Ilona Pal’s Americana Single “A Farm In Indiana” Pays Tribute to James Dean’s Hometown

Ilona Pal cd single cover artwork

What you have written, and written well, obviously came from the heart and, for me,“A Farm in Indiana” has that same haunting quality as Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”. And it’s not because it’s about James Dean, it’s just a great song.  I have now listened to it repeatedly and I don’t tire of hearing it.” — Jim Hayes

Ilona Pal has travelled the rails between Montreal and Ottawa many times over, but in November of 2017, that train ride, and a movie about friendship, love and loss inspired a song that gave her wings to fly.

The movie was the 2015 feature film “Life”: the story of photographer Dennis Stock’s historic 1955 photo shoot of iconic actor James Dean in Fairmount, Indiana, for that still famous spread in Life Magazine.

“The song was a gift,” says Ilona. “I wasn’t looking to write a song about James Dean that day, the song was looking for me.” But when the last frame of the film faded to black and the words ‘James Dean died 6 months later’ appeared on the screen, she felt a wave of emotion well up in her chest. That wave soon reached her creative spirit, and all at once, most of the lyrics and melody that would become A Farm In Indiana were born.

Pal, an insightful singer-songwriter from Montreal, first emerged as an independent Canadian New Country artist with her debut single, Hold On Heart, and self-titled album. She landed a spot on the roster at Peter Asher Management in LA, alongside such notable artists as Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. French recordings of her songs have ranked #1 in Quebec and received ADISQ award nominations. Film credits include the closing theme song for Time At The Top (Showtime, HBO).

Produced by Les Cooper (The Good Lovelies, Jill Barber, Andy Stochansky, Craig Cardiff, Meaghan Smith, Madison Violet and David Myles, among others.), a Juno award-winning producer, Les is a songwriter, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, whose arrangements have frequently been compared to those of past greats such as Nelson Riddle and Duke Ellington, earning him a reputation as a composer with a classic and timeless sound.

A Farm in Indiana is their first collaborative writing effort.

Les brought in the magnificent Drew Jurecka to play violin. His soaring emotional solo was a first take, and captured the essence of the song beautifully. His passionate playing conjures up images of love and loss, as well as the sweetness of home and longing to be there. Stylistically, the down-home feel evokes genuine feelings of comfort. The solo is the heart of the arrangement, which features Cooper on guitar, lap steel and banjo, rounding out the ‘Americana’ folk tune.

“The train had a huge influence on this song. It was born on a train, inspired by a train ride when at the age of nine, James Dean brought his mother’s remains back to Fairmount, Indiana from LA, and it was the train that took me to Les in Toronto to produce the song,” mused Pal. “One thing I knew for sure was that the train had to be represented in the rhythm of the song.”

Pal then contacted the Main Street Fairmount organization in Indiana to propose a partnership. She would attach their fundraising initiative to her music video to aid the town of Fairmount in its ongoing effort towards the restoration and preservation of James Dean’s hometown. This was a complete leap of faith on their behalf, but the proposal was met with incredible enthusiasm and excitement, and soon, plans for a performance at the annual James Dean Festival in September were also underway.

“The highlight of making this connection for me was the day I called Marcus Winslow,” says Pal. Winslow, James Dean’s cousin, was like a little brother to him. To this day, he lives on the farm that both inspired the song and figures prominently in the photos of Dean from 1955. So, on a lovely summer afternoon, she called Marcus and told him all about the song. “He’s a gracious man of few words. He listened intently as I explained what I was trying to do,” Ilona recalls. It all seemed to come full circle as she recited the lyrics to him. The song had ultimately ‘come home’, to the place of its inspiration—the dream of every songwriter. 

In September 2018, Ilona performed A Farm in Indiana at the James Dean Festival in Fairmount, Indiana. Appearing on the Main Street stage and at the James Dean memorial service at the Back Creek Friends Church, a huge privilege and honour!

According to Ilona, “this song has legs and it’s moving on a mission unto itself.” She’s just very grateful to be along for the journey and happy the song chose her.

Today would have been James Dean’s 88th birthday.

www.ilonapal.com

Critically Acclaimed Blues-Rock Guitarist, Songwriter and Vocalist Jim Allchin Announces Prime Blues, His Newest LP, for Release September 21, 2018

Produced by Grammy and Blues Music Award Winner Tom Hambridge and featuring a team of veteran studio and touring professionals including special guests
Bobby Rush and Mike Zito

Jim Allchin Prime Blues

SEATTLE, WA, September 12, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — Jim Allchin, American guitarist, philanthropist, and a former software executive, is releasing his fourth widely distributed contemporary blues album: Prime Blues. Prime Blues was produced by Producer and Grammy®, ASCAP and Blues Music Award winner Tom Hambridge, whose production credits include: Buddy Guy, Marcia Ball, Susan Tedeschi and James Cotton, among many others.

Prime Blues features 14 new tracks performed by an all-star group of musicians including: bassist Glenn Worf, rhythm guitarists Rob McNelley, Bob Britt and Kenny Greenburg, keyboardist Kevin McKendree, drummer Tom Hambridge, vocalist Mycle Wastman, The Memphis Horns and special guest vocalists Grammy-winner Bobby Rush, and Blues Award winner Mike Zito.

