Hello and Welcome to Annie Lou!

Combining a deft melodic temperament with skill and verve on banjo and guitar, performer and songwriter Annie Lou shines a keen eye and a warm heart on our lives and times. "There is magic here: superior picking, excellent rhythm work, impressive and whimsical lyrics. Genest’s lead vocal style echoes the McGarrigles and Sylvia Tyson, but she is irrefutably herself.” -  Donald Teplyske, Country Standard Time

Summer 2019 - Touring and Teaching!

Been a while since I've updated y'all on Annie Lou goings on. How are you? I am well - recovering from recent hand surgery to correct a recurring trigger finger challenge. All went well and I am back in the saddle! Getting geared up for a busy summer of touring and teaching, teaching and touring. Keeping it local to the west end of the country - very excited to be returning to the Kluane Bluegrass Festival up in Haines Junction, Yukon, after many years, and so delighted to be appearing at the Arts on the Fly Festival in Horsefly, BC. Hurrah for the North country!

As part of my appearance at Arts on the Fly, I'll be a workshop leader at Songwriting on the River - two days of songwriting instruction leading up to the festival. You will also find me on the faculty at the Yukon Summer Music Camp at the end of July - I'm leading classes in Clawhammer Banjo, Beginner Mandolin, Oldtime Jam Class, Songwriting, and Lead and Harmony vocals! Phew! Gonna be a busy music-filled week. It is so lovely to be spending so much time in my old home turf of Whitehorse and environs. I miss it so. 

I am hosting the 3rd Annual Arrowvale Oldtime Music Campout on the banks of the Somass River outside of Port Alberni, BC. Friends and musical colleagues gather to camp and pick; no performances but lots of music goes on all weekend and lots of folks wander by for a listen.

And finally, rounding out the summer is the always fabulous Nimblefingers Bluegrass and Oldtime Music Workshop - once again I am teaching Songwriting (so stoked to be doing so much of that this summer!) and Adventures in Band Lab. I'll be playing at the Nimblefingers Festival as well.

Check out the Shows page for details on all of the above. Thanks for visiting, and may loving kindness be our mutual impetus!

New Album - March 2018!

Click on the album cover image to preview End Zone. Release Date is March 15!

I'm so excited to be releasing my new album 'End Zone'. No, it's not about football. Most of the material for 'End Zone' was written during the last months of my mother's life, and the title track is an exploration of that time when the end is near, but not quite.

The album features a bunch of new songs and a guest cast of Canadian acoustic innovators, including Andrew Collins on mandolin and guitar, Max Heineman on upright bass and vocals, Sarah Hamilton on fiddle and vocals, John Showman and Trent Freeman on fiddle, Frank Evans on banjo, Burke Carroll on pedal steel, and Ivan Rosenberg on dobro. Produced by Andrew Collins.

Real, raw, and deeply honest, this album is dear to my heart, and I can't wait to share it with you.

Click on the album cover image to preview End Zone. Release Date is March 15!

I'm so excited to be releasing my new album 'End Zone'. No, it's not about football. Most of the material for 'End Zone' was written during the last months of my mother's life, and the title track is an exploration of that time when the end is near, but not quite.

The album features a bunch of new songs and a guest cast of Canadian acoustic innovators, including Andrew Collins on mandolin and guitar, Max Heineman on upright bass and vocals, Sarah Hamilton on fiddle and vocals, John Showman and Trent Freeman on fiddle, Frank Evans on banjo, Burke Carroll on pedal steel, and Ivan Rosenberg on dobro. Produced by Andrew Collins.

Real, raw, and deeply honest, this album is dear to my heart, and I can't wait to share it with you.











“There is magic here: superior picking, excellent rhythm work, impressive and whimsical lyrics. Genest’s lead vocal style echoes the McGarrigles and Sylvia Tyson, but she is irrefutably herself.” -  Donald Teplyske, Country Standard Time



Keep on the Sunny Side - finale at Nimblefingers 2017. I chose to wear everything in my closet. See if you can spot such characters as Pharis Romero, Bruce Molsky, Tristan Scroggins, John Maillander, and more!

Keep on the Sunny Side - finale at Nimblefingers 2017. I chose to wear everything in my closet. See if you can spot such characters as Pharis Romero, Bruce Molsky, Tristan Scroggins, John Maillander, and more!

Fall times 

Home again home again jiggety jig from my annual pilgrimage to teach at Nimblefingers Bluegrass and Oldtime workshop in Sorrento, BC. This year in week one I had the pleasure of teaching lead and harmony vocals with my dear friend Nadine Landry of the Foghorn Stringband. She is one of my most favourite people to sing with, and we had a great crew of eager students ready to sing their hearts out. Week 2 I taught Adventures in Band Lab, and once again I had a fabulous bunch of folks who wanted to play and sing as much as possible. We had a blast doing daily band scrambles and learning new repertoire. I feel darned lucky to be able to be in such a warm and welcoming community of musicians, teachers and students alike.

