The Way We Feel – A Lightfoot CelebrationPosted on
Friday, July 7th at 5pm – Don’t Miss It!
The 2023 Mariposa Folk Festival main stage has a very special opening act: The Way We Feel — A Lightfoot Celebration.
The late Gordon Lightfoot once said that song writing is “15 percent inspiration and 85 percent perspiration.” All that hard work paid off: over a career spanning 65 years, Lightfoot penned numerous timeless classics, many of which were covered by artists ranging from bluegrass to dance-pop. His unforgettable lyrics — a mix of wit, poetry, and sometimes vicious honesty —
paired with hauntingly beautiful melodies make for some of the most compelling songs ever written. Every artist claims to have a “unique” style — Lightfoot truly did.
And what better way to celebrate a legend like Gordon Lightfoot than by playing his songs?
The Way We Feel — A Lightfoot Celebration does just that: bringing together Canadian musicians from various backgrounds and styles to perform Gordon Lightfoot’s songs. This multi-artist celebration was first conceived of over 20 years ago and has been an annual event at Toronto’s Hugh’s Room since 2003 (minus a few years). The act has toured Ontario as well but went on hiatus in 2017 — before being resurrected at the 2022 Mariposa Folk Festival, with Gordon watching for the side stage. Now, the celebration is making its return to Lightfoot’s hometown, at the first Mariposa folk fest since the artist’s death on May 1, 2023.
Lightfoot himself was a fan of the project and appeared onstage to join in the music-making several times at the Hugh’s Room performances. Over the years, the celebration has featured more than 100 Canadian musicians from roots, blues, folk, jazz and more, including Juno, ECMA, WCMA, Maple Blues and CFMA-award winners.
Joining Mariposa to honour the late song writer this year are artists: Matthew Barber, Lori Cullen, DALA, The Good Brothers, Meredith Moon, Kevin Fox, Jory Nash, with an All-Star House Band featuring Burke Carroll, Jason Fowler, Anne Lindsay, David Matheson and David Woodhead with emcee, David Newland.
Matthew Barber is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter who has been active in the indie pop scene for 20 years. His single “Soft One,” off of his album “Sweet Nothing,” is his biggest hit to date — but he’s had several well-received releases since then, including several collaborations with his sister, Jill Barber. Matthew is also a producer and occasional drummer.
“Matthew Barber has quietly prevailed as one of the Great White North’s musical treasures for well over a decade.” – Peter J. Hoetjes
Juno nominated vocalist Lori Cullen has one of the most distinct sounds in the contemporary Canadian folk scene. Clear as a bell, sweet and highly emotive, Cullen has been described as a “searingly direct and authentically driven artist” by Vivascene. She’s a highly versatile artist whose unique blend of folk, pop and jazz offers something for everyone’s tastes.
Folk duo DALA, made up by Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine, are darlings in the Canadian music scene. Juno nominees and winners of the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year, DALA offer angelic vocal harmonies over minimalist acoustic sets. The duo has been winning hearts all over Canada since 2005, and have toured with acts like Matthew Goode, Stuart McLean, and folk-legend Arlo Guthrie.
The Good Brothers
Offering a tantalizing mix of bluegrass and twang since the 1970s, The Good Brothers are established veterans in the Canadian country music scene whose reputation precedes them: The group’s achievements include an impressive streak of eight consecutive Juno wins for Best Country Group, being inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame (2004), a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Toronto Musicians Association (2015), being inducted into the North American Country Music Association International Hall of Fame (2016), and receiving the Impact Award from The Country Music Association of Ontario (2019).
Folk musician Meredith Moon is a familiar face in the Ontario festival circuit. The talented multi-instrumentalist has graced the Mariposa Folk Festival no less than five times, and is known for her heartfelt singing and traditional, old-time style. Being Gordon’s daughter has never defined her — but will certainly make for an especially meaningful tribute at the celebration.
Kevin Fox is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, as well as an accomplished singer and songwriter. Although he is known for his signature instrument — the cello — Fox has earned a reputation for composing and arranging as well. He’s worked with artists like Jim Cuddy, Justin Bieber and Kathleen Edwards.
Award-winning folk artist Jory Nash is a singer-songwriter known for his warm vocal tones, charm and knack for spinning yarns. He’s a skilled multi-instrumentalist — although he’s most often found on stage behind a guitar or piano — and is much loved in the folk space. Nash co-founded The Way We Feel tribute series.
The Way We Feel — A Lightfoot Celebration takes the Mariposa main stage Friday, July 7 at 5 pm. We recommend attendees arrive at the Tudhope Park festival gates with plenty of time; this will be an act you won’t want to miss.