Hambridge stated: “I’m so very proud of this major step forward in Jim’s journey as a Bluesman. We had an absolute blast co-writing some of the songs, planning and recording Prime Blues and we’re anxious for blues fans around the globe to hear these incredible tunes and performances.”

Featured in Apple Music and receiving wide critical acclaim, Allchin’s last LP, Decisions, topped Contemporary Blues and Blues Rock charts for months and was named a Top 20 Blues Rock Album of 2017 by the venerable Roots Music Report (RMR), the number one independent music chart in the world. RMR compiles radio airplay data from radio stations around the globe that play Roots Music and is widely considered a real-time industry barometer.

The reviewers said:
• “Decisions is Jim Allchin’s best release to date!” Blues Bytes Review
• “Lovers of modern blues need to check him out.” Norman Darwen, Blues in the South Review
• “If you decide to hear some great music, here it is!” Smoky Mountain Blues Society
• “Allchin flat out rips!” Rick Bowen, NW Blues

Allchin added: “The title Prime Blues refers to both my love of the blues as well as my love of mathematics. Prime Blues is more concentrated blues than my past albums and at the same time more diverse in terms of style, guitar technique, and guitar tone. Each song tells a story – about an experience, life observation, or my life philosophy in general. I hope you find some of these songs just flat out fun. And about that mathematics reference? Study the grill cloth on the front cover and let us know what you see.”

Prime Blues is widely available from iTunesSpotifyAmazon and the official website, jimallchin.com for digital downloads and CDs.

Founded in 2013, Artisanship Music Nashville is a multimedia production, marketing and distribution company dedicated to uncommonly great music and the artists who love to create and perform for audiences around the globe. We work with both well-established and emerging artists from concept to launch on their musical, entertainment and educational endeavors. Artisanship Music is a proud member of the Americana Music Association, The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, NSAI and ASCAP.

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Sultans of String Celebrate Lyric Inclusivity of O Canada with a New Video & Recording

O_CANADA_3000x3000_ENGLISH

In January 2018, legislation was passed to make an important change in the English-language version of Canada’s national anthem O Canada. The line “True patriot love in all thy sons command” was replaced with “True patriot love in all of us command” to ensure gender parity. This is an important step towards recognizing and including all Canadians in our national anthem.

3x JUNO Award nominees/CFMA winners Sultans of String are celebrating this change with a new video and recording!

As bandleader Chris McKhool explains, music is a perfect medium for uniting people for social justice: “What I really love about music is its ability to bring together people and cultures in a way that emulates what we love to see in the world, creating collaborations that break down the barriers that divide us, helping us to see our common humanity, and providing a model for peace. So we went into the streets of Toronto and invited people to write a message on our ‘Peace Kite’, and then flew it to spread the message of inclusion and peace across the country. Making this video revealed the tremendous generosity and goodwill of regular Canadians, and the gratitude and pride we all feel about our country. It also reminded us of Canada’s important reputation as a peacekeeping nation, and a haven to which people from around the world find freedom from persecution and war.”

For a musician whose career has been dedicated to bridging cultures through song, these themes are particularly meaningful. McKhool, whose name would have been spelled Makhoul in Kfarmishki, Lebanon, where his ancestors are from, loves being able to write and perform music with people from around the world who share a common vision. This production is another in an ongoing collaboration with award-winning Pakistani Canadian sitar player Anwar Khurshid.  “He’s become a great musical and personal friend”, says McKhool. “Together we started writing songs about the freedom and equality we personally experience living here in Canada, and about our hope of creating a better world for all.”

We welcome individuals and schools to download and use our MP3s royalty-free.  
  
English version on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Q_cwkqa14Cg
 
Bilingual version on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PLOAYoT4X-Q 

 


Credits:

Sultans of String:
Chris McKhool – violin
Kevin Laliberte – guitar
Drew Birston – bass
Rosendo ‘Chendy’ Leon – percussion

Featuring special guests:
Anwar Khurshid – sitar
Rebecca Campbell – vocals
Ravi Naimpally – tabla
Choir – Amoy Levy, Ciceal Levy, Adrienne McKenzie, Camille Harrison, Nevon Sinclair, Danah Martin

Produced by Chris McKhool
Engineered, mixed, mastered by John ‘Beetle’ Bailey
Videography by Jake Roels
Flag pattern by Gabriel Oliveira

www.sultansofstring.com
www.facebook.com/sultansofstring
twitter.com/sultansofstring
For more info, and to invite Chris McKhool and Sultans of String for presentations, please contact:
Lisa Weitz
416-624-3466 (office) • 416-846-6877 (cell)
lw@lwcommunications.ca

The Bombadils Release “The Fountain” Official Video

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Today’s the day! Borealis Records recording artists, The Bombadils, are so excited to share this video for their song, “The Fountain” from their album New Shoes!

Written by Sarah Frank and Alan Mackie about summer travels and adventure, the video came together last summer and fall, featuring shots of Montreal, Quebec, and St John’s, Newfoundland. It’s a dreamy display of fountains and mountains, cool old buildings, fish, birds, and other summertime delights, all wondrously captured by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin.

