With a sweet name and even sweeter sound, Oh My Darling conjures up the right mix of emotion and elation with their unique brand of country. Their prairie roots mixed with Appalachian old time, bluegrass, country, funk and Franco-folk, makes their style a melting pot of musical languages. Infused with dynamic vocals, brilliant claw-hammer banjo, inspired fiddling, and grooving bass, their music will get your hips swinging, toes tapping, and put your heart right into their hands.
Each time Oh My Darling takes the stage, they prove time and again why they’re captivating audiences and attracting an abundance of fans. Individually, they are known as some of the strongest players on the Canadian roots scene, but there is strength in numbers, and combined, the foursome is strong as steel.
The Winnipeg-based roots quartet Oh My Darling has released three critically acclaimed albums, and has toured ceaselessly, headlining three consecutive European tours, countless tours across Canada, performing at venues like New York City's The Living Room. They have earned opening spots for Blue Rodeo, Tegan & Sara, performed at Trafalgar Square's Canada Day celebration in London England, The Winnipeg Folk Festival, Tøndor Festival (DK), and have shared the stage in collaborations with such artists as Adam Cohen, Tim O'Brien, Dirk Powell, Le Vent du Nord, and many other musical friends. Oh My Darling has been topping the campus radio charts, can be heard regularly on CBC Radio and Radio Canada. They have received rave reviews for their recordings and performances, and have had three albums nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award. The bands is a crowd favorite at Folk Festivals, and win the hearts of all who come to experience their energetic live show!
Inspired by Classic Country, Appalachian Old Time, Bluegrass and Francophone Métis Traditional music, the songs of Oh My Darling are strikingly original, while evoking the lexicon of these diverse musical influences. Dazzling solos, soaring vocals, and unique grooves enhance thoughtful songwriting, and arranging, where instrumental melodies and poetic lyricism are nestled together.
Venez Danser (2012), Oh My Darling's most recent release, is a six song EP done entirely in the French language. Inspired by the music and history of the Franco-Métis people in their home province of Manitoba, the gals also drew inspiration from other Franco-traditional musics such as Cajun, Acadien, and Quebecois, to create a beautiful blend of original songwriting, and uniquely arranged traditional tunes and songs. The album releases in September 2012, coinciding with a headlining tour of Québec, and as a supporting act for Lisa LeBlanc. Venez Danser was nominated for a 2013 Western Canadian Music Award for Best Francophone Album!
Sweet Nostalgia (2011), was inspired by the way the ladies were reconciling their love for playing traditional repertoire and their love for writing original material. The result is a stellar follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut (In the Lonesome Hours, 2010) where the four have found a common ground between the past and the present. One of their finest efforts as a collective of musicians and songwriters, Sweet Nostalgia was nominated for a 2012 Western Canadian Music Award for Best Roots Album!
All 4 of their Albums was honoured with a nomination for Western Canadian Music Award for Best Roots Album. Throughout the years, Oh My Darling headlined Canadian tours from coast-to-coast, as well as Europeen Tours and showcased across North America and Europe. Received regular play on CBC Radio, and were featured on CBC Radio 2’s ‘Canada Live’ concert series as well as topped the national campus roots charts.
Allison de Groot (banjo/vocals) is one of Canada’s top claw-hammer banjo players and is the first claw-hammer banjoist to be awarded a prestigious full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She combines love and passion for old-time music, technical skill and a creative approach to songwriting and composition to create her own sound – unique and full of personality. Allison has participated in the Old Time Appalachian String Band Festival in West Virginia, has spent time immersed in old-time communities in North Carolina and studied privately with Daniel Koulack, Bruce Molsky, Adam Hurt, and Wes Corbett (Joy Kills Sorrow), to name a few. Although firmly rooted in old-time and traditional music, Allison has shown her ability to collaborate and create outside this genre, pushing the boundaries of the clawhammer banjo. “Allison is musically intuitive and technically brilliant and she is in touch and in love with the old time music genre. Some people are just born to their instrument and she is one of those people. We banjoists are grateful that this is true.” – Mitch Podolack, Founder of the Winnipeg Folk Festival.
