Music to spotlight CP Holiday Train's support for local food shelves in Canada and United States

CALGARY, Nov. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - The 2011 CP Holiday Train will again feature music for everybody in both Canada and the United States as it raises money, food and awareness for local food banks.

On the Canadian Holiday Train, crowds will experience Canadian music legend Valdy, who is one of the country's most prolific musical story tellers. Joining Valdy will be young Ottawa rockers, Brothers Dube' and Canadian Country Music Hall of Famer and long-time Holiday Train favourite, Tracey Brown. Bringing holiday cheer and the important food shelf message on the U.S. Holiday Train will be veteran Milwaukee folk-rocker Willy Porter, who has a fan base that includes the U.S., Canada, the UK and Europe. Along with Willy on the Holiday Train stage will be Nashville country-music recording artist Sydney Grigg.

"The magic of the Holiday Train is phenomenal," says producer Randall Prescott, who is into his 10th year of putting together the entertainment for both trains. "To be able to bring this level of talent to thousands of people on this musical roadshow for food bank programs is very special and something I am proud to be a part of."

Starting the last weekend of November and going until December 17, two Holiday Trains will stop in about 150 communities in eight U.S. Midwest and Northeast states and six Canadian provinces in the fight against hunger. Each Holiday Train features 14 rail cars decorated with hundreds of thousands of technology-leading LED festival lights and other decorations. One of the cars is a modified boxcar that has been turned into a traveling stage for performers.

Since its launch in 1999, the Holiday Train program has raised close to $5.6 million and about 2.5 million pounds of food for North American food banks.  Everything raised in each community stays there for local distribution for those in need.

For additional information on the musicians, photos, 2011 schedules, a route map and downloadable pictures of the two trains visit: Supporters can also join the Holiday Train on Facebook and follow the two trains on Twitter @CPHolidaytrain

Editor's Notes:
**For one-on-one interviews with any of the artists please contact the listed media contacts.
**Musician bios are attached
**A sample of mp3 2011 CP Holiday Train songs by the musicians can be downloaded at:
**Broadcast b-roll available at:

Canadian Train


Through forty years of recording and touring, Valdy remains at the heart of Canada's musical landscape. Many Canadians at home and abroad have grown up listening to his music and songs on the radio and on stage. This prolific singer, musician, performer and songwriter personifies the original stylings of the folk music idiom, reflecting - true to form - what is going on around us in our own world, in our community, our nation and abroad.

Born Paul-Valdemar Horsdal in Ottawa, Ontario, Valdy debuted in the early '70s with the runaway-hit, Play Me a Rock'n'Roll Song, a humourous rendition of an amiable story-teller facing a decidedly hostile audience at British Columbia's first officially-sanctioned rock festival.

Producing music for film and television, Valdy's composition A Good Song was recorded under the title Just a Man by the venerable Quincy Jones (who sang lead on the recording!). Since its initial release, Rock'n'Roll Song has been covered by countless artists, including John Kay of Steppenwolf.

A master at weaving stories and tales of life, love and battles won and lost, Valdy is a gifted wordsmith with an intuitive ability to reveal the finest and most intricate nuance of everyday life. This minstrel maintains a legion of fans across the globe, whom he knows personally from his travels, many of whom he has helped along the way.

Valdy's recent recordings include CONTENDERS (a collaborative series with friend and fellow singer/songwriter, Gary Fjellgaard) and the solo release, VIVA VALDY : LIVE AT LAST! (a two-CD package, one live, one studio, with a total of 25 tunes, and a lyric booklet.) Material is currently in the works for a CD of great musical standards, and a best-of Valdy collection.

Having performed his music in a dozen different countries, from Denmark to Australia, Valdy continues to play some 200 shows a year, including festivals, soft-seat theatres and smaller intimate shows. In concert, Valdy remains a musical odyssey of poignant metaphors. Real life stories are delivered from the wise perspective of an old soul with earthy, practical values, dowsed in an aura of ease, wit and good old-fashioned fun.  On stage, audiences are privy to a rare and intimate look into the life and soul of a Canadian legend whose genuine kindness and humility allows the audience to share a connection rarely bridged between artist and fan.

Tracey Brown

Tracey Brown is a member of a family of exceptional and celebrated musicians. She was part of Canada's most awarded country group, Family Brown, before forming the Juno award winning, Prescott-Brown. The Family Brown toured extensively and had a syndicated TV show for 13 years. Over her career, Tracey Brown has released more than 20 albums and was nominated for a Juno as Best Country Female Vocalist in 1999. She is also  a  member of the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. She and husband, Randall Prescott have been actively involved in production of the Holiday Train since 2004, as well as performing on many of the tours.

Tracey  is delighted  to be sharing the stage one of her musical heroes, Valdy.

Brothers Dube

Even though the Brothers Dube are young, they are talented and devoted beyond their years. Liam (13), Jan (12) and ten year-old Quinn have rocked the charity world by busking and raising over $100,000 for Haiti Relief, breast cancer research, and children's organizations who have benefited from the efforts of these fine youngsters. They've shared bills with Sean Paul and Kymani Marley and performed live with artists such as Arcade Fire, Hollerado, and on the Holiday Train with The Odds. This led to having a song on a soon-to-be gold record featuring Barenaked Ladies, Melanie Doane along with guest appearances by Colin James and Rob Baker which has helped bring the total raised to $5.6 million dollars, and 2.45 million pounds of food for North American food banks.