Although The Bombadils made the video long before they had any plans to move to Halifax, it’s interesting that the locations that Nasuna filmed create a parallel to their recent move from Montreal to the east coast. Looks like Nasuna was one step ahead of them!

Video ~ Nasuna Stuart-Ulin
Audio ~ James Perrella & Julia Graff
Songwriting ~ Sarah Frank & Alan Mackie (aka Berty Lancaster)
Band ~ The Bombadils (Sarah Frank on fiddle and vocals, Luke Fraser on guitar and vocals)

Big thank you to Borealis Records and The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent On Recordings (FACTOR) for making this possible.

New Shoes available through Borealis Records, iTunes, and Spotify.

 

Juno Nomination for Maria Dunn for Traditional Roots Album of the Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2017

Juno Awards Traditional Roots Album of the

Today, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) together with CTV announced this year’s Juno nominees. Maria Dunn is thrilled to receive a nomination in the Traditional Roots Album of the Year category for her sixth independent recording Gathering (released April 2016). This is Maria’s second nomination for a Juno Award. In 2002, she received a nomination for her sophomore album For A Song.

The Juno Awards will be presented in Ottawa and televised by CTV on Sunday, April 2nd. To learn more about the Juno Awards, visit www.junoawards.ca.

Maria Dunn: I’m delighted and honoured to have Gathering recognized with a Juno nomination. Thank you to producer Shannon Johnson, engineer Jerry Woolsey, and a stellar group of musicians for helping me present my songs to the world. I’m also very grateful to the countless advocates for social justice, local and global, who inspired so many of these songs with their persistence, hope, courage and love.

Maria’s music has received critical acclaim over the years, both at home and abroad. Recently, she won the top Edmonton Music Prize for Gathering. Her song “Malala” (inspired by Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Malala Yousafzai) also recently won a 2016 Independent Music Award in the Social Action Song category. On February 18 (7 pm), the Maria Dunn Trio will perform an Official Showcase at the 2017 Folk Alliance International Conference, Benton’s (20th Floor) in Kansas City, MO.

Gathering highlights stories of love—not songs of romantic love, but songs of family, community, humanity and the love that connects us and fires our actions to make the world a better place. Recorded at DanLyn Studios in Sherwood Park (Alberta) with producer Shannon Johnson (Juno award winner with The McDades for 2007’s Bloom), Gathering continues to expand Maria’s musical palate with performances from Sufi singer Karim Gillani and jazz saxophonist Jeremiah McDade.

Maria Dunn Gathering

Guest musicians: Eric Breton (percussion), Karim Gillani (guest vocal), Shannon Johnson (violin), Ojas Joshi (tabla, percussion), Jeremiah McDade (saxophone, bansuri, whistles, guitar), Solon McDade (upright bass) and Asani (singers Debbie Houle, Sarah Pocklington and Terry Morrison). Further contributions on song arrangements by Solon McDade and Jeremiah McDade.

The 11 songs on Gathering range from “Malala”, a buoyant call to action inspired by Malala Yousafzai, to “When I Was Young”, a flowing old-time ballad inspired by Alberta indigenous leader Dorothy McDonald-Hyde. “How I Live” shares the quiet courage of families supporting their children with disabilities, while “When The Grandmothers Meet” celebrates women across the globe, with its exuberant vocals and joyful horn lines. The recording finishes with “Music In The Meadow”, a bluesy bow-driven wordplay on the wonder of the Rocky Mountains.

Thank you to the following for supporting this recording project: The Province of Alberta through Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The Edmonton Arts Council and the City of Edmonton.

Upcoming Performances

Sat March 4 – Fundraising Concert for “Huron Out of the Cold” Project
Goderich, ON
http://www.lakeshoreuc.org

Thursday, March 9 – Maria Dunn, Si Kahn, Joe Jencks Triple Bill
Golden Link Folk Singing Society (Penfield NY)
http://www.goldenlink.org/

Fri Mar 10 – Maria Dunn, Si Kahn, Joe Jencks Triple Bill
Old Songs Concert Series (Voorheesville, NY)
http://oldsongs.org

Sat Mar 11 – Maria Dunn, Si Kahn, Joe Jencks Triple Bill
Walkabout Clearwater Concerts (White Plains, NY)
http://www.walkaboutclearwater.org/music/coffeehouse.php

Sun Mar 12 – Maria Dunn, Si Kahn, Joe Jencks Triple Bill
Valley Folk Club (Corning, NY)
www.valleyfolk.org

Fri Mar 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Celebration: Maria Dunn Concert followed by Irish Ceili
Castleton Town Hall (Castleton, ON)
http://themillatpipercreek.ca/arts-and-heritage-centre/

Sat Apr 22 – Maria Dunn Trio (with Shannon Johnson, Jeremiah McDade)
Northern Lights Folk Club (Edmonton, AB)
http://www.northernlightsfc.ca

– ### –
To set-up interviews and/or for more information, contact:
Marlene D’Aoust | Ph:  (403) 455-3175 | email: mdaoust@shaw.ca

Artist: 
Distant Whisper Music · PO Box 4463, Edmonton, AB CANADA T6E 4T5 · (780) 430-8560 · http://www.mariadunn.com

Publicity & Promotion:  Free Expression · #92, 1845 Lysander Cr. SE, Calgary, AB  Canada · T2C 1X9 · email: mdaoust@shaw.ca · (403) 455-3175

