Winnie Brave
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Winnie Brave

Orillia, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF | AFM

Orillia, Ontario, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo Americana Roots




"Album Review: WinnieBrave"

When you’re given a record to listen to with song titles like “Memphis”, “Tennessee” and “The Storm” instantaneously you get this picture in your mind of dusty back roads and small towns; and when the name of the band just happens to coincide with a storied form of transportation that traveled those back roads you just know the music will run deep and true…as it does on the new album from Winnie Brave.

Winnie Brave (formerly Hey Amy) are Canadian duo made up of Amy McIsaac & Brad McIsaac, the story goes the two of them sold everything they owned, packed up the dogs & gear and journeyed to the deep south of Texas; there they played their asses off for 3 months then trekked their way back to the great white north… not before immersing themselves in the whiskey-soaked Texas air that’s spread all throughout this album.

Amy McIsaac’s voice leads you on a trip throughout the storied past of country music when it was still country, from quiet balladesque tones to intensified alt-country styling’s she never veers away from her true path. Being that this album was recorded in just 2 days at the famed Woodshed Studio‘s in Toronto (owned by Blue Rodeo) the sound that they got right off the floor is captivating, and the musicianship of everyone that played on the album (dig the toy piano on “The Deep End) just brings it all on.

Winnie Brave takes us all on that journey to Texas right along with them….and I don’t want it to end. - Sonic More Music

"Simply the Best"


I just got a copy of Amy and Brad McIsaac's new disc, WinnieBrave.

Wow. You need to own this disc. It’s absolutely the best thing I’ve heard from all of our local musicians (Lance Anderson excepted), and there have been many great discs recorded by our locals.

The songwriting is great and the singing, better. The instrumentation, playing and arranging are really slick. Tim Vesley did a remarkable job recording it live in the studio and mixing the disc. It ranks up there with my favourite discs (Steely Dan, for example) to listen to from a purely technical standpoint.

When I popped it into the player and heard the first tune, the only word I could come up with to describe it was “gorgeous” — and that’s a word I’m not known to use because I’m not Rex Reed.

After listening to the whole thing, I only wanted to play it again and play it for others to hear.

The disc has an overall country kind of feel, but it’s way more intelligent than other country music of late. If stations like KICX 106 don’t play this until it breaks, there’s something really wrong with country music in general. I suspect it will be popular across the board in many other genres. - Orillia Packet and Times

"For Folk's Sake - New Bands Panel"

Canada is not a country that I would immediately associate with the desolate skys, open plains of dust and trailor parks that frame the USAs ‘deep south’. Clearly I’m wrong. Hey Amy is a ‘two horse town’ native, who writes folk songs with such a keen country influence that one could easily believe they had been written on a Texan porch, with a whisky bottle and Marlboros in tow. She decorates her MySpace page with only three songs, but these are promising enough to suggest that the trailor park, metaphorical or real, can be left firmly in the past.
by Damien Girling

Fans of breezy, intelligent and feisty country-rock ought to drop their shootin’ irons and head over to MySpace immediately to hear this husky Canadian – she has the sound of the land in her voice and a handful of songs both true and fine. Tracks as good as At Night and Push reaffirm the potential of this kind of music to exist without straying too far into the tepid arena of MOR. I don’t know how common this sort of thing is in Canada, but I like it. Anyone who lives in Orillia or Barrie, Ontario, where she plays extensively, would be well advised to check her out.
by James Robinson - For Folk's Sake music blog

"Hey Amy Live"

Hey Amy: Impressive

Last Friday night's concert by Hey Amy in the Studio Theatre at the Opera House was impressive.

I've been telling you that the new CD, the Woodshed Sessions, by the band formerly known as the Gnomes (Amy and Brad McIsaac, Ron Hill and Bob Hawkins), is outstanding and I expected a live rendering of it would be as good.

It was, but I didn't expect it to be an exposition of performing talent that compares easily to some of best I've seen.

I remember seeing Brad and Amy years ago when they were a duo, playing under a tent on Mississaga Street for a sidewalk sale, in a drizzle. They have come a long way since then.

