Early in life one thinks that everything in the world that is magical, interesting and worthwhile is most certainly somewhere else. One can’t wait to grow up and explore this amazing planet we share. Eventually there comes a time when we open our eyes and realize what treasures lie in our own backyard, and how lucky our maple leaf is. Oh Canada!
Meet Trent Severn. Not the waterway system in Southern Ontario, but Trent Severn – the Canadiana band whose songs are fueled by the folklore of Ontario; whose lyrics pay tribute to Canadian legends.
Trent Severn is a trio from Stratford, Ontario comprised of indie songster Emm Gryner, the multi-talented Dayna Manning and violin whiz/songbird Laura C. Bates. When listening to their self-titled 10-track debut album, the first infuence that comes to mind is Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. There is no lead singer in Trent Severn. There are no doubled tracks. There is a guitar or banjo (Manning), a bass and stomp box (Gryner), a fiddle, and a shaker here and there. You can hear the watermarks of greats like Spirit of The West, Simon and Garfunkel, Tom Petty, Joni Mitchell, Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard. The sound of this band is CANADIANA based in Folk, Roots and Old Country.
Every note on the album is played, arranged and penned by the trio with the exception of a one track guest appearance by Joel Plaskett. Song titles like “Snowy Soul”, “Muskoka Bound” and “Bluenose On A Dime” paint instant Canadian portraits. The lyrics seamlessly oﬀer inside jokes our citizens will laugh at, yet nothing a welcome visitor couldn’t relate to and enjoy.
The roots of this trio are deep. These ladies have been intertwined by the same stomping grounds and musical crossroads for a decade.
Emm Gryner is an acclaimed singer-songwriter with several albums to her credit. She won the Canadian Music Publisher’s Songwriting scholarship, the Radiostar Songwriting Contest and has been nominated 3 times for a Juno Award. In Q Magazine’s 20th anniversary issue, U2’s Bono named Emm’s song ‘Almighty Love’ as one of 6 songs from the past twenty years that he wishes he had written. She was a member of David Bowie’s touring band for his album, “…hours”.
Dayna Manning has released three solo records, one Juno-nominated. Her records feature appearances by Sean Ono Lennon, Red Hot Chili Pepper Chad Smith and CSNY sideman Bob Galub. Manning has toured the country with 54-40, Joe Cocker, Burton Cummings and opened for Radiohead. Her songwriting is sincere and superbly crafted, her finger-picking skills are unmatched and her voice is truly unmistakable with a timbre that reminds one of Roy Forbes, Joni Mitchell and Dolly Parton all at once.
Laura C. Bates is the first violinist to receive a Bachelor in Jazz and Contemporary Music from Humber College. Her career highlights include performances at Massey Hall, The Glenn Gould Studio, The West End Cultural Centre, on Canada’s Got Talent (Citytv), live on CBC Radio, four national tours and numerous dates at Canadian folk festivals including Mariposa, Hillside, Shelter Valley, Northern Lights, and Blueskies. Her other projects, The Boxcar Boys (dixieland, western swing, Klezmer) and Del Bel (post-rock indie orchestra) have received critical acclaim in The Toronto Star and NOW magazine. She takes joy in fiddling everywhere from concert halls to camp fires.
Gryner and Manning have been co-billing a stage since the very beginnings of their careers. As a teenager, Manning wrote her very first song “A Walk On the Moon”, the song that launched her musical career, while babysitting Laura C. Bates in her childhood home.
Trent Severn are three treasured and talented musicians who have years of experience touring this country, getting to know audiences and creating lasting friendships. This band is a seed that blooms to life on a Canadian stage, and like every modest Canadian, has achievable goals:
-To show a Canadian audience a really great time
-To write songs that touch the hearts and tell the stories of our friends, neighbours and legends
-To oﬀer an album that sounds just like the concert
– And of course, to be kind, to enjoy a beer at the end of a long day and to talk about – I dunno, maybe how cold it is?