CD Distribution:  Outside Music · (416) 461-0655 · http://www.outside-music.com

Sultans of String Garner JUNO Nomination for World Music Album of the Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 7, 2017

Canada’s genre-bending string slingers SULTANS OF STRING garner 2017
JUNO nomination for World Music Album of the Year for their feast of raucous reels, ragas ‘n’ rumbas, SUBCONTINENTAL DRIFT

Juno Awards World Music Album of the Year Nominees 2017

[Toronto ON]  Canada’s genre-bending string slingers SULTANS OF STRING garner a JUNO nomination for World Music Album of the Year at the celebratory Junos Press Conference for their feast of raucous reels ragas ‘n’ rumbas, Subcontinental Drift, featuring special guest/sitar master Anwar Khurshid (Oscar-winning Life of Pi).

“We are honoured to receive this JUNO nomination for our new album! We could not have made this recording without the support of the whole Canadian roots community, and our special collaboration with Anwar,” states bandleader/violinist Chris McKhool. He adds, “there is something magical about joining world music rhythms that we often play, but with pop sensibilities and forms and lengths, and blending that with the music of the East.”

Yet, Subcontinental Drift is more than a genre-hopping passport. It is a musical promise that embraces differences while finding common ground across culture, land, and time.

“Together we started writing songs about freedom and equality, and our hope of creating a better world. I feel in some way that these songs reflect our own personal hopes and journeys towards finding a world peace. This is a message that is needed more than ever at this time.”

The award nomination comes on the heels of the band’s whirlwind North American and UK Subcontinental Drift tours, including a special appearance organized by the High Commission at London’s Trafalgar Square. Distributed by Fontana North in Canada, the album hit #1 in Canada on Earshot’s international charts, top 10 on the American CMJ charts and top 15 on Billboard’s World Music charts in the U.S. It also got picked up for distribution in the U.S. by CEN/SONY and by Proper in Europe.

The band has been on the road non-stop and will make their debut in The Netherlands and mainland Europe this summer. Sultans of String are celebrating their 10th anniversary as a band, criss-crossing North America and performing at many taste-making forums such as JUNOFest, legendary jazz club Birdland in NYC, and California’s hip music scene, including the San Jose Jazz Festival. They recently sold out Koerner Hall (Toronto’s Carnegie Hall), and performed with Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton Symphony Orchestras. Sultans of String were recently filmed by MPBN’s Maine Arts! in a feature concert, and performed live on BBC TV, Irish National Radio, and the internationally syndicated shows WoodSongs, World Cafe, and on SiriusXM in Washington.

They are currently recording a festive and world music inspired Christmas Caravan CD featuring Canada’s singer to the stars Rebecca Campbell (Bruce Cockburn, Alanis Morissette, Emmylou Harris), 5x Platinum selling Nikki Yanofsky, The Chieftains’ very own Paddy Moloney, JUNO winner Alex Cuba, Cameroon’s Richard Bona, Panamanian 7x Grammy/5x Latin Grammy-winning Ruben Blades, and more!
Sultans of String with Anwar Khurshid

CD & HIGH RES PHOTO DOWNLOAD:
http://tinyurl.com/naekrjd

STREAM:
https://soundcloud.com/sultansofstring/sets/subcontinental-drift

VIDEOS:
“Rakes of Mallow” (Raucous Indo-Celtic mash-up!)

https://youtu.be/1oBkM_zpd-M

“Enter The Gate” (Roots Country meets South Asia in this high energy fusion foot tapper)
https://youtu.be/y8mKJL4SvpQ

“Blowin’ In The Wind”
(Bollywood meets Bob in this Dylan classic)
https://youtu.be/2CfQOrdOB3U

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/subcontinental-drift/id1031300898

“Sensational. Loved it.” ~ Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary)

“Chris McKhool and the boys are fantastic.” ~ Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel)

“Sultans of String are so extraordinary and put on a sensational show—one of my favorite bands on the planet!” ~ Todd Barkan, Lincoln Center, NY

“You get the feeling this is Willie & Lobo or Gypsy Kings taken to the next level of the game, sometimes all at once… a sure bet to notch a JUNO and any other award winning hardware to come its way.” ~ Midwest Record, Chicago

 

http://www.sultansofstring.com
http://twitter.com/sultansofstring
https://www.facebook.com/sultansofstring
FACTOR and Arts Council Logos

MEDIA ENQUIRIES:

Lisa Weitz,  LW Communications  lw@lwcommunications.ca  416-624-3466 | 416-846-6877 (cell)

Maria Dunn Wins Edmonton Music Prize for Her Album Gathering

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2017

MARIA DUNN WINS EDMONTON MUSIC PRIZE FOR HER ALBUM GATHERING
 Maria Dunn Gathering

Maria Dunn won the top Edmonton Music Prize on Thursday evening at the Garneau Theatre for her 2016 album Gathering. The annual award is sponsored by the City of Edmonton through the Edmonton Arts Council, and administered by Alberta Music. 

