Soaring harmonies, catchy original songs, foot-stomping fiddling: Genevieve and the Wild Sundays is an all-female quintet that feature the award-winning songs of Vancouver-Island homesteading, guitar playing mama Genevieve Charbonneau . With songs that run from insightful love ballads to rollicking political hootenannies, the music of the Wild Sundays is rooted in old-time country, incorporating Eastern European folk, Americana, and indi-pop.
Genevieve began crafting tales of love, loss and rural living while homesteading in the Cowichan Valley, in between raising her three sons, harvesting veggies from the garden and hauling firewood to fuel her earthen home. In 2013, longing for vocal harmonies and instrumentation for her songs, she brought together long-time bluegrasser and fellow Balkan Babe Kelly Sherwin, vocalist/percussionist Laura Carleton, and Yiddish Columbia State Orchestra’s mandolin player Chandra Crowe to create the Wild Sundays. Five time North American fiddle champion Ivonne Hernandez joined in July 2016, bringing her virtuosic prowess to the band. This package delivers a powerful and engaging live show, with songs that will stir your heart one moment, make you laugh the next, and wow you with dazzling instrumentation and spitfire lyrics.
Their new studio album “Fine Line” was released in May 2016 to critical acclaim, and showcase the band’s “polished musicianship and shimmering harmonies” that “float through your ears like bluegrass angels”. Fine Line was produced at One Ton Studios in Victoria, BC and is a “ self-assured and stylish collection of very listenable contemporary folk-roots songs”.
Genevieve’s debut album “Updraft” garnered a Producer of the Year Award for Marc Atkinson, and her song “Farmer Ain’t in the Dell” was nominated for Country Recording of the Year at the 2014 Vancouver Island Music Awards. Genevieve’s song “Down Down Down” was an 2017 International Acoustic Music Award finalist. Genevieve and the Wild Sundays have graced stages at Rifflandia, the Islands Folk Festival, and Butchart Gardens and have toured the west coast.
“Fine musicianship, well-crafted original material and great harmonies. And (these) ladies radiate charisma!” (Patty Castle, Victoria Folk Guild)
Genevieve is a Cowichan Valley based singer-songwriter crafting tales of love, loss and rural living in between raising her three sons, harvesting veggies and hauling firewood. Though based in an old-time country traditon, Genevieve’s music focus’s on strong lyrics that speak to current politics and modern relationships. Genevieve’s song “Down Down Down” won the BC Musician Songwriting competition and was a finalist in the Country/Bluegrass category of the International Acoustic Music Awards. Genevieve’s debut solo album “Updraft” garnered a 2014 Producer of the Year Award for Marc Atkinson, and her political food and farming song “Farmer Ain’t in the Dell” was nominated for Country Recording of the Year at the Vancouver Island Music Awards. In March 2015, Genevieve was the feature Open Mic artist on the popluar website FolkAlley. Genevieve heads up two bands: Genevieve and the Wild Sundays and the Twisted Vine String Band and is a long-time member of the multi-award winning Balkan Babes.
Some people are born to play music. By the age of three, Ivonne Hernandez started playing violin by ear, everything from her mother’s favourite Maritime reels to her father’s Chilean folk music roots.
At 13, Ivonne was the youngest member of the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra and formed Fiddlemania, a dual-violin band with her younger sister, Kalissa. Ivonne is the reigning 5 time Grand North American Fiddle Champion, and has performed with Mark O’Connor, Alan Jackson, Gloria Estefan, Jann Arden, U2’s the Edge, Natalie MacMaster, Earth Wind and Fire, Steve Winwood, Burt Bacharach, Juan Louis Guerra, Rosa Pasos, Ben Hepner and legendary film composer Howard Shore.
She has toured and taught all over North America, the Carribean, the UK and Ireland and Europe, and if that wasn’t enough, Ivonne was offered a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music and graduated in 3 years at the top of her class with a dual major in Violin Performance and Music Business & Management. Ivonne recently retired from her band The Fretless, a chamber-folk quartet that won a 2017 Juno for Instrumental Album of the Year and a 2014 Western Canadian Music Award for Instrumental Album of the Year and the 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for Ensemble of the Year, but the Wild Sundays are certainly ecstatic to have her join them!
Laura is primarily a percussionist and vocalist and is taking her first steps into the world of songwriting. Laura has been a member of many choirs including the Vancouver Island Chamber Choir. Laura met Genevieve through their mutual love of West African dance, and they first started working together musically in the Cowichan-based group KivaBEAT. Working with the Wild Sundays is a real treat, and rehearsals are one of the best parts of her week!
Kelly’s introduction to bluegrass and old-time music in the early nineties had her picking up first a mandolin, then fiddle, then bass…and singing all the while. She began playing as a bass player in these genres in about 2007 with “Ain’t Dead Yet” and later “Flash In The Pan”, playing some island bluegrass festivals, and Victoria pubs. She is also the program director of Nimblefingers Old-time and Bluegrass camp in Sorrento, BC. Kelly is a founding member of the award winning acapella group ‘Balkan Babes’ since 1999, where she met Genevieve. They went on to create and perform together in the “Black Mountain Village Girls”, a comedy music troupe which was part of Victoria’s “Atomic Vaudeville” (live sketch comedy theatre), 2004-2006. Kelly is really excited about being part of the Wild Sundays, playing such a range of original material. And what could be more fun than collaborating and arranging songs with a group of women who like to laugh and have a good time?
Chandra grew up in a musical household, studying violin at age five and moving on to piano and guitar. She took up mandolin in her early twenties, studying Greek, Turkish, Balkan and Middle Eastern music with Pat Lawson, her mandolin mentor. Chandra played the Greek Bouzouki with Kefi, the mandolin with the Yiddish Columbia State Orchestra, The Klez Galz and the Victoria Mandolin Orchestra. She is thrilled to now be playing original music with The Wild Sundays. This is the third “girl” band Genevieve and Chandra have been in together, the first being The “Silver Spotted Leopards”, a synth pop lip-sync cover band at age ten!
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