Glenn McFarlane Releases New CD “Music and Friends” Available October 10th, 2014

Glenn McFarlaneFor Immediate Release:
October 9, 2014

[Brampton ON]
Brampton Folk Club President and long-time member of the Celtic and East Coast duo Brown Ale, Glenn McFarlane, is proud and excited to be releasing his second solo CD. As the title implies, “Music and Friends” is a collection of original songs celebrating two things that are very important to him. The songs are fun and lively folk songs that reflect his East Coast roots, along with strong elements of country, folk-rock and world music, with an underlying theme of camaraderie throughout the album. Like his last release “Food for Thought”, the CD was engineered and co-produced by Wendell Ferguson, James Gordon and Jon Grant, to better capture the diverse musical styles on the album.

Also reflective of the CD title is the long list of special guests on the album, which includes Ferguson, Gordon, Grant, his Brown Ale bandmate Les Smith, his brother Keith McFarlane, Jason LaPrade, Don Ablett, Peter Jellard, Alec Fraser, Mike Shotten, Mark Rolland, and two large groups of backup singers. Some of these guests appear in cartoon form on the album cover in a jam session.

To help launch the album, Glenn has released a YouTube video of his song “Offense Scores, Defense Wins Games”. Arranged for commercial country stations, the song is a light-hearted country-rocker, about what it takes to win, regardless of sport. Another song, “Let’s Talk New Brunswick!” was released last year with a video collage of photos taken in Glenn’s native province. Many of the photos were shot during his “Prodigal Son(g)s Tour” last year, where he sang songs about New Brunswick in New Brunswick, even performing on New Brunswick Day. (A song documenting the tour is included on the CD.) Both YouTube videos can be accessed through his new and improved website www.glennmcfarlane.ca, under the Videos page. Samples of all songs, as well as their lyrics are also posted.

Glenn is celebrating his CD release with a series of concerts in Southern Ontario. He will be performing all shows with his brother Keith on percussion and backing vocals. Keeping in the spirit of the CD, he will be joined by special guests on some of these shows. For example, his Celteclectic bandmates Les Smith and Jon Grant will join him at the November 1st concert in Brampton. Other guests include finger style guitarist Don Ablett (who performs on the album) and Steve Kossen, who organizes a popular open stage event in Bolton.

For more information, please visit Glenn’s website at www.glennmcfarlane.ca.


“Music and Friends” – Track Listing

1          It’s a Beautiful Day for a Beer – up-tempo country song about summer long weekends

2          Come See the Stars – romantic acoustic folk waltz

3          Middle Aged and Overweight – whimsical up-tempo acoustic country piece

4          Offense Scores, Defense Wins Games – hard driving country rocker

5          I Am the Kyle – slow dramatic accordion based song about a Newfoundland steamship

6          Let’s Talk New Brunswick! – high energy “Maritime Rap” piece

7          The Prodigal Son(g)s Tour – Acadian style account of my New Brunswick tour

8          An Instrumental Break – a medley of three instrumentals, from lullaby to flamenco

9          Music and Friends – Music Hall style sing-a-long waltz

10        The Christmas Truce – dramatic story song about the 1st Christmas of World War 1

11        The Ballad of Kwakiutl – cheesy country parody about Brampton’s infamous statue

12        Jerry and Jim – mellow rock song saluting April Wine’s bass player and drummer

13        Decompress – parody of Bob Dylan circa 1965

14        Stan Rogers – dramatic folk rock piece about the Canadian folk music icon

 

Live Appearances in Support of “Music and Friends”

Saturday, October 18th, 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

  • Folk Music Ontario Conference, Mayfair Room, Westin Bristol Place, Toronto
  • Featured as part of the Brampton Folk Club Sponsored Showcase

Saturday, November 1st, 8:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.

  • Brampton Golf Club, 7700 Kennedy Road, Brampton
  • A Fundraiser for Brampton Civic Hospital

Saturday, November 15th, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

  • Bolton United Church, 8 Nancy Street, Bolton
  • A Fundraiser for Bolton United Church

Saturday, November 29th – 11:15 a.m. to 12 noon

  • Freewheeling Folk Show, Hamilton, 93.3 FM
  • 45 minute interview, featuring live performances and tracks from the album
  • Podcast available at http://cfmu.msumcmaster.ca/

Friday, December 6th, 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Paul’s United Church, 30 Main St. South, Brampton
  • Opening for Boreal’s “Songs for the Snowy Season” concert

– 30 –

Vote For Anslem Douglas for Best Caribbean Style Artist at 2014 Black Canadian Awards!

Anslem DouglasBLACK CANADIAN AWARDS 2014 EVENT – SATURDAY, JUNE 7TH

VOTE

ANSLEM DOUGLAS

FOR

BEST CARIBBEAN STYLE ARTIST

**NEW DATE!! – VOTING BEGINS SAT. MAY 19TH – TUES, JUNE 3RD  ** 

 

YOUR VOTES COUNT!!

Visit www.BlackCanadianAwards.com and click on the Vote! tab

Please vote freely and often

for your favourite Caribbean Style Artist

ANSLEM DOUGLAS!

