Find out more about the Shawna Caspi show.
Music at 4:00 p.m.
Socializing and light potluck at 3:00 p.m.
$20 suggested artist donation*
For an invitation to attend, please contact Lee by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 312-810-3067
Free childcare provided (advance notice required)
I was introduced to Shawna when she played an Official Showcase at the FARM (Folk Alliance Region Midwest) conference last October. I was blown away by the combination of her finely crafted songs, achingly beautiful vocals, and masterful guitar playing. I had a chance to interview her at the Folk Alliance International conference this past February. Click to read the interview.
Toronto-based singer-songwriter and fingerstyle guitarist Shawna Caspi hadn’t done much traveling before tapering off a series of administrative jobs to start touring full-time. She had never even rented a car. She had never been camping before performing at the Blue Skies Music Festival in 2014.
Since then, Shawna has toured throughout Canada and the United States, including performances at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival, the Shelter Valley Folk Festival, the Summerfolk Festival (ON), and the Deep Roots Music Festival (NS), and concert series including the Calgary Folk Club, the Nickelodeon, the Northern Lights Folk Club (AB), the Greenbank Folk Music Society (ON), the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse (MA), On Your Radar (NY), and Six String Concerts (OH).
Shawna’s fourth album Forest Fire, released in September 2017, is a collection of songs about burning things down and building them up again. Engineered and produced by Don Kerr (Rheostatics, Bahamas, Ron Sexsmith), the elegant arrangements draw the listener into the depths of haunting, atmospheric tracks, then lift them out with airy, bluegrass instrumentation and hopeful narratives for brighter days. It’s dark granite stone with a shot of glimmering quartz through the middle. When the words get heavy, they are held up to the light of love, grace, and gratitude. With these songs, Shawna strives to be unafraid, to embolden quieted voices, to tell the truth above all else.
It’s an album about cycles, about playing the long game. That’s why it’s called Forest Fire – something that seems huge and devastating when it happens, but in the relative vastness of space and time, it’s just one small moment on a much grander scale, a necessary catastrophe that leads to new growth.
Shawna’s vocals are brewed by years of classical training followed by years on the road finding her own voice singing folk songs. She combines power, intensity, character, and closeness. She has a whole band under her fingertips, with a remarkable lyrical fingerpicking guitar style. Her performances capture audiences with grace and intimacy whether the setting is a living room, a festival stage, or the bar car of a passenger train.
“Some musicians make songwriting sound less of a craft and more of a life affirming obsession. Caspi’s compositions stand out as beautiful, complex and intricate even in an increasingly crowded folk scene.” – NOW Magazine
“Shawna taps into her Canadian folk roots to share songs with beauty, humor and a keen eye for the world around her. Add to the fact that she is a classically trained guitarist with a stunning voice, and you have an artist that is destined to be an important artist on the folk circuit.” – Ron Olesko, Sing Out! Magazine
“Shawna’s songs have a way of making you feel at home, no matter where you are.” – Lynda Norman, Executive Director, Kelowna Arts Council