Honest as a day spent on a tractor, and driven like the drifting Prairie snow. Manitoba Country Music Association Roots Artist of the Year, Quinton Blair is a self-ordained troubadour, tale-spinner and songwriter. Imagine Steve Earle jamming with Dwight Yoakam, minus the burden of fame. Influenced by the likes of Rodney Crowell, Hayes Carll and Merle Haggard, his brand of strikingly diverse roots/country music casts a wide loop, and captivates audiences with witty stories and relatable songs.
Blair’s wide understanding of country music suits him perfectly to the task of working the stages with the all-stars of both roots and mainstream country music in Canada. He has shared stages with Del Barber, Scarlett Jane, The Bros Landreth, and the likes of George Canyon, High Valley, Corb Lund, Emerson Drive, and more. He has showcased and performed at the CCMA’s, Manitoba Arts Network, OSAC, Dauphin’s Country Fest, Festival du Voyageur, Canada Day at the Forks, and Chinook Rodeo Association Finals.
Named Manitoba Country Music Association’s 2015 Roots Artist of the Year, his blue collar approach to the music business has him pickin’ a guitar nearly every weekend, and has allowed him to play stages as far north as Nunavut and as far south as Tennessee, demonstrating his insatiable thirst for the stage.
The authenticity of Blair shines through in the many formats in which he travels. Blair as a solo artist, relies on his guitar, witty stories, and keen ability to capture the crowd night after night. He is often joined by good friend Bill Western Jr (Nathan, Del Barber) on pedal steel, where the chemistry and musical backbone of this combination lends to an unpredictably charming experience. Through the summer months, Blair is most often seen moving his full honky tonk band back and forth across the prairies.
Wrangling horses is in his blood, and has been a part of the Blair family for generations.
The new EP, Cash Crop, released on April 8, 2016, boasts elements of soul, heartland roots, country, and rock, and features Blair’s signature themes of agricultural, hurt and redemption. Cash Crop was produced by Murray Pulver (former founding member of Doc Walker) and features co-writes by Del Barber, Blake Berglund, and Clayton Bellamy (The Road Hammers).
Summer 2016 will see Blair tour the new songs extensively. Get ready to belly up to the bar, buy a round, and experience some of the best honky tonk and soulful balladry north of Texas.
Brenton Thorvaldson is an in-demand multi-instrumentalist who has performed with some of Canada’s top country acts including Jason Blaine, Doc Walker, Keith & Renee, and Quinton Blair. Specializing in fiddle, mandolin, and steel guitar, Brenton has been a key figure in Manitoba’s latest country music resurgence.
Outside performing, Brenton is also an avid teacher and has created programming for the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Frontier School Division, and Manitoba Metis Federation. Originally hailing from Selkirk, Manitoba, Brenton now resides in Winnipeg’s East Exchange where he plans to expand his teaching practice as he navigates the Canadian music industry in 2017.