Anslem Douglas, songwriter of the internationally-acclaimed and Grammy Award-winning hit “Who Let The Dogs Out?,” has placed in the top six list of nominees, alongside AMMOYE, JAHSMIN DALEY, SHALLI, SOCA EMPEROR and MS PAIGE for Best Caribbean Style Artist at the upcoming BLACK CANADIAN AWARDS 2014 Event. Other award nominees include JULLY BLACK, K’NAAN, SAIDAH BABA TALIBAH, and KARDINAL OFFISHALL.

WHO: Anslem Douglas

WHAT: BLACK CANADIAN AWARDS 2014 (As part of Black History Month)

WHERE: Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 190 Princes’ Boulevard, CNE Grounds, Toronto, ON / (416) 263-3800

WHEN: Saturday, June 7, 2014 @ 5:00 pm

TICKETS: Please visit http://tickets.ticketwindow.ca/eventperformances.asp?evt=1621

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

www.BlackCanadians.com /www.queenelizabeththeatre.ca

Who hasn’t heard of the 2000 massive internationally-acclaimed hit and Grammy Award-winning single “Who Let The Dogs Out?” Sure it was made famous by the Baha Men (a band that utilized a popular style of Bahamian music called Junkanoo), but did you know it was written and recorded two years before, in the very exciting and traditional soca style by Trinidadian-born and now Toronto-based singer-songwriter Anslem Douglas? It was originally, affectionately called “Doggie” and here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O27fagObxaM to that first recording, which was a huge hit in the Caribbean initially – and which is very different from the version that most of us know. The covered version was a chart success in many countries, and also became a popular song at U.S. sporting events and was featured in the 2009 hit comedy The Hangover.

The Black Canadian Awards ceremony is an event that reflects a commitment to showcasing and celebrating achievements of Black Canadian professionals, artists, trailblazers and leaders within the community. The organization has received more than 20,000 total nomination votes over the past eight months.

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

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

 

April Wine Co-Founder & Juno Hall of Fame Inductee Jim Henman to Play Ben’s Pub on Thurs. Nov. 28

Jim Henman at Ben's Pub in KingstonApril Wine co-founder and Juno Hall of Fame Inductee Jim Henman will be performing a solo show at Ben’s Pub in Kingston on Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm. Jim’s country blues solo work is featured on his latest album, Same Old Feeling, (Ravenwood Records) and can be streamed here. 

Tickets for Jim’s Ben’s Pub appearance are $15 and available by contacting jill_relyea@hotmail.com.

Somewhere between the rhymthic yodeling of “The Singing Brakeman,” Jimmie Rodgers and the flavorful grooves of ragtime guitarist/singer, Blind Blake lies the roots of Jim Henman’s musical beginnings. Writing his first tune, at age 12, Jim spent much of his youth strumming a Stella acoustic guitar on the sandy shores of Clam Harbour, Nova Scotia. By the mid-60s, Jim, with high school friends Myles Goodwyn, Greg Stephen, Dave Dodsworth & Doug Grace started the top 40 band, “Woodies Termites.” Jim and Myles went on to co-found the Canadian rock band, April Wine, in the fall of 1969 with Jim’s cousins, David and Ritchie Henman. Jim, David and Ritchie, along with George Mack, had formed the band Prism from late 1968 until summer 1969.  April Wine moved to Montréal in 1970, signing with Aquarius Records.

Shortly after the release of their debut album in 1971, Jim decided to leave the band, moving back to the East Coast to start a family and pursue a career in Medical Technology. While his career as a professional musician may have been put on hiatus, Jim remained connected to the musical community in Halifax, continuing to write music and performing locally.

Jim officially re-emerged onto the East Coast music scene in the 90s, co-writing and co-producing the album, More Than My Share for Cape Breton singer, Jeannie Beks. He also co-wrote the music for “Death the Musical,” a stage production performed both at Halifax’s Neptune Theatre and in French, at Théâtre Génération in Montréal. This musical score was later released on CD. In addition to writing and producing, Jim also began performing in songwriters’ circles throughout Nova Scotia, alongside artists such as Terry Kelly, Laura Smith and Cheryl Gaudet.

Despite the mainstream success of April Wine, Jim’s contribution to the band can hardly be deemed his greatest musical accomplishment. Over the past thirty years, Jim has dedicated his passion, enthusiasm and expertise to numerous projects, much of which hold special meaning in his life. One such project, “Night to Remember,” was a musical event (held annually for four years) that Jim co-produced along with Halifax entrepreneur Joe Graves, in support of recovery homes for men and women in Halifax.

In keeping a promise to his late friend, Canadian blues artist, Rick Jeffery, Jim completed and produced Rick’s final album, 13 Vultures in 2009. The CD/DVD was released at the Dutch Mason Blues Festival in July 2009 with a twenty member tribute band who performed select tracks from the album. The tribute band included various artists from the Maritime Blues scene, including, Joe Murphy, Thersea Melenfant, Pam Marsh, Wayne Nicholson, Carter Chaplin, A. Jardine, Charlie Phillips, Mike Legget, and Shirley Jackson.

In 2009 Jim was installed along with April Wine in to the Canadian Music Industry Hall Of Fame and in April 2010, Jim had the great honour of receiving a Juno award, commemorating April Wine’s induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Indeed, this is the ultimate achievement for any musician.

