Multi-JUNO Award Nominees Canadian World Collective Sultans of String Send Special Birthday Wish to Neil Young by way of “Heart of Gold” 

Sultans of String Heart of Gold

TORONTO — November 12, 2019 — To celebrate Neil Young’s birthday, multi-award-winning and New York Times and Billboard Magazine charting Canadian world music collective Sultans of String could have gone with the classic well-wisher tune. 

Instead, the Internationally critically acclaimed five-piece have released their live rendition of Young’s 1972 classic, “Heart of Gold” — available now! 

Sultans of String are currently marking their 12th year with an extensive national tour and, additionally, the release of their forthcoming album — their seventh and most historic to date, Refuge (Spring 2020). 

While not on the album, the Neil Young cover lands on Neil Young’s birthday — today — as a fitting tribute to both the iconic artist, and the song’s full-circle meaning for Sultans of String co-founder Chris McKhool, in particular. 

“‘Heart of Gold’ has a lot of meaning to me personally,” McKhool shares of the track. “For context, I grew up in a ‘classical music-loving’ house; my mother was a piano teacher and all the kids from the neighbourhood would come to our living room for lessons. My first instrument was a classical violin which was amazing for ear training. I was even in a string orchestra called the National Capital String Academy, and I loved it. 

“But by the time I was a teenager, violin was kind of a ‘square’ instrument,” he continues. “When I got to high school, I had learned enough about music already that I could teach myself how to play guitar. I bought my first steel string guitar from Steve’s Music in my hometown of Ottawa — a plywood model by Yamaha! 

“Neil Young’s ‘Heart of Gold’ was the very first song I learned on it.” 

At the time McKhool worked as a short-order cook at a place on Holland Avenue — TJ’s Speakeasy Café. “It had a great open stage night,” he recalls. “I saw some amazing Ottawa folk performers there. 

“One night during my shift at TJ’s, I came out from the back and played ‘Heart of Gold.’ I didn’t have enough money for a guitar strap so I was just kind of clutching the guitar under my arm as I strummed away. I was so nervous in my first public singing/playing appearance that my arms were trembling a little bit, and halfway through the song I literally dropped the guitar. The crowd went wild with applause!  

“So, I decided that was a good place to leave it. They all knew and loved me at TJ’s — it was a very supportive place. But I slinked away back to the kitchen and practiced a lot more before I tried that again.

“Now I play violin in this band, but I still own that old Yamaha guitar and love singing this song!  I hope Neil gets a chance to hear this — a birthday present from me and Sultans of String!”

Sultans of String are McKhool (has collaborated with Richard Bona, Béla Fleck), Kevin Laliberté (Jesse Cook), Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk), Eddie Paton, and Rosendo Chendy Leon (Alex Cuba). Together, their musical synergy strikes inimitable, explaining their three JUNO Award nominations, four Canadian Folk Music Awards, plus many more, as well as International touring at notable venues (including JUNOFest, Glasgow’s Celtic Connections, NYC’s Birdland, and selling out Koerner Hall several times over), and appearances on BBC, CBC, Irish National Radio, NPR, SiriusXM, and then some.

Set for Spring 2020, Refuge is Sultans of String’s seventh and most historic album, and features talent that arrived to Canada and the U.S. as immigrants and refugees — many of whom are GRAMMY and JUNO Award winners as well. 

“Heart of Gold” is available now. https://orcd.co/heartofgoldlive

// ABOUT SULTANS OF STRING 

Since releasing their debut album Luna in 2007, Sultans of String have continually strived to make each chart-topping album more original and meaningful than the last. That includes working with an orchestra (2013’s Symphony), teaming with Pakistani sitarist Anwar Khurshid (2015’s Subcontinental Drift) and even crafting a world-music holiday album (2017’s Christmas Caravan), which landed them on the Billboard charts and the New York Times. Their ambition and work ethic have garnered them multiple awards and accolades, including three JUNO Award nominations, first place in the International Songwriting Competition (out of 15,000 entries), three Canadian Folk Music Awards, and countless other honours. 

