Skip To Content
From left to right: Craic Cardiff, Lora Bidner and Rylee and David Taggart of The Strain.

Introducing your local 2014 Folk Fest lineup Part 1: Craig Cardiff, The Strain and Lora Bidner

By François Levesque on May 7, 2014

In collaboration with the Ottawa Folk Festival, Apt613 is excited to be announcing  the local bands that will be playing at this year’s festival. From singer-songwriter, to ska and folk infused electronica, this batch is diverse and talented.

We begin today by featuring Craig Cardiff, The Strain and Lora Bidner.

Craig Cardiff

Genre: folk

Craig Cardiff is a perfect fit for the Folk Fest – the Juno-nominated artist sings of heartbreak and love, and has a deep soulful voice to truly make us live in the moment. The Ottawa-based singer-songwriter has built a career from the grassroots and has travelled across the country numerous times, playing in camps, backyards, prisons, churches, basements, festivals, kitchens and hundreds of living rooms. Not surprisingly, he’s known as an “advocate of alternate venue touring.”

Cardiff often passes around a notebook at his shows and asks audience members to write something truthful about themselves inside. This document, titled the “Book of Truths,” inspired several songs on his newest album Love Is Louder (Than All This Noise)  (Part 1 & 2) which came out in 2013.

The album shows both sides of Cardiff’s music: electric and acoustic. Several songs on part 1 and part 2 of Love Is Louder almost mirror each other, with one part featuring Cardiff backed by full band and the other part reinterpreting the same track with only his voice and a piano. Whichever side of Cardiff we get at Folk Fest, he will be a special treat to hear.

Craig Cardiff plays Folk Fest Friday, September 12. 


The Strain

Genre: alt pop

The last time Apt613 spoke with The Strain was in 2012. At that time they were the new kids on the block. Still in their early teens, they had began garnering a strong local following by winning that year’s Live 88.5 Big Money Shot and playing major events such as Ottawa Bluesfest, Canadian Music Week, Junofest and NXNE.

A couple of years the wiser, brother and sister David and Rylee Taggart, cousin Alex Serre and family friend Nick Johnston have finessed their electro-pop sound and have recently come out with a new offering entitled Tearing Up the Streets. If this latest single is any indication, they’ve perfected the art of the pop song and are ready to take a major step forward.

The Strain plays Folk Fest Thursday, September 11.


Lora Bidner

Genre: sophisticated folk

While Lora Bidner graced the stage of the Ottawa Bluesfest last year as part of the folk trio The Musettes, she’ll have the full spotlight on herself for this year’s Folk Fest. Lora’s music is what I call sophisticated folk – a singer songwriter using a range of instruments including the ukulele, hang drum and piano to elevate her beautiful voice.

Having finished an East Coast tour over the summer of 2013 alongside folk-rock band The Royal Streets, Lora performs frequently in Ottawa and involves herself in the local community. Over the years she has created music for a number of local plays, winning the Creativity Cappie Award in 2008 for her original score for the award-winning The Triangle Factory Project. Between playing countless live shows and completing her Bachelor’s of Music at Carleton University, she’s been writing and recording for a forthcoming album set to come out in the spring of 2015.

Lora Bidner plays Folk Fest Saturday, September 13.

Stay tuned to Apt613 over the next few days, we’ll be announcing more local bands playing Folk Fest!