Jimmy Wahlsteen

Roxanne Potvin

“Can’t stop a bird from singing / Can’t blame a girl for dreaming”

Those words echo throughout Roxanne Potvin’s latest album, a highly personal and deeply affecting return for the JUNO nominated singer/songwriter and guitarist after a five-year break from recording. It was a period of experimentation and study for Potvin, resulting in For Dreaming building upon the quiet intensity displayed on several tracks from her 2011 album Play.

The time away not only served to rekindle Potvin’s creative fire, it also motivated her to fully embrace the challenge of making a record on her own, something she hadn’t done since taking her first steps into the music business. After two years of formal training in sound engineering and working as a studio assistant, Potvin decided to record a new album in 2015, not knowing this would lead her to producing most of it herself.

Potvin admits it was the most challenging and frightening experience she’s had in her career to this point. But it was the most satisfying experience as well, she adds, being able to work at home with plenty of time to write and record her parts (she sings, plays guitar, piano, synth, percussion and accordion on the album). She also surrounded herself with a top-notch band for the project  with Olivier Fairfield (Timber Timbre, Andy Shauf) Mark McIntyre (Danny Michel, Dean Brody) and Christine Bougie (Bahamas, Amy Millan) at its core. The resulting intimacy imbued in songs such as “I Thought I’d Miss You” and “The March”, both CBC Radio 2 top 20 singles, is a direct reflection of Potvin’s vision, and overall For Dreaming brilliantly captures the hidden meanings in life’s simplest moments.

Roxanne’s music career grew out of an early love of classic blues and R&B and she received her first significant attention with her 2006 Colin Linden-produced album The Way It Feels, which earned a JUNO nomination for Blues Album of the Year. Not to be typecast, Potvin experimented with new sounds on her subsequent albums No Love For The Poisonous, produced by Dave MacKinnon of alt-folk outfit FemBots, and Play, recorded in Vancouver with folk/roots producer Steve Dawson.

For Dreaming opened a new chapter for Potvin as a singer/songwriter/producer with pop smarts, undeniable soul, and a ceaseless drive to keep pushing herself in uncharted directions. With a renewed sense of purpose and possibilities, she’s now completed work on a self-produced, 5 song EP titled All it Was, a collection of songs that juggle the ambiguity between freedom and loss, desire and disillusion at the end of a long relationship.

With a JUNO nomination, seven Maple Blues awards nominations, international tours, major festival appearances including Montreal Jazz Festival and Ottawa Bluesfest, national television and radio appearances including Radio 2 Drive, “q”, Belle et Bum in Quebec and regular spins across the CBC/Radio-Canada network, Roxanne continues to carve her place in the Canadian roots music scene.

She’s recorded with John Hiatt, Daniel Lanois, Colin Linden, Bruce Cockburn, Wayne Jackson, Bob Babbitt, Dave MacKinnon, Steve Dawson, a duet with Colin James and has opened for John Hiatt, Blue Rodeo, Allen Toussaint, the Neville Brothers and the Funk Brothers among many others.

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