Hannah Read (fiddle, vocals) is an innovative fiddler, singer, songwriter from Edinburgh, Scotland. At age 11, Hannah was accepted into the prestigious City of Edinburgh Music School to study Scottish fiddle, classical violin, jazz singing and piano. Her post-secondary endeavors include studying jazz vocals at The American School of Modern Music in Paris and violin at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Hannah has studied with Matt Glaser, Darol Anger, Natalie Hass and John McGann, to name a few, and is well versed in bluegrass, Appalachian old-time, jazz and other contemporary music styles. Hannah is currently based in Brooklyn NYC.
Marie-Josée (bass/vocals) a self taught musician, one of Canada's top female bassist, was already a veteran of the music scene, before joining the band Oh My Darling. Her tours with Xavier Rudd, Ben Harper, The Wyrd Sisters, Tribe of One, Pete Murray, Rose Cousins, The Good Lovelies, Corinne West and Doug Cox (to name a few!) have taken her, and her unique style of bass playing, all over the globe. Her tours have led her to play with many international musicians all around the world, which has made her phenomenally versatile and well versed in many genres of music. This experience was vital to Oh My Darling's momentum, as MJ assumed the important role of booking/management for the band, keeping Oh My Darling busy throughout the years. Her custom-made upright bass is a commanding presence, despite it's smaller size, due to the energy and vitality that MJ expresses in her live performances. “MJ is one of the hardest-working freelance musicians (for studio work and touring) in this part of the world. She is phenomenally versatile; able to perform in any genre of music you can name, and has recorded and toured with musicians/bands representing a wide variety of musical styling’s across the world. She has developed quite a reputation for the quality of her musicianship, her consistency and dependability, and has been very much in demand for session and touring work.” –Winnipeg Free Press, 2010.
Vanessa (vocals/guitar) discovered her voice learning the songs of Canadian greats like Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. Inspired with a deep passion to write and sing she began writing in her teens and released her solo album of all original songs, Peony (2007). She has been labeled the "cowboy poet" of the group, with her lyrics that tell stories about life on the prairies, and probe at emotions that run deep through the human experience. With her passion for singing and live performance Vanessa draws the audience in with her ability to tell the story with her soaring voice. Her sensitivity and empathy are invaluable to the band, as she is most often the spokesperson for the group, and is lauded for her ability to handle even the stickiest of situations with grace and poise. Vanessa has been leading songwriting workshops and camps, and has been mentored by major folk and country artists such as Sam Baker (singer-songwriter, TX), David Francey, Heather Bishop, Tom Wilson (Junk house, Blackie & the Rodeo Kings), and Murray Pulver (Doc Walker).
It is the combination of four strong personalities that makes Oh My Darling one-of-a-kind. With four creative minds behind the writing, arranging and performing, the original music of Oh My Darling is unique, informed, and entertaining.
Still keeping some old time tunes up their sleeve, they started building an arsenal of original material, and before they could reload, they got their first gig at the Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg. Scrambling to come up with a name for their first gig, they took on the name Fill'd'Riel (daughters of Riel), which celebrated the bands Métis heritage, while also acknowledging the range of influences in their music, including Celtic, French, Métis, and American. After the festival was over, the girls went back to the drawing board and the name Oh My Darling emerged from the rubble of crumpled scraps of paper, bird encyclopedias, and tune books.
Watching Oh My Darling play, you feel like you’re walking into a room of best friends, interacting naturally and effortlessly. The wordless communication that happens between them that is mesmerizing. They are sincere and earnest on stage, with a measure of good-natured humour thrown in. You can tell they love to entertain. Their passion for performing is a force of nature, and that's a force to be reckoned with.