Ships Company
Concert Series

2013 Concert Series 

july 8 Whitney Rose
Since storming onto the Toronto singer-songwriter scene in 2011 Whitney Rose has endeared herself to just about everyone with her intriquing, affecting and effective songwriting, powerful voice, immense personal charm, and throwback style influenced by Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells and gender-be-damned, the likes of Tom T. Hall and George Jones.  She started  singing at her grandparent's kitchen parties as well as their little PEI bar at approximately the timeshe was able to walk and/or form sentences. Whitney may be young but don't let that fool you.  There's an acient appeal to her.  As Exclaim! Magazine wrote, 'At best, abstractly,  Rose is something like Whitney may be young but don't let that fool you.  There's an acient appeal to her.  As Exclaim! Magazinewrote, 'At best, abstractly,  Rose is something like Ledbelly singing 'Goodnight Irene, ' beloved by young and old alike, timeless.' Blue Rodeo's Bazil Donovan, who co-produced her album along with David Baxter, says of Whitney:  'The reason I was drawn to Whitney was because she was playing real legitimate 1960's era country music, because there is none of that around on the radio anymore, there's nobody that I know of that is making honest.. what I call real country music.  When I heard her songs, I heard what she was doing, I went hey that's real country music and I'm glad somebody's interested in it. 
july 15  Laura Smith
Born and raised in London, Ontario, Smith grew up loving horses, theatre and language. As a teenager, she found comfort in the  voices of Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Ray Charles and Paul Simon. She began to play music at age 19, first teaching herself piano chords, then guitar. Her public debut performance occurred at Smale's Place, the coffee house where she worked as a waitress, when she was invited on stage to sing a song with the headlining act. Around that time, she was writing poetry and, through a friend, met Governor General Award-winning poet, Margaret Avison, then writer-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario. "She was very encouraging," recalls Smith. "Each time I went to visit her, I read a poem and she told me I was a wonderful writer. It was very informal, but she affected me." Moving to Toronto in 1972, Smith embarked on the next leg of her voyage. She met a lighthouse keeper, and shortly after relocated to Cape Breton. The rugged landscape, shifting ocean, moon-filled nights and welcoming community made her feel she had come home. "I was very fortunate to be let into that deep culture," she says. Playing at ceilidhs with her lighthouse keeper (who was also a fiddler), she blossomed in the nurturing  atmosphere, not only with her music, but also on stage with a local theatre group. When the relationship ended four years later, she took up residence in Halifax and made a name for herself at the Flamingo Club, playing Monday nights at the open mic. Thanks to support from CBC, she recorded her first, self-titled album in 1989. Baby career steps turned to self-confident strides when she recorded b'tween the earth and my soul in the St. Mary's University Art Gallery. The stunning result ignited a blaze of radio and television  appearances, a tour and a plethora of special performances.  In 1996, she won two East Coast Music Awards (Female Artist, Album of the Year) and two Juno nominations (for Best New Solo Artist and Best Roots and  Traditional Album). In 1995, her song "Shade of Your Love" was the most played AC song in Canada. In 1997, she won a Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Performing Arts Program or Series. At the request of CBC radio personality, Peter Gzowski, who was receiving a Governor's General Award, she performed "My Bonny" at the prestigious Ottawa ceremony. Her heartbreaking adaptation of the Scottish chestnut, on b'tween the earth and my soul, had haunted the broadcast host since he first heard it. Of the evening, she recalls, "It will always stand as one of the great honours of my career." In May 2003, Laura received an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Mount Saint Vincent University on the strength of her songwriting. She toured small cafes and clubs that year with Tony Quarrington, Terry Tufts  and her long-time collaborator, George Antoniak. 2004 saw her join up with Cindy Church and Susan Crowe to  form 'Brava'. They toured major centres to great audiences and lovely reviews. Festival appearances included  stops at the Canmore Folk Festival, Edmonton Folk Festival and Stanfest, just down the road from home in  Canso, Nova Scotia. Laura soon embarked on new opportunities and adventures - she was blessed with an  opportunity to perform the role of "Marilla" in Anne and Gilbert, the Musical during the summers of 2005 and 2006. During that period she also started at Acadia University working towards her Music Therapy degree.After taking a year off, in November of this year she returned to picturesque Wolfville, Nova Scotia to continue her studies  at Acadia. Laura Smith's gate is wide open, her dreams are getting out. "I hope the Muse finds me a hospitable host," she said recently. "I must re-learn how to make her comfortable." Indeed, there are many stories yet to be crafted into song. Laura Smith had to take some shore-leave but she's back into the stream of her songwriting life;ebbing and flowing; brave and surfacing.

