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Short Bio

Lori Yates is a renowned voice, a respected singer/songwriter in roots music, and a pioneer of “alternative country music” in Canada. 

The Band's Rick Danko once described Yates as having "that desperate Canadian sound," sealing her legendary status. 

Yates returns with her eighth album, Matador, released in January 2024. 

From the first notes of the opening track, it becomes apparent that Lori’s voice has matured into a powerful, beautiful, alluring instrument.

“Matador” is a masterful collection of roots/indie songs; each one unfurls like a precious jewel.  

"Lori Yates’ Matador sparkles with seductive grooves, wonderfully inventive melodies and finely crafted, emotive-filled vocals. Matador is, so far, my favourite album of the year.  - Rob Bowman, Grammy-winning Professor of Music, Feb. 2024

You rarely run into a record so beautifully rendered as Lori Yates’ Matador. The songs contain so much wisdom and are exquisitely sung. That voice is a gift.  I loved this record.  - Jim Cuddy, Blue Rodeo, March 2024

Recorded at The Woodshed, Matador features members from Toronto supergroup Hey Stella and Blue Rodeo, including Bazil Donovan, Jimmy Bowskill, Michelle Josef, and the late great guitarist David Baxter. This is a new sound for Yates, leaning on the piano and organ, played by Steve O'Connor.

“Yates has made an EXCELLENT new nine-song album.” - Nick Krewen, Toronto Star Feb. 2024

The title track, Matador, pays homage to the famed after-hours club depicted in Leonard Cohen's video "Closing Time,” an autobiographical call to save one of Toronto’s most storied landmarks.            

“Alive” deals with life's duality in an uplifting way. This sentiment sets the tone for an album that delves into triumph, heartache, pain, and love—capturing the myriad of emotions that define the human experience.

Lori has re-recorded “Time After Time,”  co-written with legendary songwriter Guy Clark, in hopes that it will get the attention it deserves.

In a world where the single of the week rules, “Matador” demands to be heard, a timeless ritual akin to leafing through chapters of a cherished novel. It harkens back to a time when albums were immersive experience.

“Beautifully crafted, ringing with the true spirit of the country: sorrow, heart, danger and redemption. - Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator, March 2024                              

Lori's transition from major labels like Sony Nashville and Virgin Music Canada to her independent recordings, where she has created her best work (five independent recordings), demonstrates the depth of her conviction that only a true artist can claim.

“Yates’ brand of forward-thinking alt-country was truly ahead of her time when she made her Nashville debut at the tail end of the 80’s”. The influence of her albums  “Can’t Stop the Girl and  Breaking Point is all over today’s Americana scene. - Country Universe, May 2024

Yates catapulted onto the Queen West scene in the 1980s with her cowpunk band Rang Tango. Discovered by Nashville, Lori has shared stages and studios with a dizzying array of music heavyweights, including Roky Erickson, Rick Danko, Colin Linden, Jim Cuddy, duets with Tom Wilson and movie soundtrack for Patrick Swayze’s Next of Kin with Greg Allman to name a few.

Understandably, Lori Yates has a long list of accolades to her credit: Juno, CCMA, Polaris Prize (Longer List), Lifetime Achievement awards, and Songwriter of the Year nominations and wins. 

Yates’ songwriting prowess is celebrated through the permanent enshrinement of her lyrics from "Angels With Bloody Knees" in Hamilton's Gore Park. 

“Haunting, relaxed beauty. Lori’s voice is in its peak form, rich and resonant. Her new album Matador is among the best she’s ever put out”. - Root Music Canada, Feb. 2024

Lori Yates has marched to her own drum, and "Matador" is a testament to her authenticity and musical prowess.

Always a firebrand, it’s so so good to hear from Yates again.” Country Universe, May 2024