For Jim, this award has been somewhat bittersweet; prompting sentiments of accomplishment and nostalgia. Yet, in many ways, this award has also provided a sense of closure on this chapter of his musical career, while  providing the ideal momentum for propelling him into new directions and establishing new beginnings as a solo artist.

And I’ll Let That Big Old Whistle Blow My Blues Away by Jay Aymar

Jay AymarJay Aymar is a self-described ramblin’ Canadian songwriter who mixes elements of folk, roots & country music with thoughtful, often poetic lyrics. I’m thinking that he’s the natural successor to Stompin’ Tom Connors in fact. There aren’t many singers like Jay Aymar – an honest journeyman of music – and there aren’t many bloggers out there like Jay either. His blog Road Stories reveals this Gen-x troubadour’s musings on life, love and livin’ on the road. I like to think of Jay as my friend and I try to read his blogs whenever I can find the time because they’re like sitting round a campfire and listening to him wax philosophical with me over a few beers. I recently read this one and loved it so much that I told Jay and he said I was free to pass it on in any way I wished. Now, it’s true, he’s long-winded, but believe me, he always has a point, and the journey to that point is always fun.  ‘And I’ll let that big old whistle blow my blues away’ was originally published on Jay’s Road Stories blog on October 23, 2013.

A recent review from the bible of roots magazines in Canada – Penguin EggsJay Aymar Overtime on Jay Aymar’s latest CD, Overtime:

 Judging by the maturity, sophistication and clever bent to his lyrics and delivery, he has not been resting on his laurels, such as they maybe….there is no quibble about raising him to the higher rungs on the steep ladder of Canadian singer/songwriters, not just his contemporaries but of all time.” Doug Swanson, Summer 2013, Penguin Eggs Magazine

 

‘And I’ll let that big old whistle blow my blues away’

“I was conceived in the summer of love
a little bundle of joy sent down from above
and while a half a million hippies left Yasgur with some trash
I was rockin’ in the cradle to the sweet Johnny Cash”

This is from my song ‘Seriously Delirious’ which I put out in 2011 on the CD ‘Passing Through’.

It’s 100% autobiographical and was written as a result of meeting the legendary John Prine.

My girlfriend at the time bought some tickets to Massey Hall to see John perform and somehow managed to get us backstage to meet him. Was it George Bernard Shaw who suggested being wary of meeting ones idols for fear that it will only lead to future disappointment for the fan? I believe it was.

We lined up backstage to acquire autographs, one by one. He signed my copy of Fair and Square – ‘All the best  Jay’ … John Prine.  All the Best – being a song from his comeback album The Missing Years. Still one of my favourite CD’s of all time. I rank it next to Graceland for the surprise comeback and enjoyment factor. (well maybe that’s a stretch but it’s one hell of a piece of work). While we posed for photos with him and the band we were encouraged to stick around for some food and to simply hang out. Wow! What a nice gesture. I believe my level of knowledge about his catalogue and back story was enough to ingratiate ourselves into this party for an extended hang.

Then I was afforded some time to just sit and talk with John himself.  After our conversation (during which he had learned that he was a major influence on me as a writer) he shouted out to the band “Bring these two out for a few drinks tonight and tell them some lies about us!”

“I can’t go out drinking right now but these guys could be into it Jay.”

At which point, his guitar player Jason Wilbur said he was obligated to call his wife for a long chat and couldn’t go out, however, Dave – his double bass player said “Sure…sounds like fun!”

So we went out to a local martini bar and discussed the Nashville music scene with Dave for about three hours.

So much of what happens to us in life is by sheer coincidence or luck. Dave mentioned that the go-to bass player for a few shows in Nashville (where Prine lives) was unavailable and he ran into a guy on the street that same night who tipped him off and suggested he might be able to get him in as a filler. Long story short, he’s been touring with John ever since. That’s going back about ten years now. I believe Dave’s married with children and finally taking deep breaths knowing the financial ‘wolf is finally from the door’.

At the end of the evening, he’d likely heard my girlfriend going on about my songwriting and John’s influence to the point where he took some pity on us and offered us to come along for the next show in London. Wow! What a guy.

“Just show up at the theatre tomorrow and pick up your backstage passes at the window and come join us after the show!”

Done.

We arrived in London (ON) the following day and were escorted to the fifth row from the front of the stage. Remarkable seats. I took it all in and sat transfixed like a kid in a candy store drooling over the embarrassment of riches. From ‘Hello in There’ to ‘Lake Marie’ (Dylan’s favourite Prine song) to ‘Grandpa was a Carpenter’ and on and on.

We reconnected again after the show and another great visit. It was during this conversation where the discussion of autobiographical writing came up. Writing a song specifically about oneself. The idea being that if you write a few of those songs ‘specifically’ about yourself, then you won’t have to waste precious time explaining to folks after the show exactly who you are – what your purpose is – what you’re all about…essentially.

I went home and started the song Seriously Delirious.

Verse 2
“My old man engineered that train
Like a streak bolt of lightning right through the rain
He said keep your head steady son and don’t look back
and that’s how you keep the train on the track”

After my dad (John Delbert Aymar) returned home from serving the entirety of WW2, he wanted to explore the world away from his village near Saulnierville, NS.  Still in his early twenties, he decided to head into Toronto with his cousin. The point being, whenever anyone of us has leaned on him for advice or felt down about things, he’s always said “The past is the past. Look forward. You can’t change the past. If I were to have dwelled upon the events of that war then how could have I managed to move on?”

