my name is braden
i started playing fiddle when i was five
i'd play st anne's reel and maple sugar
i thought i was pretty cool
at fourteen i saw james blunt on the cover
of acoustic guitar magazine with a gibson j-45
and thought that HE was pretty cool
so i ditched the fiddle and tried to make up songs
that would sound kind of like you're beautiful and goodbye my lover
then i learned to fingerpick and my thing became a thing
and i brought back the fiddle and it's one of my best friends
i switch between it and the guitar in my shows
in between is some goofy shit
and even though i forgot all about james blunt
technically he is the reason why i started putting words to chords
so now i blame everything on him

go to hell, jimmy

Braden Gates walked out on stage and immediately grabbed the audience’s attention. Not an easy thing when you are opening for Blue Rodeo in a sold out Banff Amphitheatre show (1700 capacity) – solo, just him and his guitar. His wit, charm and ultimately – incredible songs won the hearts of everyone in attendance. I would have him back in a second! And he even won great praise from Greg Keelor who has seen his fair share of opening acts!”

— Allison Brock, Director of Presenting, Banff Centre

Braden is what you hope to discover in the moments that make up a festival. His music is inviting, his authenticity wins you over. Braden takes care of his audience.”

— Anna Somerville, Blueberry Bluegrass Festival

Braden Gates writes songs that sound just like real life: weary and hopeful at the same time. His playing features a wistfulness that makes you wonder about the roads he's travelled mixed with a joy that is a pleasure to hear. Add in some fine guitar work and the occasional fiddle tune, and you’ve got yourself a show to remember.”

— Michelle Demers, Mission Folk Festival

Braden Gates is one of those singer/songwriters that stops your drunken conversation and makes you say, “Who the fuck is that singing?” Subtle folk sensibilities mixed with an enigmatic storytelling charm, Gates’ authenticity stumbles through his music like your favourite drunk uncle.”

Vue Weekly

the moment he walked on stage was no different than the guy backstage, soft spoken, witty, in the moment and most informative in that coy young guy kinda thang he has mastered.....his proficiency at his instrumentation is surpassed only by his brilliant observations of everyday living...ya...I'm a fan...a really tall fan”

— Longevity John, Duncan Showroom, 39 Days of July

Edmonton's own Braden Gates is a folk singer through and through, and in the best possible sense of the word. His songs are full of stories that flow through him easily, and with all the grace, empathy and nuance that masterful story telling requires”

— Edmonton Folk Music Festival

Gates’ warm and slightly gravelly voice relays stories that are funny and heartbreaking — usually over the course of the same tune. Full of wit and wisdom, folksy charm and sharp observations, Gates’ compositions are relevant and, strangely, very rooted in the present —even if he plays that fiddle and picks that guitar like an artist three times his age.”

— Calgary Folk Music Festival

Gates is a prolific live performer, playing around Edmonton and Western Canada, recently springing to Calgary for a few sets at Wide Cut Weekend. He often sits with his audience, swapping between guitar and fiddle, cracking jokes as he plays. There’s a polish and wisdom to his words that fit well beyond his years, likely due to his heavy catalogue that puts most songwriters to shame.”

— Beatroute

Beyond any specific tune, Gates’ gifts as a wordsmith, or his talents arranging fine melodies for acoustic strings, there’s an intangible quality to the man’s work — call it sincerity — that makes you want to listen. His tunes remind you again why we’re all called to explore art at some time or other, for that sense of sharing the common human experience.”

— Edmonton Journal

I was reminded several times of a young Loudon Wainwright: by some similar gurning and grimacing as he hits the notes, but also for the sharpness of his observation and sly humour - he's another born raconteur, in both his songwriting and his on-stage introductions. I can still see - and almost smell - Chicago Bob, the retired bank-robber Braden encountered in the Commercial Hotel in Old Strathcona and who inspired 'Life's A Picture'...”

— Eden On The Line UK