Charismatic! Gwen Swick, Suzie Vinnick and Caitlin Hanford, three of Canada's top singer/songwriters, have combined their talents to form the Marigolds. Accompanied by drummer Randall Coryell, the Marigolds are part bluesy, part jazzy, and part traditional country and bluegrass, specializing in angelic harmonies and gutsy playing. Delivering with skill and grace, the Marigolds are a roots-music supergroup in full bloom.
"Each one of these women has loads of charisma, talent, versatility... a very powerful performance, indeed."
- Don Osburn/Artistic Director, Deep Roots Festival, Nova Scotia
In 2010 the Marigolds were nominated for Vocal Group of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Instrumentally the lineup features Suzie Vinnick on lead guitar, Caitlin Hanford on rhythm guitar, Gwen Swick on electric bass, and Randall Coryell on drums.
The Marigolds have performed at concerts and major festivals across Canada, including Mariposa, Home County, Blue Skies, Folk Harbour in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, Northern Lights, Folk on the Rocks in Yellowknife, and the Vancouver Island Music Festival.
The Marigolds pack a diverse repertoire with a winning delivery. Each Marigold brings a unique gift to the musical table and, as a group, they run with it. They have fun on stage, and it shows. The past several years have witnessed the joy audiences have found in the Marigolds music and, thus, their rise in the Canadian roots music arena.
The Marigolds have a genuine affection for the timeless and classic genres of traditional country and bluegrass, Appalachian ballads and the blues. They celebrate this rich history on their second Juno-nominated CD, That's the State I'm In. The fourteen original songs are an inspired journey through lost love, found love, redemption and optimism.
"Such beauty and pure brilliance doesn't come along often... five out of five stars."
- Maverick Magazine, UK roots magazine
All members of the Marigolds also enjoy solo careers. As well, Suzie performs with Rick Fines and Betty and the Bobs, and Gwen and Caitlin perform with Quartette alongside Sylvia Tyson and Cindy Church.
Caitlin Hanford has a voice with a pure, Appalachian quality, perfectly suited to the high, lonesome sound of traditional country and bluegrass. Originally from Bainbridge Island, Washington, Caitlin immigrated to Canada after graduating from McGill University. With Chris Whiteley she carved a path in the Canadian Alt-Country scene, receiving several Juno nominations. In 1997 she recorded her first solo album, Bluer Skies, to many accolades. Caitlin's current musical life consists of solo work, Quartette (Sylvia Tyson, Cindy Church, Gwen Swick and Caitlin), and the Marigolds.
Gwen Swick has a voice that is smoky and rich, and she can write a lyric that will sink into your heart like a tattoo. The Globe and Mail says Swick's songs are pure delight, and Stuart McLean agrees: "I heard a song of Gwen's that knocked my socks off. I sat in the car and couldn't get out 'til the song was over." She is a rare bird - a poet with an exceptional melodic sense and what the Toronto Star calls "a mesmerizing voice." The creator of three solo recordings, Gwen performs as a solo artist, writes vocal arrangements and poetry, and is also part of Quartette.
Suzie Vinnick is an award-winning singer, songwriter and musician with an incredibly powerful yet sweet and tender voice. Her music is roots-based, branching into blues, folk, and pop. Suzie was nominated for a Juno award in the Roots & Traditional Album of the Year category for her solo record Happy Here. As a vocalist and bassist, Suzie has won five Canadian Maple Blues Awards; she shared Maple Blues Songwriter of the Year with Rick Fines for their release, Nothing Halfway. Suzie also performs with Betty & the Bobs.
Since the age of sixteen, Randall Coryell has played drums and percussion on stage, radio, LP, CD, video, TV, in theaters, bars, bar mitzvahs, booze cans and bordellos with the likes of Bo Diddley, Mel Brown, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, White Noise, Prince Charles and the City Beat, Alannah Myles, the Marigolds, Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, Roy Buchanan, Paul Butterfield, Quartette, Glass Tiger, Gwen Swick, Prairie Oyster, Cowboy Junkies, Vytek-Coryell-Bird...