Their live resumé is similarly stellar. Equally at home in a concert hall, jazz club or festival setting, the Sultans have gigged at the legendary club Birdland in New York, the renowned Celtic Connections Festival in the U.K. and the San Jose Jazz Festival. They have performed with symphonies across Canada and the U.S., and played live on BBC TV, Irish National Radio, World Cafe and SiriusXM in Washington.  

// TOUR:

November 23 @ Fergus Grand Theatre, Fergus ON
November 28 @ Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff AB
Christmas Caravan w/ Guest Rebecca Campbell November 29 @ Fish Creek Concerts, Calgary AB
Christmas Caravan w/ Guest Rebecca Campbell November 30 @ Festival Place, Sherwood Park AB
Christmas Caravan w/ Guest Rebecca Campbell December 1 @ Beneath the Arch Concerts, Turner Valley AB
Christmas Caravan w/ Guest Rebecca Campbell December 5 @ Wolf Performance Hall, London ON
Christmas Caravan w/ Guest Rebecca Campbell & Lynn Miles December 6 @ Live Wire Music, Kingston ON
Christmas Caravan w/ Guests Rebecca Campbell & Lynn Miles December 8 @ Concert Hall at Victoria Hall, Coburg ON
Christmas Caravan December 12 @ Empire Theatre, Belleville ON
December 13 @ Sanderson Centre, Brantford ON
Christmas Caravan w/ Guests Rebecca Campbell, Donné Roberts & Ken Whiteley December 14 @ Oakville Performing Arts Centre
Christmas Caravan w/ Guests Rebecca Campbell, Lynn Miles, Donné Roberts & Ken Whiteley
December 15 @ Kingston Road Village Concert Series
Christmas Caravan w/ Guests Rebecca Campbell, Lynn Miles, Donné Roberts & Tamar Ilana December 19 @ Shenkman Arts Centre, Ottawa ON
Christmas Caravan w/ Guests Rebecca Campbell, Lynn Miles, Kellylee Evans & Kristine St-Pierre

// CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees– Producer of the Year 
  • 2018 Music featured in the acclaimed film, “Hotel Mumbai” 
  • 2017 Billboard World Music Charts  — # 6 
  • 2017 JUNO nominees – World Music Album of the Year 
  • 2017 New York Times Hits List 
  • 2017 Billboard World Music Charts  — # 15 
  • 2016 Canada’s High Commission in London UK presents SOS at Trafalgar Square
  • 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners– World Music Group of the Year
  • 2016 Global Music Awards– World Music / Beats  
  • 2016 ISC – Honorable Mention
  • 2015 JUNO nominees – Instrumental Album of the Year     
  • 2015 TIMA winners – Best World Album
  • 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 & 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 Group 
  • 2009 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) First Place – 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

For more information, please contact:

Eric Alper
Publicist  I  Music Commentator  I  Shameless Idealist
647-971-3742

www.ThatEricAlper.com
Eric@ThatEricAlper.com
www.Twitter.com/ThatEricAlper
www.Facebook.com/EricAlperPR
www.Instagram.com/ThatEricAlper

 

Singer-songwriter David Leask Releases New Music Video for “When You Think No One Loves You”

Canadian Singer-songwriter David Leask Releases New Music Video for
“When You Think No One Loves You”

David Leask When You Think No One Loves You

“Six of the best from the award-winning wordsmith…All the songs are superbly crafted and David Leask possesses fine vocal talents.” ~ Maverick Magazine

As someone who often struggles with loneliness, when I first watched the new music video for “When You Think No One Loves You” by David Leask from his album Six in 6/8, I was moved to tears. I can’t imagine how this video could NOT touch people emotionally if they take the time to watch it. David Leask and Daryl Burgess have written a really beautiful song and the music video conveys scenarios that most of us are all too familiar with. It shares a very important message that loneliness IS an epidemic and we need to be mindful of that and treat people with kindness and compassion. Please watch and share if the spirit moves you.

David Leask: There’s an epidemic of loneliness out there and a large number of people on this planet who at some point in their lives feel unloved. This song and video is for them. I hope it moves you in a way to share it widely and spread some hope around the world.

