Melodic Pop Singer-Songwriter Abby Zotz Releases Official Music Video for “See Your Face” from Local Honey

Abby during See Your Face video shoot

In her debut solo album, Local Honey, Abby Zotz takes an exhilarating leap … with arms wide open … and soars. Infused with a spirit of freedom, her new sound is a satisfying union of wistful pop blended beautifully with gospel, folk and blues; all filtered through her gift for emotional and philosophical contemplation. Abby’s is a voice that is at once authentic and pure, yet time and experience have lent a new edge to it; a broader vocal range and maturity that adds dimension and a touching honesty to her lyrics and emotional depth to her songs.

Launched in October of 2018, Local Honey has been touring Ontario and Quebec and enjoying healthy airplay across Canada. In early 2019, the album garnered two LA Music Critics’ Award nominations and a win for Best International Artist. Its three video singles – Big Hope, Good Bones and See Your Face – capture Zotz’s effortless stylistic adaptability and poeticism of her lyrics without compromising her universal appeal.

SEE YOUR FACE is Abby Zotz’s third video from her award-winning debut solo release, Local Honey, and is an homage to the songwriter’s creative spirit, which often returns to her in the spring, like a banished child finding her way back home. Directed by Sheena D. Robertson and featuring Zotz, Laura Cardeno, Baker Albach and Anntonia Marcucci-Robinson, it is tender and dream-like, leaving the cold Ontario winter behind in favour of love and inspiration blossoming in the warming air. It’s a state that brings us to a sense of homecoming, a return to ourselves, guided by Zotz’s warmly wise lyrics and sweet vocals. SEE YOUR FACE was shot in Northumberland County in late May – after a particularly long winter and wet spring – with photography by Dakota Wotton and editing by Jordan Crute.

“Teems with immense soulfulness…the poetic flourish of her lyric writing elevates the material to a higher level.” ~ NO DEPRESSION

“…a fantastic and cohesive album…that embraces you, while you embrace it.” ~ THE SPILL MAGAZINE

“…she is bar none the most listenable and accessible to fans of all ages, backgrounds and tastes.” ~ VENTS MAGAZINE

“…”an album that sums up all she’s learned as a musician and human being with singular beauty. Substantive musicality and commercial appeal in the same package…natural sounding magic.” ~ THE MUSIC REVIEWS

“…the indie folk album that we’ve all been waiting for…” ~ THE INDIE SOURCE

In Conversation with Bob Geldof’s Drummer of 25 Years and Author of Timing Is Everything (a Memoir), Niall Power

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There aren’t many people who know me who don’t know how much I love Bob Geldof and The Boomtown Rats. Even though I’m not always up to date with the latest camp Geldof news, it’s a love that has lasted for 40 years. So, when Bob’s drummer of 25 years (for his solo career), Niall Power, wrote to me through Facebook to advise me of his story since their last Canadian tour, I was at first delighted and then saddened by the news of his retirement from drumming due to Parkinson’s disease. However, it didn’t take long to realize that this is a man who doesn’t let life get him down, which is evident upon reading Timing Is Everything, Niall’s inspiring memoir, published in 2017.

Niall, after reading your book, I was left with the impression that you consider yourself an ordinary man, perhaps quiet and shy, certainly easy-going, who just happened to have a passion for drumming. However, although you never had a plan for your music career, you ended up having quite an extraordinary experience as a session musician, playing for many bands, including Stepaside, Les Enfants, Ordinary Man, Eamonn Gibney, Westlife and most notably, Bob Geldof, with whom you performed for 25 years.

How does a musician get as far as you have in his career without a plan?

I can sum that up in one word, ‘Luck’.

I never set out to be a session drummer and end up playing with so many bands.
As a teenager in the early 1970s, my ambition was to form my own band with my friends, write our own songs and hopefully be the rock gods of the future, like our idols, Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple.

Niall Power 1960

Niall Power in 1960.

My dad was a soldier in the Curragh Camp, Co Kildare, and there were two army marching bands who paraded past our home on most days. I loved their drummers from an early age. There weren’t many teenagers playing musical instruments in the area, so it was always going to be difficult to finalize a lineup for the band.

I was playing the unfashionable accordion and wearing a kilt in the school band during

Niall Power in 1970 on left with accordion.

1970, on left, with accordion.

the ‘Summer of Love’ in 1967. But as soon as I heard The Beatles on the radio, I realized then that I had to learn how to play another instrument to be in a rock band.  I chose the drums after seeing Mickey Dolenz, drummer with The Monkees on television, larking around and generally having fun.

After a few years of practice, much to the annoyance of the neighbors, I finally mastered the art of drumming and set out to join any band that would have me. I had no plan of action for how I was going to achieve this. My armory consisted of my dodgy first drum kit, long hair, a smile and buckets of enthusiasm for the task ahead.

For someone who clearly states in the preface of your book that you are not a writer, I congratulate you on the great achievement of having compiled your memoir, Timing Is Everything, which was written on an iPad with the index finger of your right hand! That, in itself, is a testament to your passion and determination to see a project through to its completion, and your resilience in the face of adversity. You are truly an inspiration, not just because of your drumming prowess, but because of the strength of your character.

I couldn’t help but notice your incredibly positive attitude about life in general and wondered to what would you attribute it?

My attitude to life has never changed from the outset.

I had a very safe and happy childhood and I seem to have kept that feeling with me throughout my musical career. My parents always encouraged me to follow my heart, even though they probably didn’t understand how you could possibly make a living from hitting things, whilst hoping I would come to my senses and get a proper job.  I don’t worry about stuff, including Parkinson’s. Above all, I love playing and creating music, just seeing people in the audience responding in kind to the noise that we make is good enough for me. Not many people get to live out their dreams every day…it’s been some trip.

