Sherman & Lee Were Just Meant To Be: Lost and Found on CD Baby Now

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Sherman and LeeSome things are just meant to be.

At a time when most Baby Boomers are looking to retire, David Sherman and Nancy Lee packed up the van and hit the road, touring towns in Ontario to share their love of music — and each other.

A former journalist and editor, Sherman, 62, saw the writing on the wall when newspapers began downsizing and used his love for words to propel him into becoming a successful playwright and a songwriter musician Lee, 55, had been a professional musician songwriter in her early 20s, until settling down to raise a family. But when her husband died a few years ago, she picked up her guitar and began playing in cafes near her home.

That’s when serendipity stepped in — Sherman met Lee one frozen February night two years ago as they shared a bill playing a gig in farm country outside of Montreal.

“I just found her looks and soulful singing mesmerizing,” said Sherman, of the woman with whom he now shares his personal and professional life.

“And I found his songs and voice fascinating,” said Lee.

After exchanging email addresses, they met again, and again, and soon started performing together.

The result has been the creation of Sherman & Lee, a creative, collaborative team where they compose and perform songs of the magic and misery that is love, of disintegrating cities and broken dreams, of lost souls and magic moments.

“One night, at a sold out dinner show in Montreal, Guy Sprung, the artistic director of Infinitheatre where I am the writer-in-residence, suggested Nancy and I string the stories together into a narrative and do a musical theatre piece,” recalls Sherman.

“He called it ‘docutheatre.’”

The idea resonated with the couple; they had come from hard times, they were older and a little wiser and there were stories to tell.

“Mixed with a little fiction, we created Lost and Found,” explains Sherman of the 90-minute musical that will be directed by Guy Sprung and performed in Montreal next winter.

“We were lucky to have some of Montreal’s best musicians — Stephen Barry and Andrew Cowan of the Stephen Barry Blues Band and John McColgan, a former member of the band, a drummer and producer — who workshopped the play in front of an audiences. Lost and Found is the soundtrack CD to the play,” says Sherman.

Lost and Found is available now on CD Baby. A captivating and bluesy blendLost and Found by Sherman & Lee of folk, roots, country and pop that combines the sweet vocals of Lee and the edgy vocals and soul-touching lyrics of Sherman, creating an original sound that lingers long after the last note.

Whether they perform as a duo or are backed up by some of Montreal’s finest musicians, Sherman & Lee entertain with an entrancing combination of blues, folk, roots, and pop.

Their love is real, their stories are true and audiences are drawn in by their lyrics, their haunting harmonies and the duo’s captivating stage presence. A Sherman & Lee show makes them laugh, makes them cry and makes them come back for more.

Check them out at www.shermanandlee.com, LIKE their page on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @ShermanandLee.

Jazz-Latin/Pop Singer-Songwriter Deborah Ledon Releases the Timeless and Elegant ‘Diving For Pearls’

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 17, 2014

Jazz-Latin/Pop Singer-Songwriter Deborah Ledon Releases the Timeless and Elegant ‘Diving For Pearls

Jazz-Latin/Pop Singer-Songwriter Deborah Ledon

“The Vancouver-based singer-songwriter is as extraordinary as her life story.”

AllAboutJazz.com

“You must only use your powers for good!”
Phillip Ditchburn, Producer, CBC Hot Air

[Vancouver, BC]  If Diana Krall, Sade and Gloria Estefan had a “thing”, Deborah Ledon would certainly be the lovechild of their ménage a trois!

A little bit jazz, a sprinkling of pop sensibility, with a touch of smooth and fiery passion to top it off; Ledon has chosen to follow her heart when it comes to music.

Over her career, she has performed throughout Canada and the United States, as her adaptable voice has garnered opportunities in rock, funk, country, blues, Big Band and jazz bands.

She has shared the stage with music legends Paul Anka and Mike Reno of Loverboy; was the grand finale at the 2010 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival; represented Canada at the Cultural Olympiad during the 2010 Winter Olympics, and performed at CBC Radio 1 for a nation-wide broadcast.

