Nolan Murray / Bruce Coughlan / Holly Arntzen / Kevin Wright / Laurence Knight
Bards and Balladeers
Drawn together by a deep, abiding love for this amazing place we’re proud to call our home, members of Pacific Canadian muso-historians Tiller’s Folly (Bruce Coughlan, Nolan Murray & Laurence Knight) and Eco-Folk Rockers The Wilds (Holly Arntzen & Kevin Wright) have joined forces in a celebration of songs and stories about the Salish Sea, it’s beauty, history, ecology and culture.
Our five-piece Roots Music supergroup weaves a rich, dynamic tapestry, up close and personal, sharing our deep connection with the Salish Sea in a repertoire that reflects more than two decades of artistic expression!
Combining songs, stories, humour, visual art and multimedia, our goal is to entertain, educate and inspire folks to be good stewards of the watersheds where they live…that drain into the Pacific Ocean and the unique ecosystem that is the Salish Sea.
Tiller’s Folly creates music that is both distinctly Canadian and firmly rooted in the acoustic tradition. Based in the Pacific Northwest, they are modern day storytellers of lore, uniting the past with the present.
For the past twenty years, through thousands of performances stretching from the Pacific Northwest, to The Carolinas, to the British Isles and beyond - they have spread their memorable blend of energy, history, musicality, romance and just plain fun from small and large halls to theaters and festivals.
As the performance aspect behind the Artist Response Team, Eco-Folk Rockers Holly Arntzen and Kevin Wright lend their exceptional talent and their passion to carry a positive message about our ecology and its preservation to festivals and events, and through initiatives like Rock the Salish Sea, a program that engages students an entire school at a time, assuring that environmental concerns are addressed by future generations!
Holly Arntzen (vocals, dulcimer & piano)
If you could name only two things that singer/songwriter Holly Arntzen is passionate about, they would probably be music and her love of the natural world. As it happens, the two seem to be intricately entwined as Holly continues her life-long mission to educate and change the hearts of people about our environment and the future of our little blue planet.
Surviving as an “environmental” singer for the past twenty-five years has not been easy but coming from pioneering stock and a sea-faring family, always ready to tackle issues that seem insurmountable to others, Holly’s determination to bring the message of environmental sustainability to the world is unwavering. Working in collaboration for many years with her late husband and producer, Stephen Foster, and today with a group of talented musicians and artists, she creates songs of innocence that carry a much deeper relevance. She is always ready to “tilt at a windmill” if it will lead to deeper understanding of the important environmental issues that confront us in our daily lives.
Bruce Coughlan (vocals, acoustic guitar)
Bruce began his musical career busking on Vancouver street corners at the age of 13. He recorded his first LP in 1984, and since has recorded 14 albums of original and adapted traditional music across a broad range of the Roots Music genre. Many of Bruce’s songs have been recorded by some of the most legendary names in Acoustic Music.
Bruce is possibly best recognized for his historically-based ballads, written on Pacific Canadian themes and recorded by Tiller’s Folly, who in 2015 released Stirring Up Ghosts, a CD collection of 24 historically-based songs.
Bruce is also emerging as a solo performer, story teller, compere and media host. His 2017 release Waiting for Rain draws on a lifetime of experience. It is retrospective, nostalgic and Bluesy in nature, while highlighting his ability as songsmith, vocalist and guitarist.
Laurence Knight (electric bass, vocals)
Laurence is a fifty-year veteran of Western Canada’s vibrant music scene who's first love is Rhythm and Blues. Early in his career, Laurence earned a solid reputation in Vancouver's Blues music community, touring and recording with the Foreman Young Band, Jim Byrnes and the legendary Long John Baldry, just to mention a few.
In a shift from R&B to Folk music Laurence once again found his stride while performing and recording with many of the West's most iconic artists, including Roy Forbes, Shari Ulrich and Ferron.
Laurence is an expressive bassist, and energetic performer who adds his soulful, rhythmic signature to all he touches. When not performing, Laurence spends much of his time producing Jazz/Roots albums.
Nolan Murray (fiddle, mandolin, electric mandolin)
Nolan has a long history as a multi-instrumentalist gun-for-hire who at an early age, parlayed an impressive list of championships into a touring/recording career that has spanned decades.
Throughout that time, he's left his musical imprint with a long list of iconic performers including Loretta Lynn, Brenda Lee, John Fogerty ,The Irish Rovers, Randy Travis, John Cowan, Ricky Van Shelton, David Frizzell, Patricia Conroy, Gary Fjellgaard, Jess Lee, Funk Brother's Bob Babbitt, Wrecking Crew's Larry Knechtel.
Nolan’s interest in the environment stems from his father Sherman Murray who was a game warden for Oregon Fish & Wildlife. When Nolan made the Pacific Northwest his permanent home, he studied to become a naturalist. Today, Nolan divides his time between music, volunteering for Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network and working in his capacity as music director for the Orca Network.
Kevin Wright (vocals, cajon & congas)
Kevin has spent the majority of his musical life singing in rock bands. With a microphone plugged into a little red record player he’d throw concerts in his back yard at the age of 9. KISS concerts were regular fare… tennis rackets for guitars, white 5-gallon buckets for drums… It served to light the spark that still burns bright today.
In 2004 Kevin was working as the afternoon radio host at Village 900AM in Victoria, still playing rock music, but getting very influenced by the World Beat/Folk music he was pumping out to a Global Roots audience in Victoria and surrounding area.
It was then he met Stephen Foster & Holly Arntzen who were shopping a Voices of Nature radio program. It was a life-defining moment when the three joined forces and began Voices of Nature School Music Programs. After Stephen’s sudden death, Holly and Kevin continued the work he had begun. The work which they continue to this day.