“I’m very grateful and proud to be part of the supportive, inspiring, vibrant arts community that we have here in Edmonton, in no small part due to the work of the Edmonton Arts Council, Alberta Music and my fellow artists. I’m humbled and honoured to be recognized for something that I love to do and and that I feel compelled to do. Thank you to my producer Shannon Johnson, engineer Jerry Woolsey, all the musicians who contributed their considerable talents to recording Gathering and all the people who inspired the songs.”

Maria’s music has received critical acclaim over the years, both at home and abroad. Her song “Malala” (inspired by the courageous young activist for education rights, Malala Yousafzai) recently won a 2016 Independent Music Award in the Social Action Song category. On February 18 (7 pm), the Maria Dunn Trio will perform an Official Showcase at the 2017 Folk Alliance International Conference, Benton’s (20th Floor) in Kansas City, MO. 

Long known for her storytelling through song, Maria’s sixth recording, Gathering, highlights stories of love—not songs of romantic love, but songs of family, community, humanity and the love that connects us and fires our actions to make the world a better place. Recorded at DanLyn Studios in Sherwood Park, Gathering was produced by Shannon Johnson (Juno award winner with The McDades for 2007’s Bloom) and continues to expand Maria’s musical palate with contributions from Sufi singer Karim Gillani and jazz saxophonist Jeremiah McDade.

The 11 songs on Gathering range from “Malala”, a buoyant call to action inspired by Malala Yousafzai, to “When I Was Young”, a flowing old-time ballad inspired by Alberta indigenous leader Dorothy McDonald-Hyde. “How I Live” shares the quiet courage of families supporting their children with disabilities, while “When The Grandmothers Meet” celebrates women across the globe, with its exuberant vocals and joyful horn lines. The recording finishes with “Music In The Meadow”, a bluesy bow-driven wordplay on the wonder of the Rocky Mountains.

A wonderful collection of new songs from one of our most important and vital songwriters…If it doesn’t bring a lump to your throat, you’re already beyond help. Essential listening, then, this Gathering. – Penguin Eggs Magazine (March 2016)

Thank you to the following for supporting this recording project: The Province of Alberta through Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The Edmonton Arts Council and the City of Edmonton.

Maria Dunn

Upcoming Performances

Sat March 4 – Fundraising Concert for “Huron Out of the Cold” Project
Goderich, ON
http://www.lakeshoreuc.org

Thursday, March 9 – Maria Dunn, Si Kahn, Joe Jencks Triple Bill
Golden Link Folk Singing Society (Penfield NY)
http://www.goldenlink.org/

Fri Mar 10 – Maria Dunn, Si Kahn, Joe Jencks Triple Bill
Old Songs Concert Series (Voorheesville, NY)
http://oldsongs.org

Sat Mar 11 – Maria Dunn, Si Kahn, Joe Jencks Triple Bill
Walkabout Clearwater Concerts (White Plains, NY)
http://www.walkaboutclearwater.org/music/coffeehouse.php

Sun Mar 12 – Maria Dunn, Si Kahn, Joe Jencks Triple Bill
Valley Folk Club (Corning, NY)
www.valleyfolk.org

Fri Mar 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Celebration: Maria Dunn Concert followed by Irish Ceili
Castleton Town Hall (Castleton, ON)
http://themillatpipercreek.ca/arts-and-heritage-centre/

Sat Apr 22 – Maria Dunn Trio (with Shannon Johnson, Jeremiah McDade)
Northern Lights Folk Club (Edmonton, AB)
http://www.northernlightsfc.ca

– 30 –

To set-up interviews and/or for more information, contact:
Marlene D’Aoust | Ph:  (403) 455-3175 | email:  mdaoust@shaw.ca

Artist:  Distant Whisper Music · PO Box 4463, Edmonton, AB CANADA T6E 4T5 · (780) 430-8560 · www.mariadunn.com

Publicity & Promotion:  Free Expression · #92, 1845 Lysander Cr. SE, Calgary, AB  Canada · T2C 1X9 · email: mdaoust@shaw.ca · (403) 455-3175

CD Distribution:  Outside Music · (416) 461-0655 · http://www.outside-music.com http://www.outside-music.com

5x JUNO nominated/6x CFMA winning mando-maestro Andrew Collins Trio Release “And It Was Good” at Hugh’s Room on Fri. Oct. 21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 12, 2016

Good Times Are Sure to be Had when 5x JUNO nominated/6x CFMA winning mando-maestro ANDREW COLLINS TRIO release ”AND IT WAS GOOD” HUGH’S ROOM – FRI OCT 21, 8:30PM

The Andrew Collins Trio

“Light of touch, fast of wit, copiously imaginative, and a musical scholar of the highest distinction, Toronto mandolin virtuoso pulls out all the stops” ~ Toronto Star

“Boundaries? What boundaries? Toronto mandolinist Andrew Collins ignores them all!” ~ Penguin Eggs

“To call Andrew Collins a master of the mandolin would be putting it mildly…. artfully arranged string music perhaps best described as ‘chambergrass’ shines through – 4/5 stars” ~ Exclaim! Magazine

Andrew Collins is a part of the firmament. He’s the mercurial, 5x JUNO-nominated/6x CFMA winningmando-maestro behind two of Canada’s top-billed string bands – The Foggy Hogtown Boys and the Creaking Tree String Quartet. An adventurous musical explorer, he lands somewhere between the re-imagined worlds of Béla Fleck and Newgrass invader, David Grisman.

