Category: NEWS


Winter bird sock drive

Hawksley Workman’s Winter Bird Tour kicks off in St. John’s today and wraps nearly two months from now in Whitby, with stops in cities big and small across Canada. The Winter Bird Tour is the official Old Cheetah album release jaunt, and Hawksley will present new material with a backing band that his fans know well, including the one and only Mr. Lonely.


Throughout the Winter Bird Tour, Hawksley is seeking to collect donations of new warm socks for the winter. Socks are typically one of the most needed items on shelters’ lists. Fans are encouraged to bring socks to the show, drop them off at the merch table, and contribute to this simple and worthy humanitarian effort. The socks will be delivered to shelters and community organizations across Canada.

Hawksley has always been a champion of emerging artists, and he welcomes newcomer Fiona Bevan as the Winter Bird Tour opener.


ST. JOHN’S, NL: The Rock House, Oct 1
CORNERBROOK, NL: The Palace, Oct 3
WOODY POINT, NL: St. Patrick’s Church, Oct 4
WINNIPEG, MB: West End Cultural Centre, Oct 15
REGINA, SK: Darke Hall, Oct 16
SWIFT CURRENT, SK: Lyric Theatre, Oct 17
SASKATOON, SK: Broadway Theatre, Oct 20
RED DEER, AB: International Beer Haus & Stage, Oct 21
CALGARY, AB: MacEwan Ballroom at the University of Calgary, Oct 22
EDMONTON, AB: Winspear Centre, Oct 23
LETHBRIDGE, AB: Yates Memorial Centre, Oct 24
CANMORE, AB: Communitea Cafe, Oct 25
KELOWNA, BC: The Habitat, Oct 28
VANCOUVER, BC: Commodore Ballroom, Oct 29
VICTORIA, BC: Alix Goolden, Oct 30
MAYNE ISLAND, BC: Agricultural Hall, sOct 31
NELSON, BC: Spiritbar (Hume Hotel), Nov 2
MEDICINE HAT, AB: Esplanade, Nov 3
LLOYDMINISTER, AB: Vic Juba Community Theatre, Nov 4
OTTAWA, ON: Bronson Centre, Nov 13
TORONTO, ON: Phoenix Concert Theatre, Nov 14
WATERLOO, ON: Maxwell’s, November 20
CREEMORE, ON: Avening Community Hall, November 21
HAMILTON, ON: Molson Canadian Studio (at Hamilton Place), Nov 26
LONDON, ON: Aeolian Hall, Nov 27
WHITBY, ON: LiveACT Theatre, Nov 28


Watch Whitehorse perform “You Get Older” from the album Leave No Bridge Unburned with a mariachi band.
Whitehorse and Leave No Bridge Unburned were recently nominated for 3 Canadian Folk Music Awards, including the Pushing The Boundaries Award, English Songwriter of the Year (Luke Doucet + Melissa McClelland) and Ensemble of the Year.


HALIFAX, NS: Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Oct 8
SAINT JOHN, NB: Imperial Theatre, Oct 9
WINDSOR, NS: Mermaid Imperial Performing Arts Centre, Oct 10
MONCTON, NB: Capitol Theatre, Oct 14
FREDERICTON, NB: The Playhouse, Oct 15
GEORGETOWN, PE: King’s Playhouse, Oct 16
CHESTER, NS: Chester Playhouse, Oct 17
*BIRMINGHAM, AL: The Saturn Room, Oct 20
*AUSTIN, TX: Parish, Oct 22
*HOUSTON, TX: Walter’s On Washington, Oct 23
*DALLAS, TX: The Loft, Oct 24
*PHOENIX, AZ: Valley Bar, Oct 27
*LOS ANGELES, CA: The Fonda Theatre, Oct 29
*SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Great American Music Hall, Oct 30
*SACRAMENTO, CA: Harlow’s, Oct 31
*PORTLAND, OR: Aladdin Theatre, Nov 3
QUEBEC, QC: Theatre Petit Champlain, Nov 13
LAVAL, QC: Salle André-Mathieu, Nov 14
KITCHENER, ON: Centre In The Square, Nov 21
TORONTO, ON: Ladybird Soiree, Nov 24
BUFFALO, NY: The Tralf, December 6
NEW YORK, NY: Mercury Room, December 8
WILMINGTON, DE: Baby Grant, December 9
RICHMOND, VA: Capital Ale House, December 10
CHARLOTTE, NC: Evening Muse, December 12
TAMPA, FL: Club Jaeb @ Starz Centre, December 14
FT. LAUDERDALE, FL: Mary Porter Ballroom @ Broward Centre, December 15
ATLANTA, GA: Eddie’s Attic, December 17
NASHVILLE, TN: High Watt, December 19