“And what a drummer. Without question one of the best. I know from whence I speak. In the course of my 40 years playing rock ‘n’ roll, Niall Power is up there/alongside/on par with/equal to literally the Big Hitters. He’s a fucking amazing player.”

 

“Man he can sing.”

 

“He glued the band together. Everyone loved him. He was the spirit of the thing. The joy of it. The love of gigging. The fierce ecstasy of playing music…What a man to travel the world with for over 25 years. What a friend to share so much of your life with. The things we’ve done and seen and been together. He’ll remember. I won’t.” 

~ Bob Geldof, Introduction to Timing Is Everything

In the introduction of your book, written by Bob Geldof, he says that the tedium of touring never seemed to affect you. How was that possible? 

Sure, life on the road can be tedious at times. You’re living in a bubble with other musicians and roadies with deadlines to meet every day. Things can get a bit out of hand, tempers flare, we’d do a bad gig, one person thought the gig was great, the other five thought it was crap. Musicians live for the road and as much as I like travelling on the tour bus (your home away from home), it’s only okay for a few weeks. I loved waking up in a different country each day and going for a walk down the Champs Elysees in Paris after being in Amsterdam the previous night. But you also need to stop touring, stop moving at the speed of sound and be at home with your own family. I have always kept a low profile on the road and steered clear of any aggravation that may have been brewing from time to time. As our tour manager ‘The Mick’ (RIP) used to say, “we’re only up for the day.” 

You played with Bob for the Live 8 concert on 2 July 2005 which was undoubtedly one of, if not the biggest, career high of your life. I know that the experience must have been surreal, but what singular treasured memory do you take away from that event? 

I have many memories from that great day in July at Live 8.

The one that sticks in my mind the most is the fact that I had to play someone else’s drum kit without seeing it first. As I play left-handed, the kit was set up right-handed for the previous band’s drummer. So, I walked on stage in front of thousands of people in Hyde Park, live to the world on television, with no time to swap things around.

The song was ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ and was probably the only song that I could play with the kit being the wrong way around. There was also no vocal microphone, so I did the backing vocals, “tell me why”, into fresh air. You can view this video on YouTube.

It was amazing hanging out backstage with all the other acts including Beatle, Paul McCartney, who signed a copy of my Beatles White Album CD cover, which I just happened to have in my pocket. Timing is Everything! 

 

Do you know if Bob has any plans to record a new album? If so, will you be singing background vocals on it? 

As far as I know, The Boomtown Rats are due to release a new album in 2019.

There are no new recording plans for another Bob solo album this year. I would hope to make a cameo appearance on backing vocals, when and if the opportunity arises.

I cannot help but ask, is there anything you can tell Bob’s super fans about him that they wouldn’t already know? 

Niall Power and Bob Geldof

2011 London. Photo by Eddy Valdameri.

I don’t usually comment on Bob, but I will say it has been a great pleasure to have had the opportunity to keep the beat behind him for all those years. I never expected it to last more than one tour. A truly amazing time that I will remember forever. His most thoughtful words to me were when I was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He said, “You have a job for life in this band.” I replied, “What if I can’t drum?” He said, “We’ll find something for you to do,” so I ended up playing the spoons. 

Do you think that your remarkable memory is simply due to genetics or a result of years having to remember so many songs? 

I put the memory thing down to the fact that I loved every minute of being in a band. It’s not just the Geldof band, but all the bands that I’ve been involved with. I can recall the musicians, most of the songs and how to play them, the venues, the years, etc.; it just seems to stay with me.

Don’t ask me to add and subtract as that part of my memory is definitely missing. 

Have you ever researched whether spicy food such as the Indian curry you so love, may have a positive effect on your brain?

I never looked into the benefits of spicy food on the brain.

Many musicians have a fondness for Indian curry and while visiting a new town with the band, someone would always be on the lookout for the best Indian restaurant.
My DNA tells me that way back many centuries ago, my ancestors are likely to be of Middle Eastern origin, so that’s good enough for me.

I love that your favourite television program during the 1960s was The Monkees! I was born in 1964 but I also remember watching that show when I was a kid and loving it. Have you ever been able to play with Mickey Dolenz? Did you know that he and Mike Nesmith went back on tour last year as The Monkees Present: The Mike and Mickey Show before Nesmith had a quadruple bypass? It might not be too late for you to jam with them! 

Yeah, as mentioned previously, The Monkees were a big part of my musical influences. Every Saturday evening, they were featured on our RTE channel. We only had one TV station in the sixties and music programs were few and far between. It was always ballad singers or light entertainment TV shows with very little choice for young people. Radio was the only option to hear the pop tunes of the day like The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. The Monkees were a breath of fresh air in a dull television schedule.

I met their drummer Mickey Dolenz in Nottingham, England in 1985 when he was working for a TV station. Charming man, and I told him how I would copy his drumming style with my air drumming in front of the television. He’s likely responsible for me being a left-handed drummer as he never seemed to set his kit up the same way twice. He wasn’t a drummer at all, just an actor who played drums in a TV show.

It would be cool to catch up with him again.

One of my favourite sections of your book was on the Thin White Duke. As a lifelong fan of David Bowie, your recollection of having once been his driver delighted me! Do you regret not telling him that you were Bob’s drummer? That was surely a big lesson that timing is everything!!

No, I don’t regret not telling David Bowie that I was a drummer. First rule of employment is that you do the job you were asked to do. My brief was that I wasn’t allowed to speak or ask questions unless I was spoken to. This is normal with celebrities and their hired drivers.

When the opportunity arose and I was just driving David on his own to rehearsal, we did have conversations about various things during the three weeks that I was his band’s driver. Anyway, he did find out that I was a drummer for Bob when both bands played at a concert in Paris a few weeks after my driving job finished.

He was a charming man and I’m so glad I was able to be that close to an icon of the music world.

