A Calgary-born musician and a mainstay of the Calgary bluegrass scene for decades. Al has been playing guitar, banjo and dobro in bluegrass bands, duos and trios; Stray Dawgs, Rock Bottom, Hothouse Bluegrass Band (opened for Alison Krauss in Calgary) and Wheatland County (kicked off the very first Edmonton Folk Festival in 1978) to name a few.
Having played the violin since he was seven years old and making music his focus ever since he started playing classical music but switched to the fiddle style learning Celtic, folk, old-tyme, and bluegrass before entering post-secondary to pursue jazz performance there.
In 2012 he and Ben Plotnick were awarded the 10k20 grant from Rawlco radio and their bluegrass duo recorded the self-titled CD Rye & Fairy Tales, to much acclaim.
Erik Smistad is a Calgary-based multi-instrumentalist, an active song writer, arranger, session musician, performer and music teacher since 2010. Erik is known for his ability to play any style of music, but he is especially active in the bluegrass, progressive rock, soul and alternative rock genres.