* w/ Noah Gundersen


Six Shooter Records is amped to present “Hollywood Honky-Tonker” Sam Outlaw and “Space Cowboy Lovebirds” Whitehorse at AmericanaFest 2015. Sam Outlaw is making his name as a throwback country songwriter with talent and wit to burn. Whitehorse has exploded the concept of a roots duo with their intense and intricate chemistry and live show. Six Shooter Records has released new albums by both in 2015.

Don’t miss the annual Outlaws & Gunslingers Luncheon at Soulshine Pizza on Thursday, September 17, 12-2pm. This year’s lineup begins with songwriter extraordinaire Amelia Curran and ends with rebel rancher Corb Lund. Add the heat of Whitehorse and the wry west coast twang of Sam Outlaw for a daytime blast of the best in country, folk and rock.


Thursday, September 17 @ 12pm, Soulshine Pizza

Thursday, September 17 @ 1pm, Soulshine Pizza
Friday, September 18 @ 8pm, 3rd & Lindsley

Thursday, September 17 @ 12:30pm, Soulshine Pizza
Thursday, September 17 @ 7pm, Music City Roots Showcase, The Factory, Franklin

Thursday, September 17 @ 8pm, Station Inn
Friday, September 18 @ 12-2pm, Folk Music Canada, Dan McGuiness Pub


Thursday, September 17 @ 10pm, The Listening Room
Friday, September 18 @ 11:30am, Country Music Hall of Fame

Friday, September 18 @ 1:35pm, Soulshine Pizza
Friday, September 18 @ 6pm, Atomic Party, The Groove
Friday, September 18 @ 11pm, The Basement East
Saturday, September 19 @ 11am, Aussie BBQ, The 5 Spot

Performing at Americana Honors & Awards Show @ The Ryman, Sept 16



This fall, Whitehorse sets out on The Sweet Disaster Tour, a music marathon that starts where it all began, in Hamilton, ON. Fittingly, Six Shooter has released a new backyard version of “Sweet Disaster” that showcases the beautiful basics, the “Gram and Emmylou” magic at the heart of Whitehorse. See Luke and Melissa strip away the bells and whistles here.

September brings a fistful of shows with Corb Lund and a return to Nashville, TN for the 2015 AmericanaFest.

In October, The Sweet Disaster Tour will cross into the Maritimes for Whitehorse’s first theatre shows in the region since the album’s release in early 2015. On this run, the duo will make stops in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Whitehorse’s previous visit to Nova Scotia was for two sold out shows with the Halifax Symphony Orchestra in 2014.

Leave No Bridge Unburned received praise far and wide, from Rolling Stone, NPR, Toronto Star, Guitar Player and other major publications. On only their second full-length collection, Whitehorse exploded into a full-blown rock and roll outfit, made an impressive run in the Top 5 on the Alternative Radio Chart and played to their largest crowds yet, including a return to another packed Massey Hall in the spring.

Whitehorse also reunites with Canadian tour opener Noah Gundersen for shows in the American south and up the west coast. The itinerary includes a show at the historic Fonda Theatre in LA.


HAMILTON, ON: New Hope Church, Sept 10**
SELLERSVILLE, PA: Sellersville Theatre, Sept 14**
WASHINGTON, DC: Gypsy Sally’s, Sept 15 **
NASHVILLE, TN: Music City Roots, Sept 17**
HALIFAX, NS: Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Oct 8
SAINT JOHN, NB: Imperial Theatre, Oct 9
WINDSOR, NB: Mermaid Imperial Performing Arts Centre, Oct 10
MONCTON, NB: Capitol Theatre, Oct 14
FREDERICTON, NB: The Playhouse, Oct 15
GEORGETOWN, PE: King’s Playhouse, Oct 16
CHESTER, NS: Chester Playhouse, Oct 17
BIRMINGHAM, AL: The Saturn Room, Oct 20*
AUSTIN, TX: Parish, Oct 22*
HOUSTON, TX: Walter’s On Washington, Oct 23*
DALLAS, TX: The Loft, Oct 24*
PHOENIX, AZ: Valley Bar, Oct 27*
LOS ANGELES, CA: The Fonda Theatre, Oct 29*
SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Great American Music Hall, Oct 30*
SACRAMENTO, CA: Harlow’s, Oct 31*
PORTLAND, OR: Aladdin Theatre, Nov 3*
QUEBEC, QC: Theatre Petit Champlain, Nov 13
LAVAL, QC: Salle André-Mathieu, Nov 14
KITCHENER, ON: Centre In The Square, Nov 21
TORONTO, ON: Ladybird Soiree, Nov 24