Big thanks to my co-writer Daryl Burgess, producer Justin Abedin, Jonathan Goldsmith on piano & B3 Organ, Quisha Wint on BG vocals, engineer Jeremy Darby for capturing the tracks live off the floor, Chad Carlson for mixing, Peter Moore for mastering, Lee De Lang & the video production folks Big Red Oak for doing such a great job telling the story including, Producer: Will Murphy; Director: Alistair Simpson; Production Manager: Tejasvi Bhalla; DoP: Tyson Burger; Gaffer: Nikita Brusnitsyn; Production Designer: Eunice Hung; Art Director: Alexandra Hutton; Production Assistant: Ernesto Travieso and the actors, Teenager: Janet Tung; Elderly man: Daniel Coo; Single mother: Marta Pozniakowski: Child: August Pozniakowski

Finally, special thanks to FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters for their generous support to help make this video possible.  

“the 6/8 time signature..underpins six beautifully mature songs, naturally & ingeniously”
Rock n’ Reel Magazine – 4 STARS for “Six in 6/8”

“Indescribable is top down, hot day on the highway Nashville Music, with Leask’s vocal a masterclass in emotional major league Rock.  Caught In The Tide and When You Think No One Loves You feature that voice, in Prog mode against squalling guitars or gutsy soulful like a Mark Cohen or Liam O Maonlai from The Hothouse Flowers, but always interesting.”
Northern Sky Magazine – 4 STARS for “Six in 6/8”

Connect with David Leask at www.davidleask.com or on:

Facebook
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3X JUNO NOMINEES/3X CFMA WINNERS SULTANS OF STRING’S new single The Power of the Land out TODAY!

SOS_POWER_OF_THE_LAND_COVER_3000x3000_300DPI

3X JUNO NOMINEES/3X CFMA WINNERS SULTANS OF STRING’S new single
The Power of the Land out on October 25, 2019, ON MCKHOOL/CEN/THE ORCHARD,
A DIVISION OF SONY MUSIC

Sultans of String – The Power of the Land
Available now here: https://smarturl.it/PoweroftheLand
Artist:  Sultans of String
Song: The Power of the Land (feat. Duke Redbird & Twin Flames)
Upcoming Album: Refuge

“Energetic and exciting music fest from a band with talent to burn… the very epitome of world music: no boundaries, no rules!” – Maverick Music Magazine

NY Times and BILLBOARD charting band Sultans of String are releasing their new single on October 25, 2019. Entitled The Power of the Land, it features Ojibway Elder Dr. Duke Redbird and Indigenous artists Twin Flames.

Sultans of String are 3x JUNO Award nominees (Canada’s Grammys) and 4x Canadian Folk Music Award winners. They recently celebrated their 10th anniversary as a band, criss-crossing North America and UK, and performing at many taste-making forums such as JUNOFest, Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Birdland in NYC, and California’s hip music scene, including the San Jose Jazz Festival. They have sold out Koerner Hall three times (Toronto’s Carnegie Hall) and performed with Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton Symphony Orchestras. Sultans of String were recently recorded live on BBC TV, Irish National Radio, and internationally syndicated shows including SiriusXM in Washington DC.  At the core of the band’s sound is Chris McKhool’s (Jesse Cook, Pavlo) bold and fiery fiddle, melded seamlessly with founding guitarist Kevin Laliberté’s (Jesse Cook) rumba rhythm- together their musical synergy created Sultans of String’s signature sound – the intimate and playful relationship between violin and guitar. Added to this rich foundation are bass master Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk), guitar wizard Eddie Paton, and Cuban percussion master Rosendo Chendy Leon (Alex Cuba).

This collaborative single The Power of the Land, with lyrics by Duke Redbird and music by Sultans of String band, will be part of a larger upcoming album entitled REFUGE to be released in 2020, featuring incredible talents from the USA/Canada, many of whom arrived as recent immigrants and refugees. We feel it is important to highlight the extraordinary contributions of those that have arrived here from around the globe, as well as global talents that have been ambassadors for peace. Each one of us has a remarkable story to tell, and we are excited to share the beauty of these collaborations with you, featuring special guests from First Nations, Turkey, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Greece, Syria, Mexico, Portugal, Cuba, and Sudan.