The Brothers Dube got their start in music in Ottawa, Canada in 2006 at the ages of 6, 8 and 10 after posting covers of their mother's favorite songs on YouTube as a means of keeping her spirits up while she fought cancer. Shortly after her death, they began fundraising. Recipients of the prestigious CAYFO award for their contribution to arts and culture, they continue to inspire other kids to make a change in their communities.

Their influences include Pink Floyd, U2, Rush, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Black Sabbath and Metallica. For more information you can visit their website at

U.S. Train

Willy Porter

It's been a few miles across America, Canada, the UK and Europe since Willy Porter released his debut CD, "The Trees Have Soul" in 1990. Back then he traveled in his Volkswagen selling discs out of the trunk, mesmerizing audiences with his guitar chops and original tunes. In 1994, he released his second independent CD entitled, "Dog Eared Dream." The album marked Porter's artistic growth from his constant touring and a more developed songwriting perspective. The song "Angry Words" became a top-10 staple on Triple AAA radio stations around the country.  This radio success established Porter as a nationally recognized artist, and brought the inevitable major label bidding war to a boil. "Dog Eared Dream" highlighted his pop songwriting sensibility and also his acoustic guitar work that would grow into a style uniquely his own - a mixture of Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges, Richard Thompson and Lindsey Buckingham. He would ultimately sign with Private Music/BMG in 1995. European and American tours with Rickie Lee Jones, Tori Amos and The Cranberries followed over the next year and a half.  Amos summed up her thoughts by saying "Willy plays rhythms that make me want to crawl inside his guitar and sleep there forever."

Private Music went super nova in 1997, and Porter was left in contractual limbo with BMG.  Porter regained momentum in 1999 when he signed with San Francisco-based Six Degrees Records and released the folk-pop gem, "Falling Forward." Produced by Grammy winner Neil Dorfsman (Dire Straits, Sting), "Falling Forward" contained the radio friendly tracks "Mystery" & "Cut the Rope."  National tours commenced with legendary artists Paul Simon, Sting, Jeff Beck and Jethro Tull.

In 2002, Porter brought seemingly disparate elements together on his eponymous self-titled disc, "Willy Porter." The album combined his fiery acoustic guitar work with career defining songwriting and vocal work—equal parts rock muscle, and folk-based intimacy. "Willy Porter" showed his growing vocal talents as he sidestepped through various character songs with power and detailed subtlety.  In 2003, the solo live album "High Wire Live" would further forge Porters' relationship with his growing audience. It clearly showcased his mastery of the acoustic guitar in his most comfortable environment—his live show. He continued to stretch over the next couple of years morphing performance art, live audio looping, and improvisational sketch comedy into his solo whistle stops. Each tour date became a unique event, a musical experience much greater than just a review of past, present and future recorded work.

Porter's combined experience at both major and independent record labels ultimately fueled the drive to release a wider variety of music on a more frequent basis, and led Porter to start his own imprint, Weasel Records in December 2005. Since then he has released, "Available Light" and "How to Rob A Bank" (eOne Distribution) through this independent label as well as produced and released two discs for singer/songwriter Natalia Zukerman. Porter's latest project is a unique collaboration with Carpe Diem String Quartet called the mealies.  Adding an acoustic guitar and vocals to a traditional string quartet, the mealies have captivated audiences throughout the Midwest and captured one of their performances as "LIVE AT BoMA" released on Weasel Records in 2010.

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, has described Porter's musicianship this way: "Willy Porter's music demonstrates admirably that the technical excellence of his guitar-playing will never overwhelm the essence of the song itself. In perfect symbiosis, the disciplines of performance and songwriting combine together to create the unique work for which he is admired by professional peers and audiences alike. Oh - and a damn fine singer too. Thank goodness he doesn't play the flute."  Porter lives in Milwaukee, WI, and is married with two children.

Sydney Grigg

Twenty three-year-old Sydney Grigg moved from Toronto, ON to Nashville, TN in 1997. It was there that she began her flirtations with country and folk music. After having been singing for most of her life, she taught herself guitar as a senior in high school. She headed to Knoxville to start her college career at the University of Tennessee, and spent the next couple of years discovering the skill and craft of songwriting and guitar playing.

At 20, Sydney returned to Nashville and paused her education to concentrate her focuses on music and began getting involved in the Nashville songwriting community. In that same year, Sydney accepted a 6 month long internship with Universal Music Group and Lost Highway records.

In 2010 she traveled to Ottawa, ON to link up with Kelly Prescott (of Prescott) where she would take her recent crop of songs to be recorded at Lakeside Studios. During this month of fine-tuning her style and discovering her sound came her debut EP "A Perfect Kind of Bad." Grigg wrote and co-wrote 4 of the 5 songs with help from Kaylen Prescott (of Prescott) and Capital recording artist Eric Paslay.

Grigg toys with several styles, but the EP is a swamp-folk testament to heartbreak, and a windows-down reflection on youthful love and all of its uncertainty. She is currently residing in Nashville, after earning her BA, and continuing her evolution as a musician. Grigg is a fresh, heart-breakingly honest sound to follow and one to anticipate the music that will come.

Video with caption: "2011 CP Holiday Train - Making a difference, one stop at a time". Video available at:

SOURCE Canadian Pacific

For further information:

Media Contacts:  
Canadian Holiday Train       U.S. Holiday Train        
Kevin Hrysak Ed Greenberg
(403) 836-3874 (cell)        (612) 849-4717 (cell)    
*CP Media Line: 1-855-242-3674 (24/7-Toll Free)



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