* w/ Noah Gundersen
** w/ Corb Lund


Old Cheetah, Hawksley Workman’s 15th album, put its prints in the wet cement in June. The album is another notch in the long career of a creatively restless mind; it marks the time and mood of its maker as much as of its making. The swagger and panache of Hawksley’s early years has given way to the furrowed brows and philosophical unease of mid-life social and political awareness, but the simple truth about it is that the more his music changes, the more Hawksley Workman stays the same.

The songs on Old Cheetah are sexy, swirly and synthy. There are moments of gravity and there are moments of madness. There are songs for Hawksley’s oldest fans and songs for the new ones.

Now, Hawksley Workman takes his band on the road across much of Canada for the Winter Bird Tour. The tour is named for the song on Old Cheetah, an ode to freezing and thawing, one of the great Canadian metaphors for love and life. Instinct is everything.


Listen to Winter Bird with new lyric video here.


tanya and owen

Massey Hall just announced that Tanya Tagaq will be joining forces with Owen Pallett for a special Polaris Music Prize 10th Anniversary Live at Massey Hall show.





Season 2 / Episode 1
“Zero-G Dingle Balls” 20:38 – Musical Guest Astronaut Chris Hadfield
~ Dan and Chris cruise around, chat about music, zero gravity & lots more. Chris performs his first ever beat poem and a song written on the international space station

Season 2 / Episode 2
“Staring a whole new life” 14:01 – Musical Guest Alysha Brilla*
~ Dan visits an inspiring young man in British Columbia and goes to buy cookies with Alysha Brilla

Season 2 / Episode 3
“We’re a little bit country & we’re a little bit Star Trek” 19:49 – Musical Guest Hawksley Workman
~ Dan tours the Town of Vulcan, winds up driving the Space Van in a parade and visits Hawksley Workman. WARNING: High Star Trek content.


shine on)_edit

Interstellar Rodeo Winnipeg is over the moon to announce that Grammy and Juno Award winning singer and songwriter SARAH McLACHLAN, has generously and enthusiastically stepped up to the plate to perform on Friday, August 14, the opening night of the festival. McLachlan’s most recent album is the Gold-certified Shine On.

Six Shooter Records’ Whitehorse will join the stage as Sarah’s backing band for a rare and unique trio performance. Over the course of their careers, Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland have been prominent members of McLachlan’s touring band. In fact, Doucet, a proud Winnipegger, sent McLachlan the initial invitation to join the lineup. Interstellar Rodeo is proud to be a place where an exceptional community of artists can come together in a pinch.

“This show will be divine,” say Winnipeg’s own Sara Stasiuk, Festival Producer. “This is our first Interstellar Rodeo in Winnipeg; we want to demonstrate to present and future audiences how dedicated we are to making this festival something Winnipeggers love and can be proud of year after year.”

McLachlan joins two of Six Shooter Records’ own, iconic wildcard Hawksley Workman and Polaris Music Prize winner Tanya Tagaq, to make a truly world class lineup.

Interstellar Rodeo was saddened by the news of Sinéad O’Connor’s cancellation, and we wish her well. Regarding refunds, our stated policy on the website is: “Tickets are refundable only in the instance of the event being cancelled. Individual artist cancellations will not trigger event cancellation. If one occurs, we will do our best to bring in a replacement artist of similar marquee value.” This policy will remain in place for weekend pass holders. However, if Friday night only ticket holders are not happy with this lineup change, Interstellar Rodeo will issue a refund.

win edit


seal uff

Seal Cuff by Snowfly, handmade by Cheryl Fennell.

Interstellar Rodeo has expanded the festival site to include a new space called Market + Picnic, which allows the festival to welcome another realm of artists and craftspeople to our event.