Niall Power Dubai

Niall Power in Dubai. Photo by Mark Cowne.

Your book contains a very matter of fact outline of your career as a session drummer who travelled the world with many bands, but I noticed that you refrained from including saucy road stories about the types of antics that go on between traveling band mates. Surely, you have one or two amusing anecdotes to share in this regard? 

I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase, “What happens on the road stays on the road.”  

Well you can’t blame a girl for trying!

On the road, you’ve rubbed shoulders with some of the greats in the music world. What was the single most exciting moment that you experienced and who was it with?

It has to be my first ever time to play live onstage, at the Liverpool Irish Centre in 1975.

Niall Power age 17.

1975 London, age 17.

For the previous four years I’d been bashing away at home, wondering if I was ever going to get it together as a drummer. I was a roadie for all of 1974 with a local band called Just Four. They invited me to go to England on tour with them and I managed to befriend their support group called Midnight who were based in Birmingham. I stayed in England after the tour and moved to London to stay with my friend Jim Sullivan and his family. Jim was the guitarist when we tried unsuccessfully to start our band in the Curragh some years previously. I had told Midnight that I was a drummer looking for a job, and if they were ever changing their drummer to get in touch with me in London.
I received a letter in the post a few months later to ask if I would like to return to Birmingham and join Midnight. I couldn’t believe it, I had never played onstage with a band before and that first gig in Liverpool was a blast. I was probably terrible on the night, but you have to start somewhere and that was where it all began. 

If you could have played with any musician in the world that you haven’t played with, who would you choose?

It has to be George Harrison.

I just loved his music and his vibe. Over the years I have played in many cover bands who performed Beatles tunes in their sets, but it would have been magic to get a chance to play “Here Comes the Sun” with George. 

You have travelled all over the world in your career. What is your favourite place to visit and why?

It would have to be India. We played there on three separate occasions and I loved it. The music is enthralling, the food is incredible, the friendly nature of the people and the sheer size of the place is amazing.

Driving anywhere is a task only to be undertaken by a kamikaze.

The sounds, smells, colours and the poverty have to be seen to be believed.
A truly wonderful country to visit.

Since you retired from drumming in 2015, you have been absorbed in genealogical research, both for yourself and others. What have you been doing in this regard since the publication of your book?

Initially, I only undertook the genealogical search for my own family tree. I found this process to be very helpful for my Parkinson’s situation as it gave me something positive to do after my diagnosis.

I needed a task to engage the brain, almost like doing a crossword puzzle and trying to find answers to the clues. There are many discrepancies on old documents, and it is painstaking work trying to decipher the handwriting and make sense of the information. I’m sure it helped me take my mind off the fact that I was losing the fine motor movements on my left side and my drumming skill was disappearing fast.

I have helped some friends with their own family research, but I’m not going to make a career out of it as it’s very time consuming.

Many Irish documents relating to births, marriages and deaths were destroyed by fire in the Irish Civil War, and only the 1901 and 1911 census records are available to view.
I’m still active with regard to my own family tree and I’ve traced many relations, in Canada and the USA. 

Are you and your wife, Michelle, still farming or working as entrepreneurs? 

Unfortunately, I can’t work anymore with my left hand shaking. It’s now 11 years since

Niall Power at home

Niall in 2016.

diagnosis and the motor skills on my left side are gradually disappearing. For example, I cannot put a letter into an envelope or hold a newspaper without my hand trembling.

I’m so used to the shaking that it that doesn’t bother me anymore, and even though it’s a progressive and incurable disease, I just get on with it and make the best of every day usually tending to the garden. Michelle is my career. 

Can you tell us more about your diet and exercise regime and anything else that has enabled you to make the best of your life with Parkinson’s disease?

Most people will tell you that they altered their diet after a Parkinson’s diagnosis, which I did. I did it as a reaction rather than a necessity. It’s a scary time and the need to do anything to solve the problem is great. My first move was to get supplements from the chemist and I also tried a course of acupuncture and meditation. No real benefits from any of these.

I was aged 50 at the time of diagnosis and in reasonably good shape, so I joined my local swimming club and gym. I rarely miss a day and workout on the treadmill and the bicycle, with some light weights. Then it’s into the pool where I power walk in the water and generally have some fun. This activity may not suit some Parkinson’s patients who have issues with their walking, but I find it very rewarding. You have to find something that works for you and stick with it. Never give up. 

How would you like to be able to help others who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s? 

During the last year I spoke at a few Parkinson’s related events and basically, I just informed the patients about my exercise routine, and how good it can make you feel to do something for yourself that gives you enjoyment and has many other health benefits. 

What have you been doing since your book was published in 2017?

Since the publication of my book I’ve been trying to keep busy. I went to Australia last October and cycled around 1,200 kilometers in the glorious sunshine state of Queensland. My symptoms decreased significantly, and I will be informing my neurologist about this at my next checkup.

Timing Is Everything will be featured in the book nook at the World Parkinson Congress in Kyoto this year, and who knows, a cure may be soon be found.

Niall Power in 2018

Niall Power in 2018. Photo by Frank Smith.

“Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas” Theatrical Touring Show Hits the Road For the Holiday Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 10, 2018

“MERRY CHRISTMAS DARLING: CARPENTERS’ CHRISTMAS”
THEATRICAL TOURING SHOW HITS THE ROAD FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON

 “WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN: CARPENTERS REMEMBERED” SHOW
RESUMES PERFORMANCES IN JANUARY

Starring Singer Michelle Berting Brett, Both Shows Celebrate the Music of the
Top-Selling Band of the 1970’s

Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas, the special holiday version of We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered, the definitive celebration of the seminal brother and sister duo the Carpenters in words and music, begins a holiday season run of shows with a return to the Celebrity Theatre at Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort in Laughlin, Nevada immediately after Thanksgiving.  Playing November 28 through December 2 at the famed resort and casino, Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas is based around the Carpenters’ iconic Christmas albums.

