Roxanne Potvin (born March 31, 1982 in Regina, Saskatchewan) is a Canadian bilingual Gatineau, Quebec-based singer, guitarist and songwriter. Born in Regina, where her father was a TV reporter for CBC, Potvin relocated to Hull, Qc at the age of four. Her love of music began early, with a special affection for early rock n' roll and oldies records the likes of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and the Everly Brothers. A turning point came at the age of 13 when she discovered the Beatles and received a guitar on her 14th birthday. At the age of 15 she discovered blues music, the catalyst for all the music she had loved so much up to that point and began experimenting with songwriting. She never considered music to be a career choice until two years later when she started frequenting open jams in Ottawa. With a JUNO nomination, seven Maple Blues awards nominations, international tours, major festival appearances including Montreal Jazz Festival and Ottawa Bluesfest, national television and radio appearances including Radio 2 Drive and "Q" and regular spins across the CBC/Radio-Canada network, Roxanne continues to carve her place in the Canadian roots music scene. She's recorded with John Hiatt, Daniel Lanois, Colin Linden, Bruce Cockburn, Wayne Jackson, Bob Babbitt, Dave Mackinon, Steve Dawson, a duet with Colin James and has opened for John Hiatt, Blue Rodeo, Allen Toussaint, the Neville Brothers and the Funk Brothers among many others.
Potvin has stated that her music has been influenced by her growing up and listening to artists such as: Dinah Washington, Freddie King, Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy, John Hiatt, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Solomon Burke, Irma Thomas, Jimmy Reed, the Staple Singers, Ruth Brown, and others. Contemporary or more recent influences include Beck, Bahamas, Kurt Vile, Brian Wilson.
Potvin made her recording debut in January 2002 when she sang an original tune on Bogart's Bounce, a Northern Blues release by Ottawa's JW-Jones Blues Band. Veteran blues giants Kim Wilson and Gene Taylor of the Fabulous Thunderbirds also appeared on the album.
In 2003 Potvin wrote a canon of songs with which she self-produced, self-financed, self-released, and self promoted her first recording, Careless Loving. The album featured six original songs and four covers by Dinah Washington, Ruth Brown, Etta James and Buddy Johnson. This album helped build her reputation as a songwriter as well as a singer and player. Local writers (and campus and CBC radio) embraced the CD, and Potvin's reputation began to spread.
The Way It Feels (2006), was produced by Colin Linden -- a Nashville-based Canadian guitarist and writer with 60 CD production projects to his name -- helped bring together a cast of support players that included, in addition to Daniel Lanois, Bruce Cockburn, Wayne Jackson of The Memphis Horns, members of The Fairfield Four, and one of Potvin's favourite songwriters and singers, John Hiatt.
Time Bomb (2007) featured three female blues players, Deborah Coleman, Sue Foley and Potvin. The title track, "Time Bomb", an instrumental where all three women take turns laying down leads. For the next nine songs the women spell each other off taking lead vocals and guitar duties of every third song until they come together again on the final track "In The Basement".
No Love for the Poisonous (2008) was produced by Dave Mackinnon of FemBots. In a favourable review of the album, The Globe and Mail wrote, "Smartly timeless and featuring the most assured songwriting of Potvin's three-album career, No Love for the Poisonous is a wicked success story."
In 2011, Potvin changed directions and recorded Play, an album with a combination of folk, indie rock and pop influences. She collaborated with Black Hen Music director and guitarist Steve Dawson and a crew of Vancouver studio musicians, recording an album of new songs in five days.
Roxanne Potvin's latest album, For Dreaming, sees the Montreal-based singer/songwriter and guitarist return with a highly personal and deeply affecting collection of songs after a five-year break from recording. It was a period of re-evaluation and re-education for Potvin, resulting in For Dreaming building upon the quiet intensity displayed on several tracks from her 2011 album Play. Potvin admits that making For Dreaming largely on her own was the most challenging and frightening experience she's had in her career to this point. But it was the most satisfying experience as well, she adds, being able to work at home without any outside pressure. The intimacy imbued in the heart-wrenching title track, as well as "Prairie Sunrise," "I Thought I'd Miss You" and "In Your Sleep" is a direct reflection of Potvin's vision, and overall For Dreaming brilliantly captures the hidden meanings in life's simplest moments. After receiving her first significant attention with her 2006 Colin Linden-produced album The Way It Feels, which earned a JUNO nomination for Blues Album of the Year, Potvin went on to experiment with new sounds on her subsequent albums No Love For The Poisonous, produced by Dave MacKinnon of alt-folk outfit FemBots, and Play, recorded in Vancouver with producer Steve Dawson. For Dreaming now opens a new chapter for Potvin as a singer/songwriter with pop smarts, undeniable soul, and a ceaseless drive to keep pushing herself in uncharted directions. It is an album perfectly suited to our current age where genres are essentially meaningless. Purity is all that matters, and For Dreaming is as pure an expression of Roxanne Potvin's talent as she has ever offered.