We are proud to announce the 2014 Headliners for the Blue Feather Music Festival. Buffy Sainte-Marie and Sarah MacDougall will grace the stage on Friday November 7th. The Killer Dwarfs and Derek Miller will take the stage on Saturday November 8th.
Buffy Sainte-Marie was a graduating college senior in 1962 and hit the ground running in the early Sixties, after the beatniks and before the hippies. All alone she toured North America’s colleges, reservations and concert halls, meeting both huge acclaim and huge misperception from audiences and record companies who expected Pocahontas in fringes, and instead were both entertained and educated with their initial dose of Native American reality in the first person.
By age 24, Buffy Sainte-Marie had appeared all over Europe, Canada, Australia and Asia, receiving honors, medals and awards, which continue to this day. Her song Until It’s Time for You to Go was recorded by Elvis and Barbra and Cher, and her Universal Soldier became the anthem of the peace movement. For her very first album she was voted Billboard’s Best New Artist.
She disappeared suddenly from the mainstream American airwaves during the Lyndon Johnson years. Unknown to her, as part of a blacklist which affected Eartha Kitt, Taj Mahal and a host of other outspoken performers, her name was included on White House stationery as among those whose music “deserved to be suppressed”, and radio airplay disappeared. Invited onto television talk shows on the basis of her success with Until It’s Time for You to Go, she was told that Native issues and the peace movement had become unfashionable and to limit her comments to celebrity chat. The next presidential administration, that of Richard Nixon, also came down hard on her, as this was the time of Wounded Knee.
In Indian country and abroad, however, her fame only grew. Denied an adult television audience in the U.S., in 1975 she joined the cast of Sesame Street for five years. She continued to appear at countless grassroots concerts, AIM (American Indian Movement) events and other activist benefits in Canada and the U.S. She made 18 albums of her music, three of her own television specials, scored movies, garnered international acclaim, helped to found Canada’s Music of Aboriginal Canada JUNO category, raised a son, earned a Ph.D. in Fine Arts, taught Digital Music as adjunct professor at several colleges, and won an Academy Award Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for the song Up Where We Belong.
2009 marks the release of her eighteenth album Running for the Drum, which just won Buffy her third Juno Award. Packaged in tandem with the bio-documentary DVD Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life, the two disks together give audiences a glimpse into the life and work of this unique, always current artist.
Described by the magazine Rootstime in Belgium as ‘One of the greatest talents of our era”, and listed as the “2nd best gig” by the major UK newspaper The Independent, becoming the #1 most played artist on Canadian Galaxie Folk/Roots radio, Western Canadian Music Award winning artist Sarah MacDougall is an upcoming artist who is getting known for her honest and poetic songs, passionate performances, and unique voice. Born in Sweden, 24 hrs Vancouver called her ‘one of the most promising exports out of Sweden since Abba’, Swedish magazine Nöjesguiden recently declared her “One of Sweden’s best singer/songwriters”.
THE GREATEST ONES ALIVE was produced in Vancouver and in Whitehorse with the help of Matt Rogers (Mark Berube, C.R. Avery, The Fugitives), and Bob Hamilton (Kim Barlow, Gordie Tentrees, the Breakmen). It features ten melodic, beautifully written, epic, and touching songs that showcase the growth in Sarah’s songwriting and performance skills. It covers themes such as storms (literal and metaphoric), success, growing up, love, friendship, and dying. The album also showcases the musical skills of Tim Tweedale, Shawn Killaly, Patrick Metzger, and Matt Rogers, with guest appearances by Bob Hamilton, Meredith Bates, Annie Avery, Awna Teixeira, Kim Beggs, Kim Barlow, and Gordie Tentrees.
What others say:
‘Thoughtful, strong, and spiritual”- The Globe and Mail
“This is a real breathtaking and touching record from one of the greatest talents of this era.”- Rootstime, Belgium
“Sarah MacDougall (from Malmoe and now Canada) has become one of the few voices that is separating itself from the big choir of song poets”- Ystad Allehanda, Sweden 5/5 stars!
“A downright intoxicating beauty!” 5/5 stars!- AltCountry.nl, Holland
“Like Ane Brun and Wendy McNeill, we’re not so specific about nationality when we declare Sarah one of Sweden’s best singer/songwriters” Nöjesguiden, Sweden 4/5 stars!
“A near perfect collection of memories of love”- Allgigs.co.uk 4.5/5 stars!
Formed in late 1981 by Russ and Darrell Dwarf, the Killer Dwarfs released their self-titled debut album in 1983. The award-winning band established a solid following in Canada, while achieving worldwide attention after being signed to EPIC records in 1987
The KiLLeR DWaRFs were formed in the fall of 1981 from the ashes of vocalist Russ “Dwarf” Graham and drummer Darrell “Dwarf” Millar’s club bands in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The band was rounded out by Bryce “Dwarf” Trewin (guitar) and Ange “Dwarf” Fodero (bass) The KiLLeR DWaRFs quickly gained international success, first in Canada with the Juno nominated self-titled KiLLeR DWaRFs debut album in 1983 with Attic Records produced by Doug Hill. Their break-through in the United States came when San Antonio based radio personality Joe Anthony started spinning their album on a regular basis. This came much to the delight of hard rocking Texans. This planted the seeds for what would result in KiLLeR DWaRFs receiving a lot of attention south of Canada’s border.