Led by singer Michelle Berting Brett and accompanied by a live, seven-piece Nashville band directed by Harry Sharpe, the show re-creates the Carpenters’ original sound, presenting an intimate behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the most successful recording acts of all time.

Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas follows the format of its parent

MichelleBB-Santa Hat

Michelle Berting Brett in “Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas” (photo by Pierre Gautreau)

We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered in that the history of the Carpenters is told via their iconic songs. For the Christmas presentation, Berting Brett focuses attention on the duo’s Christmas albums and television specials as well as talking about their Christmas experiences.  The festive show includes holiday classics such as “Sleigh Ride,” “The Christmas Song,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Jingle Bells,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Do You Hear What I Hear,” and of course, “Merry Christmas Darling.”

The show’s holiday music is culled from the Carpenters’ Christmas Portrait (1978) and An Old-Fashioned Christmas (released in 1984 after the death of Karen Carpenter). A two-CD set of those two albums was released as the Christmas Collection, making Carpenters’ holiday music an enduring staple of every holiday season. The holiday edition of the show also generously intersperses the Carpenters’ well-known classics, among them “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Close To You” and a rousing medley of the Carpenters’ greatest hits.

The duo of Karen and Richard Carpenter have sold well over 100 million records worldwide, and 2019 will mark the 50th Anniversary of The Carpenters signing with A&M Records and releasing their first album.  The We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered show will be part of that celebration when the show returns to the Downey Theatre in Downey, California, hometown of the Carpenters, on April 25, 2019.

We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered, an intimate behind-the-scenes portrait of the pop music phenomenon that defined an era, has been playing in theatres and showrooms all over the US since 2013.  It grew out of an idea Berting Brett, a farm girl from a musical family in Saskatchewan, conceived after being told repeatedly that she sounded like Karen Carpenter.  Berting Brett, who studied opera and musical theatre and then toured the world in show bands and in her own cabaret shows while based in Toronto, was encouraged by her now-husband, producer Mark Brett, to create a one-woman show based around the Carpenters’ music.  The show played a small club in Toronto with Berting Brett accompanied only by a pianist. That was 2009, and now with this husband and wife team at the helm, the little SRO cabaret show has evolved into a touring production that has now played major showrooms in the U.S.

BroadwayWorld.com said of Brett:  “Michelle Berting Brett is essentially an adult Disney princess with a whole lot of stage presence, and a unique energy while telling their stories and singing their songs,” while music journalist Paul Grein, writing about that show in the Tolucan Times, stated:  “This is an exceptionally well-produced show that does justice to an act whose music has proved to be timeless.”

A CD of We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered, recorded in Nashville, includes performances of the Carpenters’ most memorable songs, among them “Close to You,” “Yesterday Once More,” “Rainy Days & Mondays” and, of course, “We’ve Only Just Begun.” It is available at shows as well as from CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon.

MCD-Carpenters' Christmas 2-Michelle Morrissette (Photographer)

Michelle Berting Brett with 7-piece backing band led by musical director Harry Sharpe performing
“Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas” (photo by Michelle Morrisette)

“Merry Christmas Darling:  Carpenters’ Christmas”
2018 tour dates:

Wednesday, November 28 – Sunday, December 2 – Don’s Celebrity Theater, Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort, Laughlin, NV
Friday, December 7 – Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
Saturday, December 8 – Norwood Theatre, Norwood, MA
Sunday, December 9 – Paramount Hudson Valley Theatre, Peekskill, NY
Saturday, December 15 – Little River Casino,  Manistee, MI
Saturday, December 22 – Blue Water Resort & Casino, Parker, AZ

 “We’ve Only Just Begun:  Carpenters Remembered”
2019 tour dates:

Friday, January 4 – Maltz Jupiter Theatre – Jupiter,  FL
Sunday, January  6 – 2 PM Matinee – Central Park Performing Arts Center – Largo, FL
Wednesday, January 9 & Friday, January 11 – Falany Performing Arts Center, Waleska, GA
Thursday, January 10 – Donald W. Nixon Centre for Performing & Visual Arts, Newnan, GA
Saturday, January 12 – Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center, Evans, GA
Friday, February 15 – Kirby Center, Wilkes Barre, PA
Saturday, April 25, 2019 – Downey Theatre, Downey, CA

For media information, contact:
Sharon Weisz, W3 Public Relations
w3pr@yahoo.com  323-934-2700
www.w3publicrelations.com

Visit:
www.WeveOnlyJustBegunShow.com
www.Facebook.com/WeveOnlyJustBegun
www.Twitter.com/WOJBCarpenters

Video Links:

 

 

 

 

 

Good Bones is the Sophomore Video from Abby Zotz’s Upcoming CD, Local Honey, Releasing Oct. 13, 2018

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Canadian singer-songwriter Abby Zotz contemplates the stories an old house could tell in her second video release from her solo recording, Local Honey. Good Bones, another co-write with long-time collaborator and former Two Roads Home partner, Bryan Williston, has a warm folk-country feel and features her live band with videography and direction by Ryan Osman. 

“The song was inspired by the home of our friend Marney Simmons, a charming and traditional dwelling in Mulgrave, Nova Scotia that overlooks the Strait of Canso and Cape Breton Island,” Abby explains. “My mother’s family is from Belmont NS, and hers was another fine old place. It was easy to let our imaginations roam through time and create snapshots of lives lived within these walls.”

Ryan’s careful attention to detail and the presence of the band create the deep fondness and humour found in real human connection and add depth to the message of the song: “that we stand alone, but within a larger community, and that our bones, like a home’s, must be lived in and loved if we’re to make any sense of this life.”

