Vocalist Carleigh Aikins has appeared on numerous reknown stages singing for audiences all over North America nad Europe. She's graced everywhere from Royal Albert Hall to the Ryman Auditorium to Red Rocks Amphitheatre to Massey Hall- and countless stages in between them.
The newest member of Denver Colorado's Paper Bird, Aikins has toured with the band across America; most recently in support of Nathaniel Ratefliff & The Night Sweats' sold out North American Tour and with The Infamous Stringdusters ft. Nicki Bluhm on their Ladies and Gentlemen Tour. In the short time since she joined the Paper Bird fold, the've recorded in Nashville, TN with John Oates after he sought them out to produce their new material. Oates has since joined in with the band for live performances, and invited them to support Darryl Hall & John Oates at the prestigious Red Rocks Amphitheater. Their collaboration will be released September 9 2016 with Thirty Tigers.
Carleigh has performed intimate live shows with Josiah Johnson; and fans of his band The Head and the Heart have heard her sing alongside him at many of their sold-out performances in some of America's largest concert venues.
Aikins is also a hard-working supporting vocalist. She has appeared live singing with Jack Johnson and is featured on his live EP From Here To Now To You, 2014. She recently did a stint of west coast shows singing back-ups for Macy Gray and Galactic. Aikins tours live with Canadian artist Royal Wood, appears as featured vocalist with Toronto's Dwayne Gretzky and Hannah Georgas, and has made live appearances singing with City and Colour, Lucius, Ken Stringfellow ( REM, Big Star, The Posies) ,Calexico, Blue Rodeo, Shakey Graves, Yukon Blonde,The Weakerthans, Gold Lake and The Weather Station to name a very few.
For years she toured as a vocalist in Bahamas as they performed on countless NA and EU festivals and stages shared with legends such as Robert Plant, Neil Young and Willie Nelson. The band made appearances on The Colbert Report and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Aikins appears on the Bahamas recordings, including the 2015 JUNO Award Winning ( and Polaris Prize Nominated ) album Bahamas Is Afie, as well as the critically acclaimed and JUNO Award nominated Barchords, and the Bahamas iTunes EP.
For several years she fronted the Barrie, ON indie outfit Fox Jaws sharing the bill with acts such as Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes. This led her to performing and writing with Brett Caswell as a member of his band The Marquee Rose.
Canadian born Carleigh Aikins (b.1984) grew up on Kempenfelt Bay in beautiful Barrie, ON. Being a multi-faceted artist, her practice has branched into many fields; as a visual artist, a stage actress, designer, instructor and youth mentor, but most prominently as a vocalist.
Aikins has been singing for over twenty years; first as a musical theatre performer, and then as a frontwoman and collaborator or backing vocalist for various artists.
Carleigh can currently be seen appearing as a lead vocalist with the Denver, Colorado outfit Paper Bird. They have recorded their premiere album with Aikins as part of the line-up, in Nashville TN with John Oates and producer David Kalmusky at Addiction Sound ( Jonathan Cain of Journey's personal studio). Their release will be out in 2016.
Aikins is also a backing vocalist with Juno Nominated Artist Royal Wood. Her vocals appear on his most recent release Ghost Light, and she toured with him in support of The Burning Bright and I Wish You Well ( having arranged and performed backing vocals on the release produced by Dean Drouillard). She also performs as a duo alongside Josiah Johnson ofThe Head and the Heart , and has recently appeared as part of the line-up with Hannah Georgas, The Weather Station, with Madrid/Brooklyn based outfit Gold Lake, and with Toronto's Dwayne Gretzky as well as Singapore ( with members of Brave Shores, The Golden Dogs, Hayden, Wax Atlantic).
Carleigh has worked in-studio on recordings with producers Don Kerr ( of The Rheostatics, Ron Sexmith), Michael Timmins (of Cowboy Junkies) , Howie Beck and Jason Collett ( of Broken Social Scene) , Dean Drouillard ( of Royal Wood), Ryan Lenssen (of The Most Serene Republic) Brandon Wolfe Scott (of Yukon Blonde), Aaron Goldstein ( of Huron, City and Colour, Daniel Romano and the Trilliums) John Dinsmore (Kathleen Edwards, Sarah Harmer, N.Q Arbuckle) and Jay McCarroll (Hayden, Jason Collett, Singapore). Her most recent appearances on releases for artists include Bahamas ( Bahamas Is Afie, Barchords) Jack Johnson ( From Here To Now To You Live EP) The Weather Station ( What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know), Royal Wood ( Ghost Light, I Wish You Well), Inner Oceans ( I Don't Mind), Jerry Leger ( Early Riser) , Torero, and Carleton Stone ( Draws Blood) amoung others.
