Although Buffy Sainte-Marie is more than entitled to rest on her many many laurels it’s not something the aboriginal artist and activist would choose she says in a phone interview from her home in Hawaii. The Grammy, Juno, Golden Globe and Oscar winner continues to explore her music on all levels including with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as well as alt-country four piece The Sadies. Sainte-Marie will perform with Sadies, Dallas and Travis Good, bassist Sean and drummer Mike at the close of the 2016 Hillside on July 24 2016, held annually in Guelph, Ont.
“They are fans of mine, Dallas has one of my paintings,” says Sainte-Marie . “The only time we ever played together was one night in Winnipeg at the Pyramid Club. They were playing and I came in and they said hey, come up on stage with us and we will play Codeine. I’m not sure how good it was but it was the start of a beautiful friendship. It will be fun."
The Sadies always seem to be having fun on stage no matter who they partner up with; Neko Case, Randy Bachman, Gord Downie or Jon Spencer. They have a full summer with dates at Mariposa with the Good Family, River and Sky Festival in North Bay July 16, the aforementioned Hillside, the Calgary Folk Festival July 21 and the Oshawa Rotary RibFest (kudos to whomever booked them for that) on Aug 12.
Buffy has earned her own kudos over a lifetime of creating but she is not resting one bit. Her most recent album “Power In The Blood” won the 2015 Polaris Music Prize. She recently performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for National Aboriginal Day Celebrations at The Forks in the ‘Peg. She also will be at Massey Hall Sept 20 for the AGO Creative Minds summit with author Andre Alexis, artist Rebecca Belmore and filmmaker Deepa Mehta.
While seeing and hearing Buffy in any venue is a treat those of us fortunate to have been to Hillside know the festival brings a certain intimacy and respectful accessibility to an artist. I recall Sainte Marie played the festival some years ago and just sauntered around the island and through the crowd. At one time I was standing behind her in a coffee line. Up close and personal isn't even close a description.
As they say in the business, don’t miss this.