Join Abby for her very special album release concert for Local Honey at Kingston Road United Church, 975 Kingston Rd, Toronto, ON M4E 1T1 on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3603396

abbyzmusic.com

Abby Zotz Releases ‘Local Honey’, Melodic Pop for a Troubled World

Abby Zotz
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1, 2018

PORT HOPE, ON – Abby Zotz is a singer-songwriter with a penchant for hope, happiness and honesty in a world that seems to be rapidly diminishing in all three. She’ll be bringing her sweet and saucy musical perspective, along with her fabulous band, to Headwaters Community Farm and Education Centre on Wednesday, August 15, 2018. “Headwaters is the perfect location for a soft launch of my new CD, Local Honey,” says Zotz, a resident of Port Hope. “We get to try out all of the new songs, feature some great covers and build on that brilliant sense of community and beauty that the farm offers in spades.”

Zotz has been writing songs and arranging music since her early years in Whitby and then Toronto. An award-winning singer and actor, she is perhaps best known as one-half of the folk pop duo, Two Roads Home, and still writes with long-time pal Bryan Williston. She’s also founder of a cappella trio The MadriGALS and a member of Strings Attached with beloved Wonderful Grand Band fiddler, Jamie Snider. With touches of Joni Mitchell, Sarah Harmer and Sarah McLachlan influencing her vocals and songwriting style, Abby cut her teeth singing everything from pop to folk to renaissance music and plays guitar, ukulele, bodhran and whistles. Her passion for musical variety and her search to find her own voice led her to record Local Honey, a collection of intimate yet relatable tunes infused with rich melody and touches of blues, gospel and folk that explores everything from mature love to struggling immigrant families and bad ass bullies.

“This is my voice, finally and always.”

Abby Zotz and Band Soft Launch for Local Honey
Wednesday August 15, 2018, 7-9 pm
Headwaters Farm
3517 Rowe Road, Cobourg ON
Tickets online at www.headwatersfarm.ca
info@headwatersfarm.ca / 289-829-0343
BYO Lawn Chair and refreshments


Big Hope is the First Video for Abby Zotz’s Upcoming CD, Local Honey,
Releasing Fall 2018

Big Hope is a co-write between Canadian singer-songwriter Abby Zotz and her former Two Roads Home partner Bryan Williston. Inspired by the challenges of a refugee family struggling to re-unite in Canada, it was shot by musician and videographer Joel Saunders. The gorgeous setting in the Scarborough Bluffs area of Toronto reflects the optimism and joy the song is infused with.

“Local Honey is my first solo CD, after 25 years of intense collaboration with other songwriters, singers and choirs,” says Zotz, one-half of former folk-pop due Two Roads Home, and a choral director and song arranger. “The album has its edges for sure, but its main message is hope, happiness and honesty. I refuse to lose sight of these. So Big Hope was the logical choice for a first video.”

Abby had a blast filming this video. It’s been a few years since she’s been in front of a camera – she was an actor for many years as well as a musician, but music ended up paying the bills better – imagine that!  However, it all came back to her easily and Joel’s editing has enriched the look and feel so much.

Watch the video on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/HT-_l73jWC8

For all enquiries, please contact:
Abby Zotz / abby@tworoadshome.com / 647.464.8449

Melodic Folk-pop, Singer-songwriter Abby Zotz Releases Music Video for “Big Hope”

Abby Zotz
Big Hope is the first video for Abby Zotz’s upcoming CD, Local Honey, releasing Sept. 2018

Big Hope is a co-write between Canadian singer-songwriter Abby Zotz and her former Two Roads Home partner Bryan Williston. Inspired by the challenges of a refugee family struggling to re-unite in Canada, it was shot by musician and videographer Joel Saunders. The gorgeous setting in the Scarborough Bluffs area of Toronto reflects the optimism and joy the song is infused with.

Abby had a blast filming this video. It’s been a few years since she’s been in front of a camera – she was an actor for many years as well as a musician, but music ended up paying the bills better – imagine that!  However, it all came back to her easily and Joel’s editing has enriched the look and feel so much.

Join me in congratulating my client Abby Zotz on this beautiful piece of work. I don’t know about you, but these days I feel as if we need Big Hope more than ever.

Hope you enjoy it!!

Learn more about Abby Zotz at abbyzmusic.com.

Toronto’s Chauteuse JORDANA TALSKY Debuts her new cd “Neither of Either”

Irene Carroll Et Associates
Public and Media Relations
I See.

Toronto’s Chanteuse JORDANA TALSKY
Debuts her new cd “Neither of Either”


Wednesday, October 4, 2017 – 8 pm
Supermarket, 268 Augusta Avenue (Kensington Market) Toronto

Jordana TalskyPhoto credit: JEN SQUIRES

Jordana Talsky and her band will debut her new full-length album ‘Neither of Either’ Wednesday, October 4th, at the Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave., (Kensington Market), beginning at 8 pm. Admission is free.

Marking an evolution from jazz songstress to performer with a distinct sound, Jordana combines acapella and full band tracks while seamlessly weaving between intricate support harmonies, vocal percussion, and quirky textures to create an innovative and compelling sound.

The Toronto based vocalist-songwriter takes risks, sonically and stylistically, encompassing her diverse influences across multiple genres from jazz to pop, to alternative and ambient, to blues and soul and beyond.

Produced by Juno award winner Justin Abedin, the multi-instrumentalist, producer, and composer recognized Jordana’s innate sense of music and deep well of creativity.  “She understands the value in the craft of songwriting and brings a fresh approach to her style”. 

‘Neither of Either’ – The Tracks

Pushing the boundaries of her current sound, Jordana and Justin ensured the 10 track ‘Neither of Either’ has a great vibe, ease of vocal transition, convincing lyrics and musicality that harkens to other strong female voices influential on Jordana including Fiona Apple, Dido, Feist and Alanis Morissette.

