Gayle Ackroyd spent her childhood on a dairy farm in rural Ontario, Canada. Her first lessons in music came from an older sister who taught her a few chords on the guitar. It wasn't long before Ackroyd was listening to the radio and trying to play along with artists like Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. Just before Ackroyd's 18th birthday she entered the Musical Theater Program at Sheridan College where one of the things she studied was voice. She started her professional musical career by working as a backup singer for former Bells' member Cliff Edwards. From there she went on to tour with country acts and then formed a duo that offered its audiences a mix of many of the top hits from other artists.
Over those first few years, Ackroyd learned a lot about music, about performing to a live crowd, playing the guitar, and even about songwriting. By the early '90s she was ready to give a solo career a whole-hearted try, and ready to do it with her own original songs. In 1994, she recorded her first album, Hard Luck Town, and her first single, "Don't Mess Up a Good Thing." The fine debut drew a lot of attention across a large portion of Europe and into North America. Mostly positive reviews filled the press, but still Ackroyd didn't complete a sophomore offering until 1997. Anything but Blue was produced by Mark Fournier and released under the Festival Records label. Drummer Mark Mariash, bassist Drew Birston, and guitarist Ed Kapala were some of the artists who lent their talents to the second album. Ackroyd's music is a mixture from many influences, including country, folk, soul, and rock & roll. ~ Charlotte Dillon, Rovi