Annie Lou (BC/Ontario)
Annie Lou is Anne Louise Genest, a young artist who carries the spirit of an old storyteller, creating songs steeped in the flavours of old time mountain ballads, Appalachia, early southern banjo, and traditional country and bluegrass music. She has spent years chronicling the rural life-paths of Canada, writing songs and telling the tales of the hard-hit, hard-won victories of everymen and women – beautifully creative tunes that range from rousing and boisterous to gentle and poignant. She sings a homescape of hard-drinking grandmas, rural dancehalls, blue collar fashions, small towns and big cities. All of this is delivered in a voice evocative of the sweet tones of Kate and Anna McGarrigle blended with the raw emotion of Hazel Dickens.
Annie emerged several years ago from the Yukon’s fertile crop of songwriters with two solo CDs that showcased her critically acclaimed songwriting. Her debut album was nominated for a 2010 Juno Award and a 2010 Western Canadian Music Award, and her sophomore release Grandma’s Rules for Drinking garnered two 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award nominations for English Songwriter of the Year and Solo Artist of the Year.
Her latest release, Tried and True, explores songs in a broader musical context, beyond strictly stringband instrumentation, “while keeping rooted in the older traditional music I love so well.” The result is an irresistible collection of musical delights that showcases her ongoing evolution as an artist, appealing to a wide range of audiences – very much including her VFMF fans.
After twenty years living in a cabin in the woods outside of Whitehorse, Anne Louise has relocated to the balmier shores of Vancouver Island – trading in the snow shovel for a garden rake, and enjoying the novelty of running water and indoor plumbing.