Now in its 29th year, the festival is returning for an online broadcast dubbed Altered States II on Friday, Aug. 13 and Saturday, Aug. 14. Over two nights, nine bands will ignite the free virtual event with pre-recorded performances at various studios in White Rock, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. “These acts have been on a roll despite the slowdown in cultural activity over the last 16 months,” says Peter North, artistic director of the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society (SAFMS) and ROOTSandBLUES Festival. “We’re excited to have such talented performers to entertain our audience as we prepare for the festival’s big 30th birthday next year.”
Altered States II welcomes two Indigenous singer-songwriters to the ROOTSandBLUES stage: Celeigh Cardinal of Edmonton and Winnipeg’s William Prince. “Both Cardinal and Prince have watched their profiles rise considerably in the last few years,” says North. Cardinal is most noted for her 2019 breakthrough album Stories from a Downtown Apartment. Her second solo release, the album won Indigenous Music Album of the Year at the 2020 Juno Awards. Prince took home the Juno for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year in 2017 for his debut album Earthly Days. His 2020 album, Reliever, was nominated for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year in 2021. Earlier this year, Prince won two Canadian Folk Music Awards—one for Contemporary Album of the Year and the other for English Songwriter of the Year.
Vancouver Island’s own Blue Moon Marquee, performing for ROOTSandBLUES as a quartet, shot their festival segment at Blue Frog Studios in White Rock in early June. Alongside her long-time partner, guitarist, and singer A.W. Cardinal, Colette created a set list that will see Marquee perform for ROOTSandBLUES as a quartet before the duo tours Spain when travel bans ease.
Crowd-favourite Canadian blues star Colin James will close Altered States II with a handful of new acoustic performances and a surprise for ROOTSandBLUES patrons Saturday night. “Part of his performance will include footage from his electrifying main stage closing set at the 2018 festival,” says North, noting that James will reflect on his previous ROOTSandBLUES performance during Saturday evening’s show.
Rounding out the 2021 ROOTSandBLUES lineup is 2020 Folk Alliance Group of the Year recipient The Small Glories, Victoria’s folk-pop group Jon and Roy, acclaimed singer-songwriter Ben Sures, ROOTSandBLUES House Band leader Brent Parkin, and west-coast favourite Jesse Roper.