In 2011, Marie-Lynn Hammond appeared in
Marie-Lynn Hammond has been called one of Canada’s best songwriters by no less than Estelle Klein, the celebrated former Artistic Director Mariposa Folk Festival. A co-founder of Stringband, the seminal Canadian folk group and indie-record pioneer, Hammond’s known for her unique voice, her dynamic stage presence, and her brilliant songs, which range from wickedly funny to hauntingly personal—in both official languages. While she was recording Pegasus, her most recent album, Hammond lost one of her sisters to cancer, and after the album’s release she withdrew from the music scene for several years. Just as she was about to start performing again, a major accident left her with a visual disability, forcing her once again to regroup. But Hammond is back performing and writing at the top of her form once again, with a new CD slated for summer or fall of 2011. Marie-Lynn will be accompanied by her long-time accompanist, keyboardist/accordionist Tom Leighton, known for his superb musicianship and infectiously energetic performances.
ARTIST WEBSITE: www.marielynnhammond.com
“One of the best contemporary singer-songwriters in Canada”
(Estelle Klein, celebrated former Artistic Director of the Mariposa Folk Festival co-founder).
Marie-Lynn Hammond is acknowledged as one of Canada’s premier songwriters. In the mid 1990s, her music was discovered by an American folk fan and sound engineer, Richard Hess. In 1999 he founded Vignettes Media to release Marie-Lynn’s out-of-print albums. In February 2003 she released her fifth album, Pegasus, featuring some of her strongest work to date, and after a hiatus, is back writing songs again.
Half English, three-eighths French, and one-eighth Aboriginal (Abenaki), Marie-Lynn embodies the amalgam that is Canada, and writes and sounds like no one else. The range of her work, in both official languages, is impressive: her art touches your heart, your mind, and your funny bone. From the anthem-like “La Tête anglaise, le coeur français” to the satirical wit of “Canadian Love” to “Omaha,” a poignant ballad about losing her sister, she isn’t afraid to be personal—or provocative. Her writing provides fascinating vignettes of Canadian life, and the lives of women in particular, as seen through her sharp yet compassionate eyes.
In the early 1970s, Marie-Lynn and Bob Bossin founded the legendary and indie-pioneering Canadian folk group, Stringband. Tirelessly criss-crossing Canada for 15 years, they also made international forays including Japan, Mexico, Great Britain, the former USSR, and the USA. Their 30th anniversary was marked by two Stringband reunion shows on CBC’s The Vinyl Café, followed by appearances across the country in 2002–03.
Eclectic Solo Career:
Along with her Stringband work, Marie-Lynn has enjoyed a parallel solo career that includes appearances at every major folk festival in Canada. In the early 1980s her songs about her bicultural family grew into a play, De Beaux Gestes & Beautiful Deeds, which garnered critical acclaim and several productions, the most recent in 2004. She has written or co-written four more plays and a screenplay (all produced), has hosted two national CBC radio shows, and currently works as a freelance editor and writer.
In 2005 Marie-Lynn Hammond moved to Stouffville, Ontario. Soon after, a serious accident necessitated two years of recovery and left her with a visual disability. But now she’s performing and writing again, with a new CD in the works. Two lines from her song “The Canadian,” about Canada’s rare and special National Horse, could well apply to Marie-Lynn and many of her peers in the Canadian roots community: “Ain’t that just the Canadian way it goes/To have something special and no one knows…"