Now, 10 years after the release of her award winning debut, Spilling Inside Out, which she wrote, produced, financed and distributed, Ledon is back revealing another facet of herself with the timeless and elegant, Diving For Pearls.

Taking much loved classics (standouts include Joni Mitchell’s “Help Me” and Eden Ahbez’ “Nature Boy”) and giving them a modern approach, Deborah and her accomplished band will project images of dancing by firelight with someone you love running through your mind. Diving For Pearl’s Spanish and English songs not only touch a nerve but will have you “visualizing” jazz.  Ledon’s voice touches one deeply hinting of past obstacles, now overcome. Her vulnerability is palpable; her original tracks are melodic and with her phrasing and unique Spanish accent, delightful. And she purposefully misspelled “Te Estraño” to highlight the misstep of Love. Strung together like a priceless strand of pearls, these songs are Deborah’s conversation with you, the listener.

The album design/packaging is eye-catching with its subtle reveal of the Deborah Ledon Diving For Pearlsartist with each panel opened, allowing us to dive deeper into the singer until we reach that brilliant crimson inside Ledon’s soul.

Deborah Ledon has earned Vancouver’s “Best Of The City: 2013” for her entertaining and engaging show. Her radiant smile and sassy, sultry, confident stage persona make her one artist you won’t want to overlook.

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New Album: http://cdbaby.com/cd/deborahledon3
Website: www.deborahledon.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeborahLedonMusic
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeborahLedon
CBC Music: http://music.cbc.ca/#/artists/Deborah-Ledon


MEDIA ENQUIRIES
:
Christine Bode, Scully Love Promo
www.scullylovepromo.com
613-531-9549 (office)
613-453-2419 (cell)

Things Just Keep Getting Better for Montreal Son JON DAVIS who Launches “BETTER” Music Video at La Sala Rossa, Oct. 2

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 12, 2014


Things just keep getting Better for Montreal son JON DAVIS
who Launches “BETTER” Music Video
@
LA SALA ROSSA – OCT 2, 8:00PM
(presented by Hello Darlin’ Productions)

 Jon Davis

“Here’s a nod to a new Canadian singing talent… Jon Davis is generating buzz for his Indie/Folk/Rock.”
CTV News @ Six

“If you like James Taylor, I think you will absolutely love Jon Davis. Very, very nice voice! “
CBC Radio 1 (Daybreak)

[Montreal QC]  Jon Davis has achieved full lift-off with the music video launch of ‘Better’– a powerful audio and visual landscape that showcases an uplifting theme of hope for these turbulent times.

‘Better’ and its parent album ‘Open Shore’, highlights Davis’ painterly ability to translate human emotion of struggle into delicate canvasses of light blue steel and shale grey, with splashes of golden hue.

Having endured a traumatic head injury, Davis found himself hurtling along a path towards recovery – moving past personal and family hardships to arrive at a destination where obstacles became opportunities.

Jon’s journey itself has most certainly moved out of the shadows into the light. Within the past year alone, he has performed in Josh Groban’s world tour, sang for Celine Dion in Gregory Charles’ Mondial Choral at her “Chantez pour Sainte-Justine avec Céline Dion” fundraiser, taught a Bachelor music program at UQAM, as well as performed and recorded with Montreal luminary Pierre Lapointe — all of which would have been impossible just a few short years ago.

Participation in these projects is most certainly a great achievement. But it’s through hisoriginal music where Jon truly shines. Possessed of a delicate and at once unique and chameleonic voice (think James Taylor meets Nick Drake meets Coldplay), Jon’s no holds barred outlook on music and life, shows that there can be a “Better” outcome for all of us.

