Where: Halifax, N.S.
When: Jan. 18-21
What it is: Another year, another winter and yes, it’s cold. The In the Dead of Winter festival is one of those few events in the winter where it’s worth braving the elements. The reward is a healthy dose of the best folk artists this city and country has to offer. This year, the festival venues are more spread out than usual, but there are also a couple bigger shows making this one of the most exciting editions of IDOW. You’ll find the In the Dead of Winter owl and its shows at the Seahorse, the Timbre Lounge and Good Robot all weekend.
Headliners: The Wooden Sky, Jennifer Castle, Jim Bryson, Justin Rutledge, Irish Mythen
For the full lineup and schedule, visit IDOW’s website.
Mix Pick: We’ll cheat a little here and recommend two artists since they’re playing on the same bill. First, check out Luka, who we did a Q&A with earlier this week. Then stick around for Jennifer Castle. Listening to the Toronto singer-songwriter gives the feeling you get when you discover a secret shortcut that seems super obvious yet somehow remains hidden. Her album Pink City is a slowly moving conversation, the type where there’s room to pause and think before offering a rebuttal. Castle has a way of throwing flute into a song to turn it into delightful foot tapping song like “Sparta” or the quite whispers of “Nature”. It’s as if Castle is the wind, a moving force that can be unsettling or comforting depending on what she decides. She’s one of Canada’s best talents and a must-see artist.
Catch Jennifer Castle at midnight at the Seahorse on Thursday, Jan. 19.
And a bonus Mix Pick: The Wooden Sky are one of our favourite bands over at Mixtape and they released a new song last week. Expect some new music from the Toronto folk rockers. They play the Seahorse at midnight on Friday night.
Mix Tips: We were going to tell you about the annual festival brunch, but it’s already sold out. Turns out people like brunch and music, who knew? The main tip for IDOW in the winter is to make sure you dress appropriately. Good footwear, keep your extremities warm, layers. Treat yourself. The winter can be hard physically and mentally, so look after yourself and be respectful and caring to your fellow music lovers.
Press photo of Jennifer Castle by Eva Michon.