july 22  Charlie ACourt
If you go down to the crossroads of roots and soul, you'll find singer, songwriter and guitarist Charlie ACourt, whose honest purpose in life is to connect people, one emotion at a time. Growing up in the rural village of MacCallum Settlement (outside of Truro, Nova Scotia), Charlie ACourt had little to rely on for entertainment except his imagination and music. Spending hours every day delving into his father's collection  of vinyl, Charlie would lose himself in a world of blues, roots,  soul and folk. 'I was discovering singers like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke and I remember being so profoundly moved and almost not old enough to know why' says Charlie. 'There  was something honest about the way they sang. They would sing with such conviction that simply commanded attention.'It wasn't long before Charlie discovered albums featuring blistering blues guitar. Artists like B.B.King, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins and Albert King made their way to the top of the pile and to the ears of a young, imaginative ACourt. Charlie recalls, 'These guys would wail in a way where every note mattered. They sang without apology and played guitar like it was their last day.' It was a guitarist from England that changed the way Charlie would look at blues. 'Eric Clapton really opened my mind as a musician. He was taking blues and showing it could be contemporary. Clapton's music showed me that my music could balance between blues and adult contemporary songwriting.'
Charlie ACourt has harnessed those influences and channeled his inspiration into his latest recording, Triumph & Disaster. Winner of the 2103 East Coast Music Awards for both R&B/Soul Recording of the Year and Blues Recording of the Year, Triumph & Disaster features 13 brand new songs along with a fresh take on the Sam Cooke classic 'A Change Is Gonna Come'. With producer Chris Kirby at the helm, Triumph & Disaster shines a bright light on ACourt's soulful vocals and colorful guitar playing. The album title is a tip of the hat to the late, British author, Rudyard Kipling and his acclaimed poem, 'IF'. The excerpt reads, 'If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same...' The line refers to a balance between high and low emotions. ACourt plays with a delicate balance of emotion touching on feelings of jubilation, redemption, isolation and absolute love for another. Winner of the 2007 East Coast Music Award for Pop Recording of the Year and 2007 Music Nova Scotia Blues Recording of the Year for his album Bring On The Storm and 2003 Best Blues Artist for his debut album Color Me Gone, Charlie ACourt has walked the line between blues and adult contemporary and is synonymous with impassioned performances that grip an audience the very moment he takes the stage. His 2009 release, Live At The Marigold, was nominated for Blues Recording of the Year and Male Solo Recording of the Year, while earning him the honour of being named Nova Scotia's top entertainer at the 2009 Music Nova Scotia Awards. Fearlessly bridging genres and challenging stylistic conventions, Charlie ACourt has toured Canada and abroad, with headline performances at the Stan Rogers Folk Fest, Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival, Kerrville Folk Fest (USA) and Woodford Folk Festival (AUS). ACourt has shared the stage with high profile artists including James Cotton, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, George Thorogood, Harry Manx, Martin Sexton, Delbert McClinton, Colin James and Dan Aykroyd.
Management/Bookings: Bruce Morel Phone: 902.435.0330
july 29   The Pathological Lovers
Forged in 2006, Pathological Lovers have quickly built up a strong local following from live performances in downtown St. John's clubs. Their music could be described as melodic, intense, beautiful and dynamic, and audience members appreciate their precise catchy songs that are complimented by involved instrumental improv. Members Jody Richardson, Dave Rowe, Alex Pierson and Grant King all bring a wide background of experience and musical tastes. This collective is the band that each member has been searching for. 2009 saw the the release of their highly anticipated debut LP: Calling All Favours, and then in early 2010 they shot their first video for the single "Best Served", under the brilliant direction of Jordan Canning - Watch the video here:
In Fall 2010 they received their first Music NL award as best alternative band of the year!
