I am always happy to discover new Canadian musicians as there is so much great talent out here. That is probably one of the main reasons for my love affair with Canadialand (as I call it). One singer that I have been keeping my eye on since last year is London, Ontario born Basia Bulat. A nymph-like blonde who sings like a European gypsy dancer and plays every instrument you can name.
I was sad to miss her performance at the Folk festival this summer so I jumped at the chance to see her perform at the intimate St. James' Hall in Kitsilano. Basia glided on stage in a floral dress and cowboy boots that clearly represented her inner, hippy-child along with an acoustic guitar that seemed to swallow her petite frame. She didn't waste any time and blasted through a selection of songs from upcoming second album 'Heart Of My Own' along with brother Bobby on drums and Alice in Wonderland on violin. To witness her velvety voice and perfectly timed finger plucking made me think of the true life of a gypsy street performer somewhere in Eastern Europe which makes sense as Basia has Polish blood.
Switching easily between the guitar, ukulele and the harp, Basia played through songs such as 'Gold Rush,' 'Before I Knew,' and 'In The Night' with so much passion and strength that defintely deseverd the standing ovation at the end. Basia was so overwhelmed by the crowds reaction that she continously reminded us how much fun she was having and that she needs to perform in Vancouver on a more regular basis. Basia, if you are reading this, I'm sure we would be more than happy to have you.
Support came from Calgary's Woodpigeon [www.myspace.com/woodpigeon]