From the catchy quirky intro of “Run” to the roots infused post-rock “Around You All The Time” followed by the darkly soulful “Ways”, and the epitome of being fed up expressed in “Sick”, Side A rounds out with “Bitter Sweet Heart”, where Jordana’s mesmerizing voice takes over. “Spark”, the first track on Side B, is a reminder that sometimes, that’s all that’s needed. “Wave of Emotion” conveys the confusion of being pulled in two directions while the title track, “Neither of Either” considers that sometimes not making the choice is wise. The RnB flavoured “Don’t Know” precedes Jordana’s imaginative acapella remake of Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” and completes the album much like it began – catchy, great vibe and shining vocals.

“Jordana made a very positive impression on these ears with her 2013 debut, Standard Deviation.

She ups the ante on this new album, one that shows a real evolution in her singing and writing.

Her pure phrasing is devoid of affectation, and her supple voice is equally convincing on a wide range of material.”

– Kerry Doole (FYI Music News)

SIDE A

  1. RUN  (3:11)
    J. Talsky
  2. AROUND YOU ALL THE TIME (4:03)
  3. WAYS (5:26)
    J. Talsky
  4. SICK (2:29)
    J. Talsky
  5. BITTER SWEET HEART (4:03)
    J. Talsky, J. Gray

SIDE B

  1. SPARK (3:30)
    J. Talsky
  2. WAVE OF EMOTION (4:05)
    J. Talsky, D. Breithaupt, J. Abedin
  3. NEITHER OF EITHER (3.34)
    J. Talsky, S. McCully, J. Abedin
  4. DON’T KNOW (3.37)
    J. Talsky
  5. YOU OUGHTA KNOW (4.59)
    A. Morrissette, G. Ballard

Vocal Arrangementby JORDANA TALSKY
Produced by JUSTIN ABEDIN
Mixed by VIC FLORENCIA (Side A track 5, Side B tracks 1, 2, 3, 4)
KAI KOSCHMIDER (Side A tracks 1, 4 and Side B track 5) &
DARRYL NEUDORF (Side A tracks 2, 3)

Recorded in Toronto at THE CANTERBURY MUSIC COMPANY
By Jeremy Darby, Assistant Engineer JULIAN DECORTE and at
KEEN MUSIC by JUSTIN ABEDIN
Mastered by JOAO CARVALHO
Photography by JEN SQUIRES
Graphic Design by YESIM TOSUNER
© Jordana Talsky 2017. All rights reserved.

Jordana Talsky – The Artist

Jordana Talsky, is a voice to be heard. Her unique sound and varied style may be attributed to her wide-ranging experience. Once an opera singer, a musical theatre performer, and member of a funk band, Jordana pushes boundaries and embraces all of her musical sensibilities. She was a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, a semi-finalist in the Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition, and runner-up for the Julian Award of Excellence for Emerging Canadian Artists and Toronto Independent Music Awards (vocal jazz).

With a live show of high energy and excitement, Jordana’s reputation has led her to perform in several music festivals and renowned venues. Established as one of Canada’s most exciting new artists in music, Jordana Talsky continues to perform on many notable stages both in the US and Canada making her a rising entertainer to watch.

Show Dates:

Sept. 16 – Kensington Market Jazz Festival – Justin Abedin -Trinity Common, TORONTO, ON

Oct. 4 – CD debut at Supermarket, 268 Augusta Avenue (Kensington Market)  8pm, TORONTO, ON – Free

Oct. 20 – tbd – Junction City Music Hall, Toronto, ON

Nov. – tbd  – C’est What | Cameron House, Toronto, ON

Nov 10 – Official Indie Week Showcase http://www.canada.indieweek.com  | The Painted Lady, 8:30pm Toronto, ON

Dec. 15 – Homesmith Bar, Old Mill Inn, Toronto, ON

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For More Info:

www.jordanatalsky.com
https://www.facebook.com/Jordana.T.Music/
https://twitter.com/JordanaZT
https://www.instagram.com/jzt123/
https://soundcloud.com/jordana-talsky
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGDx5kOITWiyonLVry6-xRw

Media Interviews | Industry Enquiries:

i see.
Irene Carroll Et Associates
Public and Media Relations

Irene Carroll, Strategist

t] 416.366.5473
e] irene@iseeassociates.ca

Radio Promotions | Interviews:

LAST TANGO PRODUCTIONS LTD.
Yvonne Valnea
t] 416-538-1838
e] info@lasttangoproductions.com

Civil Wray Releases New Video “Fie” From Self-Titled Debut Album

Toronto Singer-Songwriter On Tour Now in Maritimes, Album Official Launches September 29 at Toronto’s Monarch Tavern

Civil Wray

Photo Credit: Ivan Otis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 22, 2017

TORONTO ON — Toronto singer/songwriter Civil Wray (aka Andrea de Boer) has released a new video for the track “Fie” from her self-titled debut album. It coincides with her current tour schedule in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and finds her officially launching the album back home on Sept. 29 at the Monarch Tavern(see full schedule below).

Civil Wray represents a new musical and lyrical direction for de Boer, who has channeled all of her past experience into a new and fresh identity. The seven-track collection was produced by Chris Stringer (Timber Timbre, Holly McNarland, Jill Barber), and features guitarist Champagne James Robertson, keyboardist Robbie Grunwald, bassist Devon Henderson and drummer Joshua Van Tassel collaborating with de Boer to create an indie rock vibe with a touch of country that intensifies her trademark smoky vocals.