Together with fellow members of the Andrew Collins Trio (ACT) – string guru Mike Mezzatesta and in-the-pocket bassist James McEleney – good times are sure to be had with their sophomore release And It Was Good CD.

Sitting atop a catalogue representing 2 solo records, 11 collaborative releases, and 2 with his Trio, Collins appears to live by the old adage, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” – because “And It Was Good” tackles Creation itself – likely keeping him just ahead of the devil’s grasp.

On his Trio’s new disc, all three players assault the 7 days of Creation, brilliantly rendering each day’s story to secular musical fruition in this new, Chamber Grass disc. “And It Was Good” IS good – a labour of love inspired by the late Oliver Schroer, if not overseen by his musical specter. The result is a lush-sounding, multi-layered composition bringing fresh meaning to an age-old story while demonstrating the depth of musicianship from each of these three inspirational players.

The trio’s instrumentation (mandolin, mandocello, fiddle, guitar, bass, mandola) is augmented by the Phantasmagoria String Quartet to add necessary shading and colour to each track, all carefully composed by Collins. Opening with “Light from the Darkness”, the use of mandolins, bass and strings transforms the concept of nothingness into the semblance of light appearing through two distinct movements that build in intensity as the world awakens.

The title track representing the last day breaks into what can only be called a gleeful, up-tempo celebration of life itself. The mandolin-driven piece draws heavily upon bluegrass with its bursts of fiddle, backdrop of acoustic guitar while the bass holds down the bottom. Everyone is clearly having a Good time in “And It Was Good”, now that the hard work is done!

The Andrew Collins Trio– admired for their absolute virtuosity – have been somewhat reborn through their re-creation of a story that brings a certain reverence to the party – and a distinctly unique approach to ensemble playing that represents a Second Coming of …shall we say 🙂 ….biblical proportions.

WHERE:
Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas W, Toronto

WHEN:
Friday, October 21, 8:30pm

TIX:
$22.50 adv / $25   |  416-531-6604  |   info@hughsroom.com   www.hughsroom.com

VIDEO:

https://youtu.be/7OsYx_jTBVw (30 sec clip)
www.andrewcollinstrio.com/videos (5:28 min)
www.andrewcollinstrio.com
www.facebook.com/TheAndrewCollinsTrio

 

Andrew Collins Trio

 

Canada Council for the Arts

 

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES:

Lisa Weitz,  LW Communications  lw@lwcommunications.ca  416-624-3466 | 416-846-6877 (cell)

Canadiana Singer-Songwriter Harlan Wells Releases “Waiting For June” at The Cameron House Saturday, May 14th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2016

Harlan Wells

[Toronto, ON]  Why should you be at The Cameron House in Toronto on Saturday, May 14, 2016? One of Canada’s finest singer-songwriters, Harlan Wells, is throwing a CD release party for his latest album, Waiting For June, and it’s “…the sort of album that kind of grabs you by the hand and says “come on in.”

Producer/engineer Peter Hamilton (Blue Rodeo, Leonard Cohen, Steve Earle) and Wells each share the same reverence for the seminal Canadian group, The Band. With this influence and approach in mind, they began recording at Canterbury Studio in Toronto with the intention of producing an all-organic, live off-the-floor, anti-sampling, anti-computer, album of new Harlan Wells songs. Described as Northern Americana, or Canadiana, the new record Waiting for June, is a compelling alchemy of cross-genres such as country, folk, roots rock, and blues. Ultimately, it’s a singer/songwriter’s record. However, Wells’ stellar song writing is not the only reason you should be at The Cameron House on May 14th for his CD release party. His band, which consists of Jillian Mendez (back-up vocals), Peter Hamilton (bass), Eric Morin (drums), Russell Gray (guitar), John Smith (accordion and organ), and the legendary Burke Carroll (pedal steel) are incredible musicians who have worked with some of the biggest names in Canadian music and this promises to be an evening of music that you won’t soon forget.

“Reminiscent of the great Canadian singer/songwriters like Ian Tyson and Gordon Lightfoot” ~ Billboard Magazine

“He’s good, he’s very good.” ~ Gordon Lightfoot

“In twenty years, I turned down a lot of artists seeking management, including Ron Sexsmith and Alison Krauss; I wasn’t about to let Harlan Wells slip by me.” ~ Barry Harvey (Gordon Lightfoot)

“Harlan Wells, a Troubadour in the classic sense.” ~ Lenny Stoute, CASHBOX Magazine

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Harlan Wells began playing music professionally when he was fifteen years old; by eighteen, he had left home for the road. Thousands of miles of highway, hundreds of small towns and antiquated hotel rooms, as well as, the sordid characters which inhabited them, left an indelible impression which would later influence his prolific song writing. Wells affirms that his youth was abandoned and still lies scattered along the Trans-Canada Highway. Most of his twenties were spent playing the Toronto club circuit, including the venerable El Mocambo and The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern. One night, while performing in a popular Yorkville club, music legend Keith Emerson lunged at Wells as he stepped off the stage. He grabbed Wells by his shirt collar, looked him straight in the eye, and not so gently offered some wise, yet gin-soaked, advice: “write your own songs or perish.”