From 2011 until the end of 2013, Aikins was seen performing as part of the live line-up for Artist Bahamas, touring through North America and Europe. In 2015 the release of Bahamas Is Afie won the JUNO for Adult Alternative Album of the Year; featuring Aikins' vocals. She also appears on the acclaimed song Lost in the Light ; the opening track to the 2012 release Barchords, out on Brushfire Records. (2013 Juno Nom’ for Adult Alternative Album of the Year).
In 2013 Bahamas supported Jack Johnson on his European and North American “From Here To Now To You” Fall Tour. Aikins was also one of the guest vocalists during the Jack Johnson sets throughout the sold out tour, which hit stages such as Massey Hall (Toronto), The Ryman Auditorium (Nashville), L’Olympia (Paris), Circus Krone ( Germany), United Palace (NYC) , The Orpheum ( Los Angeles, Vancouver) the Fox Theatre (Atlanta) and The Chicago Theatre to name a few. Bahamas appeared at the RoundHouse in London England for The 2013 iTunes Festival streaming live to the world, as well as at Farm Aid 2013 where Neil Young and Willie Nelson performed on the same stage. Carleigh appeared with Jack Johnson and Bahamas on The Colbert Report performing two of Jack’s songs, and is featured on the live release of the From Here To Now To You tour.
Bahamas headlined tours across Canada and America while Aikins was a part of the live line-up, singing alongside Felicity Williams and with Jason Tait (The Weakerthans) on drums. They supported acts such as Robert Plant and His Band of Joy (Montreal and Ottawa Jazz Festivals), Noah and The Whale (three NA/EU tours including appearances at Royal Albert Hall, Shepherd's Bush Empire) and two American tours with Michael Kiwanuka. They also supported and sat in on sets with Blue Rodeo (Molson Amphitheatre), City and Colour ( 2012 European tour) and Calexico ( 2013 NA Tour) and toured with Matt Costa, Milo Greene and Ben Howard. Bahamas shared the bill with Father John Misty, Bonnie (Prince) Billy, Stars, Serena Ryder, Kathleen Edwards, The Watson Twins, Lucius,The Barr Brothers, Doug Paisley and Young The Giant, among many others. In 2012 SPIN magazine listed them as one of the top five live acts at SxSW, and the band appeared at numerous North American festivals. Aikins has made many national radio appearances with Bahamas including CBC Q , KCRW's Morning Becomes Ecclectic and NPR’s Mountain Stage, and sang Lost In the Light on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. The live line-up recorded an iTunes Session six-song EP at Revolution Recordings in Toronto which iTunes later listed as one of their top singer-songwriter releases of 2013.
In her more homegrown endeavours, Aikins was vocalist for the Barrie, ON outfits Fox Jaws and Brett Caswell and the Marquee Rose, as well as Ottawa’s Amos the Transparent; and appears on their respective recordings. Through these projects she has performed at CMJ in NYC, JunoFest and Junos Decade Concert Series, Ottawa Bluesfest, POP Montreal and Halifax POP Explosion, Wakestock , Kempenfest Mainstage, NxNE and CMW.
Over the years Aikins has shared the stage and/or worked with artists such as John Oates, Macy Gray, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, Jose Gonzales, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Sloan, The War on Drugs, Dan Mangan,Yukon Blonde, Blitzen Trapper, The Infamous Stringdusters, Zeus, The Golden Dogs, Jeff Healy, Attack in Black, The Killjoys, 13 Engines, Grapes of Wrath, Hollerado and Arkells. Aikins has worked in-studio with members of These United States, Paper Bird and Ark Life in Denver, CO and in 2013 she was one of two Canadian guest performers at the inaugural Denver Music Summit. That same year she was part of sessions in New York with members of Beirut, Here We Go Magic, The Moldy Peaches and Sufjan Stevens, assisting Gold Lake in raising awareness for Amnesty International. Carleigh has made guest appearances on sets with The Weakerthans ( Riot Fest 2013 with Iggy Pop, The Replacements), The Head and the Heart, Ken Stringfellow, Donovan Woods, The Golden Dogs,Zeus, Jason Collett, Jerry Leger, The Weather Station, Ark Life, The Balconies, Yukon Blonde and Indian Handcrafts amoung many others acts.
Aikins’ visual art can be seen enlarged to 50’ x 60’ on the walls of downtown Barrie’s Collier St Parkade ( The Spirit of Our City, 2010). Her paintings have been sold to collectors in Canada and The U.S, and when she is not traveling she works on her vibrant whimsical interpretations of the natural world.
Her skills in the Visual Arts have also been applied to Stage Production, as Designer on several shows with Barrie’s own Talk Is Free Theatre. Her work includes 2010’s Ivan vs Ivan with co-designer Katherine Salnek, which toured Serbia, Moscow and London in 2011. Before becoming Designer, she appeared on-stage for several seasons as an actress with the company ; and has a long history in stage performance. She also served as Director of Education for TIFT and worked tirelessly with youth on several original stage productions, public service projects, mentorship programs and theatre instruction.
Farm Aid 2013 in Saratoga Springs