“Numb”—the first single to radio, produced by Matt DeMatteo—is an upbeat, surprisingly sultry pop track that finds de Boer sounding more vibrant and vixen-ish than ever before. Another key track is “Fie,” which, infused with a lush, Latin dance-pop vibe, displays de Boer’s dexterous vocal range over a full tropical template of orchestral synths. Furthermore, on “Don’t Make Me,” she looks to Bobbie Gentry’s iconic “Ode to Billie Joe” for inspiration, adding some Southern Gothic romanticism to the mix.

As for the origin of “Civil Wray,” de Boer came up with the concept when contemplating retiring her previous moniker blueVenus. A friend suggested titling her next album “Civil,” a word that soon took on deeper meaning for de Boer in terms of how she wanted to live her life. She later came across the word “Wray,” which in Old English means “discover.” Putting them together represented to de Boer how everyone can keep learning how to treat people better.

De Boer considers the years spent performing as blueVenus, which produced her 2009 debut Grin, a blessing. This period also included tours of North American and Europe, along with a six-year residency at Castro’s, one of Toronto’s legendary music venues, making her well prepared to record Civil Wray live off-the-floor.

Ultimately, Civil Wray is a testament to the confidence de Boer has displayed in making a major professional transition that’s allowed her to musically reframe the world. “Sometimes you just let music percolate and have its own life,” she says. “When you don’t have control over your own life, you can sometimes transform it through a song. It’s all about hope.”

Andrea de Boer is available for interviews.

CIVIL WRAY TOUR DATES

Mon. Aug. 28 :: Halifax NS :: The Carlton (HUFF Festival)
Tues. Aug. 29 :: Charlottetown PE :: Baba’s Lounge
Wed. Aug. 30 :: Saint John NB :: Pub Down Under
Thurs. Aug. 31 :: Fredericton NB :: Grimross Taproom
Fri. Sept. 1 :: St. Andrews NB :: Red Herring
Sat. Sept. 2 :: Halifax NS :: The Loose Cannon (HUFF Festival)
Fri. Sept. 29 :: Toronto ON :: Monarch Tavern [Official CD launch]
Fri. Oct. 20 :: Montreal QC :: Le Cagibi
Fri. Nov. 3 :: South Branch Bistro :: Kemptville ON

Civil Wray

TRACK LIST

1. Don’t Make Me
2. Numb
3. Midnight
4. Fie
5. Crows
6. Talk About Lies
7. Try

For all enquiries, please contact:

Jason Schneider / jason@jasonschneidermedia.com / 226-500-4865

Toronto Singer, Songwriter & Actress Melanie Peterson Launches 3rd EP ‘Two’ at The Artists’ Garden in Toronto, July 26

 

New lyric video (premiered by online music publication Canadian Beats) for the first single “Been So Long”

 

Toronto, ON, July 17, 2017 – Toronto singer, songwriter, and actress Melanie Peterson launches her new EP ‘Two’ (about two sides of love) at The Artists’ Garden outdoor stage in Toronto (presented by AGC/Plein Air Garden Concerts).

‘Two’ (now available; official album release date, July 14, 2017) continues to embrace Peterson’s catchy folk-pop sound and love inspired lyrics. As with her prior records (2013’s first full-length album ‘Unbreakable’, 2014’s six-song cover EP ‘Read It On The Radio’, and second full-length ‘Anywhere From Here’ in 2016), it was produced by Mitch Girio (Emma-Lee, Tamara Williamson), and was recorded at Union Sound Company and Slow Cooker Studio, Toronto.

For the lead single/lyric video “Been So Long”, video motion graphics are by Andrey Sorokin (also worked with Lindi Ortega), who is based in Kirishi, Russia.

WHO: Melanie Peterson (guitar/lead vocal) as her trio, including Mitch Girio (guitar/backing vocals), Peter Collins (bass/backing vocals) – all of whom performed on the new EP.

WHERE: The Artists’ Garden, 345 Balliol Street, Toronto, ON, M4S 1E1

WHEN: Wednesday, July 26, 2017; Doors at 7:00 p.m., Melanie at 7:30 p.m.

HOW MUCH: $10.00 at the door. Advance tickets at; https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/agc-plein-air-concerts-present-melanie-peterson-folk-roots-tickets-35239897482

ARTIST QUOTE: Melanie Peterson, who in 2016 received two FACTOR grants, states, “My new summer EP is about two sides of love. The, I can’t believe it, I’m falling in love side (#1, Been So Long) AND the now that the honeymoon is over, are we going to make it as a couple side (#2, Kiss Me Like You Mean It). My hope for the album release show is that folks enjoy the evening in the outdoor setting and they like the new songs!”

FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1297715740347599

ARTIST INFO: http://melaniepeterson.ca

Peterson earned her spot within Toronto’s independent music scene when she was invited to host and perform her original songs in the monthly female singer-songwriter night called ‘Girls Girls Girls’ at the renowned Cameron House (September 2010 to December 2012) and in March 2012 when she initially showcased at Canadian Music Week. She was invited back to perform two showcases at CMW 2013 and in that same year she launched her first full-length album ‘Unbreakable’ in Toronto. Melanie followed that up with a triumphant 2013 NXNE showcase and a successful southern Ontario tour.

MEDIA QUOTES:

Feature for new video “Been So Long” – http://www.fyimusicnews.ca/articles/2017/07/12/music-news-digest-july-12-2017 ~ FYI Music News, July 12, 2017.

Video premier feature; http://canadianbeats.ca/2017/06/27/premiere-melanie-peterson-releases-lyric-video-for-been-so-long. ~ Jenna Melanson, CanadianBeats.ca, June 27, 2017.