As the Marigolds, Suzie Vinnick, Gwen Swick, and Caitlin Hanford share a love of songwriting, and creating beautiful harmonies and great grooves. On their two CDs, The Marigolds (2005) and That's the State I'm In (2009), they have recorded a body of work in the style of classic North American roots music, traditional, bluegrass and country, folk and blues. On recordings and in live shows, they are accompanied by versatile drummer/percussionist Randall Coryell. The Marigolds have performed in concert from coast to coast, at folk festivals and on radio and television. In 2010 the Marigolds were nominated for a Folk Music Award in the category of Vocal Group of the Year. In 2011 the Marigolds received a Juno nomination for Best Album in the Roots & Traditional: Group category for their sophomore album That's the State I'm In (produced by Steve Dawson).
"The enchanting Marigolds...their mastery of expressive nuance, emotional implications which, despite their subtlety they project to the back of a crowded tent, is allied to three of the sweetest voices and a collective musical intelligence beyond compare."
- Stephen Pedersen/Halifax Chronicle Herald
"Gwen Swick's smoky rich alto, Caitlin Hanford's high clear purity, and Suzie Vinnick's powerful-yet-sweet blues edge--three of Canada's best singer/songwriters in one great group. Each one of these women has loads of charisma, talent, versatility... a very powerful performance, indeed. They are simply a joy to work with, and to have at your festival."
- Don Osburn/Artistic Director, Deep Roots Festival, Wolfville, Nova Scotia
"If William Wordsworth had heard Caitlin Hanford, Gwen Swick and Suzie Vinnick sing harmony vocals, he would have written golden Marigolds 'fluttering and dancing in the breeze.' Like Wordsworth, my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the (Marigolds) when I listen to the trios sweet and sultry sophomore release. That's the State I'm In confirms that the Marigolds are, indeed, in excellent musical shape."
- Robert Reid/Kitchener Record
"Such beauty and pure brilliance doesn't come along often. Five out of five stars."
- Maverick Magazine (UK roots magazine)
"The Marigolds sing like angels...the kind that have a lot of worldly experience. They are thoroughly captivating and put on a terrific show!"
- Marilyn Koop/Village Idiot Productions
"Gwen Swick, Caitlin Hanford and Suzie Vinnick have pooled their considerable individual talents to form a group that is pretty well impossible not to love."
- Barry Hammond/Penguin Eggs Magazine
"The Marigolds came to play, and the appreciative crowd came to listen. Together they create something dreamlike, other-worldly. Harmony singing is one of my weaknesses, and I was completely smitten Saturday night! There was just something about the group interaction, and their obvious affection for each other, and the fire in Suzie's guitar solos, that when added to the bliss of the vocal blend created a separate entity of Marigold-mania, or something. Whatever you want to call it, we were transported to a land of harmony and melody. Aaah!"
- David Kidney Reviews at the Pearl Company
"This music is totally lovable."
- Mendelson Joe/Artist/musician/songwriter
"Sweet soulful sounds, heavenly harmonies and talents galore!"
- Brenna Rivier/Women's Voices Festival, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
"Angelic harmonies and beautiful lyrics... a beautiful, beautiful album. This is a must-buy!"
- John Donabie, Toronto broadcaster
Lunenberg Folk Harbour Festival 2009
There was a lot of delerium on this progam, and it ended in the deliciously sweet delerium of Gwen Swick, Caitlin Hanford and Suzie Vinnick who were inspired by the Inch Worm Song to call themselves The Marigolds. The Marigolds' Swick with her tone of honeyed melancholy, accompanying herself on electric bass guitar, Hanford with a sweet, deep resonance sung over the full sound of her Gibson guitar, and Vinnick, with a purity of tone and intonation at the top of every chord and gloriously bright in her solos, playing parlour guitar as well. Then Awesome Dawson returned to the stage to help burnish and polish the already perfect. Dawson produced The Marigolds latest CD, That's the State I'm In. Meanwhile, in the background, Randall Coryell brewed up a subtle mix of drum and percussion, with the skill of a veteran. He can hardly be seen at the back of the stage though he is often acknowledged with gratitude by the Marigolds frontline.
- Stephen Pederson, music journalist, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Waterloo Region Record
If William Wordsworth had heard Caitlin Hanford, Gwen Swick and Suzie Vinnick sing harmony vocals, he would have written golden Marigolds fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Like Wordsworth, my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the (Marigolds) when I listen to the trios sweet and sultry sophomore release Thats the State Im In.
