The Lonesome Ace Stringband
Masters of their trade, The Lonesome Ace Stringband bring grit, skill and abandon to Americana music, bridging old-time, bluegrass and folk traditions into a seamless hybrid of original material that is at once fresh and timeless.
Instrumentation alone sets the trio’s sound apart: consisting simply of fiddle (John Showman), clawhammer banjo (Chris Coole), and upright bass (Max Heineman), the band moves freely between a sound so commanding it doesn’t seem like it should be coming from a stringband, to a sparse fragility that draws the listener closer. Whether singing about climate change, modern love, BBQ techniques or life's inevitable existential crises, the band cuts to the core. They can also turn and churn out a tune with so much verve that it will make your heart spin and set the dance floor swirling.
There’s a reason why they are a smokin’ hot outfit - they’ve put in their time. In 2007, Lonesome Ace Stringband took up residency in Toronto’s legendary Dakota Tavern, routinely playing 10 sets of music every weekend. They went on to spend seven years as the house band before ever taking the show on the road or recording a note. Those years of musical percolation honed them into a group that thinks and plays as one - something that comes from clocking thousands of on-stage hours together. Outside of their trio work, each musician is a veteran of the Canadian music scene, sought after for teaching camps, recording sessions and touring with some of the best artists in North America.
The band’s recording journey mirrors the arc of their on-stage evolution. Their early catalogue is anchored in inventive and engaging versions of traditional repertoire punctuated by original compositions. Now with more than a decade of group music-making under their belts, they’re releasing their fifth album, a feisty and mighty collection of all-original material titled ‘Try To Make It Fly’ (October 13, 2023). And much like their seamless live performances where they trade-off lead vocals, each member has brought their songwriting voice to the album.
Their touring has taken them well beyond their Toronto origin. They’ve become festival favourites at Rockygrass, Celtic Connections, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Merlefest and regularly tour the USA, UK, Germany and, of course, Canada.
Call Lonesome Ace Stringband whatever genre you want - they are just unorthodox enough to be brilliant.