____________________________________________________________

WHO:
Jon Davis ‘Better’ Music Video Launch (pres. by Hello Darlin’ Productions)

WHERE:
La Sala Rossa, 4848 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal

WHEN:
Thursday, October 2, 8:00pm

TIX:
$20 / $15 students & advance  (514) 844-4227  www.lasalarossa.com

ARTIST WEB:
www.jondavismusic.ca

____________________________________________________________

“Stunningly executed… [Open Shore is] an album that deserves to be heard from beginning to end…[has] a hook that may have to be surgically removed.”
Leicester Bangs, UK  

“Jon Davis’ warm vocals and understated guitar create an intimate mood that softly envelops the listener. His music is a blend of Folk and Jazz reminiscent of James Taylor and Nilsson yet his sound, purely his own. Jon is by far one of the most talented singer-songwriters to emerge since Van Morrison.”
Alex Boicel, BET Jazz / Cayenne Jazz Festival

 “A Canadian who we (and not only James Taylor fans) should keep an eye out for.”
www.altcountryforum.nl (Netherlands)

“Jon Davis’ musical chops and training are of the highest caliber, they have to be to get your foot in the door in this industry. I urge other presenters to get this guy on their stage in any capacity available.”
Matt Large, Hello Darlin’ Productions / The Wintergreen Concert Series

“Jon Davis is one of my favourite performers. He is eclectic, passionate, uniquely multi-talented yet vulnerable and unassuming. He delivers with quiet confidence, yet possesses bold and raw passion.”
Holly Fleming, The Yellowdoor

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MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Lisa Weitz, LW Communications
www.lwcommunications.ca
lw@lwcommunications.ca
416-624-3466 (office)
416-846-6877 (cell)

How To Get The Most Out Of Twitter Ads

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Twitter Money BagRecently, I attended a webinar sponsored by Twitter on getting the most out of Twitter ads and I’d like to share the main points I came away with about how to do that. I’ve listed them in point form for ease of reference.

When creating a Twitter ad, these are the things that we must be aware of:

  • Define your goal. What are you trying to promote?
  • Tweet Best Practices – see https://business.twitter.com/best-practices
  • Choose which metrics you will use.
  • Engage with your audience.
  • Ask questions that tie back to something relevant about your business.
  • Use Rich Media = tweets with images and videos
  • Select a campaign objective. You only pay when you get results.
  • Grow your followers!
  • Import your list of email contacts to your Twitter account.
  • Drive traffic. Achieve this through referral traffic. Keep things simple and direct but give your audience a sense of urgency about what you’re trying to promote in your tweet.
  • Track conversions.
  • Consider using a website card (use an image) on a cost per click (CPC) basis. Learn more here: https://dev.twitter.com/docs/cards
  • Choose a call to action phrase that best describes your objective.
  • Don’t forget to engage with followers! Be conversational.
  • Tweet about things relevant to your business and use #hashtags.
  • Promote tweets for your best content.
  • Lead Generation: develop LeadGen tools to help attract perfect followers/customers. Use relevant images with compelling copy with your LeadGen cards to make people feel special. Learn more here: https://blog.twitter.com/2013/capture-user-interest-with-the-lead-generation-card
  • Consider installing apps by mobile app developers.
  • Measure your results. This is very important! Use the Tweet Activity Dashboard. Learn more at https://blog.twitter.com/2014/new-tweet-activity-dashboard-offers-richer-analytics
  • If you’re a large company in particular, you’ll need a marketing automation tool – http://marketing-automation.findthebest.com/ . I trust HubSpot. Try their free trial for 30 days at http://bit.ly/1qCiOUa
  • Download this B2B Marketing Automation Tools 2014: A Marketer’s Guide: http://downloads.digitalmarketingdepot.com/Marketing_Automation.html if you’re a large company who needs Marketing Automation.
  • Learn, optimize, repeat.
  • Always follow up with your leads!
  • Visit https://ads.twitter.com/getstarted?ref=ca-ps-go-branded-twad to get started with Twitter ads.
  • You can tailor your audiences using geo-targeting (use postal codes or zip codes).
  • Make sure your reach is broad enough.

