Annie Lou is Anne Louise Genest, an artist who carries the spirit of an old storyteller, creating songs steeped in the flavours of oldtime mountain, Appalachian, and traditional country and bluegrass music.
“This music has a profound edge to it – in the voices and in the playing is the lament we all carry as people trying to get by in this beautiful, terrible world”, Genest says. “Joy and grief are two sides of the same coin. The older music expresses that tension so perfectly.”
True to this sentiment, she writes songs that have a way of breaking the heart and then putting it back together again. Beautifully creative songs and tunes range from rousing and boisterous to gentle and poignant, and map a homescape of hard-drinking grandmas, rural dancehalls, blue collar fashions, small towns, big cities. All delivered with Annie Lou’s vocal warmth, evocative of the sweet tones of Kate and Anna McGarrigle blended with the raw emotion of Hazel Dickens.
CFMA, WCMA, and Juno nominee Annie Lou has just released her latest recording, Tried and True. “With this album my goal was to explore the songs in a broader musical context, beyond strictly stringband instrumentation, while keeping them rooted in the older traditional music I love so well.”
The result is an irresistible collection of musical delights that showcases her ongoing evolution as an artist, with deep nods to classic country, mountain ballads, early southern banjo, bluegrass, and old time tunes, and a modern feel that appeals to a wide range of audiences. Tried and True finds Annie Lou fully at the centre of her music and her art.
Annie Lou’s touring roster includes Andrew Collins (mandolin, fiddle, guitar, vocals), Sarah Hamilton (fiddle, vocals), and Max Heineman (upright bass, vocals). With Genest on lead vocals, guitar, and banjo, they are a tight instrumental and vocal ensemble that offers superb musicianship and joyful energy.
This is original music, rooted in tradition, and a vibrant celebration of our culture that moves the heart as well as the feet.