Like I said about a band of brothers (Bleeker Ridge) four years ago, Hey Amy is ready for the big time.

They have the songs, they have the arrangements and they have Amy. Without a doubt, she lives in her tunes and connects with the audience in ways that other musicians wish they could. - Orillia Packet & Times by John Swartz

"Hey Amy CD Review"

I got my hands on a new CD. The title is The Woodshed Sessions, after the name of the studio that it was recorded in. That's the one built by Blue Rodeo. The disc has nine tunes that are different from each other, very listenable with a bit of a country feel (in a Melissa Etheridge or Emmylou Harris kind of way) on some tunes and very well produced. Woodshed house engineer Tim Vesley did a great job capturing the performances of each tune.
And they are performances. They were recorded in a day and a half, mostly in one take with all members playing simultaneously. The disc has the sound of something recorded one instrument and voice at a time.
When you give it a listen, that information will enhance the appreciation of what you are hearing. Amy's voice is front and centre the whole way through, but not so that it seems out of place against the bass, drums and guitar.
The whole band played with a sensitivity that speaks to their professionalism. The arranging was interesting on its own and the songwriting superb. But it's Amy's performance that will hook you.
This is a disc you should own. You can get a copy at their concert at the Opera House on March 11 or at their monthly gig at The Local in Barrie. - The Orillia Packet & Times

"Swartz Shorts (John Swartz)"

Sometimes things happen you don't plan. For instance, I went to Bracebridge Friday evening. There's a little pub there called the Griffin Gastropub and the Gnomes were playing. The Gnomes are Amy Campbell and Brad McIsaac. I haven't seen them play for quite a while, maybe a year. When I walked in they were
doing Wheat Kings.
They played a couple tunes from a CD they have and a bunch of other covers.
It's funny how a bit of time can reveal things, like vast improvement. Amy is a great performer. On a song like Brand New Key, yes the old top-40 tune by Melanie, she manages to make it sound fresh and a little deeper than the way I remember the tune. When I think of what I heard and saw, I keep returning to Amy's performance. I've seen performances like hers before, but it's usually by singers more established and playing gigs at Casino Rama or some other similar venue. She's got something few other singers have.
- Orillia Packet & Times

"Erin Insight by Phil Gravelle"

Much as I enjoyed Murray McLauchlan and the Murray Williams Band, the highlight of the evening for me was The Gnomes, who played first. It is also their third year at the fair, with Amy Campbell on acoustic guitar and lead vocals, and Hillsburgh native Brad McIsaac on bass and backup vocals.

A few years ago, they won the talent contest at the Erin Fair. Now they live in Beaverton and play around the Orillia area. They have been featured on the CBC Radio 2 show Deep Roots.

The music is mellow and upbeat, leaning toward county in some of their own material, like Fortune Cookies, and more to folk, blues and soul in the other tunes they play.

The strong voice and energetic stage presence of Amy Campbell made the show something special. She has a light, evocative tone, with the power to soar and improvise when needed.

It often seems that the most passionate performances come from artists who are still early in their careers, still discovering what they can really do. I wish The Gnomes well, and hope their career becomes a long one. - The Erin Advocate


Still working on that hot first release.



Winnie Brave: A soulful composite of roots and folk, a two-man-band of epic sonic proportions. This husband and wife, internationally-touring duo travel in their 1976 Winnebago playing over 150 shows a year.

From the beginning... 
As the fall of 2012 approached, inspiration for change struck and a decision was made to bet the farm and take a chance on a life less ordinary. The house was sold, jobs were left behind and an old towable trailer became the new way of life. Packing up only the essentials - two dogs, two guitars, two amplifiers and their two favorite coffee mugs, the duo hit the road and travelled over 7000kms in three months throughout the southern United States, in-search of musical inspiration.

After returning to Ontario in the late spring of 2013, the duo took to the studio and in a weekend recorded there self-titled debut album. Featuring a collection of songs inspired by their recent journey, they would become the foundation for a new direction. 

In January 2016 the duo embarked on a nine-month international tour, travelling over 15,000 miles and playing more than 70 shows in 13 states and three provinces. 

Band Members