For more articles on how to get the most out of Twitter ads, click here: http://bit.ly/1qB4Imr

 

Singer-Songwriter Glenn McFarlane Releases Video for “Offense Scores, Defense Wins Games”

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Glenn McFarlaneSinger-songwriter Glenn McFarlane hails originally from New Brunswick and now makes his home in Brampton, Ontario. In addition to his solo endeavours, he is also one/half of the Celtic and East Coast duo Brown Ale and one/third of the Celtic-Rock trio Celteclectic. Glenn is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, harmonica, mandolin, accordion, bouzouki) who is the President and co-founder of the Brampton Folk Club, the 2009 Brampton Arts Person of the Year and a songwriter who was honoured with the 2011 OCFF Songs From the Heart Winner (Humour). He has released one solo CD to date, Food For Thought, and is about to release his second CD, Music and Friends.

With Glenn, you get a high energy, well-paced set of primarily fun and funny folk songs.  Some have an East Coast feel to them, others are more country, while still others have elements of rock or even world music in them. His well-crafted originals have a sing-a-long familiarity to them that gets the audience involved.

The one theme throughout Glenn’s songs is camaraderie. He sings about family and friends (“Music and Friends”, “It’s a Beautiful Day for a Beer”), likes to make fun of himself  (“Middle Aged and Overweight”, “Music, Sports, Sex and Beer”), raps about his East Coast roots (“Let’s Talk New Brunswick”, “Lobster Roll”)  brings dramatic  historical events to life (“Newfoundland 9-1-1”,  The Christmas Truce”), and balances it all out with the odd love song (“The Wedding Video”, “Come See the Stars”). You will be entertained!

In his latest video, Glenn McFarlane performs his original song “Offense Scores, Defense Wins Games”, which will be featured on his upcoming CD “Music and Friends”. The song is dedicated to Stan Butler (Brampton/North Bay Battalion) and José Mourinho (Chelsea Blues) and takes a lighthearted look at what it takes to win. The song is engineered and co-produced by Wendell Ferguson at The Dungeon, Toronto. The video also features Keith McFarlane as the coach and Ryan Hind as the owner. Special thanks to the Ontario Soccer Centre in Woodbridge and the Mississauga Munro Table Hockey Tournament.


On Saturday, November 1st, Glenn McFarlane will be releasing his second solo CD at a fundraiser concert for Brampton Civic Hospital at the Brampton Golf Club (7700 Kennedy Road), starting at 8 pm. As the title implies, “Music and Friends” is a collection of original songs celebrating two things that are very important to him. The songs are fun and lively folk songs that reflect his East Coast roots, along with strong elements of country, folk-rock and world music, with an underlying theme of camaraderie throughout the album. Joining Glenn will be his brother Keith on percussion, along with special guests Les Smith and Jon Grant from Brown Ale and Celteclectic. All proceeds for the concert will be donated to the Brampton Civic Hospital. For more information, please visit Glenn’s website at www.glennmcfarlane.ca.

2x JUNO winner KIRAN AHLUWALIA Releases “SANATA: STILLNESS” KOERNER HALL, OCTOBER 3, 8:00pm

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 6, 2014

Kiran Ahluwalia

2x JUNO winner KIRAN AHLUWALIA ReleasesSANATA: STILLNESS”
KOERNER HALL, OCTOBER 3, 8:00pm


A heady hybrid of Indian grooves, Saharan Blues and Western Jazz that delivers a
BLUEPRINT FOR A BORDERLESS WORLD

“A deep understanding of one’s own traditions and the instinct to embrace others’ with a delicate touch.”

Globe & Mail

“A rising international star.”
Village Voice

“Ahluwalia is busy honing a transnational sound as fresh as tomorrow.”
Seattle Times

_____

[Toronto ON]  In stillness, movement is not only possible, it is a promise. Indeed, Kiran Ahluwalia’s new offering, Sanata: Stillness, to be released at Koerner Hall October 3rd, is nothing short of a musical roadmap to personal and global transformation.

At once contemplative and rockin’, traditional and innovative, Kiran’s hybrid of Indian and Pakistani grooves, Saharan Blues and Western Jazz shows us that borders are meaningless in one’s heart and on the world stage.

Born in Patna, India, Kiran’s parents survived the strife of political upheaval between India and Pakistan during partition, escaping the riots and warring factions to ultimately settle in Toronto where young Kiran was raised. Living proof that the heart can indeed show us the way, she met and married NYC-based Pakistani-American guitarist/arranger Rez Abbasi (Downbeat’s “#1 Rising Star Guitarist”) – a musical and marital partnership that transcends place, position, and politics.