The Market + Picnic space showcases fine Albertan artisanship and handiwork, and includes jewelers, painters and curators who focus on prairie talent, themes and materials. Many of this year’s vendors are connected to the Royal Bison community of artisans.

The Market + Picnic space will also feature a covered seating area. The New Moms’ tent will also now be located in this area.

2015 Interstellar Rodeo Market + Picnic Vendors:

Cujo Art – Fine Art Meets Hockey.

Hipbees – Simple, Natural Beeswax Products.

Les Arts Plastiques – Raw Stone Jewelry.

Maria Pace Wynters – Mixed Media Artist.

Penelope Smart – Nomadic Art Gallery.

Poppy Jewelry – Fun, Fresh + Functional Jewelry.

Smithstine Copper – Handmade Copper Jewelry.

Snowfly – Seal Cuffs by Cheryl Fennell.

The Wilfred Kozub Art & Ponder – Art Pieces.

Threadhill – Local Clothing Boutique.

Visit for ticket information and other details.

bottom painting

Sarah Burwash, Great Heights, watercolour on paper, 11″ x 15″, 2013. This work is part of the “Name Me Prairie” group show curated by Penelope Smart, coming to Interstellar Rodeo’s Market + Picnic area.

Sam Outlaw ‘s “Ghost Town.”

Hollywood honky-tonker Sam Outlaw just released his new video for “Ghost Town” off of his debut album “Angeleno.” You can buy Angeleno on vinyl, CD, and digitally here.


Winnipeg Wine Pairings Announced.

“My path to wine began through music. Twenty years ago I was going to university part-time and playing drums in local bands when I randomly applied for a job at a wine store in Winnipeg to make a couple of extra bucks.

Since then, the two have been intrinsically linked for me. I’d work hucking cases at wine shops and then go on tour; as I did I started exploring various shops and wine regions in my rock and roll travels. Both my musical and wine-related tastes expanded and diversified simultaneously.

Creating either wine or music requires specialized technical skill, but both are borne out of passion and can elicit a wide range of emotional reactions.

In the same way that I’ll sometimes re-visit a favourite wine, I’ll occasionally park myself back behind my mid-1970s Slingerland drum kit — or in front of my Fender Deluxe amp, American Telecaster in hand — and re-ignite a long-standing passion for an art that keeps me invigorated. Wine and music feed the soul — and together they can work a little bit of magic.”

Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson
Winnipeg Free Press wine columnist, balding/aging ex-rock and roll road warrior

White – Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon (South Australia)
RED – Viña Ventisquero 2013 Fuego Austral Cabernet Sauvignon (Central Valley, Chile)
BUBBLY – Castellblanch NV Cava (Cava, Spain)

Hawksley Workman
Canadian Gothic 2012 Cab Merlot
Hawksley Workman’s music blends passion, theatrics and hard work in a way that’s pure Canadiana. The singer-songwriter’s latest record Old Cheetah, released earlier this year, melds his inimitable vocals with musical performances that push his canon forward — it’s fun, it’s sometimes over-the-top, and it’s always fantastic. Hawksley is pure Canadian gothic in the most tongue-in-cheek sense of the expression; the Canadian Gothic 2012 red, meanwhile, is a consistently well-made medium-bodied Cabernet/Merlot blend that embodies character. But there’s something extra lurking beneath the surface that’s intriguing, that’s alluring, that’s slightly more than ordinary… just like Workman.

Tanya Tagaq
Terre d’Ercole 2013 Falanghina Greco
There’s nobody doing what Tanya Tagaq’s doing – and it’s not even close. The Inuk singer from Nunavut has taken her genre-bending songwriting skills and fused them with her own inimitable take on throat singing, a tradition thousands of years old. Tagaq’s 2014 album Animism earned rave reviews worldwide, nabbing Tagaq two Juno nominations (and one win) as well as the prestigious $30,000 Polaris Music Prize. In a live context Tagaq’s incredible vocal performance fuses punk energy, cutting-edge instrumentation and haunting visuals and backup singing. Like throat singing, Falanghina has a long history in its own region, albeit in the decidedly warmer southern Italian region of Campania. And like Tagaq, the Terre d’Ercole is complex, refreshing, completely underrated and adored by industry types.