It always seemed like such a dial-in answer for many years, but as always, these types of sentiments as simple as they appear, hold powerful truths for a reason.  I often saw my dad as the engineer of his train. He was pulling eight box cars and mom holding down the Caboose and keeping it all together. (Perhaps it’s the female spirit that looks back and keeps our history into perspective – I’m not sure, but I do know my mom was amazing at grounding us in family tradition.) So, I wrote those words about my Dad as a train engineer and made the “rockin in the cradle to the sweet Johnny Cash” reference quite deliberately – as a bit of an inside joke within the family.

You see, my dad has this old Hawaiian guitar he picked up from a guy he visited in prison. As the story goes, he visited an old acquaintance in the Comeauville jail.  During the visit, the guy wanted five bucks for his cheap guitar (evidently for a carton of cigarettes). The transaction went down and this was ultimately become the first guitar I would see in my life. 

It had painted palm trees and various birds and a Hawaiian sunset on the front of it. It was a Spanish guitar with nylon strings. It seemed more of a prop or a toy then a real guitar. My earliest childhood memories are of my dad popping his collar, pretending to play that guitar while gyrating his hips like Elvis – screaming ‘YOU AIN’T NOTHING BUT A HOUND DOG’  in front of all of us. I was transfixed.

I remember the very, very first record player was a small stand alone player with just a few records in the rack below it.

Johnny Cash’s Greatest Hits sat amongst the few gems. I believe it was of his early Sun recordings and it was incredible.

For the longest time, it all just made sense to me. The cheap guitar from a guy in prison – was that Folsom Prison? The train songs the rockabilly beat. The joy it brought. It taught me so much.

That said, our family was not even remotely into country music.

My dad’s true passion was swing jazz and crooners. At 92 he can still sing Nat King Cole’s Mona Lisa and send the shiver up the spine of anyone who’d care to listen. The only reason that album ever made it into our house was through my brother Dave (likely) or Bob (also likely).

So as time marched on, I learned that it was all connected. Everything. Prine was influenced by Cash. Cash didn’t really do time in prison other than for a few public intoxication’s. Our family guitar was from a guy in prison. I eventually discovered the epic Live from Folsom and Live from San Quentin Cash albums. I eventually discovered the entire world of fiction based on these themes – from Voltaire’s Candide to Crime and Punishment …oh hell…it goes on and on. From learning about Mandela to watching movies like Cool Hand Luke.

It can seem like a romantic notion in some ways to think that Johnny Cash performed for the incarcerated. A selfless gesture indeed. Those live recordings capture the palpable energy of a man in his prime, singing to those without a lot of hope.  What could that be like? Wow…only Cash could have pulled that off.  Until it was asked of me. I said ‘ABSOLUTELY YES!’

Wait…what? Really? What just happened?

Early last week I received an email from Jill Zmud, a talented folk songwriter, community activist and all around cool girl from Ottawa, ON. She coordinates a program called Art Beat which connects folk musicians with local schools and hospitals (for starters). During a previous conference, for example, I volunteered to discuss ‘FOLK MUSIC’ and ‘SONGWRITING’ and ‘LIFE ON THE ROAD’ to about 60 grade 7-8 students at a southern Ontario elementary school. It was amazing! As always, these gestures always pay us back ten-fold. The discussion with the kids slowly turned into me talking about how folk music has always represented the underdog.

“You kids want change? How we gonna do that? Folk music?”

and the kids screamed out “YEAH!”

“OK… I propose we have big speakers playing music during lunch break in the cafeteria! Why don’t we have music playing during lunch?” Who wants music?”

Repeat after me “WE WANT MUSIC…WE WANT MUSIC!”

“LOUDER…STOMP YOUR FEET…I WANT YOU TO ALL STOMP YOUR FEET AND SCREAM SO LOUD THAT THE PRINCIPLE WILL COME UP HERE AND FINALLY LISTEN TO US!”

And they did. And the principle arrived at the door a few minutes later. Strapped with my guitar, I whispered to him in the hallway, ‘Just play along, I’m teaching them how to protest!”

And he was brilliant. He stormed into the classroom to become a perfect foil.

“What’s all this about?”

“We want music in the cafeteria during lunch hour!”

The kids laughed, the teacher laughed, I laughed and I had them sing my one and only children’s song ‘Apple Pickin’ and we all walked away richer for the experience. I’ve often thought if I were to retire from music, teaching would be such a noble profession.

Art Beat had worked it’s magic. Everyone benefited from the experience.

Now this time, Jill’s Art Beat email was a bit different. “Jay, we’ve been trying to have a correctional facility sign up for Art Beat for many years…and it finally happened! They’ve agreed to let a performer come in and sing! We thought of you immediately.”

“Why did you think of me Jill? Have you been looking through my past? lol…”

“No we were just discussing your record and …”

“My RECORD! How did I know it was illegal to smoke weed in Cuba?”

“No Jay, your latest record – OVERTIME

“Oh yeah…of course – Overtime!” (Thank you Tommy Chong)

I guess word had spread a bit about my Johnny Cash fixation. Playing tributes on occasion and singing Cash songs long – long before he was cool again. In fact I remember singing his songs during the late 80′s and early 90′s when people would grimace. Yes, there was a time for a while when he was dismissed and this always seemed strange to me.

