Mimi Shaw Mimi Shaw is an alt-country artist with a voice that bends the lines of roots, country and Americana. Her sultry and spirited soundscapes are grounded by down to earth sensibilities. Deeply influenced by vintage country and roots artists, Mimi’s evocative music hints at past greats like The Carter Sisters, Hank Williams, Hank Snow and Patsy Cline. Modern influences the likes of Emmy-lou Harris, Margo Timmins and Lucinda Williams can be felt as well.
The 2015 Hamilton Music Awards have nominated Mimi Shaw for Female Artist of the Year and Alt-Country Recording of the Year. This is an exciting follow-up to the release of her anticipated debut EP, Niagara. Mimi’s star has been on the rise since being recognized as Emerging Artist at the City of Hamilton Arts Awards 2014. Mimi has shared the stage with artists like Tom Wilson, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Harlan Pepper, Lori Yates and Rita Chiarelli among others. She was part of the JUNO 2015 Concert Series and played to a packed house during JUNO Music Crawl. She was voted one of CBC’s top 10 picks for Hamilton’s Supercrawl 2012 and was welcomed back as a main stage act in 2013.
With her recording Niagara, Mimi, along with producer Trevor Titian (Harrison Kennedy, Dinner Belles, Michelle Titan) has created a true vintage Americana soundscape. It’s a glimpse back in time; a journey that taps into classic old country sounds of the 40s and 50s. Joined by Hamilton guitarists John Lewis and the late great Brian Griffiths, this Niagara EP is a real Hamilton gem. Also appearing on the disc are Steeltown powerhouse players Lisa Winn, Clark Johnston, Sean O’Grady, Tone Valcic and, from Harlan Pepper, Mimi’s nephew, Thompson Wilson. Shaw also has co-writing credits with alt-country great Lori Yates.
“I had a lot of help putting this together. I was extremely lucky to have the chance to work with so many great artists. Not only did they share their talents, but also their time, creativity and inspiration. The whole experience really opened my eyes on how unique and vibrant the arts community truly is in Hamilton.”
The genesis for the EP and single Niagara stemmed from a classic honeymoon photo of Shaw’s parents in front of a vintage Niagara Falls. “It is so nostalgic and familiar that many people can conjure up a similar image with their own families. The falls are in the background and you see the old wrought iron railing behind them. I wanted to write a love song that was as simple and sweet and elemental as that. It’s a love song that’s not in some far away land but in a place where we live.”
“I knew I wanted to create an EP with a retro feel that draws on old country inspirations. It had to resonate and reflect old sounds, instrumentations and sentiments. It’s an homage to the music that excites and inspires me. I am drawn to the simplicity of those melodies and lyrical notions where things are simmered down to their true form.”
Mimi Shaw lives and plays in the Hammer with her husband, 2 children, and dog Pokey. She has a thing for vintage clothing and funky glassware from the 50s. You can often find her roaming the thrift shops and antique stores along James Street North looking for a good find. Mimi also loves neon signs like the ones you find in front of old hotels and motels. Please feel free to share any photos of any cool neon you find!