About the artist…
Raised in the small farming community of Fosston, Saskatchewan, Belle Plaine’s distinctive sound draws from her musical background: twelve years of classical vocal training, jazz and contemporary music study at Grant MacEwan College, and a history of live performance stretching back to her childhood.
Her singular and textured voice lends itself to various styles of music, from classic country to 1940s swing. Belle’s genre-blending songs mix clear-eyed observations with sparse poetry and emotional honesty. She has an ability to meaningfully connect with her audience, putting them at ease with her calm and earnest demeanor.
After a year of adventure across Canada, Belle Plaine isready to release the live album that was recorded at The Artesian in Regina. Her newest effort, The Unrequited Love, will reach happy fans on March 4, 2016.
“Belle’s voice is old timey and jazzy. It has twang, crystal bells and swing. You listen to this voice, and all of a sudden your cheatin’ heart has a very dry martini in hand, and you’re hearing something both timeless and brand new.” – Kelley Jo Burke, CBC.
Plaine conceived this album to solve a problem. Her catalogue didn’t represent all that she had to offer in a live show: The easy shift between country and jazz; ballads and blues; humour and honesty. And she always struggled to answer the inevitable question, “What kind of music do you play?” How would someone label the way she can shift between genres? How she weaves diverse styles of music together with storytelling. How she coaxes the audience into loving jazz and country – the very styles of music they say they don’t care for. How does someone describe how Plaine’s voice untangles anxieties, and is the salve for the sting of a broken heart? An easy reply was never at hand.
The Unrequited Love is her rejoinder to those questions. It’s her way of settling into the acceptance that a one word answer just won’t do.
Plaine’s live album contains 11 songs that display all the musical versatility she shares with band-mates Jeremy Sauer (keys / accordion / banjo) and Elizabeth Curry (upright bass / vocals). Plaine’s regular line-up was expanded to include a full band for the album, with drums, back-up vocals, lead guitar and horns. She doubled down by recording only one concert, relying on the band to deliver a performance that was worthy of commercial release. The results evidence her place in the Canadian music scene as an independent, who, as Carolyn Mark said, “is a national treasure.”