Meet The Band: Patricia Reynolds, electric guitar, vocals; Jen Gilbert, acoustic guitar, drums, vocals; Carmel Whittle, drums, harmonica, guitar, vocals; Sarah Ryan, banjo, vocals.
Ottawa-based Elizabeth Riley Band has a raw, contagious sound, with original songs and interpretations inspired by bluegrass harmonies, folk classics, and alt and traditional country music.
Wielding banjo, acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, djembe, stand-up snare and a porch board, these four singer-songwriters speak out about personal, social and political realities. Their songs are infused with women’s lived experience.
Jen Gilbert grew up in the Ottawa Valley in a music-loving family. She mainly sang until picking up the guitar in her late 20s and currently plays rhythm guitar and other kinds of rhythm sometimes (ie. percussion) with Elizabeth Riley Band. Heavily influenced by the chord progressions and traditions of old-time country music in her original songs, but a lover of all styles of music. Outside of her music-life, Jen is a mom, an educator, and a PhD student at McGill. One day when she graduates you can call her Doc
Carmel Whittle is an Irish and Mik’maq visual artist, musician, song writer & activist who hails from Newfoundland and plays percussion, guitar and harmonica in the Elizabeth Riley Band. One of 11 children, she grew up in a family where everyone sang songs telling stories of loss, tragedy & love. Carmel`s work has been shown in many local exhibitions, where she sometimes presents a multi-media performance demonstrating the interconnectedness of her art and music. She is also art facilitator – studio coordinator with H’Art of Ottawa and co-chair of Arts Health Network Ottawa. Strongly influenced by songwriter/musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, she plays and writes music that takes a stand on injustices in the world. She also loves to experiment with sound and create instruments from found objects. To see more of Carmel’s visual art side check out www.carmelwhittle.com
Vocally driven with an electrified edge, Elizabeth Riley Band has captivated audiences at an eclectic range of venues. Check out their new EP, Felt through the bone, available on bandcamp and iTunes!