Regardless, I agreed to perform in the Brampton Correctional Facility last Thursday as a part of Art Beat.

Without thinking about it too much, I simply romanticized the task at hand and embraced the concept.

Hey Aymar (I said to myself), you’ve been singing about this stuff for so long, now it’s time to embrace the fact that the river has led you here. This amazing journey has actually brought you to this place. Ok here we go.

I arrived at the front desk on Thursday at 1pm. Without giving this any thought whatsoever I mentioned my name and purpose and they led me to the recreation room. In came the men who sat in a circular format in front of me. Several guards were on hand to brief me in a room prior to the concert.

They introduced me as a Canadian songwriter who tours ‘all around the world’ and ‘has just finished a 120 show tour’ which was all true, but it seemed to really give the guys (perhaps) a sense that I WAS Johnny Cash as someone immediately screamed out “CASH!”

As I prepared for the first song, the warden leaned into my ear and whispered “You’ll be fine son…they’re an appreciative audience!”

As I was about to hit the first chord, I looked up and saw the crowd. Something happened when I looked into the faces of the guys staring at me. I was grief stricken. Can’t explain it. I began to tremble on the inside. This wasn’t a nervousness or fear, but in fact a deep, deep feeling of empathy. I didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t prepared for this. After thousands of shows in my life, I’d never felt this stuck. This feeling became overwhelming. This wasn’t a fucking joke – nothing about this was like Johnny Cash in Folsom….my dad buying a guitar from a guy in prison…Cool Hand Luke. Those fantasy images were just that. Fantasy! This was reality – I was in the middle of it – and I was suddenly grief stricken by the stark realness of it all.

Behind the men was a booth where two guards watched the proceedings from above everyone. It was all cool and controlled. I played my first original song then quickly got back to the CASH request. I said ‘Who was requesting Johnny Cash?” Someone from the back raised his hand. I said “Ok man, how about A Boy Named Sue!”

And off it went. During that Silverstein classic is a verse where the father ‘took out a knife and cut off a piece of my ear” …at which point everyone laughed out loud and FINALLY the tension was cut.

I was beyond relieved.

I looked up into the tower and saw two of the guards clapping and dancing a bit which eased my mind a bit more.

Then I asked if there were any guitar players in the crowd. Someone yelled out “Honky-Tonk!”

“Where’s Honky-Tonk?”

And he was right there off to the side. Humbly raising his hand.

“You feel like playing a song for everyone Honky-Tonk? Who wants to hear Honky-Tonk?” The place erupted and much like the elementary kids pretending to protest,  the guys began chanting “Honky-Tonk! Honky-Tonk!”

It was just then that I realized I may have been breaking protocol but they allowed Honky-Tonk to come and join me for the rest of the show. He was escorted to a room where his guitar awaited and arrived ready for showtime. He was a great player and was happy to sit back and simply accompany me with some picking on the songs.

Then, as though time evaporated, I looked up at the clock to realize the concert was over and my John Henry was required for a few pieces of paper.

Before I left, the staff and I had a brief conversation about ‘simple gestures of kindness’ in this type of environment. On how there may be an outside chance that ONE inmate may have seen light in all of this…a seed may have been planted in some soul…enough to hold on to…HOPE. I welled up.

I finally made it out to my car – shaking. I sat in the parking lot for twenty minutes, closed my eyes and said some prayers to the great universe asking for my own redemption. “Save those souls and give them hope. Thank you for bringing me into this world with all of the advantages of love. Thanks for allowing me to have the opportunity, strength and gift to do this.”

Then I thought about my own dad. Not the guy from “A Boy Named Sue” but the guy who stood up in front of me with his Hawaiian guitar, shaking his hips, screaming “HOUND DOG!” That guy. The same guy who said “Never look back – you can’t change the past”, the guy who provided for his eight children day in a day out without ever complaining. The loyal husband and father who kept us all on the straight and narrow. The same guy who bought the record player for his family (when we didn’t have a lot of extra money) so he could play his trad jazz and we could play our rock and roll.

I left the parking lot and drove to the four day conference where like-minded folkies had converged on a hotel in Mississauga.  Remember: GIVING BACK – PAYING IT FORWARD -this is all run of the mill kind of stuff for people in this community. It’s all part of the tradition. It’s part of the spirit. I felt safe here amongst this tribe. There were times over the weekend though that I couldn’t ‘shake’ the feeling of what had transformed me during that prison concert. In fact, there were times when I couldn’t stop smiling about it – and times when I couldn’t hide my grief. Never have I carried around so many mixed emotions from one incident.

Upon my arrival home the first person to call me up was my dad.

“Good morning son, I just wanted to know how the concert in the prison worked out?” I gave him detailed account of the events and asked “Dad, I’m not sure why I have these mixed emotions about it all? It’s like I don’t understand how I feel about what happened? Strange isn’t it?”

“It’s not strange at all. I really did expect this. Sometimes we don’t have answers for how we feel.  Just move on. It’s over!”

Just like the song:
‘Keep your head steady and don’t look back
That’s how you keep the train on the track’

In a few short months, I’ll be back at home sharing Christmas with the family. We’ll enjoy music and laughter once again.