“Rez and I would likely not have been able to create together, had our parents not moved from their motherlands to the west. The diaspora is the only social context in which our personal and creative journey would have been able to fully unfold.”

This 2x JUNO award winner’s love of Indian and Pakistani music has grown, merging with multiple global influences with each accomplished release. Rez’s infusion of jazz, alongside her discovery of Malian Tuareg music turned Ahluwalia’s eye from traditional ghazal to fully embrace a more modern sensibility and the guitar-centric brand of desert blues.

Penning the lyrics and music on Sanata-Stillness, Kiran’s themes this time confront the civil war, not within a nation but within ourselves. From the rousing track, “Tamana”, which discards shame and celebrates female sexuality to the sense of isolation felt in “Hayat”, depicting the sensations of being Indo-Canadian and living, now, in New York City, to the chain-breaking release of “Qaza”, Kiran continues her quest towards an adventurous, borderless music of the heart, showcased throughout by her soaring and unforgettably haunting vocals.

Add to the mix such impromptu celebrations of the groove, as in “Hum Dono” (which came about as bassist Rich Brown instigated a Berber-like styling that clicked), the spirited “Jhoom” (joyfully inspired by wine), or “Lament”, a fresh 21st century take on the late legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s qawalli, and you have an album of propulsive energy that stirs the soul — a true testament to the power of Stillness.

WHEN:    Friday, October 3, 8:00pm

WHERE:  Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St W, Toronto

TIX:        $35+  http://performance.rcmusic.ca/venues/koerner-hall

VIDEO:    http://tinyurl.com/ny8qf9o

WEB:       www.kiranmusic.com

► 2011 JUNO Best World Music Album – Aam Zameen: Common Ground

► 2011 Canadian Folk Music Award, Best World Music Recording

► 2009 Songlines/WOMAD Best Newcomer of the Year Award – Wanderlust presented at WOMEX in Copenhagen, Denmark

► 2008 Sikh Cenntennial Foundation Award for Excellence in Music

► 2007 JUNO nomination Best World Music Album – Wanderlust

► 2006 Canadian Indie Awards nomination, World Music Album of the Year  – Wanderlust

► 2005 Touring Artist of the Year, Canadian Arts Presenter Association

► 2005 Gemini nomination – music for documentary, Continuous Journey

► 2005 Genie nomination -music for the documentary, Continuous Journey

► 2004 JUNO Best World Music Album – Beyond Boundaries

► 2002 JUNO nomination Best World Music Album – Kashish-Attraction

 

Earshot Charts #1
CMJ World Music Charts #2
World Music Charts Europe #3
Billboard World Music Chart #15

The Inspirational Power of Film Festival Celebrities & their Movies: CMCS Public Seminar Series IV

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CMCS Celebrate Your PathThe Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) proudly brings the fourth part of its public seminar series. The event offers a special opportunity to connect through an exclusive talk about celebrity activists and their films to be screened at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The talk will be taking place at the industRealarts room (688 Richmond Street West) from 7 to 9 pm on Wednesday, September 3. The evening opens with a reception honouring public attendees and seminar participants Emmanuel Lopez and Dr. Samita Nandy.

As news sources cite Piers Handling, CEO and Director of TIFF, “Cinema’s collective and transformative experience lives at the heart of our Festival.” The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies sponsored event will offer critical and inspirational views on TIFF films and celebrities to show how the festival can positively change public and the world around them. For example, actress Sandra Bullock and her film Gravity had its North American premiere at TIFF 2013. Her character demonstrated outstanding resilience in the face of adversity while in real life Bullock has overcome life challenges and helps change the world through her numerous charities and disaster relief funds. The event will offer a special opportunity to learn more about celebrities creating social change and have attended TIFF such as Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon and Geoffrey Rush. The talk will enable TIFF attendees to discover how their films can inspire and increase resilience such as Titanic, Pleasantville and The King’s Speech. After the presentation attendees will be motivated to unleash their inner star and recognize the lasting power of the 2014 TIFF experience.

