Meet the MusicWorks Local Songwriters in Residence

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Get to know a more about Oh My Darling's Vanessa Kuzina, Imaginary Cities' Rusty Matyas, and Bucky Driedger from Royal Canoe /The Liptonians who will be on hand for our 'Local Songwriters in Residence' Saturday, February 16.

Vanessa Kuzina

Vanessa and her band Oh My Darling has released three critically acclaimed albums, and is touring ceaselessly, headlining three consecutive European tours, countless tours across Canada, and a recent debut in the US at New York City's Living Room. They have earned opening spots for Blue Rodeo, Tegan & Sara, performed at Trafalgar Square's Canada Day celebration in London England, The Winnipeg Folk Festival, Tøndor Festival (DK), and have shared the stage in collaborations with such artists as Tim O'Brien, Dirk Powell, Adam Cohen, Eliza Gilkyson, Le Vent du Nord, The Guthrie Family and many other musical friends. Oh My Darling has been topping the campus radio charts, can be heard regularly on CBC Radio and Radio Canada. They have received rave reviews for their recordings and performances, and have had three albums nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award. The gals are crowd favourites at Country and Folk Festivals, and are winning the hearts of all who come to experience their energetic live show!

Rusty Matyas

Multi-instrumentalist Matyas, is a a major label veteran via his band The Waking Eyes, a touring member of Canadian indie rock stalwarts The Weakerthans, and currently a member of Imaginary Cities.

Throughout 2011, Imaginary Cities’ debut has gradually been released in various territories outside of Canada, including Europe and Australia, where they toured last year, backed by a band they’d assembled with other Winnipeg-based musician friends. The duo’s reputation in their native country grew swiftly, particularly after they appeared at the North By Northeast Music Festival in Toronto last June. They won a Western Canada Music Award for Best Pop Album of the Year and were long-listed for the Polaris Prize, Canada’s version of Britain’s prestigious Mercury Prize. Along with their own increasingly well-attended club gigs, they snagged opening slots with groups like Ra Ra Riot and Besnard Lakes. Most impressively, they were invited to join the Pixies on the entire run of their North American tour last year, which put them in front of large audiences in both Canada and the U.S.

Bucky Driedger

Bucky and Royal Canoe are a group of musicians on a mission to construct ambitious, inventive music. The songs are thick with catchiness, rich in rhythm and are consistently pushing against the boundaries of pop music. They spend almost every day in a shit-hole rehearsal space writing hooks, singing through effects pedals, scrawling lyrics on scraps of paper, and constructing heavy beats in odd time signatures. They create samples by running conventional sounds through unconventional pieces of gear, drumming on bathtubs and garbage cans, listening to Big Boi and manipulating bits of old records. 

In 2008, completely unheralded, Bucky's other band The Liptonians, emerged from a basement in Winnipeg with an "earnest little pop-rock gem" (Uptown Magazine). Much to their surprise, the album picked up a Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Pop Recording, garnered rave reviews, charted on college radio across the country, became a regular on CBC Radio and paved the way for three cross-Canadian tours. The strength of their dynamic live show scored them opening slots for bands like Silver Starling (Last Gang Records) and Chicago indie rock legends, The Sea and Cake. The band's second album, Let's All March Back Into the Sea, distributed by Universal via Sonic Unyon and publicized by Killbeat Music, was released on February 8, 2011 on Winnipeg's Head in the Sand Records. A cross-Canadian tour followed the album's release, including stops at Canadian Music Week and SXSW.

About Local Songwriter in Residence

Vanessa, Rusty, and Bucky will work in one hour, one-on-one sessions with local songwriters to help shape a song. Participants are encouraged to bring in a partially completed composition as a starting point.

If you wish to have a chance to work on a song, please provide a link to your Manitoba Music profile (updated with current music, bio, etc) to roland@manitobamusic.com. Workshop fee is $10. You must be a Manitoba Music Member to participate.

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