In other news, the new album is in the can! I'm so excited and can't wait to share it with everyone. Although it won't be released until late winter 2018, I'll be previewing tracks and offering free downloads as we approach the release date. Stay tuned! 

I'll be playing at Realm Food Co. every other Sunday this fall for their delicious, locally sourced Sunday Brunch. Come on down for some delicious, lovingly prepared food and listen to new and old tunes. Take care of yourself and each other, and hope to see you on the trail soon.

Passages 

It's been a while since my last post - I have been deep down on the journey of my mother's death on November 30, 2016. Most everything has taken a back seat to this momentous and earth-shattering event. She was a grand dame who lived a good, long, and  happy life. "Hung with Horseshoes" is how she described herself. She was lucky to be able to live independently in her own home right until the end, and she drove a stick shift until she was 86, giving up her car just a few months before she died.a She was a force. Our relationship was deep and rich and complicated, and my world is resettling into its new shape without her. I miss you momma!

Summer's Over, Here Comes Fall! 

Happy to be home after a busy summer of teaching and performing - what a fabulous time I had at the Yukon Woodshed, the Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Festival and Camp in Saskatchewan, and the NImblefingers Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Workshop in Sorrento BC. Also got to call a whole bunch of dances and try out some of the new ones I learned at Fiddletunes from caller extraordinaire Phil Jamieson. After many naps, I am now gearing up for official showcases at Contact East in Saint John, NB Sept. 22-25, and IBMA in Raleigh, NC Sept. 26-30th. Looking forward to reuniting with a bunch of the folks I met on my summer travels, playing once again with my fabulous bandmates Andrew, Sarah, and Max, and jamming til the wee hours in all the places. Here's a pic of me calling a dance at Nimblefingers, with Alison de Groot, Bruce Molsky, and John Reischman leading the student band.Good times calling at Nimblefingers, with Alison de Groot, Bruce Molsky, and John Reischman,

Official Showcase at IBMA! 

The Annie Lou band has been selected for an official showcase at this year's IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) World of Bluegrass Conference in Raleigh NC. I am very honoured to have been selected for this premier bluegrass event, especially since my music is not what you'd call strictly bluegrass - I lean heavily on the traditions though, and I'm looking forward to connecting with and playing for the world of bluegrass.

Because of the anti-LGBT legislation that was recently passed in North Carolina (HB2), I was uncertain as to whether I would attend. After much soul searching and many discussions with the IBMA, other concerned artists, and Equality North Carolina (the main LGBT rights group in NC), I have decided that I will be there, and engage with other artists and organizations who are working to fight this harmful and discriminatory legislation.

IBMA's official position on HB2 states that "diversity and inclusiveness have long been a part of our core values, and are encouraged in the expression of bluegrass by the IBMA". That's encouraging.

Equality North Carolina are supportive of concerned artists attending and offered a variety of actions we as visitors to the state can take: 

- Contact the NCGA leaders and the governor to let them know how disappointed you, as a visitor to the state, are in the passage of #HB2: 

Rep. Tim Moore - (919) 733-3451, @SenatorBerger | Speaker of the House of Representatives 

Sen. Phil Berger - (919) 733-5708, @SenatorBerger | Senate President Pro Tem 

Gov. Pat McCrory - (919) 814-2000, @PatMcCroryNC 

Leave them a message and also tweet at them to express your unhappiness with HB2 as someone from outside the state. You are welcome to contact them regularly. (Even a daily call makes a difference, and if you want to look up their addresses and send them hard-copy letters, that will always get their attention.)

- Visitors can look for stickers or signs at local businesses that indicate they are pro-actively showing their inclusivity and support for all people, including LGBTQ ones. (You can also directly ask, though that's a tiring and cumbersome thing to do, especially when you're visiting.) We have a local initiative, our Equality Means Business program, where businesses affirm their support for all people and display a sticker (red outline of NC with a circle around part of it).

- Equality NC always welcome donations to help their work: https://equalitync.org/action/donate/

Summer's coming! 

I'm gearing up for a busy summer of teaching and touring in Saskatchewan, BC, and the Yukon. I've got some square dance calling gigs as well, and am thrilled to be headed down to Port Townsend for the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. See the Shows page for more details and schedule. Meanwhile here at home on Vancouver Island, spring has fully sprung and the garden is blooming and beautiful.


 

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