Quotes

"An arrestingly powerful singer-songwriter from Canada who writes great historical and social commentary."

Rich Warren, WFMT Radio, Chicago

“… this is history come alive. Her lyrics are sharp and poignant…"

Michael Enright, Sunday edition, CBC Radio One National

Dunn's songs resonate like traditional material. She's assured, strong, and her versatile voices carries her songs straight to the head and heart, while Johnson's arrangements infuse them with a taste of tradition and authenticity.

Sing Out! Magazine

“She's moving from strength to strength...She's almost like a Nanci Griffith, but also does Celtic”

Terry Wickham, Edmonton Folk Music Festival

About Maria Dunn OLD

A storyteller through song, Maria Dunn combines North American folk and country music with the influences of her Celtic heritage. She writes songs inspired by historical and contemporary characters, capturing their struggles and triumphs in her lyrics. A 2009 nominee for the Canadian Folk Music Awards for her newest CD, The Peddler, Maria also received a Juno nomination in the Roots/Traditional Solo category for her second recording, For a Song.

A compelling performer, this Alberta-based singer/songwriter delivers powerful songs inspired by the resilience and hope of “ordinary” people who so often demonstrate extraordinary courage.

In addition to her Canadian Folk Music and Juno nominations, Maria has won other accolades, including two nominations for Prairie Music Awards (now known as the Western Canadian Music Awards) in 2002 for Outstanding Roots Recording and in 1999 for Outstanding Songwriter.

Not one to rest on her laurels, her fourth CD The Peddler (her first distributed through Outside Music) surpasses all expectations. The album, recorded at Homestead Recorders (Edmonton, Alberta) and at Planet Studios (Montreal, Quebec), consists of songs that have a distinct Celtic influence. The songs range from The Elder Sister, Maria’s ominous take on the timeless Two Sisters tale of jealousy and its tragic conclusion, to You Can’t Take That Away, a modern offering for those who have lost a loved one. The title track, The Peddler, is a haunting melody commenting on the marketing of modern wars, while Sailor Song is the rollicking adventure of an 18th century pirate. Katie Comes a-Callin’ celebrates the simple joys of friendship while William McIlroy’s commemorates a beloved Scottish uncle.

To do justice to the songs on The Peddler and give them the appropriate Celtic music arrangements, Maria once again involved Shannon Johnson as producer and Shannon’s excellent band The McDades (2007 Juno winners for their CD Bloom; www.themcdades.com) as musicians and collaborators on the song arrangements. Shannon encouraged expressive performances from Maria and the other musicians, while keeping the standard of musicianship high--not an easy task in the intense studio environment. The songs, engineered by Colin Lay, Gerald Woolsey, Barry Allen and Daniel Cinelli, were mixed by Colin Lay at Homestead Recorders and mastered by João Carvalho in Toronto. Jeff Sylvester at Pilot Design designed the CD artwork.

Maria states, “The Peddler is an exciting opportunity for me to showcase songs that I’ve written over the past few years that have a Celtic bent, including jigs and reels that I’ve written into some of the songs. I’ve always loved traditional Celtic music and it’s been a joy to focus on those forms for this recording project.”

Maria has performed at theatres, folk clubs and festivals across Canada (Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Lunenberg, Mariposa) and in the USA (2006 Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, Washington, DC) and Europe (2008 Celtic Connections, Glasgow, Scotland). She has been featured on CBC National Radio (Sunday Edition, DNTO, This Morning), CKUA Alberta Radio and BBC Radio Scotland. Other artists, including Niamh Parsons and Bob Bossin, have recorded her original songs.

Maria’s arresting performance style instantly connects her to audiences while her lyrically rich songs, impassioned storytelling and expressive singing captivate them and keep them coming back. The Peddler adds 10 new songs to an already impressive repertoire.

Photos

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