Singer Lizzy Hoyt will soon be gracing Red Deer with her exquisite vocal stylings which are rooted in Celtic and folk traditions.
She performs at Gaetz Memorial United Church on March 31st at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 each and are available at the door or by visiting www.lizzyhoyt.com/store.
Hoyt, who is originally from Edmonton but now calls Winnipeg home, is on tour with guitarist Chris Tabbert and Red Deer native Keith Rempel (bass).
Her poignant song Vimy Ridge, originally released in 2012, has won international awards and the music video has won 10 awards at international film festivals. “I wrote the song after I went to visit Vimy Ridge for the first time,” she explained. “Going there in person, feeling what it’s like to be on that ground – it felt different. All of a sudden, that history was really brought to life for me.
“You can tell something so important happened there.”
Hoyt, who filmed the video at Vimy Ridge along with her sister, wasn’t expecting the piece to wield such a profound impact.
“People seemed to really respond to it when I’d perform it at my shows,” she said. “Really, I just wanted to find a way to share the history with other Canadians, and especially Canadians of a younger generation.
“I’m proud of the fact that I’m helping to connect people to their history.”
Hoyt’s fourth CD New Lady on the Prairie demonstrates a refined ‘trans-Atlantic’ sound that blends influences from Celtic, bluegrass and folk traditions.
The title track, inspired by Hoyt’s great, great aunt immigrating to Canada from Ireland in the early 1900s, demonstrates her ability to craft songs that are touching and lyrically rich. The project was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, a Western Canadian Music Award among others. It was also named one of the Best Albums of 2014 by the Indie Acoustic Project (USA) as well.
Born into a family of professional classical musicians, it is no surprise that Hoyt had an early start in the business. And from a very early age, she wanted to play violin.
“I started taking lessons at four,” she said, adding that over the years she would play at family functions and that sort of thing. Then at 15, she landed her first professional gig as a fiddle player working with the award-winning Canadian country artist Eli Barsi. It was an exciting venture, with Barsi’s popularity as an artist complete with singles on the radio and videos on CMT.
She worked with Barsi for 10 years as a fiddle player, mandolin player and harmony singer.
During that time, Hoyt also started to freelance as a back-up musician for other recording artists such as Tracy Millar, Samantha King and Maria Dunn. She counts Natalie MacMaster, Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss as major musical influences as well.
Today, she owns her own record label and music management company, Blue Crown Productions.
“In traditional Celtic music, I love the storytelling aspect of it. It’s really intense and it covers a wide range of emotions as well,” she said, reflecting on the genre that touches her the most. ”I also love to tell stories when I write songs.”