Refuge’s potent and poetic single The Power of the Land features the interwoven vocals of Indigenous spoken-word artist Duke Redbird and married Ottawa folk duo Twin Flames. “I actually heard Duke recite that poem years ago,” McKhool says. “I was so moved that I introduced myself to him after the performance and said, ‘Have you ever thought about putting this to music?'” Fast-forward three years, to the day when McKhool realized he had finally written the right backdrop for Redbird’s stirring words. “It was just one of those beautiful moments where I realized those lyrics might work perfectly.”

This single is co-produced by the multiple award-winning team of bandleader Chris McKhool and John “Beetle” Bailey.  The beds were recorded on First Nations land at the Indigenous-owned Jukasa Studios. Founded by Ohsweken’s, Kenneth Hill & Jerry Montour, Jukasa Studios is a multi-million dollar studio created for world-class and developing artists to make music in surroundings rich in spirit and tradition. The legendary 8072 G Series Vintage Analog Console which spent 12 years of its life in studio 3 at Abbey Road Studios in London England, was purchased and moved to Jukasa Studios in 2009.  Overdubs and mixing were done at The Drive Shed with John “Beetle” Bailey and mastering by Harry Hess at HBomb Mastering.

“It seems that Sultans of String can’t get out of bed at the moment without finding themselves nominated for one award or another. In a word: Magnificent!”
– Rock n Reel – UK Music Magazine 5* review

TEAM:  We are working with an amazing team to promote this single/tour

US Agent: Kevin Peters, GL Berg
US Management: Dave Wilkes
US Radio: Max Horowitz, Crossover Media
CDN PR: That Eric Alper
CDN Management/Booking: LW Communications
Social Media: Scully Love Promo

BAND: Sultans of String
Chris McKhool – LEBANON / CAN
Kevin Laliberte – CAN
Eddie Paton – CAN
Drew Birston – CAN
Rosendo Chendy Leon – CUBA / CAN

Extraordinary special guests on REFUGE include Grammy and JUNO Award winners:
Béla Fleck – USA
Edmar Castaneda – COLOMBIA / USA
Ifrah Mansour – SOMALIA / USA
Imad Al Taha – IRAQ / USA
Yasmin Levy – ISRAEL
Gundem Yayli Grubu – TURKEY

Ahmed Moneka  – IRAQ / CAN
Amir Amiri – IRAN / CAN
Anh Phung – VIETNAM / CAN
Anwar Khurshid – PAKISTAN / CAN
Donné Roberts – MADAGASCAR / CAN
Demetrios Petsalakis – GREECE / CAN
Duke Redbird – OJIBWE ELDER / CAN
Fethi Nadjem – ALGERIA / CAN
Majd Sukar – SYRIA / CAN
Marito Marques – PORTUGAL / CAN
Matias Recharte – PERU / CAN
Michel DeQuevedo – MEXICO / CAN
Nagmeh Faramand – IRAN / CAN
Ravi Naimpally – INDIA / CAN
Robi Botos – HUNGARY / CAN
Rosendo Chendy Leon – CUBA / CAN
Sammy Figueroa – PUERTO RICO / USA
Selcuk Suna –  TURKEY / CAN
Twin Flames – INDIGENOUS / CAN
Waleed Abdulhamid – SUDAN / CAN

LINKS:

YOUTUBE EPK https://youtu.be/fnog2CowXqQ

INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN https://igg.me/at/sultans

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

DISTRIBUTORS:
Canada – Fontana North
USA – C.E.N. (SONY/Red)
UK/EUROPE – Proper Distribution

UPCOMING TOURING PLANS:

01 Nov 2019 – Warren, PA (US) – Struthers Library Theatre
02 Nov 2019 – Stroudsburg, PA (US) – Chester Concerts
04 Nov 2019 – Durham, NC (US) – ArtsMarket Official Showcase / Showcase A6
08 Nov 2019 – Toronto, ON (CA) – OMEA Showcase / Quartet
23 Nov 2019 – Fergus, ON (CA) – Fergus Grand Theatre
28 Nov 2019 – Banff, AB (CA) Christmas Caravan – Banff Centre for the Arts / with special guest vocalist Rebecca Campbell
29 Nov 2019 – Calgary, AB (CA) Christmas Caravan – Fish Creek Concerts / w/ special guest vocalist Rebecca Campbell
30 Nov 2019 – Sherwood Park, AB (CA) Christmas Caravan – Festival Place / w/ special guest vocalist Rebecca Campbell
01 Dec 2019 – Turner Valley, AB (CA) Christmas Caravan – Beneath The Arch Concerts / w/ special guest Rebecca Campbell
05 Dec 2019 – London, ON (CA) Christmas Caravan – Wolf Performance Hall / w/ special guest vocalist Rebecca Campbell
06 Dec 2019 – Kingston, ON (CA) Christmas Caravan – Live Wire Music / Double bill– 1st show w/ special guests Rebecca Campbell & Lynn Miles; 2nd show featuring Lynn Miles
07 Dec 2019 – Oswego, NY (US) Christmas Caravan – Oswego Music Hall / w/ special guest vocalist Rebecca Campbell
08 Dec 2019 – Cobourg, ON (CA) Christmas Caravan – Concert Hall at Victoria Hall / pres. by Les AMIS Concerts & The Loft
13 Dec 2019 – Brantford, ON (CA) Christmas Caravan – Sanderson Centre / w/ special guests Rebecca Campbell, Donné Roberts, Ken Whiteley
14 Dec 2019 – Oakville, ON (CA) Christmas Caravan – Oakville Performing Arts Centre / w/ special guests Rebecca Campbell, Lynn Miles, Donné Roberts, Ken Whiteley
15 Dec 2019 – Toronto,  (CA) Christmas Caravan – Kingston Road Village Concert Series / w/ special guests Rebecca Campbell, Lynn Miles, Donné Roberts, Tamar Ilana
19 Dec 2019 – Ottawa, ON (CA) Christmas Caravan – Shenkman Arts Centre / w/ special guests Rebecca Campbell, Lynn Miles, Kellylee Evans, Kristine St-Pierre
20 Dec 2019 – Nelson, NY (US) Christmas Caravan – Nelson Odeon / w/ guest Campbell, at Catherine Cummings Theatre
21 Dec 2019 – Saratoga Springs, NY (US) Christmas Caravan – Caffe Lena – by invitation only – become a Caffe Lena member today!
08 Feb 2020 – Mississauga, ON (CA) Symphony show – Living Arts Centre / w/ Mississauga Symphony Orchestra
07 Mar 2020 – Cobalt, ON (CA) – Classic Theatre / Quartet
19 Mar 2020 – Ely, MN (US) – Mesaba Concert Assn @ Washington Auditorium /
20 Mar 2020 – Thief River Falls, MN (US) – Thief River Falls Concerts / – Lincoln H.S. Auditorium
22 Mar 2020 – Redwood Falls, MN (US) – Estebo Performing Arts Center /
24 Mar 2020 – Dixon, IL (US) – Historic Dixon Theater /
27 Mar 2020 Concordia, KS (US) – Brown Grand Theatre /
28 Mar 2020 – Pratt, KS (US) – Pratt Community Concerts @ Carpenter Auditorium /
29 Mar 2020 – Lamar, CO (US) – SouthWest Colorado Concerts / Trio – Lamar High School Auditorium
30 Mar 2020 – Columbus, NE (US) – Nantkes Performing Arts Center /
31 Mar 2020 – Rapid City, SD (US) – Rushmore Plaza Civic Center /
02 Apr 2020 – Anaconda, MT (US) – Washoe Theatre /
21 Apr 2020 – Burlington, IA (US) – Burlington Memorial Auditorium / Quartet
02 May 2020 – Gravenhurst, ON (CA) – Gravenhurst Opera House / Quartet

