Gillian Nicola w/Benjamin Dakota Rogers • May 31, 2019


Saturday May 31, 2019
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $10 (+SC) adv., $15 door • 19+

Hamilton’s Gillian Nicola took an unusual route to becoming a folk/Americana singer-songwriter: trained in classical voice, Nicola spent her teens gigging in a classic rock cover band, singing Janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin before launching herself into alt-country when she began writing songs.  Dried Flowers, Nicola’s wise and stunning debut full-length album, follows 2016’s critically acclaimed EP No Place To Call. The songs for Dried Flowers began to take shape as Nicola recorded demos with Robyn Dell’Unto, with whom Nicola co-wrote the album’s first track, “Ashes.”  At Dell’Unto’s recommendation, Nicola connected with producer John Dinsmore (NQ Arbuckle), and the two clicked instantly. Most of Dried Flowers was recorded with Dinsmore at Toronto’s Lincoln County Social Club. Centred around Nicola’s chameleonic vocals — at one moment with a hint of tobacco in her voice, the next outright rocking — strummed and finger picked guitar, and versatile, melodic songwriting, Dried Flowers features Nicola’s core band, bassist Bruce Scavuzzo and drummer Justin Han, along with Dinsmore (banjo), Drew Jurecka (string arrangements), Aaron Goldstein (pedal steel), Gord Tough (electric guitar), Rosalyn Dennett (fiddle), Emily Rockarts (keys), and Alyson McNamara (backing vocals).

In early 2018, Nicola headed to the Banff Centre to participate in its Singer-Songwriter Residency. During those three weeks Nicola wrote roughly half the songs on her new album, with guidance from mentors Kim Richey, Lynn Miles, Kevin Welch, and more. Through these mentors, Nicola found a new level of honesty and vulnerability that she hadn’t yet approached in her songwriting. Nicola also took advantage of the residency’s recording facilities to collaborate with other songwriters in the program, such as Mike O’Brien (Sin & Swoon), Fats Kaplin (John Prine, Jack White), and Chris Luedecke (Old Man Luedecke), on “New Light” and Rockarts, McNamara, Miranda Currie, Rebecca Emms, Sarah MacDougall, Kim Beggs, and others on “She Stays Silent,” a powerful #MeToo anthem. “’She Stays Silent’ just exploded out of me,” Nicola says. “It was one of the fastest songs I’ve ever written, though I don’t know that’s a good thing; it was inspired by my own experiences and the stories we hear all too often.” “New Light” and “She Stays Silent” were produced by the legendary Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire).

With nominations for the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, Toronto Independent Music Awards and Hamilton Music Awards, Nicola has toured Canada’s east and west coasts, and has shared the stage with some of Canada’s best songwriters, such as Amelia Curran, Tom Wilson, Terra Lightfoot, and Lori Yates.

“Nicola delivers warm, familiar, folksy Canadiana — but her powerhouse vocals make for a listening experience that’s entirely refreshing.” – Exclaim!


Benjamin Dakota Rogers makes his highly anticipated return to the folk world with his brand new single, “Better by Now,” stripping the genre down to its core and emotionally charging it with the raw human experience that can only be delivered from the honesty and grit of a farm boy’s hands. Hailing from the countryside of rural Ontario, Benjamin funnels his penchant for starry nights and nostalgia into his stylized folk sound, reaching far beyond to include influences of roots, blues and country music. Benjamin found a passion and purpose in folk music after inheriting his great- grandfather’s violin at the tender age of seven. From budding musician to awe-inspiring performer, his love of creating meaningful music has taken the reins and garnered much attention from folk artists and enthusiasts alike.  With the release of his new single, this singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist folk-phenom proves he’s at the top of his game in every way imaginable, grasping for the stars that light up his quaint hometown of Scotland, ON. As he prepares for the release of his most ambitious project to date, Benjamin Dakota Rogers continues to redefine the genre with an infinite sound evolution that promises to deepen the path he’s already carved for himself for years to come.

“Rogers’ unique voice, thought-provoking lyrics, energetic performances and dynamic fiddle techniques leave this up-and-coming musician in a class of his own.” – InSpades Magazine.