Canadian musicians to share a bit of Americana
Music: Scott Nolan and Brandy Zdan to perform in Black Diamond May 4
Friday, May 02, 2014 10:18 am
She may have struck out alone after a successful career as a duet, but a former Winnipeg musician found a friend to keep her company on stage for a Western Canada tour.
Brandy Zdan and Scott Nolan will join forces and co-headline a tour of their Americana folk music through Alberta and BC, which includes a stop at the Black Diamond Hotel on May 4.
Zdan earned international recognition as a member of the group Twilight Hotel with Dave Quanbury whose two albums were nominated for Juno Awards. After Twilight Hotel disbanded, Zdan joined the Texas female supergroup The Trishas, but two years ago she decided to go it alone.
“I have relocated to Nashville and now it is full speed ahead with my solo project,” said Zdan in and interview from Ann Arbour, Michigan. “It just felt like the right time to branch out on my own.”
After Twilight Hotel broke up, Zdan moved to Austin, Texas where there were more opportunities to explore her Americana Folk sound. However, she admitted her songwriting has taken a different direction over the last couple of years.
“There are a lot of opportunities down south for anything you do musically,” she explained. “My sound is evolving all the time and it has gone in a different direction, a different style. Now I sort of have one foot in Americana, but another foot in indie pop, indie rock.”
Zdan said she has learned a lot from her experiences and playing with different groups, but she is embracing this new opportunity to explore her own music and see what direction it takes her.
“This solo project allows me to play whatever I want,” she said. “It is a wonderful thing to play different styles and go in different directions.”
With her vast experience starting a solo project is certainly not like starting over as Zdan has tapped into many friends and contacts to help her along including fellow Winnipeg native Scott Nolan.
Nolan will be joining Zdan for their tour of the west and she said she is looking forward to sharing the stage with such a talented musician.
“I am really looking forward to collaborating with Scott,” she said. “We are from the same town, we grew up in the same musical community. We are going to put on a really cool show.”
Nolan is no stranger to the foothills as he has played the Black Diamond Hotel in the past and was a featured performer in the Beneath the Arch Concert Series in 2009.
An accomplished musician, Nolan has performed with some of the world’s most renowned Americana musicians including Hayes Carll, Gurf Morlix, Mary Gauthier and the Holmes Brothers.
He has five albums on his resume and several awards including two Western Canadian Music Award nominations and second prize at the International Songwriting Competition in 2008 for the song “Bad Liver/Broken Heart” a track from his album “Receiver/Reflector”.
Suzanne Searle, who is promoting the Nolan/Zdan tour, said they are excited to have two quality musicians sharing the stage for one afternoon in Black Diamond.
“Scott is an amazing guitar player and when he is on stage and you close your eyes you think there are three people up there because he might be playing harmonica, lead guitar, drums with his feet and singing all at the same time,” she said.
When Nolan is performing he will be accompanied by Zdan and vice-versa.
Zdan is equally a talented musician and songwriter, according to Searle, but her voice is her trademark.
“She is an absolutely stunning guitar player and a wicked accordion player,” she said. “She has a striking, absolutely beautiful voice. It can send shivers down your spine.”
Nolan and Zdan will be performing at the Black Diamond Hotel on May 4 at 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. As a new tradition at the Black Diamond Hotel concert series there will be a chicken toss at intermission where the audience can win prizes including the performers’ CDs.