The Red Ride rides again, musical revue coming to Debaj May 12

Red Ride founder and musician Kristi Lane Sinclair with guitar in hand stands ready to entertain at Debajehmujig’s Creation Centre. photo by Justin Cathcar

MANITOWANING—Haida/Cree singer-songwriter Kristi Lane Sinclair has been described as “fierce and feisty,” an artist who “is emblematic of a new wave of Canadian indigenous artists who are turning perceptions upside down.” Ms. Lane Sinclair founded the 6th annual Red Ride Tour, “a collective of aboriginal musicians whose goal is to showcase the diverse talent of artists across North America in what is described as an eclectic community of culture,” six years ago and it is going stronger than ever.

The Red Ride Tour will be pulling into Manitowaning and Debajehmujig’s Larry E. Lewis Creation Centre on May 12, and this year’s artists are certain to appeal to a wide audience.

“I would call my work ‘grunge electric’,” laughs Ms. Lane Sinclair, a two-time Canadian Folk Music Award nominee. She was raised in British Columbia’s backwaters and draws “more from a DIY (do it yourself)/indie aesthetic than traditional or mainstream music.”

“This year’s Red Ride Tour is still keeping in touch with our bigger city market but expanding our stops to smaller and underserved communities in Ontario and British Columbia,” said Ms. Lane Sinclair. “The highlight of last year’s tour was our stop at Debajehmujig’s Creation Centre in Manitowaning, the whole community came out and there was an instant ‘at home’ welcoming feeling. From that energy came a great show followed by a great night spent in the community and the impact of that show on the artists and community really inspired this year’s tour. Usually we drive from Thunder Bay to Toronto and we were missing out on some amazing stops, these guys know how to get down in Red Ride style.”

The roster of the artists on a Red Ride Tour performance changes from stop to stop, with some artists joining in along the route, while others ride the whole way through.

The May 12 performance will feature Ms. Lane Sinclair, along with The Johnny’s and Laura Ortman.

The Johnnys are a “high-energy, beat-driven rock duo” founded by singer and guitar player Veronica Johnny (of Cree and Dene heritage) with drummer and partner Dave Johnny.

Described as ‘real, rebellious, swaggering rock’n’roll,’ the duo formed in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, inspired by early rock’n’roll and the first wave of punk their music highlights a commitment to fast tempos, stripped-down arrangements and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Featured on TV and film, the duo have shared stages with Geordie Johnson of Big Sugar, Stevie Salas, Bruce Cockburn, Jonny Lang, Keith Secola, Crystal Shawanda and Kinnie Starr. The band’s albums ‘I Like It A Lot’ and ‘Louder Faster More Fun’ were both nominated for Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.

Laura Ortman is a White Mountain Apache and Brooklyn composer, musician and visual artist who “continually collaborates with artists, filmmakers, dancers and musicians from New York, New Mexico, Italy and Canada.” Ms. Ortman has performed, recorded and toured with New York bands Stars Like Fleas and The Dust Dive. She’s been awarded artist residencies at the Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, Florida, the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, New York. In 2008, Ms. Ortman founded the Coast Orchestra, an all-Native American orchestral ensemble performing the 1914 original score live accompaniment to photographer Edward Curtis’s film “In the Land of the Head Hunters” to sold-out audiences at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The Red Ride Tour plays 9 pm May 12 and tickets are $20 available. For more information, call 705) 859-1820.