Rae Spoon is a young artist who proudly follows in the time-honored tradition of the singers he respects. Armed with influences such as Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams, he continues to mine the territory that lays between reverence for the greats and his own original perspective and voice. Rae’s cowboy-folk twang and prairie imagery is borne out of his history as an Albertan and his lyrics stem from his own unique life experience as a person who is transgendered (born female now identifies as male). Constant touring (mostly on the greyhound) with just a banjo and a guitar has also added to the depth of his storytelling.
Since emerging onto the Canadian roots scene in 2001, Rae has steadily built a following through grassroots methods and strong word of mouth buzz. He's performed at many high-profile Canadian festivals, including Dawson City, Vancouver, Regina, Ottawa, Calgary, Winnipeg and Edmonton Folk Festivals. At the latter (in 2004), Rae played a Mainstage set sandwiched between Natalie Merchant and Earl Scruggs, in front of 20,000 people. Rae was also presented with 2 awards at this festival: the Galaxie Rising Star Award for Best New Artist and Penguin Eggs Magazine's Critics "Favorite New Discovery" of 2003. Rae has shared the stage with artists such as Kinnie Starr, Po' Girl, Sarah Harmer, Carolyn Mark, the Be Good Tanyas, Emmylou Harris and Ani Difranco, and has received high praise and accolades from many of them. The consistent feedback is that Rae is an incredible talent with the voice and lyrical imagery of an old soul.
Rae released his debut album Throw Some Dirt On Me in 2003, and followed it up with the 2005 sophomore release Your Trailer Door. Rae’s third full length White Hearse Comes Rolling was released in Spring 2006 and garnered good reviews as well. All albums are distributed nationally by Festival Records, and have done well as independents, selling almost 9,000 copies between them. They have all charted high on many college radio stations, and have been played regularly by national CBC shows such as Richardson's Round-Up, All In A Day and The Vinyl Café. Since '03, Rae has traversed Canada ten times, has played many U.S. dates, and enjoyed productive tours in the UK, Australia and Germany.
In the summer of 2006 Rae released his much talked about duo, The Trucker’s Memorial (with Rodney Decroo) on Northern Electric (Universal). The two have enjoyed many good reviews and a successful tour of western Canada. Both Left Hip Magazine and the Calgary Herald named The Trucker’s Memorial as one of 2006’s top ten albums.
Last January Rae spent a month at a KIAC Artist’s Residency with storyteller Ivan Coyote and visual artist Valerie Salez. The three debuted their multi-media project You Are Here at the Yukon Arts Center in Whitehorse last March as part of the Canada Winter Games. The project is based on the unique experience of globalization and change in the North. The three are set to perform the project at major festivals in Canada this summer.
Rae Spoon has firmly planted himself amongst the new wave of Canadian roots artists that are flourishing, and has carved himself a role that is impossible to ignore: the latest emerging artist who is catching the ears and hearts of many. To quote Dugg Simpson (artistic director of Vancouver Folk festival), "all hail the next generation".