Speaker Bios:

Emmanuel Lopez is Motivatorman

Emmanuel Lopez is Motivatorman, an award-winning Illustrator and Motivational Speaker on resilience. He has written over 750 film tips on his “Movies that Motivate” blog and was featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Emmanuel teaches empowering tools, methods and movies he discovered for maintaining a positive mindset during unexpected life changes, burnout and depression. He created artwork for the official Roots T-Shirt for Toronto’s Film Festival of 1991 along with artwork used as the International Film Critic’s Award given to director Gus Van Sant. Emmanuel has provided motivational talks for: TD Canada Trust, Royal Ontario Museum and The Art Institute of Boston. His first book “Movies for Motivation: How to Stay Strong in Your Life & Career” is available on Amazon Kindle. See more: www.motivatorman.com
Samita NandyDr. Samita Nandy is an author, cultural critic and certified broadcast journalist with a PhD on fame from Australia’s Curtin University. Her research and writing focus on celebrity culture that has been published in Oxford and New York.  Her international media relations and work led her to be featured with Global Television’s Anwar Knight and Allison Annesley on Daytime talk show and prime-time show First Local on Rogers Television, CBC News, CTV’s Breaking News CP 24, OMNI TV, The Globe and Mail, Canadian Journalism Foundation, Eternity Watch magazine, and ANOKHI Media among many more. Nandy has taught postgraduate and honors degree courses in media at University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and Curtin University. See more: www.samitanandy.com

The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) is an international organization that helps coordinating academic research and media commentaries on celebrity culture. CMCS carries a pedagogical philosophy that inspires integration of research and media skills training in academic and public discourses of fame.  The Centre believes in intellectual, aesthetic, and ethical values of bridging gaps in higher education and media.  With this view, CMCS helps coordinating research, publications, creative productions, and media commentaries to restore artistic and ethical acts for social change. For more information, please visit www.cmc-centre.com.

For title sponsorship, media interviews and high resolution photographs, contact Dr. Samita Nandy at info@cmc-centre.com or call 416.985.8887.

Date: 7 – 9 pm September 3, 2014
Location: industREALarts room (688 Richmond Street West), Toronto
Admission: PWYC

 

Sills & Smith Release 4th Studio Album, “Etched”

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Etched by Sills & Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE

CONTACT: Frank Smith
sillssmith@gmail.com
http://www.reverbnation.com/sillssmith

Sills & Smith Release 4th Studio Album, “Etched”

Sills & Smith is an independent, alternative rock/folk band based in Ottawa, Canada. 

Ottawa, Ontario – August 7, 2014 – With three previous, critically acclaimed independent alternative rock albums stoking the creative fire, Sills & Smith has released their fourth and most accomplished studio album of originals to date entitled “Etched.”  Etched is a powerful, melodic, 13 track musical and lyrical adventure.  The full-length recording explores the human experience and social justice issues to a hard driving, guitar-based sound.

Sills & Smith is an Ottawa, Canada based band led by singer-songwriters Jeremy Sills and Frank Smith. The music is a genre bending and blending stew that touches on folk, alternative rock and progressive rock styles.

Produced and recorded by the legendary Phillip Victor Bova at Bova Sound in Ottawa, the new album features an all-star cast of great players: Phil Bova (bass), T Bruce Wittet (drums), Kevin Breit (guitars, mandolin), Don Wallace (guitars), Roddy Ellias (guitars), Raphael Weinroth-Browne (cello). Jeremy Sills plays acoustic guitars, piano and crystal bowls. All songs on Etched were composed by Frank Smith and Jeremy Sills — Words and Music – Frank Smith; Music – Jeremy Sills. Both Sills and Smith handle vocals on the disc.

Track order:

Where You’ll Find It
Meet Out By the Lake
What You Deserve
A Love For All Seasons
Space Junk
To Be Embraced
Please, Please Save Me
In Dreams
Etched
End Times
The Sound
Give Us Peace
Endings and Beginnings

Sills & Smith’s Etched is available online through all major retailers including iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, CD Baby etc.  A beautiful digipak CD edition will be sold online and in select box stores.