Wells believes, “At the end of the day, you have to be true to yourself and believe in what you do. To tell you the truth, I write these songs for myself. My music has always been my catharsis; it’s what has kept this world from driving me stark raving mad.”

Waiting for June is available now on iTunes but there’s nothing quite like getting a CD autographed by the artist on the night of his very special CD release party. Saturday, May 14th at The Cameron House, is where every roots rock fan in the Greater GTA ought to be.

www.harlanwells.com

From Ragas to Riches…Canada’s SULTANS OF STRING release Subcontinental Drift with Sitar Master ANWAR KHURSHID

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 4, 2015

Sultans of String Autorickshaw

A Sweeping East Meets Middle-East meets West Collaboration

2015 JUNO Award Nominees – Instrumental Album of the Year
2014 SiriusXM Independent Music Awards Winner – World Group of the Year
2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for bandleader Chris McKhool
2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners – World Music Group of the Year
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[Toronto, Canada]  2015 JUNO Award Nominees and 2014 SiriusXM Award Winners Sultans of String, are serving up a smorgasbord of ragas, reels and rumbas on their new, special collaborative release, Subcontinental Drift, with sitar master Anwar Khurshid (Oscar winning Life of Pi, Love Guru).The album officially drops September 25th, 2015 on Fontana North.

While Sultans of String are known for spotlighting treasured special guests from around the world, this is their first wholly collaborative offering where the entire body of work was created together.

“There is something really magical about joining world music rhythms that we often play, but with pop sensibilities and forms and lengths, and blending that with the music of the East”, says bandleader/fiddler Chris McKhool.

Yet, Subcontinental Drift is more than a global sound-tapestry. It is a musical promise that embraces differences while finding common ground across culture, land, and time.

Indeed, while the album treks across all kinds of musical terrain, the fertile soil beneath each track is fed by hope unhindered and freedom found. “One of the songs we wrote together, Journey to Freedom, actually traces Anwar’s journey from Pakistan to Canada and finding his new home here. “He’s become a great musical and personal friend.says McKhool, whose name would have been spelled Makhoul in Kfarmishki, Lebanon, where his ancestors are from. ” Together we started writing songs about the freedom and equality we experience living here in Canada, about finding ourselves, and our hope of creating a better world. And I feel in some way, like these songs reflect our own personal journeys towards finding a world peace.”

Perhaps one song above all on the album highlights the universality of music. “Anwar and I discovered that we knew a tune in common with different names. There’s an ancient Irish fiddle tune called “Rakes of Mallow“. It also made its way to England and when the English were ruling India, I guess the English and the local Indian musicians were playing and learning from each other musically. I knew it on the fiddle and Anwar knew it slightly differently on the sitar. In India they have been calling it “Band Sargham” and our two interpretations of the tune totally matched and locked in together”.

“There are a lot of musicians out there but it’s a rare thing to find another musician where there’s a communication that’s above words…one of us can start playing something and the other two get it”, says Sultans co-founder and guitarist non-pareil, Kevin Laliberté.

Adds Khurshid, “there is this musical connection between us, but what I noticed the first time I came here and I played with you guys, was this wonderful humanity and generosity… such a nice welcome that you had for me. It was really soul-enhancing.”

The band will be touring non-stop in 2015 and 2016 in support of Subcontinental Drift (full schedule below).

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“Chris McKhool and the boys are fantastic!” ~ Bob Ezrin (Producer–Pink Floyd. Kiss)

“The blending expands the potential reach of the group…while offering a wonderful experience for this travelling band of merry music-making men to cross their music with yet another genre.” ~ Toronto Star

“This Canadian quintet performs an international mix of styles, from Spanish flamenco to Gypsy jazz to Latin rumba, combining ace musicianship and craft with an infectious enthusiasm for humanity’s shared heritage.” ~ Philly Metro

“Sultans of String are one of Canada’s hottest new musical exports, dynamically embodying their homeland’s values of tolerance and respect for diverse cultures. … they weave a gorgeously-hued tapestry of Folk, Spanish, Arabic, Latin, French and gypsy strands.” ~ International Celtic Connections Festival, UK
“If there’s a string, chances are these guys can tear it up!” ~ Vue Weekly

“Since they started out working as an instrumental duo, violinist Chris McKhool and guitarist Kevin Laliberte have kept adding players and guests, even occasional singers. But whether it’s four or 40, the band taps an irrepressible enthusiasm.” ~ Calgary Herald

“A new fusion of roots and classical…the results are mind blowing.  Even though the instrumentation is different, you get the feeling this is Strunz & Farah or Willie & Lobo or Gypsy Kings taken to the next level of the game, sometimes all at once… any fan of world beat or contemporary instrumental music is sure to absolutely flip for this gem.  Hot stuff throughout and a sure bet to notch a Juno and any other award winning hardware to come its way.” ~ Midwest Record, Chicago

“What this band does is not only good fun, it’s stocked wall-to-wall with irresistible international musics – gypsy jazz classics, flamenco music, Inuit melody, ukulele raveups, visiting musicians from the Chieftains…Lebanese music, you name it. If it’s got strings and fingerboards, count them in. What they never forget to provide, though, is enough melodic charm to beguile almost anyone.” ~  Buffalo News


CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

• 2015 JUNO nominees – Instrumental Album of the Year
• 2014 SiriusXM Independent Music Awards Winner – World Group of the Year
• 2014 IMA Independent Music Award Winner – Instrumental
• 2013 ISC  International Songwriting Competition Winner – Instrumental
• 2013 Festivals & Events – Performer of The Year
• 2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for bandleader Chris McKhool
• 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners – World Music Group of the Year
• 2012 Festivals & Events – Entertainer of The Year
• 2011 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist – Instrumental
• 2011 Independent Music Award 2x Finalist – Instrumental Album & World Beat Album
• 2011 ISC International Songwriting Competition 2x Finalist-  Instrumental & World Music
• 2010 JUNO Award Nominees – “Instrumental Album of the Year”
• 2010 Canadian Independent Music Awards nominees – Favorite World Artist/Group
• 2009 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) First Place Winners – Instrumental
• 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award triple nominee winning Instrumental Group of the Year
(also nominated for Ensemble of the Year and Pushing the Boundaries)
• 2008 International Songwriting Competition Winner (ISC) – Instrumental
• 2008 Festivals & Events Ontario – Best Variety Act

http://www.sultansofstring.com
https://www.facebook.com/sultansofstring
http://twitter.com/sultansofstring

Subcontinental Drift by Sultans of String with Anwar Khurshid


TOUR SCHEDULE

Aug 5 — 10pm Live on KPFA Radio, California
Aug 6 — 8:00pm, Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, California
Aug 7 — morning show, live on KMAX TV, West Sacramento, California
Aug 7 — 7:30pm,  Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center, Auburn, California
Aug 8 — 8:00pm, Sutter Creek Theatre, Sutter Creek, California
Aug 9  — noon, San Jose Jazz Festival, San Jose, California
August 28 — 7:30pm, St Paul’s United Church, Midland ON, with special guest sitar master Anwar Khurshid
August 29 — 7:30pm, Meaford ON, Meaford Hall Arts and Culture Centre, 877-538-0463 with special guest sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Sept 11 — Showcasing at Arts Midwest conference, Kansas City, Missouri
Sept 12 — 7:30pm, Opera House at Boothbay Harbour, Maine
Sept 13 — The Grand, Ellsworth, Maine
Sept 19 – 5:00pm Brantford Jazz Festival, Brantford ON
Sept 19 — 8:00pm The Registry Theatre, Kitchener ON, featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Sept 26 — Branches and Roots Festival, Ormstown QC
Oct 1 — Nineteen on the Park, Lebovic Centre, Stouffville ON, featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Oct 2 — 8:00pm, Capitol Theatre, Port Hope ON, featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Oct 15 — 8:00pm, Agora des Arts, Rouyn-Noranda QC
Oct 17 — 7:30pm, North Bay Symphony, North Bay, ON
Oct 23-24-25 — Showcasing at Alberta Contact, Shell Theatre, Dow Centennial Centre, Fort Saskatchewan, AB
Oct 27 — Education shows w Anwar Khurshid for students, Flato Markham Theatre, Markham ON
Oct 28 — Education shows w Anwar Khurshid for students, Flato Markham Theatre, Markham ON
Oct 30 — 8:00pm, Trinity St Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON, CD release featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Nov 7 — 8:00pm, Aeolian Hall, London, ON, CD release featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Nov 13 — 8:00pm, Meadowvale Theatre, Mississauga ON, CD release featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Nov 14-15 — Official Showcase at NERFA North American Folk Alliance Conference, Kerhonkson NY w/ sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Nov 19 — 8:00pm, Ironwood, Calgary, AB
Nov 20 — Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Centre, Camrose, AB
Nov 21 — 7:30pm Shell Theatre, Fort Saskatchewan, AB
Nov 22 — 2:00pm, Shell Theatre young audience show, Fort Saskatchewan, AB
Nov 22 — 7:30pm, Maclab Centre, Leduc AB
Dec 12 — Christmas Fiesta! Symphony concert w/ Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, PC HO Theatre, Toronto ON

2016

Jan 24 — 7:30pm, Performing Arts Lakefield, Lakefield, ON
Feb 5 —  Nelson Odeon, CD Release,, Nelson NY, featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Feb 6 — Oswego Music Hall, CD Release, Oswego NY, featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Feb 28 — Claude Parlour Music, CD Release, Caledon ON featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
April 1 — Pawling Concert Series, Pawling NY
April 8 — 10:00 AM Student show, Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Burlington ON
April 8 — 8:00 PM Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Burlington ON
April 23 — with Sault Ste. Marie Symphony, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
April 24 — with Sault Ste. Marie Symphony, Elliot Lake, ON
April 29, Largo Cultural Center, Florida
April 30 —  (7:30pm & 9:30pm) , South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, Cutler Bay, Florida
May 1 — Cafe Moka, Tavernier, Florida
May 13 — NAC National Arts Centre, Fourth Stage, CD Release featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
August 6 — Barrie Rhythmfest, Barrie ON
August 7 — Music at Fieldcote, Ancaster ON, featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid

 

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Lisa Weitz,  LW Communications  lw@lwcommunications.ca  416-624-3466 | 416-846-6877 (cell)