In Western Canadian folk festivals, weathered traditions of song-sharing and musical cross-pollination carry the ideals of folk music into the right-swiping, touch-typing, conversationally challenged future. It's there that Red Haven honed their craft. Drawing inspiration from jazz and soul but redesigning it with Indie-Pop songwriting and a heavy backbeat, Red Haven have been touring their raucous, spirited brand of folk for the past 4 years.
Featuring the work of songwriters Jen Charters, Nathan Turner, and Brendan Steele, Red Haven tells a story that is both entertaining and incisive. Each brings a unique flavour to the band: Charters, lightning-quick gypsy jazz saxophone and powerful blues vocals; Turner, uplifting songs with a country lilt from behind the upright bass; and Steele, dark and angular guitar lines to match cutting lyrics. Their creative chemistry got a injection of energy with the adoption of drummer Max Ley into the group, who brought prog-rock chops with just the right amount of swagger and swing.
They first began playing together at a shared house they nicknamed Admiral Grant. A few drinks into a Friday evening, they began jamming on ‘Festival Man’, a tune Charters had written inspired by a book of the same name by Vancouver provocateur and accordionist Geoff Berner. The night progressed, each member brought up songs of their own and rudely injected their ideas into others. A few months later, they received funding from FACTOR for their first EP The Road Above You and left on their first tour.
Past dates have included folk festivals across BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan (such as Robson Valley, All Folk’d Up, Tiny Lights, Campbell Bay and Jasper Folk Fest), 2 cross-Canada tours, dates in the central United States, and a 3 week stint through southern England. They were selected as official alternates for the 2015 Folk Music Ontario Conference in Toronto, and showcased for Folk Music Canada. Their debut album, Vilified, was self-recorded in a 100-year old church over three weeks at an artist residency in Wells, BC, home of the Arts Wells Festival.
Their second full-length album Funhouse Mirror, was recorded at The Armoury and Fadermaster Studios with producer Shawn Cole. It their heaviest work so far featuring bombastic drums, crunchy guitars, and choruses that earn their keep. The album will be released in April, 2018. You can catch Red Haven on tour this Spring and Summer in Western Canada and the U.K.