For further information: sillssmith@gmail.com / Sills & Smith band website: www.reverbnation.com/sillssmith / Twitter: @SillsandSmith

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An Eternity of Roses (The Valthreans: Book 1) by Natalie G. Owens

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An Eternity of Roses by Natalie G. OwensBook Review
Title: An Eternity of Roses (The Valthreans: Book 1)
Author:  Natalie G. Owens
Publisher: Rose of Atlantis Press/Natalie G. Owens
Released: January 5, 2013
Pages: 468
ISBN-10: 0988577216
ISBN-13: 978-0-9885772-1-3
Stars:  4.0

”She crashed headlong into an incandescent whirlpool of emotion from which she never wanted to escape.” Emma Deramore, in the throes of ecstasy after being separated from her true love for over 200 years…yes, I’ll have what she’s having!

It’s always such a joy when I read a book by a Facebook friend that I enjoyed enough to review. An Eternity of Roses (The Valthreans: Book 1) by Natalie G. Owens is an intelligently written, passionate, historical paranormal romance that will leave you wanting to read Book 2 of The Valthreans series, A Lifetime for Revenge, right away.

An Eternity of Roses is the story of the dashing blonde & blue-eyed Adrian Segrave, Viscount Bournemouth and his raven-haired, doe-eyed, adventurous betrothed, Lady Emmaline Deramore who in December 1807 are about to be married, thus creating a union that their British society are excited about. What they don’t know is that fate has its cruel twists mapped out for them as the jealous, red-haired, green-eyed, inherently evil immortal witch, Lady Madeleine de Brandeville is going to use a powerful curse to separate them for over 200 years.

Disclaimer: Do not read this novel if you dislike drop dead sexy heroes, strong heroines, intriguing immortals, magic, spells, mystery, amazing adventures, exotic settings, secret cults, and sensual love scenes.

Well, I do love all those things so I read the book and am not sorry that I did. I was only sorry when the story came to an end.

In the Prologue we discern the history of the Valthreans, an immortal race originating in Kashmir, India.  Their namesake Valther was murdered within sight of his brothers Nila & Candaka by the Naga King Aravala for not immediately revealing that he had found a magic Chalice that was part of a group of mystical objects that would allow him to enter a state of immortality. Valther, who had a keen interest in the science of healing and a thirst for knowledge, had found one of the legendary Cups of Life from the lost seven Chalices of the River Demon. King Aravala possessed supernatural powers that allowed him to control the seasons and the weather, and he decided who lived and died. He also used the venom of cobras to kill immortals.

Valther was deemed a traitor to his people and sentenced to death by the sting of the cobra. The Naga people’s (The Cult of the Snake) sworn enemy, King Asoka, conspired to destroy the Naga beliefs.  Knowledge of magic was coveted by both peoples and Asoka could not allow Aravala to possess more knowledge of the Black Arts than he. Aravala, the Snake King, cared only for power and wealth and his people were either terrified of him or believed in the same things while the Valthreans sought to live peacefully. But what Asoka and Aravala didn’t know was that Nila & Candaka possessed the remaining Cups of Life and they were prepared to spend eternity protecting their own by keeping them from falling into the wrong hands.

An Eternity of Roses is a highly imaginative tale of the lengths one woman will go to, to be reunited with her true love and what another will do to keep that from happening. Emma’s adventures take her from England to Scotland to Italy to Holland and back to England over the course of 200 years. Her love scenes with Adrian are steamily and sensuously written but they’re far and few between as this is a story about separation, stolen identity, revenge and redemption. Lady Madeleine de Brandeville is a deliciously vile antagonist. She kidnaps Adrian, casts a spell on him that makes him forget his past, gives him a new name (Adam Alvar), makes him an immortal and cohabitates with him in a loveless marriage, because no matter how hard she tries, Adrian does not feel any love for her. Madeleine fortuitously gets her hands on the Demon’s Chalice and positions herself as an ally of a very influential member of the Cult of the Snake’s hierarchy. She has to remain in his good graces or suffer the ultimate consequence of betrayal. However, when members of the Valthrean Council catch up with her she has to flee her home in Scotland which provides Adam with the opportunity to leave her and embark on a new life of travel and adventure.

