Shane Cook of London and the late Laura Smith are nominated for folk awards


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Laura Smith has been able to touch hearts with her music in a lifetime.


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And less than two years after the death of the London-born singer-songwriter, she still touches hearts with the music from her latest album, As Long As I’m Dreaming, for which she is nominated for Canadian Folk. Music Award for solo artist.

The nomination is one of five with links to the London area.

Violinist Shane Cook and his band The Woodchippers are nominated for Traditional Album of the Year and Instrumental Group of the Year.

Leahy’s Denise Flack was named Contemporary Vocalist of the Year for the song Good Water.

And the 2021 Splash’N Boots Juno Award winners, along with Thorndale’s Nick Adams (Splash) and Taes Leavitt (Boots), are nominated for their album Heart Parade.

The winners will be announced at an awards weekend in Charlottetown from April 1-3.


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News of Smith’s appointment stunned pianist Kim Dunn, who produced the album’s title track about two weeks before Smith died of cancer in 2020.

“Damn, I’m blown away,” Dunn said in a phone interview that broke the news.

“And that’s a gem of a melody. It was a complete and absolute privilege to produce it. It’s a beautiful song, deeply moving.

The album featured a wide selection of Smith’s most popular songs, including My Bonny, which she recorded with The Chieftains (and they mistakenly listed My Bonnie on their album Fire in the Kitchen). Two other songs from Smith’s album, I Built a Boat and The Blues and I, were taken from his latest new material album, Everything Is Moving from 2013..

“The nomination is so deserved, such a beautiful singer and songwriter,” said Paul Mills, a native of London and longtime friend of Smith who produced Everything Is Moving. He also noted that the song Middle America on As Long As I’m Dreaming was recorded at Smale’s Pace in London in 1974.


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“This (As Long As I’m Dreaming) was one of the last songs she ever wrote and the fact that she got that nomination… it’s so deserving.

Cook, who received two previous Canadian Folk Music Awards nominations, was delighted with the last two, praising his band mates including Joe Phillips of London on double bass, Emily Flack of Dorchester on piano, vocals and dance, and Kyle Waymouth of Stratford on guitar. and dance.

“There’s been so much more to this project than any other I’ve led,” said Cook, noting that his bandmates each bring different musical influences to the table.

“One of the things about this group that really turns me on is their versatility. Any night on stage, any of us could step up and present a totally different version of the band musically. In a way, the possibilities are endless.


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Cook said the album’s original concept was to produce “our version of the traditional Ontario music that we all grew up with. Of course by the time we recorded the album the music took on a life of its own and maybe it became that and a bit more.

“But that’s the problem with traditional music: it is constantly growing and evolving. I think we’ve found something new and exciting. And hopefully the finesse and joy of the music is something that will resonate with people. “

Cook said the album still hasn’t been played in front of a live audience and that he and The Woodchippers look forward to playing at Aeolian Hall on March 19.

“Beyond that, we have plans next summer to play in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland,” he said. .


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It’s no surprise that Cook is a fan of Dorchester’s Denise Flack, given that her daughter Emily is a member of The Woodchippers.

“I have fond memories of playing music at a house party at Denise’s place shortly after the birth of her daughter Emily and, here we are, 25 years later and Emily and I are teammates and we are all nominated for CFMAs, ”said Cook.

“Like her daughter, Denise is a force on stage. They both have that confident and visceral musical approach to playing and singing that most musicians could only dream of achieving.

Cook also knew Smith, whom he described as a “friend and mentor”.

“Laura had left London long before I was born, but when I met her in 2014 she was unexpectedly immediately encouraging and supportive of my playing and my music,” Cook said.

“In fact, she even invited me to play with her and bought a second copy of one of my records that I had already given her. I would have liked to meet her sooner. We kept in touch over the years, but she passed away just five years after we met. “

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