As always I’ll be performing a local show, only this year I’ll have a new song to be added to my repertoire: John Prine’s Christmas in Prison. Dedicated to my Dad, Prine and his band, Cash, the Brampton Correctional Facility, Art Beat, Folk Music Ontario and the great healing power of music.

Next stop…

FURTHER DOWN THE LINE.

Valdy and Kris + Dee at Chalmers United Church, Fri. Nov. 15

ValdyThe Live Wire Music Series is ending its 2013 season with a Canadian music legend. Two-time Juno Award winner and member of the Order of Canada, Valdy, will make his first ever appearance on the Live Wire stage. For this special concert Live Wire will be moving to Chalmers United Church, a perfect venue for Valdy, a performer famous for engaging audiences in his intimate live shows. Opening the evening will be Kingston’s own Kris and Dee.

Live Wire Music Series presents 

Valdy with special guests Kris and Dee 

Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, 7:30pm
Chalmers United Church, 212 Barrie St., Kingston, ON 

Tickets: $20 in advance and $25 at the door available now at Brian’s Record Option, Tara Foods and online at www.livewiremusicseries.ca

Valdy, born Valdemar Horsdal in Ottawa, Canada has been part of the fabric of Canadian pop and folk music for over 35 years. A man with a thousand friends, from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island to Texas to New Zealand, he’s a singer, guitarist and songwriter who catches the small but telling moments that make up life.

Remembered for Play Me a Rock and Roll Song, his bitter-sweet memory of finding himself, a relaxed and amiable storyteller, facing a rambunctious audience at the Aldergrove Rock Festival circa 1968, Valdy has sold almost half a million copies of his 13 albums, has two Juno Awards (Folk Singer of the Year and Folk Entertainer of the Year), a total of seven Juno nominations and four Gold albums to his credit.

Valdy’s recent CDs include Contenders, a collaboration with friend and fellow singer/songwriter, Gary Fjellgaard, with whom he has an absolute blast touring, and a solo release, Viva Valdy: Live at Last, a two-CD package, one live, one studio, with a total of 25 tunes, and a lyric booklet.

One of Canada’s most influential songwriters, Valdy’s composition A Good Song was recorded under the title Just a Man by the venerable Quincy Jones (he sang lead on the recording!). Play Me a Rock and Roll Song has been recorded by a few artists, including John Kay of Steppenwolf.

Along the way, Valdy has taken his music to a dozen different countries, from Denmark to Australia and been an often-invited performer at the prestigious Kerrville Festival in Texas. His recent television appearances include Canada AM and Open Mike with Mike Bullard. Valdy has also been a panelist on Front Page Challenge, and played a lead role in an episode of The Beachcombers original series.

Today, he is based on Salt Spring Island, where he lives with his wife Kathleen, three dogs and a large cat. All three children are grown, flown and doing famously living in or near Vancouver or Colorado.

Visit Valdy on the web at http://www.valdy.com.

KRIS + DEE

Their debut album Still Here Inside (2011) gained the pair international recognition when it was selected for the Starbucks WorldwideKris and Dee Playlist. They are being discovered in Canada as well, having been chosen with Leonard Cohen, Lucinda Williams and David Bowie as one of the Top Artists of 2012 by Ottawa’s CKCU FM. With a contemporary take on a traditional folk sound, Dee weaves poetic melodies through Kris’s pop hooks and lush, chill grooves.

Music journalist Paul Myers writes, “The soundscape Kris paints under Dee’s intimate vocalizations evokes time spent out of the machine. The lyrics speak to reality and the harshness of existence while the music is defiantly dignified in the face of it.”

http://www.krisanddee.com/

You Can Help Country Music Recording Artist Adam Gregory Make His 6th Studio Album!

Adam Gregory receiving Slaight Humanitarian Award at 2013 CCMA AwardsI have worked with Country music recording artist Adam Gregory for about a year and a half and not only is he one of the nicest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure to get to know, but he has the most devoted, loyal fans of all of the musicians I’ve ever worked with as a social media manager!

I’m not by nature, a country music fan, I’m a rock/alternative rock girl, but I decided that I had to give Adam’s music a good listen because I wanted to know why his fans are so supportive of him. Well, I can tell you this, it’s because he has a fantastic voice, is born to sing, and he writes some excellent songs! Plus, there’s that super nice guy factor too! In fact, he won the prestigious Slaight Humanitarian Award at this year’s Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMAS) for his tireless work with Adam Helps The House for Ronald McDonald House.


When Adam told me that he was going to launch a Kickstarter campaign to help fund his 6th studio album, I couldn’t wait to help him promote it because I believe in this young man’s talent and vision, 100%! I want him to succeed in this endeavor with every fiber of my being because this is the type of person who deserves to be supported, so I was the first person to back him when he pressed that green LAUNCH button!

Adam’s Kickstarter campaign is now live and you can check it out at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1113525430/adam-gregorys-6th-studio-album to find out what kinds of very cool incentives he has to offer you in thanks for your pledges. If there was ever a musician to be proud to support in a crowdfunding campaign, Adam Gregory is it!

Here, I’ll let him speak for himself. Watch this:

 

If you can’t make a pledge to Adam’s campaign, please consider helping him spread the word about his Kickstarter campaign by posting about it on your Facebook page or personal profile, Twitter, Google +, or even your own blog. Pay it Forward and be proud you did!

