After selling out her album release show last year, Norma MacDonald – with a full band, and opener Kristen Martell – returns to The Carleton for a performance on Friday, February 11th. Show time is 8 PM and tickets are $25 + HST.
Take out a map. Find the spine of the Appalachians running down from the Canadian east coast to the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. Trace the musical lineage that runs through it like a nerve, from storyteller folk to classic country. Norma MacDonald’s voice hits that nerve, tinging in the tension between here and there, now and then.
Her four previous albums were critical darlings, receiving considerable airplay in North America and the UK, landing perfectly in that contemporary country-folk sweet spot. Her latest album, Old Future, leans into nostalgia a bit more, picking up 1960’s Dolly and Loretta vibes while also nodding to 1970’s California folk-rock, with layered acoustic guitars and lush harmonies. As a song-writer, MacDonald manages to avoid cliché while still making every song feel familiar.
Born in Cape Breton, MacDonald is a staple of the Halifax music scene. Her fourth album, Burn the Tapes (2015) was included in the Polaris Prize 2016 “Longer List”. It debuted at #3 on the national Earshot Folk/Roots chart the week of its release and stayed there for months. It was nominated as Americana/Bluegrass album of the year by Music Nova Scotia. MacDonald’s third album Morning you Wake received glowing reviews in Canada, the U.S and Europe. It received three Music Nova Scotia nominations in 2011 (Female Solo, Folk and Country/Bluegrass Recording of the Year).
MacDonald is a frequent collaborator, having sung on dozens of albums by her contemporaries, and is a member of the Halifax folk-rock supergroup Bend the River. When not behind the mic, Norma works as an ER nurse and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree.
Kristen Martell is an acoustic folk/pop artist from the shores of Nova Scotia. Her hazy, sun-dappled songs explore the self and the way we walk through life. Since returning to music, she has consistently touched the hearts of her devoted fanbase with carefully crafted songs that embrace life’s challenges and subtle moments of beauty. With her debut album ‘Coming Home’ recently nominated for an ECMA, two Music Nova Scotia awards, and new music on the way for 2022, she is an emerging artist not to be missed.