NOMINATED FOR THREE 2023 CANADIAN FOLK AWARDS   

Instrumental Group of the Year

Vocal Group of the Year

Ensemble of the Year

EPK - Bio

THE MCDADES

Punching through the walls of tradition, The McDades’ Celtic-rooted music fuses the spontaneity of jazz improvisation and infectious global rhythms. The Juno Award winners’ cutting edge sound is the perfect complement to their fiery performances.

At the heart of the group are siblings Shannon, Solon & Jeremiah who grew up playing Canadian folk music alongside their parents and among artists from around the world; a unique upbringing that led to a love and respect for all music.  Their ground-breaking compositions and innovative arrangements are characterized by stunning virtuosity and a near-telepathic interaction on stage.  

With vocal harmonies that can only come from a family, and an obvious love for each other and their music, The McDades’ sound is immersed in the spirit of improvisation.  Combining original tunes and unique interpretations of traditional songs, their performances feature both energetic instrumentals and moving vocals performed in English and French.  This compelling and dynamic group “finds their groove somewhere between a down-home kitchen party, a jazzy after hours club, and a folk festival.” (London Free Press)

The McDades are winners of the Juno Award for Best Roots Album (group) and two Canadian folk music awards (World Group of the year and Instrumental album of the year).  Their new album “The Empress” continues to highlight the group’s one-of-a-kind sound and irresistible groove.  “This Kicks!” (fRoots)

One of the most versatile and innovative groups in Canada...The by the book musician would find themselves at a loss when confronted with the breadth & depth of The McDades sound.” - Penguin Eggs

NEW ALBUM The Empress (Promotional Copy)

The McDades

Juno award-winning band, The McDades, are excited to announce the release of their third album, “The Empress”. In the tarot, The Empress is the third card; she represents the productivity of the subconscious and often brings strong bursts of creative and artistic energy. When deciding on a title for the album, we were drawn to the concept of the

Juno award-winning band, The McDades, are excited to announce the release of their third album, “The Empress”. In the tarot, The Empress is the third card; she represents the productivity of the subconscious and often brings strong bursts of creative and artistic energy. When deciding on a title for the album, we were drawn to the concept of the Empress and also to the symbolism of the number 3, both having ties to creativity, growth, new ideas and expression.

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Press/Reviews

"The sound on The Empress is a cauldron of richly defined shards of traditional styles laced with contemporary folk and worldly nuances… The McDades have created a compulsively vital canvas of rustic and cosmopolitan soundbites that caress the ear as much as illuminate the senses" - Living Traditions

"The group has a sound that is simultaneously familiar to the listener, yet beyond comparison to much else in their musical sphere. Their Celtic and Roots-inspired music, love for improvisation, and boisterous live performances make for a redefinition of the traditional folk music sound."    - Music Mecca

 

 "The Dizzy Gillespie of the Irish Tin Whistle" - The Washington Post

 

"The Empress is a captivating album with stellar performances, multifaceted melodies and masterful arrangements, demonstrating that The McDades is one of the most exciting bands in the current Canadian roots music scene." - World Music Central

"I dare you to not move or drift off in a blissful daydream listening to this trio of gifted siblings, The McDades….  The Empress (named after a Tarot card) packs a magnificent deck of traditional roots, jazz and classical elements with more exotic global grooves and motifs. Only shared leadership could produce such a broad vision from danceable reels to haunting balladry, a voyageur chorus to quivering Indian reveries, a David Francey trucker’s ballad turned two-step, even a jazzy-pop cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s Sundown. 

The musicianship is extraordinary, immediate and intimate, focused around Johnson’s glowing violin or Jeremiah’s burning sax, flute and whistle improvisations… a sizzling and serene ensemble affair. Striking artwork too." - The Edmonton Journal

Video

The McDades with symphony

Press/Promo Hi-Res Photos

Past performance highlights

Stage Plot