Kaeley Jade, International Indigenous Music Summit, 2024
Kaeley Jade
Métis singer-songwriter Kaeley Jade has a clear, powerful voice that really cuts through, and writes largely confessional songs about all kinds of relationships. Alternately playing guitar and piano, and fronting her three-piece band (usually a four-piece, but one member was unable to attend), she performed Americana-style songs from her debut album Turpentine. Jade has a knack for writing strong, memorable chorus lines: “My heart proved more fragile than your ego”; “Douse me in turpentine, strip it all away”; “I need more than a ghost of you.”


Burnstick, International Indigenous Music Summit, 2024
Accompanied by a drummer, the husband-and-wife duo of Nadia and Jason Burnstick play acoustic guitar and the Weissenborn acoustic slide lap guitar, respectively. They tend to write moody, minor-key, incantatory songs, with compelling harmony vocals, and expert slide playing (especially at the beginning of “This Life”). Nadia said that they wrote “Closer,” as a prayer to the Creator for the strength to raise their newborn son. Jason, a survivor of the ‘60s scoop, said that he wrote “Made of Sin” when he heard about the first 215 buried children discovered on residential school land. He told a funny story about his  scrappy mom claiming she knocked out a moose with one punch; then, more seriously, talked about how, as a survivor of violence, “you blame yourself, then grow up and share that blame with others.” All by way of introduction to the captivating song “Who Am I.”


Evan Redsky, International Indigenous Music Summit, 2024
Evan Redsky
Playing acoustic guitar, and backed by electric guitar, bass, pedal steel, and drums, Evan Redsky presents as an old-school country/roots-rock singer-songwriter, falling somewhere between the tough truths and gritty voice of Steve Earle, and the catchy choruses of John Mellencamp. Redsky is a great storyteller, and plain-spoken songs like  “Good Enough for Me,” “Renata,” and “The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Veins” (written for the late Colton Bushie) painted vivid pictures. The band sounded seasoned and comfortable, with well-developed skills and nice three-part harmonies. Redsky said that his voice was raspier than usual, because he’d just arrived in Toronto today from playing four consecutive nights in St. Johns, NL, screaming all night as the frontperson for his Indigenous punk band, Indian Giver – which inspired some laughter from the audience.