Two of the Marigolds, Hanford and Swick are members of Quartette, and both groups share a comparable vocal dynamism wherein the sum is more ear-pleasing than the parts. However, Vinnick adds a bluesier hue to the Marigolds palette of folk and country.
In contrast to their self-titled debut, which was a blend of originals and covers, the 14 songs comprising That's the State I'm In are written or co-written by Swick, Hanford or Vinnick.
The album receives sympathetic production from Steve Dawson, who plays various guitars, banjo and organ, with Vinnick and Hanford on guitar, Swick on bass, and Randall Coryell on drums and percussion. Guest musicians include Chris Gestrin on organ, Arnie Naiman on banjo, John Reischman on mandolin and Kevin Breit on cavaquinho (small four-string guitar).
That's the State I'm In confirms that the Marigolds are, indeed, in excellent musical shape.
- Robert Reid, Arts Reporter, Waterloo Region Record
Monday, October 5, 2009
A week later and we were back at the Pearl Company to see, and hear, The Marigolds' Suzie Vinnick, Gwen Swick and Caitlin Hanford. With the addition of percussionist Randall Coryell, Gwen playing bass, Caitlin on rhythm guitar and Suzie adding some hot lead guitar... they can flat out rock! But they don't rock all the time. Sometimes it's Sons of the Pioneersy old-time country like on "A Little Bit of Heaven" and sometimes there's a touch of jazz as on the title track of their new CD That's the State I'm In.
They came to play, and the appreciative crowd came to listen. Suzie's voice is a bluesy and potent instrument, Caitlin brings a clear Appalachian soprano, and Gwen provides the rich alto, but together they create something dreamlike, other-worldly. Harmony singing is one of my weaknesses, and I was completely smitten Saturday night!
The songs have inherent strength in their writing. These are well constructed, melodic tunes, and the lyrics are memorable too. Swick's "Anyone Can Dream" reminds us that "there's a statue that longs to be a national treasure... a sapling that looks high into the trees... a pebble that would die to lie in the Rockies... and anyone can dream." Caitlin's "When I'm Walking With You" is a song she wrote (with Gwen) about the joys of walking with a friend. They share writing duties, Suzie providing songs like "Sometimes I Think I Can Fly" (written with Dan Kershaw) and assisting with all the Marigolds on "Why Baby" or "For Your Love".
These are songs from the new CD, but as I listen to the carefully produced (by Steve Dawson) album, I think I liked the rawness of the live versions better. There was just something about the group interaction, and their obvious affection for each other, and the fire in Suzie's guitar solos, that when added to the bliss of the vocal blend created a separate entity of Marigold-mania, or something. Whatever you want to call it, we were transported to a land of harmony and melody. Aaah!
And of course, thanks to Gary and Barbara our hosts at the Pearl Company, which is quickly becoming my favourite venue anywhere!
- David Kidney Reviews at the Pearl Company, Hamilton, Ontario
The Marigolds That's The State I'm In - Self released ***** (five stars)
Such beauty and pure brilliance doesn't come along often, but it most certainly has done so in this quite simply outstanding album.
The music world has a lot to thank the Canada Music Fund, the music section of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council. The reason for this gratitude being the fact that they helped finance the production of this album, an album which excels from start to finish. Consisting of Caitlin Hanford, Gwen Swick and Suzie Vinnick, this is one album I urge you to purchase.
With a completely relaxed feeling about it, Trip to the Moon has a sound perfect for losing yourself in. Building up to an agreeably righteous pace, due to the inclusion of some ace electric guitar picking, this has to be the best track of the album.
Other quite awesome tracks find themselves appearing too. "Don't Let Your Thoughts Start Killing You" certainly caught my attention from its first few seconds due to its vocals and some stupendous instrumentation. The groovy yet brief picking in this track's middle is by all means excellent and seems to match the vocal quality of Caitlin, Gwen and Suzie. With a positive Americana sound to it, the album's title track demonstrates the blossoming and ever continuing greatness of Canadian music. This being just a delightfully peachy and beautiful track, I certainly couldn't stop smiling nor my foot from tapping, due to how good it is.
This being their second and self-penned album, in response to their 2005 debut release, the mixture of fantastic and simply beautiful harmonies, along with the inclusion of some stonkingly good accompaniment, means that this must surely be as successful as their first album.