Sinead O’Connor
Charles Smith 2012 Eve Chardonnay
Iconic, powerful, controversial: Sinead O’Connor is all these things and so much more. Her latest record I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss showcases her unique songwriting capabilities, her powerful voice and her earnest take on life. The Charles Smith 2012 Eve Chardonnay comes from a groundbreaking winemaker who plays by his own rules, making wines that transcend trends and traditions. Sourced from four different Washington State vineyards in the Ancient Lakes region, the ripe fruit on the Eve Chardonnay isn’t masked by excessive oak, but rather is honest and straightforward, like O’Connor’s music.

Amelia Curran
Falerna 2012 Reserva Pinot Noir
Depth, elegance and soul – Amelia Curran’s voice combines them beautifully. Her earnest approach to songwriting is immediately captivating in her many recordings, but even more so in a live context. Her ability to meld heartbreaking and profound lyrics and acoustic-driven instrumentation is truly a rarity. Sourced from a single vineyard in Chile’s Elqui Valley, this cool-climate Pinot Noir is well-composed, complex, and speaks its own profound language that, like Curran, demands contemplation and reflection.

NQ Arbuckle
14 Hands 2012 Riesling
NQ Arbuckle puts the country in alt-country – over the course the last decade-plus singer-songwriter Neville Quinlan and his band have consistently delivered thoughtful, soulful songs that highlight Quinlan’s rich vocals. The punk and Celtic influences run throughout his tunes, including on his latest, The Future Happens Anyway, but there’s always plenty of cowpoke to go around. The 14 Hands Riesling from Washington State is fermented to be mostly dry, but retains a hint of residual sugar to accent the stony complexity of this white wine. In the same way NQ Arbuckle melds styles, this wine is a tip of the hat to both the drier, more focused New World style and sweeter, Germanic Riesling.

Elliott Brood
Innocent Bystander 2013 Pinot Noir
Elliot Brood (the band — there’s no person in the group by that name) have been carving their path through the alt-country scene for over a decade on their own terms. On 2014’s Work and Love their path shifted again — they handed the recording reins to Ian Blurton, cranked things up a bit and in the process created their most exciting, focused record to date. The 2013 Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir, from Australia’s Yarra Valley, shows similar focus — it was a tremendous vintage for Pinot Noir in the region and as a result there’s great depth and intensity to this estate-grown, hand-picked red.

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
Ocaso 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
A Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings show is always a party — a musical celebration of soul and soul-searching that transcends the old-school funk and soul Jones and her Dap-Kings delivers. The rich instrumentation of the Dap-Kings’ rhythm section, horns and backing vocals lays the groundwork for Jones’ intense, up-beat vocal delivery that has never failed to captivate a crowd. The 2013 Ocaso Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina’s Mendoza region brings the party in a similar way — while the country is best-known for Malbecs, this memorable, well-priced Cab Sauv brings celebration and soul in the glass, and is a captivating drink.

Dwight Yoakam
Cameron Hughes Lot 456 2012 Tempranillo/Malbec/Grenache
Over the course of over 20 albums, Dwight Yoakam has established himself as a country music pioneer. Under his trademark hat and with his classic Kentucky twang, Yoakam is the portrait of consistency, talent, and success (he’s the most frequent guest in the history of The Tonight Show). The Cameron Hughes Lot 456, a blend from California’s Lodi region, brings together three somewhat atypical varieties for California — Tempranillo, Malbec and Grenache. There’s an intensity to all three that somehow works when they’re combined in the Lot 456 — the verve of Tempranillo, the depth of Malbec and the fun of Grenache. Like Yoakam, the Lot 456 has all the right ingredients (and a little magic) required for a hit.

Jason Plumb & The Willing
2013 Fritz’s Riesling
Regina’s Jason Plumb, the former frontman for The Waltons, has been carving out a corner for himself in the Canadian music scene for the past quarter century. In his solo endeavour Plumb and his backing band, The Willing, have been creating acoustic-driven pop for over a decade. Named after owner Fritz Hasselbach, owners of Germany’s lauded Gunderloch estate, the 2013 Fritz’s Riesling is a decidedly New World Riesling made in the heart of Old World Europe. Fresh, lively and just a hint off-dry, it’s a decidedly versatile wine that’s fruit-driven with just the right amount of sweetness — kind of like Plumb.

