Bry Webb grew up in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. He was the singer/guitarist in The Constantines from 1999 to 2010. His work with The Constantines was released on the reputable independent labels Sub Pop, Arts & Crafts, Three Gut, and Blue Fog.
In 2010, Bry stopped touring with The Cons to focus on his family. He and his wife, contemporary dancer, Katie Ewald, relocated from Montreal to his former home of Guelph, ON. They celebrated the arrival of their son, Asa, in early 2011.
Bry began working as Programming Coordinator for Guelph’s community radio station, CFRU, in the summer of 2010, in order to help develop a resource for local musicians and activists. Every Thursday, he hosts the radio program, MessengerBird, which produces hour-long, improvised home recordings with guest musicians from the Guelph area and beyond (www.messbird.tumblr.com).
For many years, Bry has been making quieter songs, outside of the bombast of The Constantines. He has performed many of these songs live, opening for Oakley Hall, Al Tuck, Christine Fellows and Dan Mangan, among others, and appeared at Sappyfest and the Dawson City Music Festival. His songs Positive People and Big Smoke were featured in the 2007 feature film, This Beautiful City. The latter was nominated for a Genie Award (Canada’s Grammys) for Best Original Song in 2009. In May 2010, he traveled to Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands, BC), to record a site-specific score for the film project and Discovery Channel series The National Parks Project with Jim Guthrie, Sarah Harmer, and filmmaker Scott Smith, which was released, along with a companion soundtrack, in early 2011.
In November 2011, Bry Webb released a collection of nine songs on the independent label, Idee Fixe. The recordings were made in three days with engineer/producer Jeff McMurrich (Jennifer Castle, Sandro Perri, Owen Pallet). Bry, along with lap steel player Rich Burnett, pedal steel player Mike Brooks, and upright bassist Tyler Belluz, recorded the album almost entirely live off the floor, playing together in one large room at 6 Nassau in Toronto. The album is eerie, minimal, and organic. It’s called Provider.
Olenka & the Autumn Lovers
Olenka and the Autumn Lovers are a unique musical force. They manoeuvre seamlessly through a mix of styles, ranging from Eastern European to North American folk. Part gypsy caravan, chamber ensemble, and honky tonk jukebox, the indie folk orchestra's diverse instruments (classical guitar, cello, violin, trumpet, lap steel, mandolin, etc.) provide a distinctive musical backdrop to the provocative narratives of the Polish-born singer-songwriter. Influenced by her memories of Communist Poland and by the country's folklore, Olenka investigates themes of social justice and personal responsibility, populating her songs with melancholy outcasts from both Polish and Canadian landscapes.
2008 saw the band release three albums, which were followed up by 2010’s critically acclaimed And Now We Sing. In addition to this hectic recording schedule, the band has been busy touring widely and participating in many of the country’s most established festivals, including Pop Montreal, Halifax Pop Explosion, NXNE, CMW, the Home County Folk Festival, and Rifflandia.
Music by O&AL has been featured on CBC 1, 2, and 3 – including a recent broadcast of The Vinyl Cafe, and a live performance on CBC’s flagship arts & culture program, Q – and has been played extensively on Canadian college radio. The lead track off of the newest album, “Odessa”, was shortlisted for a CBC3 Bucky Award and was included in CBC3’s countdown of the Top 103 Songs of 2011. The 2008 self-titled album won the CHRW local-album of the year award. Several songs have also been licensed for radio, television, and film projects.
O&AL’s music has been compared to that of Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, Beirut, Wilco, Cat Power, Gillian Welch, Lhasa, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen.
Tickets are available through The Aeolian box office and at Grooves (353 Clarence Street, 519.640.6714) and Village Idiot (135 Wortley Road, 519.434.9594) and online at www.aeolianhall.ca. The Aeolian box office accepts Visa, MasterCard, Debit, and cash (Cash only at the Village Idiot. Service charges may apply).