You can find Adam Gregory online at:

www.adamgregory.com
www.facebook.com/adamgregoryofficial
twitter.com/AdamGregorySong

Juno & CCMA Nominated Singer-Songwriter Kirsten Jones is Playing in Toronto

Juno & CCMA nominated, multiple award-winning, Alt-country / Roots / Americana singer-songwriter Kirsten Jones‘ music complements the likes of Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams & Emmylou Harris.

“Kirsten’s Juno-nominated recent release, The Mad Mile, should be nestled comfortably in your CD-changer beside your copy of Emmylou Harris’ Wrecking Ball, since the transition between the two discs will sound seamless”. – Roots Music Canada

My client and friend, Kirsten Jones, has a few shows coming up in Toronto that roots music fans won’t want to miss!

Thursday, May 24th ~ Black Swan Tavern
154 Danforth Ave., Toronto, ON – 9:30 PM – Tickets $10
Tin Pan North 13th Annual Songwriters Festival
Songwriter’s Circle with Dave McEathron, John Di Battista, Kirsten Jones & David Neale

Friday, May 25th ~ Dora Keough (I’m going to this one!)
141 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON – 9:30 PM – Pay what you can
Kirsten Jones & Friends with full band, playing covers as well as old favourites. Come and join Kirsten as she celebrates her birthday!

Friday, June 22nd ~ Hugh’s Room
2261 Dundas St. W.  Toronto, ON – 8:30 PM – $25 Advance/$27.50 Door

A Man Called Wrycraft presents IN CASH WE TRUST – 2nd Annual Live Concert Tribute to Johnny Cash…The Man in Black featuring
The Good BrothersDanny BrooksLynne HansonKirsten Jones, Samantha Martin, Massey Harris (featuring Scott B. & Gord Cumming), Tom Wilson / Lee Harvey OsmondPlus a Special Surprise Guest! 

 

MORE RAVE REVIEWS FOR KIRSTEN JONES:

“Smooth-as-buckwheat-honey vocals…a bona fide comparison to Emmylou Harris is not out of order…” – Eric Thom, Exclaim Magazine

Toronto-based singer/songwriter Kirsten Jones had only one producer in mind for her sophomore album, The Mad Mile: former Jayhawks front man Gary Louris. “I knew I wanted to try getting in touch with Gary before even trying to think of anyone else, so I looked up his management online and just sent them a package.” A few months later, Louris’ management e-mailed Jones, saying Gary was interested in the project. By summer, Jones and Louris were writing in her Toronto living room, where they also finished all the preproduction for the recording in three days. They hit the studio later that fall. Creating a sound that combined her alt country and folk influences with her own unique writing style came naturally, thanks to Louris’ firsthand experience with some of Jones’ favourite artists (The Dixie Chicks, Kelly Willis, Lucinda Williams, The Jayhawks).

“She has interesting lyrics, pretty heavy duty lyrics and a hook sensibility. She has it, you know? I’m jealous – I wish I had written these songs… – Gary Louris

In what proved to be a banner year, Kirsten also received a coveted FACTOR award for over $20,000 toward the making of the new CD. The Mad Mile was released on May 11, 2010, and is distributed through Fontana North/Universal. Guests include pedal steel player Greg Leisz (Emmylou Harris, Tracy Chapman, Sheryl Crow, Alison Krauss), Oh Susanna, and Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy and Bob Egan.

“The end result of their fruitful partnership (Louris/Jones) is ‘The Mad Mile,’ an alt country/roots record which could very well do for Jones what ‘Failer’ did for Kathleen Edwards”.  – Jason MacNeil, spinner.com

Throughout the last two years, several aspects of Jones’ career have fallen into place. She was chosen by Billboard Canada as one of five artists to watch in 2010, and The Mad Mile was nominated for a 2010 Juno Award, thanks to an early iTunes release. Jones has been a finalist two years in a row in the International Songwriting Competition in the Americana category (out of over 15,000 entries), a Top 3 finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the country category (alongside Canadian success story Gordie Sampson), was a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk Contest, and has received honourable mention in both the Billboard and Nashville Songwriter’s Association songwriting competitions. The Canadian Country Music Awards invited Kirsten to perform two years in a row at the prestigious Songwriter’s Cafe, alongside such celebrated songwriters as Victoria Banks, Lisa Brokop, Jamie Warren, and Jessie Farrell. Kirsten wrote or co-wrote every song on The Mad Mile, and two songs were co-written with producer Gary Louris.

“The music of Kirsten Jones combines the best elements of alt-country and contemporary folk. She’s also an engaging live performer, bringing both introspection and high humour to her shows”. – Mark Rheaume, CBC Radio

“The talented singer-songwriter is now busy winning the hearts of fans and breaking genres with her unique style of alt-country that she sings with heartfelt sincerity and catchy hooks”. – Blue Rodeo

www.kirstenjones.com
www.facebook.com/kirstenjonesmusicpage
www.youtube.com/kirstenjonesmusic

Kirsten is currently writing material for her next CD.

Live Wire Music Series Ends The Season With Ottawa’s Brilliant Lynn Miles!

