Made in Manitoba music at Corn and Apple Festival

By Lorne Stelmach

Homegrown Manitoba talent is rounding out the entertainment lineup for the 2012 Corn and Apple Festival.

Many of the names appearing on the schedule along with the headline acts will be familiar to local music fans.

Classic Canadian rocker Kim Mitchell headlines the Friday main stage with such hits as Go For Soda, Rock N Roll Duty Patio Lanterns, I am a Wild Party, Easy To Tame and All We Are.

He has achieved gold and multiplatinum records leading the musically eclectic Max Webster in the 70s and later during his solo career, selling over a million recordings in this country over a 30 year career. He has won two Juno awards for album of the year and male vocalist of the year.

Saturday night will be headlined by Kenny Shields and Streetheart. Formed in 1976, they began captivating audiences with their musical power and raw talent. Winning a platinum award for their song Meanwhile began their string of Gold and Platinum awards including for their version of the Rolling Stones' Under My Thumb. In 1983 the band broke up ... fast forward 20 years with the same fierce power and precision they had, Kenny Shields and Streetheart made their anticipated return.

Other stage highlights for the weekend:

- Friday

Keith and Renée defy all labels. Some call them pop, some call them rock-others have called them folk and now country. For Keith and Renée, the genre doesn't matter as much as creating music with meaning.

The duo recently spent two summers in Kenya as ambassadors for the humanitarian organization Free the Children. Best Day, their fifth and latest CD, was inspired by the people they met while touring abroad and in the United States. The title track is a tribute to a friend who went overseas to fight in the war.

Their song Good Year was the theme for Manitoba's 2010 Homecoming campaign, and they performed it for the Queen during her visit to Winnipeg.

Born and raised on the Manitoba prairie, Del Barber has been winning over audiences with raw talent and ample doses of charm.

Barber has released two full length records and found the time to tour coast to coast twice. At just 26 years old, Barber's road tested collection of tunes are just beginning make their mark on the roots scene.

In the spirit of legends like Townes Van Zandt, Greg Brown, Neil Young and John Prine, Barber dreams new life into old forms with a cutting sense of humour, a hint of cynicism and songs that span the gulf between the sacred and the profane.

Dipping deep into the well of the folk tradition, Barber's capacity to weave experiences and characters stems from a keen understanding of narrative, phrasing and metaphor, which get tied together by Barber's polished finger-style guitar work, warm home town melodies and his inviting and intoxicating personality.

And born in Calgary and raised primarily on the Manitoba prairies, Kathy Kennedy has been a professional vocalist for over two decades. Her soulful powerhouse vocals and strong stage presence confidently display her experience.

Kathy has sung blues for the past 20 years and has also impersonated 10 divas of rock and pop women. She sings many styles including rock, classic rock, R&B, dance, pop, folk. She is not only a singer/songwriter, she is the creator, founder and promoter of Women in Blues Manitoba - the manager and booking agent of her band.

- Saturday

If Keith Richards, Joan Jett and Ray Charles could somehow spawn a love child, it'd be Romi Mayes.

With a ballsy, heart on her sleeve, straight shooting attitude, her raw, edgy songs take no prisoners and tell it like it is. Not at all a one speed driver, Romi Mayes can also gear down the big rig and hypnotize you with honest sultry, sweet and sexy tunes.

Juno nominated, multiple CFMA nominated and four time WCMA winner for songwriter of the year and album of the year, Romi Mayes is a force to be reckoned with that will be a household name for years to come. She is only getting better with each album, and one thing you can bet on is this hard core prairie gal has no plans to burn out.

Sweet Alibi has been captivating audiences with their alluring blend of soulful melody and folk/roots tradition. A playful sense of lyricism set to powerful vocal harmony set the stage for a performance which is up front and personal and instinctively compelling.

Drawing influence from a vast array of musical references, Sweet Alibi apply a quirky pop sensibility to an eclectic set. Songs range in mood from hauntingly provocative ballads to left of centre takes on everything from country to old school RnB. Backing their vocals with electric guitars, banjos, hand percussion, ukuleles, upright bass, Sweet Alibi compliment a diverse set with an equally eclectic instrumentation.

Glen Williams and his band Rockalypso bring the sounds and rhythms of the Caribbean to you. Reggae, soca, calypso and rhythm & blues make up a typical set. It's all for fun - and to get you dancing!

Glen Williams leads the group with vocals and guitar. Any number of band-mates join him depending on the event. Life of the party and former Morden mayor Doug Wilson on sax and Chris Meszaros on bass are among the usual suspects.

Reggae music is his first love, but he also sings classic R&B and soul hits. His original compositions bring all of these elements together with a sense of fun.

- Cottonwood Stage

Friday at the Cottonwood Stage will feature the Cripple Creek Trio, Vince Anderson and Company and the Harvey Allen Band.

Saturday will feature Ed Penner, Country Line Dance, Echo Valley Boys and Cathy Erickson Band then Sunday will feature The Fugitives.