It would be three years before the follow-up was released; due in part to Bryce and Ange leaving the band. They both left the band in 1984 to be replaced by Mike “Dwarf” Hall and Bad Ronbo “Dwarf” Mayer. The band soon cut the iconic and now highly sought after album STAND TALL in ’86 on Maze/A&M Records in Canada, and Grudge Records stateside. The KiLLeR DWaRFs toured relentlessly in support of it. The first single, “Keep the Spirit Alive,” was an anthem of the times. Much Music’s new Pepsi Power Hour provided substantial airplay for the their hits “Stand Tall ” and “Keep The Spirit Alive” in Canada, while MTV provided great American exposure for the band. MTV soon put the band’s videos for “Keep The Spirit Alive” and “Stand Tall” on a 13-week rotation allowing the album to sell an unprecedented 80,000 copies during that time. (It has now surpassed the 100000 units sold and has sold on EBay for as much as $500!) By the spring of 1987, the video became the most requested video on MTV, setting a record that would take years to overcome. It still holds the record for MTV’s most-requested independent video of all time. A second video Stand Tall was greeted with similar accolades. The exposure led to Russ hosting the MTV “Head banger’s Ball” with Rob Halford of Judas Priest in 1987. With the addition of national tours of the United States and Canada the exposure got the KiLLeR DWaRFs noticed and brought Sony/Epic Records to their door offering a multimillion dollar worldwide recording contract.
The KiLLeR DWaRFs first album with Sony/Epic was BIG DEAL. It was recorded again in Toronto and produced by Simon Halhart, whose previous credits included the likes of Saxon and Marillion, Big Deal continued on the road the band had paved for itself with hits like “Starting To Shine”, “Power” and the anthem like “Desperados” assisted the single “We Stand Alone” in showing the world the KiLLeR DWaRFs were a world-class metal outfit. That year they went on tour to support Iron Maiden across Europe on a sold out tour and appearing at several outdoor rock festivals here and overseas.
The next year the band moved operations from Toronto to Los Angeles to record “Dirty Weapons” with award-winning and much sought after producer Andy Johns (Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Rod Stewart, Van Halen, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi and Cinderella). Released in 1990, the resulting album sported ‘Doesn’t Matter’ – The Killer Dwarfs first radio hit in the USA. The song went to #1 in thirteen cities, including two major stations in Los Angeles. The title track, ‘Dirty Weapons,’ also became a smash hit and a standard on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball program In 1991 The KiLLeR DWaRFs were nominated for a Juno award for Best Hard Rock Group bought lost out to Rush.
In 1992 the band released the album Method to the Madness also with Andy Johns in the producer’s chair. Mike Hall was replaced by Gerry Finn to take over the guitar duties. This album was touted to be one of the best hard rock albums Canada ever produced, including the title track, “Hard Luck Town” and “Cowboys and Conmen ” along with the chart topping “Driftin Back” power ballad. After a few years of touring in support of Method to the Madness, the band parted ways with Sony/Epic.
The KiLLeR DWaRFs decided to have a “Reunion” in 2001 to tie up some lose ends from the past. They recorded a Live CD/DVD in their hometown of Toronto, Ontario, which was simulcast live across to locations in US and Canada. This allowed the band almost 4 years of dates in North America. Reunion of Scribes became a much sought after release and has recently been re-released in 2013 to the fans delight.
The KiLLeR DWaRFs have played some of the largest venues around the world including Wembley Arena, Hammersmith Odeon, as well as Toronto’s historic CNE Grandstand, Ricoh Coliseum. They have performed on many of the largest festival stages and amphitheatres in the US and Canada. They have also toured and shared the stage with such world renowned artists such as Iron Maiden, Ronnie James Dio, Joe Perry Project, Michael Schenker, Saxon, Yngwie Malmsteen, Queensryche, Accept, Anvil, Goddo, Warrant, Y&T, Fear Factory, Skid Row, Pantera, Firehouse, and the legendary Nazareth. The band also appeared on “The Mike Bullard Show” and also on TSN performing “The Hockey Song” in ‘2003
The KiLLeR DWaRFs are also set to release a “lost” never before released KiLLeR DWaRFs album entitled Start @ One in 2013. It was recorded back in 1993 with the same line up as Method to the Madness. The Album will also include two brand new tracks that are currently being written. The band announced in May of 2013 that they are reuniting that line up to support the release and will be embarking on a worldwide tour which will commence in the United States in August of 2013. Plans are also underway for another Live CD/DVD which will again be filmed in their home town of Toronto with clips and footage 2013 “Start @ One” world tour. The band has now sold close to two million records as it enters this new and exciting chapter in their career.
Guitarist and singer/ songwriter Derek Miller is a journeyman musician with eclectic taste and a knack for roots inflected rock. Born on the Six Nations of the Grand River, Mohawk Territory, in Canada, Miller became interested in music in his early teens, and by the late ’90s had not only toured with iconic Canadian vocalist Buffy Sainte-Marie but was also garnered a Juno for both his debut album, ‘Music Is the Medicine’ and sophomore album ‘The Dirty Looks’ in 2008.
Derek’s latest album ‘Derek Miller with Double Trouble’ takes us to the heart of Native Americana romanticism. It uses vintage tones and aesthetics of 50’s rock and roll with a modern twist, telling the story of a mythical man who has a blind moment of insanity and the events that got him to that point. The development in his newest recordings describe in a metaphoric way, the trials and tribulations of the artist.
The first single ‘Damned If You Do’ features Willie Nelson singing a duet with Derek, which has a ‘Rez Dub’-like backing track complete with horns to add some sizzle.
“The album is my attempt to create the feeling I got from soul, blues and country records I have listened to. Hillbilly Soul with some Mohawk swagger.”
Derek Miller is a dynamic performer, whether you catch him live or are listening to his studio albums, you can get a real sense of an artist striving for the pursuit of perfection in his work and life.