Digging Roots utilize traditional and contemporary artistic practices, themes, traditions, forms, and are committed to and influenced by, the broad and diverse music community and creative culture that we live in. They pursue their art as a means of survival personally and culturally, as a way to know their own truth, as a way of connecting with community, as a means of resistance, as a tool of positive change, as an instrument of joy, as a way to keep tradition alive, and as a way to move forward.
Digging Roots was founded around the creative husband-wife songwriting team of Raven and ShoShona. They challenge one another to create music that is process driven and explorative, both aesthetically and thematically. They are influenced by their traditional Anishinabek and Onkwehonwe music, world music and a wealth of popular forms including roots, blues, jazz, folk, reggae, hip-hop and rock. Their music remains the focus of their artistic expression, growth and development, and is a means of exploring their identity as Indigenous creators and contemporary artists. They connect to a unique world view that is rooted culturally, socially and politically in their Indigenous communities.
Over ten years they’ve been utilizing the traditional North American Anishinabek compositional approach of music creation called ‘Song Lines’ whereby melodies and rhythms are created by tracing the rise and fall of horizons within a landscape. This is a musical way of reconnecting with the earth and the hidden melodies and rhythms that are contained on her. By utilizing and integrating traditional approaches to music composition Digging Roots have also combined western and eastern approaches to their compositions. Reflective of a contemporary Indigenous identity their music is equally expressive of a global human experience as they connect with audiences on this musical and humanistic basis.
Considering their music genre ‘global blues’ the JUNO winning six -piece Indigenous band from the Toronto have been touring in North America, Australia and Europe. In 2017 they were on the road for nine months playing listening rooms at festivals and listening rooms in Canada and Australia.
Their latest JUNO nominated album ‘For The Light’ brings more global-blues infused songs and audience ‘round dances’ to their national and international tours. For the last year, Digging Roots have been in studios from Australia to Canada producing their latest album ‘Zhawenim’ and they have released a single and video for their song ‘AK-47’ which explores the concept of love as a weapon in reclaiming our humanity. Digging Roots is a musical group that balances femininity and masculinity with Indigenous tradition and modern aesthetics. Their goal is to engage wider audiences with their Anishinabek music and cultural ideals.
Additionally, Digging Roots have toured in Australia seven times since 2010 with three of those tours in 2018. The’ve performed at several festivals that include Byron Bay Bluesfest, Woodford Folk Festival, and on country from Northern Territory to the Sydney Opera House.
Digging Roots were awarded the first Cobalt Prize for Contemporary Blues Composition at the 2015 Maple Blues Awards. The creator and benefactor of the award, musician Paul Reddick, presented Digging Roots the grand prize for their song “Hwy 17”.