Past Performers 2015

The following was from the lineup from the 2nd Annual Pelee Island Music Festival, held on August 1st and 2nd of 2015

Saturday, August 1, 2015

2:30 – 3:30Diane Motel
3:30 – 4:30Tara Watts
4:30 – 5:30Leighton Bain
5:30 – 6:30Brock Zeman
6:30 – 7:30Ron Leary Band
7:30 – 9:00Sarah Smith
9:15 – 11:00NQ Arbuckle

Sunday, August 2, 2015

2:30 – 3:30Pelee Show Case Michelle BacBride, The Kildare Trio
3:30 – 4:30Kelly Hoppe and Greg Cox
4:30 – 5:30Bob Rob
5:30 – 6:30The Schotts
6:30 – 7:30 The Vaudvillian
7:30 – 9:00Danny Michel
9:15 – 11:00The Strumbellas


“Although Diane Motel is a relative newcomer on the Windsor and Canadian music scene, its five members are all veterans of the trade. With insightful lyrics and soulful harmonies, Diane Motel blends familiar folk constructs with a well-worn edge characteristic of the Windsor sound. A band with four accomplished songwriters ensures one thing: Every move they makes is done in service of the song. Diane Motel is most certainly a band on the rise.”


Tara Watts is a singer/songwriter who proudly hails from Windsor, Ontario. She has been a part of the local music/arts scene for nearly a decade and was recently nominated best female original artist by Windsor Independent Magazine. She has primarily focused her efforts on her singer/songwriter career but has also been playing with the gypsy rockabilly rock band, The Locusts have no king and sitting in occasionally with Ron Leary. Watts’ influence range from Johnny Cash to Iron and Wine to Simon and Garfunkel to Patrick Watson. Watts is currently in the studio wrapping up her second full length album that is to be released mid-spring. For more info re: shows or bookings you can find her at


Leighton Bain is a singer/songwriter from Windsor, Ontario. Leighton has spent recent years finding his voice in the Canadian Indie music scene – always considering the intent listener and those that appreciate an effective combination of lyric and melody. “A kindred spirit to the likes of Dylan, Lightfoot and Simon. There is a familiarity in his music and in his songs, an intimacy that draws you in like the comfort of an old friend.” (The Drive Magazine April 2014). Bain has shared the stage with some of Canada’s hottest acts (Hey Rossetta!, Dan Mangan, The Sheepdogs, Dominique Fricot) and has put his time in playing abroad as well. Leighton spent the good part of two years playing music in Seoul, South Korea. It was in Seoul that Leighton began crafting the sound that he is known for today.


Over the course of 11 albums, Ottawa area singer songwriter Brock Zeman has built a reputation as a writer of great depth and passion, through his thoughtful, often personal songs. But he’s got a rough, rockin’ side as well. Joined on relentless tours across Western Canada and down to Texas and back by his ever present collaborator, Blair Hogan, and often drummer Dylan Roberts, Zeman and crew can put on a powerful show that has attendees rocking as much as feeling the stories that he tells in song. He could easily be the bastard son of Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle, with a gravelly Tom Waits voice.

-Jeff Robson, Tell The Band To Go Home


Ontario-based singer/songwriter Ron Leary is a captivating performer who’s sarcastic and self-effacing tone will have you laughing boisterously one second and then wondering if you should have the next. It’s usually his voice that people talk about the most, one that’s been compared to “an old bottle of whiskey – warm, with a little bite and a velvety finish.”


Most likely you’ve seen Sarah Smith before. As lead singer for Canadian rock band The Joys she earned international stardom, performed with the likes of Bif Naked, The Trews, Sam Roberts and Bedouin Soundclash. The Joys catapulted themselves all over the map and rode the radio waves across North America. Now Sarah Smith has gone solo. Proving that her powerhouse vocal talent needs no accompaniment with her newest album Stronger Now, Sarah is killing it on her own!

Curve Magazine
…With a voice that is often, in fact almost always, compared to Bonnie Raitt, Melissa Etheridge, or Janis Joplin, Smith makes you want to rock out and at the same time recharges your heart and soul…


Drunk dudes from Huntsville or Lethbridge or St. John’s or wherever hang on every word. Everyone sings, mostly louder than the band. Every show is an uprising, a groundswell. Don’t let the self-deprecation or inebriation imply that NQ Arbuckle isn’t serious about the music. This band has earned multiple Juno nominations, considerable critical praise (Pitchfork, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star etc.), and a legion of rabid fans. NQ Arbuckle has consistently created impressive, treasured albums for more than a decade. But NQ Arbuckle has never made a record like this before.