august 12  Fiddles & Feet
In this night filled with fiddles and stepdancing, bright faces shine as the music flows from these effervescent and extraordinarily talented musicians.  The dynamic young performers in Fiddles & Feet, Alycia Putnam, Megan Isenor, Alisha Hannam, and Janelle Putnam, with  Rob Putnam and Gordon Tucker.  Sure to be a night full of fun and footstomping music.  If you like old time fiddle music this is one show you won't want to miss!
august 19 The Divorcees
The Divorcees Video wins top Honours at the Atlantic Film Festival. The Divorcees song 'The Crows' was selected as one of the 10x10 videos being created and presented during the 2012 Atlantic Film Festival. In a 10 day period the band and Scott Simpson created, shot, edited and played 'The Crows' during the festival Music and Image program. The video/film was viewed for the first time Sept 15 at which time the audience consisting of AFF delegates voted, following the viewing a jury of filmmakers making up the last piece of the selection process added their votes. During the AFF Gala the Divorcees and Scott Simpson our director were each presented with a cheque for $5000. View the video here'v=oKFtuffGL0Y September 2012 The Divorcees receive  6 MusicNB nominations for their 2012 release 'Four Chapters' In 2005, five easygoing New Brunswickers decided to take their love of Willie, Waylon, and The Boys from the back porch to the stage and share it in true outlaw fashion.  Since then, Canadian Country Music has never been the same. They are The Divorcees - The Great White North's original Honky Tonk Heroes. From humble beginnings in their much-loved home province of New Brunswick, The Divorcees (Alex Madsen, Brock Gallant, Jason "Jay Byrd" Nicholson, and Denis "Turtle" Arsenault) have brought their brand of rough-and-ready country to roadhouses, festivals, and big stages from the shores of Canso Nova Scotia to downtown Vancouver...and all points in-between. In the years since the inception of the now renowned band, a legion of supporters have sprung up across Canada, the US, Australia, and Europe. The band has shared stages with a number of popular artists such as George Canyon, JP Cormier, Hayes Carll, Corb Lund, The Sadies, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, The Haunted Hearts, Romi Mayes, Tim Hus, and many others. A CMT video for "Red Haired Red Blooded Woman" received substantial airplay on CMT and a number of singles from both albums have received steady airplay on radio stations nationwide and around the world. Performances have been aired on CBC nationally - both on radio and television. Their songs, as they are in person, are no-nonsense and straight-ahead, replete with stories  of love and loss, letting loose (and paying for it), of justice, freedom and the need for it. Both albums (their debut "You Ain't Gettin My Country" and sophomore "Last Of The Free Men") have been received to critical acclaim, both having garnered East Coast Music Awards for Country Album Of The Year in 2008 and 2010. A highly-anticipated third recording - a concept album titled "Four Chapters" has just been released. Many Divorcees fans consider it to be the band's masterpiece. Written, recorded, and produced by the band themselves at Pumpk'n Patch Recording Studio in Memramcook, NB, the album was a mammoth undertaking including an instrumental piece, narrative passages, illustrations, and a written story to accompany and weave together conceptually the songs on the album.
Completion of their third album means the 506'ers will be heading out into the great beyond for adventures across Canada this summer followed by international touring in early 2013.The legend of The Divorcees continues to grow.  Follow them at
august 26  David Myles
From Sydney, Australia to Sydney, Nova Scotia,
multiple-award winner David Myles is bringing audiences to their feet with his spirited songs, flawless musicianship, and his warm and engaging stage show.  Already known for his versatility and ability to fuse styles, David's fifth studio recording, Into the Sun, takes us on a exhilarating musical adventure that explores his long-time love of Brazilian and African music. A born collaborator, Into the Sun features David's second a collaboration with Canadian hip-hop star, Classified. Their first collaboration went on to become a single from Classified's record, Handshakes & Middle Fingers. On the other end of the musical spectrum, David co-wrote the title track 'I've Got A Crush On You' with international opera star Measha Brueggergosman for her latest release.David's surprising and intricate songwriting has garnered him wins in the International Songwriting Contest, song placements in film and television, and a place on CBC's Great Canadian SongQuest. Increasingly in demand in theatres and at festivals, David's unabashed joy at being on stage is infectious. His enthusiasm, along with his tendency to entertain audiences with his humourous anecdotes, wins him fans instantly.