Nathan’s soulful and vivid sound didn’t happen by accident. Few singer/songwriters have had the opportunity to be steeped in such a diverse range of musical influences. Nathan was the primary songwriter and driving creative force behind the successful Canadian Celtic band, Celtae. Celtae spoke deeply to Nathan’s roots in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. But long before he started to play gigs across Canada in a kilt, he fronted alt rock group, Stevenson’s Cane (with Brian Talbot of Slowcoaster and Mike Richey). At the same time, Nathan was writing roots rock tunes, beatboxing and competing in freestyle rap battles.
After the dissolution of Celtae, Nathan began the process of distilling these diverse influences into a distinct style, “Chop” music. Nathan’s unique post hip hop roots rock takes his cue from other genre crossing visionaries such as Citizen Cope, Everlast and Wyclef Jean, but his sound is more planted in the roots, giving nods to Neil Young, the Band, Tracy Chapman, Bob Marley, Johnny Cash and Tom Petty.
In 2008 Nathan was a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. This competition is held annually and is the #1 contest of its kind. The judges are a veritable who's who of the music industry with everyone from Tom Waits to Timbaland taking part.
Nathan's debut solo effort "Lovers, Leavers and Believers" was released in June 2011. The recording features performances by excellent guest musicians including East Coast Music Award nominees Andrea Curry and Neil McDaniel, Ross Murray (Mighty Popo, Great Big Sea), Dave Cohen (Johnny Reid), Stuart Watkins (East Village Opera Company), Mike Richey, Marni Levitt, and more. Buy your copy today if you haven't already!
Act: Nathan Bishop
Recording: "Lovers Leavers and Believers" LP, 2011
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Greg debuted his Ritallin persona at an Ottawa spoken word event in summer 2003. Since he began performing regularly in winter 2004, Ritallin has developed a reputation for delivering powerful poetry in a way that is lyrically appealing, widely accessible and unapologetically provocative in its socially conscious message. Greg has always written about issues that matter, including social justice, racism, the plight of Afrikans across the Diaspora, and empowerment of the disenfranchised.
In October 2004, Ritallin represented Ottawa at the Canadian Spoken Wordlympics (now the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, or CFSW) and was a member of the festival's organizing committee. In the same month he co-founded Capital Slam, now Canada’s second longest running monthly poetry slam series and the two-time defending Canadian national slam champions (2009-10). He went on to represent the city once again at CFSW 2006 in Toronto, and then served as National Director of Spoken Word Canada (SpoCan) from 2006-08. In 2010, Greg was the Media & Communications Director for CFSW 2010 Ottawa, becoming the first spoken word artist in Canada to be on two CFSW festival organizing committees. At SpoCan’s annual meeting in 2010, Greg was elected to serve a two-year term as the Vice-Chair (Communications) on the Board of Directors’ Executive Committee.
Ritallin released Volume I (a cappella) of his three-CD recording project Poet Psychology in October 2010. Volume 1 was recorded at Uptown Underground. Volume II (live recordings) was released in January 2011 and a tentative release date for Volume III (poetry and music) in late 2011. He is also working on a few collaborative projects with other poets and musicians, including guest appearances on a couple of upcoming CDs from other talented artists. He plans to visit more venues, schools, businesses, organizations and communities across North America and around the world to spread his message to as many people as possible.
Genre: Spoken Word
Recording: Poet Psychology Vol 1 (acapella)
Recording: Poet Psychology Vol II
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Celtae has been performing their unique brand of traditional music since 2001 for countless excited audiences across Canada. Driven by the creative song writing force of the group's founder Nathan (Bishop) MacDonald, Celtae has made the traditional music world sit up and take note. Their debut CD, No Regrets sold over 5000 copies and continues to be a hit with their ever-growing audience. The album has received critical acclaim. Celtae's original music has received considerable radio attention. Their music has been licensed for use in radio and film, Celtic compilations, and has been covered and recorded by other artists. Notably Merchant Marine, an original cut off the album, was chosen to be the theme song for the Paul Ciufo's CBC Drama, "On Convoy".
Celtae's show is interactive and infectious. Audiences find themselves singing, clapping or dancing to traditional jigs, reels and Strathspeys. What sets Celtae apart has been their ability to explore the boundaries of the Celtic genre while maintaining the essential spirit of the ancient tradition. There is a raw energy and stirring emotion that is breathed into every piece. Celtae performs original songs and their own interpretations of select traditional songs from the Cape Breton, Newfoundland, Irish and Scottish traditions.
Nathan, the group's founder is currently working on the Nathan Bishop project so Celtae is playing very rarely although they do pop up from time to time to do a live performance.
Genre: Celtic Rock
Recording: No Regrets
Click here to purchase No Regrets.
Uptown Underground is looking for talented artists to join the movement. See demos section for details.