While Cape Breton has been home to traditional Celtic-influenced artists such as Ashley MacIsaac and Natalie MacMaster, the island is also home to a vibrant rock n roll scene including musician Carmen Townsend.
Townsend thankfully owes more to legends like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix than to anyone who plays a fiddle. She has been winning over audiences coast-to-coast with her gritty, no holds-barred approach to rock n roll.
Townsend is actually in the process of leaving Cape Breton behind for the busier climes of Halifax where she is hoping to keep herself so occupied with music that working a day job will not be a necessity.
“I am going to be doing lots of writing and performing with various bands in Halifax,” she says. “In addition to that, I’m also gearing up for my record release so there is definitely a lot going on for me.”
Based on their powerful live show, industry folks and fans alike have been clamouring for Townsend and her band to release a CD. And according to the singer-guitarist, the masses might not have to wait all that much longer.
Carmen remains tight-lipped on specifics concerning the release but assures me that a record is indeed on its way.
“We do have an album recorded,” she confirms. “Admittedly, we have taken our time to get a great team behind the release. Everyone involved is really excited about the record; the band and I are so ready to go!”
Even though Townsend does not have a record to promote as of yet, it hasn’t stopped her from playing an endless string of dates throughout the region. Townsend was able to take part in Music Nova Scotia Week in Yarmouth this past November, an event that she finds useful for networking purposes as well as reminding folks that she is in fact still around.
“Music Nova Scotia Week was a wicked time. It is such a great way to have a little free time to enjoy performances from bands that you would not normally be able to see while on the road.
“I love those weekends; everyone there is really supportive of what we are doing and it is such a great vibe to surround yourself with. Also, it’s a good way to ensure people that even though my album is not out yet…I am still here and it will be released soon!”
Carmen Townsend will be performing alongside Grand Theft Bus vocalist Tim Walker and Slowcoaster’s Mike LeLievre for an evening of acoustic tunes at Moncton’s Paramount Lounge on Thursday, Jan. 14; Nicky Zee’s in Fredericton on Friday, Jan. 15 and at Vintage Bistro in Hampton on Saturday, Jan. 16.
You can visit Carmen Townsend online at www.carmentownsend.ca.