Live Wire Music Series is finishing the season with one of its all-time favourite musicians, Ottawa’s brilliant Lynn Miles. Lynn has won countless awards including a Best Female Vocalist Juno in 2003 and a Canadian Songwriter of the Year Award in 2010.  She will be accompanied by another great Canadian musician, Prairie Oyster’s Keith Glass.  Opening the evening will be Ottawa musician Lynne Hanson, whose newest CD “Once The Sun Goes Down” has had much critical acclaim across North America. 

Live Wire Music Series presents:

Lynn Miles with special guest Lynne Hanson

Friday, May 4th – 7:30 pm
Octave Theatre, 711 Dalton Ave., Kingston
Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door

Available now at Brian’s Record Option (613 542-2452) and Tara Foods

Lynn Miles ~ www.lynnmilesmusic.com

“With her crystal-clear voice and an insightful songwriting style, Canada’s Lynn Miles is one of the most acclaimed singer/songwriters to cross the border since Joni Mitchell.” – Dallas Morning News 

“Lynn Miles’ startling insights about bad choices and desperate needs in songs like “Wrong” and “Rust” make her a captivating performer.” – USA Today

“Lynn Miles delivers it all with an every-woman expressiveness in a voice that combines Lucinda Williams and Shawn Colvin.  Her poetic, insightful portrait of the human spirit – upbeat despite its difficult honesty, is truly inviting.” – Tim Roland, The Tennessean

“Lynn Miles makes being forlorn sound like a state of grace.” – New York Times

“Canadian songbird Lynn Miles sings lusciously…smart lyrics abound as she expounds on love lost and gained, sketched with dark hues and rising tempos.” – Billboard Magazine

Lynne Hanson ~ www.lynnehanson.com

2010 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award winner
2009 Canadian Folk Music Award nominee New/Emerging Artist
2009 Kerrville New Folk Finalist
2008 Mountain Stage New Song Regional Finalist

“[Once the Sun Goes Down] certainly is a remarkable piece of work … Hanson is a superlative craftswoman … her fabulous voice is clear as a bell.”  John Conquest, Third Coast Music, Austin

“Killer third by Canadian songbird…more in common with the assured touch of Gillian Welch or Lucinda Williams. “Riptide” could easily be the best song Welch has yet to write”. – UNCUT (UK)

The Fabulous Royal Wood in Kingston at The Octave Theatre on Friday, Oct. 7th!

The fabulous ROYAL WOOD who is quickly becoming a fan favourite across Canada, is coming to the Octave Theatre (711 Dalton Ave.) in Kingston on Friday, October 7th at 8:00 pm.

Tickets: $20 in advance and $25 at the door (if available) on sale now at Brian’s Record Option (613) 542-2452 and at the Tricolour Outlet Store at Queen’s University (John Deutsch Centre).

Royal’s career trajectory is building one fan at a time through word of mouth, critical acclaim and impressive musical achievements.  He was nominated for Songwriter of the Year at the Junos, named iTunes’ Songwriter of the Year, Best Pop Album and Pop single, supported national tours with David Gray and Serena Ryder and landed song placements in TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice.  With the release of The Waiting, his most inspired record to date, an upcoming national theatre tour and more in the works, now more than ever Royal Wood is an artist on the rise.

Royal Wood’s calling card has always been the connection he’s cultivated with his fans.  With the release of his critically acclaimed Juno Nominated 2010 album, The Waiting, he hit the road, performing concerts in major cities and smaller communities, clocking an incredible amount of time on stage across the country.  In anticipation of his next studio album Royal headed out on his Sneak Peek Tour, starting in Winnipeg on September 18th performing new songs, old favourites and some unique covers in smaller venues across the country.

Royal’s Sneak Peek Tour

Royal says, “The Sneak Peek Tour will be an intimate way to let my listeners in on the secrets that have been brewing.”  Each night on the Sneak Peek Tour Royal will be performing songs that are under consideration for his 2012 new album.  Fans are encouraged to hit the world wide web (Facebook and Twitter) and give their opinion on what songs they think should make the cut. One would say that this is truly interactive!

The concept of the new tour was inspired by his fans’ involvement in choosing songs for the Cover Sessions EP.  While on tour last spring Royal decided to record a version of Foster the People’s Pumped Up Kicks.  After posting it on YouTube it was picked up by blogs and received unanimous praise for his unique recording.  The response was so fantastic that he decided to ask his fans what other songs they would like to hear him cover and after hundreds of suggestions he selected 4 additional songs to record.  The EP, Cover Sessions, was the result and it will only be available to fans that attend the tour this fall.

During the Sneak Peek Tour concert goers will be given the exclusive opportunity to pre-purchase a copy of the yet to be titled 2012 studio album.  The autographed album will be sent a week in advance of the official release.  They’ll also go home with a copy of Cover Sessions, which will only be available to people that pre-purchase the upcoming album at one of the shows.

Joining Royal Wood on tour will be Montreal born intrinsic rocker Danielle Duval who launches OF THE VALLEY this fall.  Produced by Carlin Nicholson and Mike O’Brien of Zeus (Arts & Crafts); delivered by a magnetically gutsy voice, the music is old school, harmony driven pop with an early rock n’ roll sensibility.

Singer-songwriter Royal Wood offers a sneak peak to OurKingston.ca