RECENT AWARDS:

  • 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards– Producer of the Year nomination for McKhool
  • 2017 New York Times Hits List
  • 2017 Billboard World Music Charts – Christmas Caravan CD hits #6
  • 2017 Canadian Nielsen World Music Charts – Christmas Caravan CD hits #3
  • 2017 Folk Music Ontario- Songwriting Award for “Sing For Kwanzaa” from Christmas Caravan
  • 2017 Folk Music Ontario- Songwriting Award for “Road to Kfarmishki”
  • 2017 ISC International Songwriting Competition- World category – “Sing For Kwanzaa”
  • 2017 JUNO Award Nominees for “World Music Album of the Year” – Subcontinental Drift
  • 2017 Billboard World Music Charts – Subcontinental Drift CD hits #15
  • 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards– World Music Group of the Year
  • 2016 Global Music Awards– World Music / Beats
  • 2015 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) – Subcontinental Drift
  • 2015 JUNO Award Nominees for “Instrumental Album of the Year” – Symphony!
  • 2015 Toronto Independent Music Award – World Music
  • 2014 SIRIUSXM Independent Music Awards Winner- World Group of the Year
  • 2014 IMA Independent Music Award Winner – Instrumental Song – “Josie”
  • 2014 IMA Independent Music Vox Pop Award – Music Producer – Symphony! -Chris McKhool
  • 2013 ISC International Songwriting Competition- Instrumental category – “Monti’s Revenge”
  • 2013 Folk Music Ontario- Songwriting Award for “Monti’s Revenge”
  • 2013 Festivals & Events- Performer of The Year
  • 2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for bandleader Chris McKhool
  • 2013 SiriusXM Canadian Indie Awards Nominee for World Group of the Year
  • 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners– World Music Group of the Year
  • 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees – Instrumental Group & Pushing the Boundaries
  • 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award nominee- Producer of the Year for Chris McKhool
  • 2012 Folk Music Ontario- Songs From the Heart Winner
  • 2012 Festivals & Events- Entertainer of The Year
  • 2011 Ontario Contact – Artist of the Year
  • 2011 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist – Instrumental
  • 2011 Independent Music Award 2x Finalist – Instrumental Album & World Beat Album – Yalla Yalla!
  • 2011 ISC International Songwriting Competition 2x Finalist- Instrumental & World Music categories
  • 2010 JUNO Award Nominees for “Instrumental Album of the Year” – Yalla Yalla!
  • 2010 Canadian Independent Music Awards nominees- Favourite 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)
  • 2009 Toronto Exclusive Magazine Award 2x Winner- Best Toronto World CD & Artist of the Year
  • 2008 International Songwriting Competition Winner (ISC) – Instrumental
  • 2008 Festivals & Events Ontario- Best Variety Act
  • 2008 Canadian Independent Music Awards Finalists- Favourite World Music Band
  • 2008 International Independent Music Awards Finalists- Best World Fusion Song
  • 2007 Musique du Monde Award
  • 2007 Canadian Folk Music Award nominees – Best Instrumentalist Group
  • 2007 Ontario Independent Music Award winner- Best Song & Best Instrumental
  • 2007 Toronto Independent Music Award nominees – World Music Category

This recording was produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council. We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, and Canada Council for the Arts.

 

 

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

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

Inspirational New Soul Song & Video for “Flame” by AV (Ann Vriend) with Highlands Junior High Music Class

Today, “Flame” — the song and music video that Edmonton singer-songwriter, soul songstress AV (Ann Vriend, my client of 10 years) did with the Highlands Junior High music class — was released to the world! The funding of this recording was made possible via an anonymous donor who saw these students and Ann perform at a school fundraiser on May 4, 2018. The donor was so moved and inspired by the performance of the song that he immediately asked how it could be immortalized by a studio recording of it. A week later he graciously provided the funding for this endeavor.