Six Shooter Records is very pleased to finally confirm the release of The Future Happens Anyway, out April 29, 2014.

Juno Award Nominated “Roots and Traditional Album of the Year” for “XO K” in 2008

Juno Award Nominated “Roots and Traditional Album of the Year” for “Let’s just Stay Here” with Carolyn Mark in 2009.

Nominated for Canadian Folk Music awards Contemporary Album of the Year for “XO K” in 2008.

“Lots to dig into here, musically and lyrically.” – Toronto Star


The Kildare Trio is a blend of acoustic and electric music media, wrought by veteran Windsor musicians with divergent backgrounds and a resonant voice that has a curious effect on the spine of the listener. They are Dierdre Roberts, Mark Mariotti, David Cyrenne and Rob Michie.

The distinct sound of the Kildare Trio has caught the attention of a number of diverse bands. Kildare Trio has performed with The Holly Cole Trio, The Tea Party, The Wild Strawberries and 13 Engines, to name a few.


Mr. Chill (harmonica) and Greg Cox (guitar) have been performing as a duo for a couple of decades now in the Windsor area and around Canada. Their live show displays a keen understanding of pre-war blues, old-timey jazz, bluegrass, folk and classic country. This is underscored by their formidable talents on their prospective instruments.

Mr. Chill is a charter member of legendary Canadian rock/reggae/blues recording act BIG SUGAR. Greg led the acclaimed bluegrass-tinged trio TRAIN 45 for many years and was a founding member of MR. CHILL & THE WITNESSES.


Michelle MacBride – A Dynamite Voice – Don’t miss this treat!

18 years old from Cleveland Ohio, “I have been coming to Pelee Island before I could even speak. My family has a cottage on the island and it is my home away from home. I want to thank the Pelee unplugged crew for inviting me back again for the 2nd annual Pelee Unplugged Music Festival. I had such an amazing time last year and I am so happy to be back! I also want to thank my family for coming up and supporting me with everything I do.”


According to the liner notes, Darrin and Alison Schott have been playing and performing together for 25 years and this is their first CD. How incredibly selfish of them to deny the world wider access to their stunning talent. This bluegrass duo – Alison on guitar and vocals and Darrin on mandolin and vocals – are spectacular players and singers, their voices meshing seamlessly after a quarter-century of collaboration. 
Darrin can hold his own with any mandolin player you care to name. All of the songs were recorded without overdubs, an impressive achievement considering the intricacy of his playing. Alison has a gorgeous voice and it’s a shame it is not featured more often on this disc. All but four of the 13 tracks are originals and the covers they have chosen blend beautifully with their style. The question is when will the next album be released? Soon, we hope. (The Schotts… yes soon!)

Doug Swanson
penguin eggs, Issue No. 54
Summer 2012 pg. 66


Meet The Vaudevillian: ripped from the pages of history, Brendan J Stephens and Willow Walker ignite the room with their energy and charm and immediately hook you in. The sound they bring captivates not only your senses but your imagination. These two reincarnated 1920’s blues singers don’t just play bad-ass, foot-stomping music, they put on a show honed by hitchhiking to raucous house shows, rowdy bars, and busking everywhere in between to bring you The Vaudevillian.


With nominations for three JUNOs, the Polaris Prize, The CBC “Heart Of Gold” and a pile of albums under his belt, Danny Michel is unquestionably one of Canada’s finest songwriters. His thoughtful lyrics & earnest performances have earned him a devoted fan base. A musical chameleon, able to slip into many genres with ease. A master at striking the right balance between unpredictability and meeting expectations, leaving you wanting more as soon as it’s over. He is an adventurous & fearless artist.

“When you need to restore your faith in humanity, just go to a Danny Michel show. Who else gets you to sing along to a song about what your meaningful purpose is on this earth?”

“Just fabulous. He’s kind of like Paul Simon in the Rhymin’ Simon days.” – STUART MCLEAN

The Strumbellas


Hopeful lyrics play across the sweeping bluegrass-inspired indie rock music in The Strumbellas’ new single In This Life, from their album, We Still Move On Dance Floors. Full of hand claps and gang-vocal harmonies, the song stays true to The Strumbellas’ roots, while giving off a feeling that something new is on the horizon.

“The Strumbellas conjure an alt-country Canadian landscape in which home is a beacon, the graveyard looms large, and it all ends with a piano dirge to carry a body and bury it slowly” – THE STAR PHOENIX