universal messages that lie within their songs remain timeless.