Black Joe Lewis
Smashberry 2012 White
The Austin-based Black Joe Lewis’ latest release, 2013’s Electric Shave, delivers gut-wrenching fuzzed-out blues, soul, and electrified rockabilly with just the right amount of swagger. The Smashberry 2012 white is a blend from California’s Central Coast comprised of Roussanne, Muscat Canelli and White Riesling. This dry white is plenty aromatic, with loads of tropical notes, a hint of spice and just the faintest shade of sweetness, tipping its hat to France’s Rhône Valley while delivering New World intensity and verve — sort of like Lewis. Both the wine and the artist are ridiculously fun, tightly wound and surprisingly complex.

Rhiannon Giddens
Ortas 2014 Pas de Meunier Rosé
The frontwoman of the old-school country/bluegrass outfit Carolina Chocolate Drops has been busy since expanding her solo endeavours in 2013. Her 2015 solo debut, Tomorrow is My Turn, was produced by T-Bone Burnett and features her own soulful, sometimes-melancholy take on classics done by Nina Simone, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline and more. Giddens holds more than her own with her breathtakingly powerful voice, clever arrangements and obvious deep-rooted joy in making timeless music. The Ortas Pas de Meunier rosé is a dry Rhone Valley wine that delivers red berry notes while remaining crisp and effortlessly fresh. It’s subtly complex, rooted in the traditions of the area while carving its own path; Giddens is the same.

The Lone Bellow
Michele Satta 2012 Bolgheri Rosso Cab/Sangiovese/Merlot/Teroldego/Syrah
Singer-songwriter Zach Williams and The Lone Bellow bring a soulful, vibrant blend of roots, Americana and incredible vocal harmonies to the table at each and every show. Their latest record Then Came the Morning is a joyful celebration of Williams’ capabilities as both a musician and a lyricist. The Michele Satta Italian red blend combines Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Merlot, Teroldego and Syrah in one captivating package. It’s Old World charm meets New World flair in a bottle, with complexity that hints at something so much more.

July Talk
Yalumba 2013 ‘Y Series’ Viognier
The blues-rock energy of Toronto’s July Talk truly has to be seen live to be believed. The quintet brings a relentless energy to their unique live show, bolstered by the he-sang/she-sang vocals of Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay. And while their self-titled debut does well to capture that energy, it’s on stage where they truly shine – those who see July Talk in concert rarely miss them again. The Yalumba Y Series Viognier is similarly vibrant, electric, and full of verve. Bright, fresh tropical fruit flavours and some secondary spice notes as well as some light acidity bring plenty of energy without excessive oak aging. Both the band and the wine deliver memorable performances.

Vance Joy
Majella 2012 ‘The Musician’ Cab/Shiraz
In 2013, Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy signed a five-record deal with Atlantic Records in 2013. How hot is Joy now? Well, he was hand-picked to open Taylor Swift’s massive world tour – in fact, Joy’s breaking away for the tour for his one night at Interstellar Rodeo. But Joy’s no flash in the pan; his songwriting capabilities are crystal clear on his debut Dream Your Life Away (including the smash hit “Riptide” as well as “Wasted Time,” “Mess is Mine” and “First Time”), and speak to his incredible capacity as a musician. Also from Down Under, Majella’s “The Musician” Shiraz-Cabernet blend is all about balance – ripe fruit, good grip from some tannins, and a long finish to this full-bodied Coonawarra red are the complete package. Like Joy, this wine is immensely approachable yet has the substance to go the distance.

Blue Rodeo
Southbrook 2013 Transitions Chardonnay
You’d be hard-pressed to find as iconic a Canadian band working today that continues to create compelling music as Blue Rodeo. Over the course of three decades and 12 studio albums, Jim Cuddy, Greg Keelor and company’s unique brand of acoustic-driven, country-inflected rock has set the standard when it comes to consistency, creativity and Canadiana – yet they’ve done so while always moving forward, never sounding stale or dated. The Southbrook 2013 Transitions Chardonnay is winemaker Ann Sperling’s own way of moving forward in the Niagara Peninsula – her Chardonnay is from a year in which the Sabourin vineyard in the Niagara Peninsula is in the transition stage of becoming organic. The hand-picked grapes in this wine offer the perfect balance of ripe red apple, citrus and tropical fruit with a subtle hint of oak aging. Like Blue Rodeo it’s a balanced, satisfying effort that’s an instant crowd-pleaser.