“Melanie Peterson is a Toronto-based singer/songwriter with a lovely lilting voice and strong songwriting chops.” ~ Kerry Doole, FYI Music News, 2016

“The songwriting is genuine and self-aware, and there is a positive tone even in the heartbreak.” ~ Cate McKim, Life With More Cowbell, 2016

“This is an artist who knows how to entertain an audience, playing three 45 minute sets to a packed house of admiring fans.” ~ Frank Mcfadden, Snapd Beach/Danforth

“…we have very much enjoyed playing a variety of tracks from ‘Unbreakable’, and my Saturday morning listeners have been quick to let us know they enjoy what Melanie does!” ~ Monica Winfield, host, BBC Radio Leicester, 2013

“A melodically enchanting songwriter and musically adept guitarist, she has the crowd eating out of her hand. I’d call her music smooth pop as it is as inviting as it is sweet.” ~ Gary 17, Toronto Moon Magazine

“…check out Melanie Peterson, a terrific singer and songwriter. She sounds just as good live as she does on her album. She has a beautiful voice.” ~ Joe Warmington, Toronto Sun, 2011

“I can hear the Joni Mitchell influence in her voice, but there is a significant difference —Joni’s voice is cool, introverted and detached, whereas Melanie’s is warmth personified.” ~ Altrockchick.com

UPCOMING TOUR DATES:

August 5 – Bancroft, ON at Millennium Park, Bancroft Art & Craft Guild Summer Show and Sale
August 18 – Ottawa, ON at Avant-Garde Bar

ABOUT:
Blessed with a voice reminiscent of an early Joni Mitchell, and an ability to imbue her vocals with palpable and authentic emotion, Saskatoon born, Toronto based singer-songwriter and actress Melanie Peterson has become one of the brightest lights on the Toronto music scene. Previously, she has released a five-song EP called ‘After the Fall’ (2010), her first full-length album ‘Unbreakable’ (2013), a six-song cover EP titled ‘Read It On The Radio’ (2014), her second full-length album ‘Anywhere From Here’ (2016), a holiday single “Santa’s Sleigh” (2016), a single “Sunshine” (2017) and most recently, her newest EP ‘Two’ (July 14, 2017).

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For media info, CDs, digital albums, photos and interviews please contact:
Laurie Lockhart
GET THE MESSAGE Publicity
Tel: 416-988-2530 / Email: publicity@getthemessagepr.ca
Facebook.com/GETTHEMESSAGEpublicity / Twitter.com/getthemessagepr
getthemessagepr.ca

For more artist information please visit:
melaniepeterson.ca
Facebook.com/misswatermeloni
Twitter.com/MissWatermeloni
YouTube.com/user/mellysings
Soundcloud.com/melanie-peterson

Ann Vriend New Video & Single “Will You Be There?” on Aporia Records Out Now

ANN VRIEND
NEW VIDEO
WILL YOU BE THERE?
OUT DECEMBER 9TH!

“Don’t miss her.” ~ Toronto Star
“Holy wow! What a voice!” ~ The AU Review in Australia
“Vriend’s voice is unmistakable, catching and powerful,” ~ The Calgary Sun

image004

TORONTO – 2016 – The captivating and powerhouse vocalist Ann Vriend (AV) releases new single and video “Will You Be There,” (Aporia Records), a compelling song propelled by an irresistible dance beat, a catchy horn sample, and Vriend’s invincible vocal prowess. The single’s out now on iTunes, Spotify and all regular digital distribution channels. For more info please visit: www.annvriend.com /www.aporia-records.com.

One listen to “Will You Be There?” and you’ll know how great a singer, songwriter, and musician Ann Vriend (AV) is; witness one live performance, and you’ll fall in love with her. Of all the things she is, AV is definitely the real deal.

The Edmonton-based singer-songwriter has spent considerable time with her backing band in New Orleans, studying the convergence of gospel, blues, funk, soul, Caribbean beats, and jazz – and staying up late trying to experience as much of it as possible. All those elements are combined in “Will You Be There?” as the ever-evolving and revolving door of sounds and culture from Crescent City continues to inspire and influence the world of pop and R&B – even as far north as Edmonton, Alberta.

Produced by Tino Zolfo – a soul bassist himself back in the day – “Will You Be There?” is an intense New Orleans funk/dance R&B song about how easy it is to “be around” for the good times, the party, the nightclub fun. But then it asks “will you be there for the other part?” Whether asking that of a lover, of friends, of fans, or of the world at large, it’s left open-ended for the listener to decide.

The song is musically very upbeat and danceable, but also has a darker vibe and is a cautionary tale about the night life and being careful when you cross the line. It continues in AV’s ‘70s soul direction, but would sit quite comfortably on any playlist alongside the contemporary voices of Bruno Mars, Pharrell Williams, Amy Winehouse, Meghan Trainor, and Adele.

More about AV

AV recently signed with Toronto-based record label Aporia. She has appeared on CBC’s “Vinyl Café” with Stuart McLean, ABC TV’s prime time music comedy trivia show “Spicks and Specks,” ABC Radio’s “The Inner Sleeve” plus Sydney Mornings with Wendy Harmer, and Germany’s “Arte TV.” She has been featured in Elle Magazine and performed at Koerner Hall via the Songwriters’ Association of Canada, alongside Dan Hill, Marc Jordan, Melanie Doane, and others.

Musicians on the Recording:

Ann Vriend: vocals, keys, background vocals
Tino Zolfo: bass, programming

Upcoming Dates

January 7 – The Rec Room, Edmonton, AB
January 21 – Toronto Blues Summit as part of Rooster Davis Group, Toronto, ON
February 9 – March 12 – Australia EP Release Tour

Artist Links:

Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/aporia-records/ann-vriend-will-you-be-there

https://soundcloud.com/aporia-records/ann-vriend-anybodys-different/s-dEJII

Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/artist/3vjHMysd98leqhwDotu9fZ

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AnnVriend

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnVriend

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnVriend #WillYouBeThere

Intagram: https://www.instagram.com/annvriend  

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For more information, photos, mp3s, WAV files, interviews, please contact:

MEDIA CONTACT:

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