Less than a month after their debut performance, the students, Ann, her producer and videographer, Tino Zolfo, were in the recording studio at Velveteen Audio in Edmonton recording the song and making a music video for it. None of the students had been in a recording studio prior to this date, but have since inspired many people with their talent, hope, and enthusiasm for this venture. Ann Vriend thanks Principal Brad Burns for the initial vision for the project and everyone for listening and being part of this experience.

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www.annvriend.com

 

Sultans of String Premiere Video for the Song “Turkish Greensleeves” from Christmas Caravan

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SULTANS OF STRING PREMIERE VIDEO FOR THE SONG TURKISH GREENSLEEVES 

BAND ON TOUR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 

CHRISTMAS CARAVAN AVAILABLE NOW ON MCKHOOL RECORDS/CREATIVE ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK – A DIVISION OF SONY MUSIC

Sultans of String premiere a new video for the song “Turkish Greensleeves” featuring Gundem Yayli Grubu from their album Christmas Caravan. See it here: https://youtu.be/kIBRBPF7Gw0

The Sultans of String are: Chris McKhool · Chendy Leon, Jr. · Eddie Paton · Drew Birston · Kevin Laliberté. The band is set to take their genre-bending mix of songs to venues across Canada and US. See full schedule below for shows for the whole family.

“The world-music group Sultans of String aim for international hybrids on the holiday album Christmas Caravan” – New York Times Christmas Hits List

As we get closer to the holiday season expect to hear songs from the band’s acclaimed album Christmas Caravan. Released in 2017 Christmas Caravan charted at #6 on Billboard’s World Music Chart and delivers musical harmony with its diverse sound. Co-produced by bandleader and violinist Chris McKhool, along with John “Beetle” Bailey who has been nominated by the Canadian Folk Music Awards as producer of the year for the release (results Dec. 8).

“Sultans of String keeps imaginative imperatives in overdrive for the entirety of Christmas Caravan, a generous pitch for global unity through the music of Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. These five musicians have jubilantly recharged the classics with arrangements that demand attention” – Downbeat

Sultans of String are 3x JUNO nominees/3x CFMA winning ambassadors of musical diversity. In 2017 they were recognized by the Folk Music Ontario Awards who honored Chris McKhool and Richard Bona with The Songs From the Heart Folk Music from Around the World Award for their song “Sing For Kwanzaa” from Christmas Caravan.

one is hard-pressed to recall anything quite like Christmas Caravan by Canada’s iconic ensemble the Sultans of String” World Music Report

On Christmas Caravan you with find collaborations with 6x Grammy winning Paddy Moloney (The Chieftains), Ruben Blades & Luba Mason (Panamanian 7 Grammy and 5 Latin Grammy Award winner), platinum-selling jazz vocalist Nikki Yanofsky, 2x JUNO/Grammy Winner Alex Cuba, Benoit Bourque of Quebec’s Bottine Souriante (3x JUNOs, 4x Gold, 3x Platinum records), Sweet Honey in the Rock (Grammy winning all-woman, African-American a cappella group), Cameroon’s Richard Bona (Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock), Canada’s singer to the stars Rebecca Campbell (Emmylou Harris, Alanis Morissette), singer Mary Fahl from NYC’s October Project, a recording collective of Turkish Roma violinists in Istanbul, Sudanese-Canadian singer Waleed Abdulhamid, Nashville-based JUNO Award winning country singer Crystal Shawanda, sitar virtuoso Anwar Khurshid, and hang drum player David Charrier from France.

See them at the following venues across Canada and the US:

Oct 14 – Bluffton, OH – Bluffton Townhall Concert Series
Oct 18 – Terrebonne, QC Chapelle du Collège Saint-Sacrement / Trio
Oct 19 – Gorham, NH – Medallion Opera House
Oct 20 – Gorham, NH – Medallion Opera House (10 am for young audiences)
Oct 21 – L’Assomption, QC – Theatre Hector-Charland / Quartet
Nov 1 – El Dorado, CA – El Dorado County Community Concerts
Nov 2 – Auburn, CA – Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center (10 am & 1 pm for young audiences)
Nov 2 – Auburn, CA – Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center – evening show
Nov 3 – Santa Monica, CA – McCabe’s
Nov 4 – Santa Monica, CA – McCabe’s (10:30 am for young audiences)
Nov 22 – Owen Sound ON – Heartwood Hall
Nov 24 – Utopia ON – Utopia Hall
Nov 25 – Kitchener ON – Registry Theatre
Nov 29 – Invermere BC – Pynelogs Cultural Centre-Columbia Valley Arts
Dec 1 and 2 – Cranbrook BC – Symphony of the Kootenays
Dec 3 – Golden BC – Kicking Horse Culture
Dec 4 – Trail BC – Charles Bailey Theatre
Dec 5 – Vancouver BC – Centennial Theatre
Dec 7 – Maple Ridge BC – ACT Arts Centre
Dec 12 – Picton ON – Regent Theatre
Dec 13 – Markham ON – Flato Markham Theatre
Dec 14 – Sudbury ON – Collège Boréal Concert Hall
Dec 15 – Welland ON – Welland-Port Colborne Concert Assn
Dec 16 – London ON – Aeolian Hall
Dec 17 – Lindsay ON – Academy Theatre
Dec 18 – Ottawa ON – NAC Studio Theatre
Dec 19 – Bellows Falls VT – Stone Church Center
Dec 20 – Norfolk CT – Infinity Hall
Dec 21 – Stroudsburg PA – Chester Concerts
Dec 22 – Boston MA – Extended Play Sessions
Dec 23 – Cazenovia NY – Catherine Cummings Theater

Christmas Caravan was produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.  We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario. This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters.

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

Dana Gordon at Independent Music Media at HiDanaGirl@aol.com / #213-864-2690

ANN VRIEND (AV) Releases New Single + Video IT’S HAPPENING w/ Special Performance by Sifton Elementary Student Choir

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TORONTO – Award-winning soul singer ANN VRIEND (AV) releases a new video and single entitled “IT’S HAPPENING.” Commissioned for a school fundraiser, the students of Sifton Elementary School Choir accompany AV on this empowering and gritty, inner-city soul anthem. The efforts will culminate on Friday, October 26at 2:15 pm with a special performance at the school, 4305 134 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB. For more info please visit www.annvriend.com.

AV sings her heart out about her views of the world; her matter-of-fact, non-sugar-coated observations from her inner city neighborhood; her hard life lessons – and yet there is a soulful, hopeful persistence for herself and the world to be better.

The children’s choir AV recruited to sing the song “It’s Happening” with her, are living proof that as she sings, the change to a more diverse and inclusive society “is already happening.” Propelled by an unstoppable and compelling electric piano groove, the lyrics describe the transcendence of tough circumstances, with a compassionate heart.  With her voice sounding like that of the late Aretha Franklin in her very early Gospel days, AV offers a powerful, socially conscious exhortation.

“It’s Happening” was recorded June 4, 2018, with students from the Sifton Elementary School Choir. Sifton Elementary is a school in North Edmonton where many students come from war-torn countries and traumatizing and/or impoverished situations. The funding of this recording was made possible via an anonymous donor who saw the students and AV perform at a school fundraiser on May 4, 2018. The donor was so moved and inspired by the performance of the song, that he immediately asked how it could be immortalized by a studio recording of it. A week later he graciously provided the funding for this endeavor.  A month to the day after their debut performance, the students, AV, and her producer and videographer, Tino Zolfo, were in the recording studio recording the song and making a music video for it. None of the students had been in a recording studio prior to this date, but have since inspired many people with their talent, hope, and enthusiasm for this venture. AV and all involved in the making of this video would like to thank everyone for listening and being part of this experience.

www.annvriend.com
https://open.spotify.com/album/3HPEpM2xRp3n3k3ujaKCUG
https://play.spotify.com/artist/3vjHMysd98leqhwDotu9fZ
www.youtube.com/user/AnnVriend
www.facebook.com/AnnVriend
https://twitter.com/AnnVriend
www.instagram.com/annvriend

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

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

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

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.