Emma in the meantime befriends another immortal, the mysterious Massimiliano “Max” Damiani (the main character in Book 2 of this series) in 1944 in London, who is instrumental in helping her find her lost love. Max is a friend of Nila and Candaka, now known as Neil and Cam, the oldest Valthreans in existence, and head of the Council, an organization that can find just about anything and who will go to any lengths to ensure that Valthreans remain able to live in peace among humans. What will happen when they do find Adrian, who doesn’t remember a thing about his past? Although the war is coming to an end, the battle for true love has yet to begin.

This is an epic adventure that readers of both historical and paranormal romance will undoubtedly enjoy. Owens’ (a former lawyer who lives on the island of Malta) poetic prose is far better than the average self-published work and even though she indulges in a few moments of extreme cheesiness and (“Mayhap one day is all I can say. But never forget, brother, home is in here.”) the book’s cover could be more enticing, it deserves a large audience. I will definitely read more of Natalie G. Owens’ work.

Congratulations! Anslem Douglas Winner of Black Canadian Award for Best Caribbean Style Artist

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Anslem Douglas at Black Canadian AwardsAnslem Douglas, songwriter of the internationally-acclaimed and Grammy Award-winning hit “Who Let The Dogs Out?,” has won the Black Canadian Award over five other nominees AMMOYE, JAHSMIN DALEY, SHALLI, SOCA EMPEROR and MS PAIGE for Best Caribbean Style Artist.

The awards, which took place in front of a full crowd at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre this past Saturday, June 7, is the first of its kind in Canada and was jam-packed with the highest quality of entertainment. Not just a music awards show, the program included many honorees from all walks of life in the Black community in Canada, including fashion and business.

WEBSITES: www.anslemmusic.com /www.BlackCanadianAwards.com

Anslem performed his 2000 massive internationally-acclaimed hit and Grammy Award-winning single “Who Let The Dogs Out?” made famous by the Baha Men, but was written and recorded two years before, in the very exciting and traditional soca style by the Trinidadian-born and now Toronto-based singer-songwriter. It was originally, affectionately called “Doggie” and here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O27fagObxaM to that first recording, which was a huge hit in the Caribbean initially. The covered version was a chart success in many countries, and also became a popular song at U.S. sporting events and was featured in the 2009 hit comedy The Hangover.

Anslem has a new album out called Project A.D. released in the spring of 2012, and it has been on heavy rotation in the U.S. and offers much more than just the traditional style soca.

This hip, upbeat album winds its way around energetic dance mix riffs and mellow grooves. The unique, husky yet sultry sound of Anslem’s vocals fit like a glove, especially on some of his more sizzling x-rated tunes like “The Sex You Give To Me,” I Ain’t Gettin’ None,” and the funkadelic and very danceable “Slap-It.” Arrangements and production is slick yet raw at the same time as evidenced in the beat-driven, house-styled tracks “Love Making” and “Forever” (where his voice sounds very reminiscent of early Seal recordings). The more psychedelic-inspired “Tony Needs a Daddy” and the soul-baring “Mrs. Brady” shows off the softer melody and lyrics from Anslem’s arsenal.

Anslem’s other contributions for 2013 include the single, “Do You Think He Will Understand”, a power Soca called “Bacchanal”, a neo-Calypso single, “Dancing With You”, and a piece written specifically for women “When You Wine.” Project A.D. and the singles are all now available on iTunes and CD Baby.

The Black Canadian Awards ceremony is an event that reflects a commitment to showcasing and celebrating achievements of Black Canadian professionals, artists, trailblazers and leaders within the community.

For more information, photos, mp3s, advance CD copies, interviews, please contact:

Beverly Kreller
SPEAK Music
www.speak-music.com
bev@speak-music.com
416-922-3620
Twitter: @SPEAKMusicPR
Facebook: www.facebook.com/beverly.kreller

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