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

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

image005

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

-30-

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

GoodBonesTitleTile

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

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

Sills & Smith Band Releases Music Video for They Don’t Come Knocking

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2016

SILLS & SMITH BAND RELEASE MUSIC VIDEO FOR
THEY DON’T COME KNOCKING

Sills & Smith Echoes in Time

[Ottawa, Canada]  Sills & Smith, led by Ottawa singer-songwriters Jeremy Sills and Frank Smith, has just released a music video for the song They Don’t Come Knocking off their fifth studio album Echoes In Time. The video was produced by musical friend Robin Youlton, who has teamed-up with Sills & Smith for several music videos, including other Echoes In Time tracks We Are Receiving and Slicing Up The Clouds. Watch They Don’t Come Knocking on YouTube now.

Sills & Smith has independently released five studio albums of music that boldly blends and bends elements of folk, alternative rock, progressive rock, with hints of blues and jazz. On the heels of their critically acclaimed album Etched (2014), the band entered the studio for a second time with legendary producer Phillip Victor Bova (Bova Sound) in the summer of 2015 to record Echoes In Time.  The latest album — released in November, 2015 — includes 13 melodic, original songs and 60 minutes of music.

Echoes in Time features a stellar cast of players, with the core group: Frank Smith (words/music, vocals); Jeremy Sills (music, vocals, acoustic guitars, piano, trumpet); Phillip Victor Bova (recording engineer/producer, electric and acoustic bass) and T. Bruce Wittet (drums/percussion). Brilliant supporting musicians include: Kevin Breit – electric guitars and mandolin, Blair Michael Hogan – electric guitars, Roddy Ellias – electric guitar, Jim McDowell – organs, Don Wallace – electric guitars, Tara Holloway – vocals, Linsey Wellman – saxophone.

Grace Smith designed the beautiful, four panel digipak CD edition of the album. Sills & Smith “Echoes In Time” is available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Bandcamp and in select box stores. The band’s first three critically acclaimed albums of all original material: The Glorious Ache (2013), No Way In, No Way Out (2012) and Uncertain Vista (2011) were recorded and produced by Jonathan Edwards in his studio, Corvidae Music.

Jeremy and Frank have been inspired to continue rehearsing and writing new songs. They have an album’s worth of originals written for the next Sills & Smith recording, expecting to return to the studio in the spring of 2017.

Sills & Smith band online:

https://www.reverbnation.com/sillssmith
https://www.facebook.com/sillssmith
http://sillsandsmith.bandcamp.com/album/echoes-in-time
https://www.youtube.com/user/SillsandSmith
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/sills-smith/id462351918
https://twitter.com/SillsandSmith
https://sillssmith.bandcamp.com/album/the-glorious-ache

“No matter where Sills & Smith travel on Echoes in Time, though, the duo always hover around that same mid-’70s arena rock era, oftentimes stripping some of the “progressive” out of their brand of prog rock. Overall, Sills & Smith come off as seasoned and focused songwriters and distinguished instrumentalists on Echoes in Time. (Independent) – Get It” – Daniel Sylvester, Exclaim (Jan 10, 2016)

“Do not operate heavy machinery while listening to Echoes in Time, the fifth album from the Canadian duo of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Sills and vocalist Frank Smith. In fact, this mesmerizing album is best heard when you have the time to sit back and let the music — a light blend of folk, prog and rock with hints of jazz and blues — float into your head. Because Echoes in Time takes its time, and that’s not a bad thing. Sills & Smith open the album with “We Are Receiving,” a strolling song that gradually picks up the pace. “The Chalice/The Blade” is one of the duo’s dreamiest and most melodic songs, while a lone saxophone lends the ballad “One Step Behind” a film noir atmosphere… Taken collectively, these songs make Echoes In Time Sills & Smith’s best album yet”  – Michael Popke, Sea of Tranquility (Feb 09, 2016)

“Sills and Smith have made Etched an obvious labour of love, and this effort permeates the entire album.”  –Tristin Norenberg-Goodmanson, Earshot – The National Campus Community Radio Report (Feb 17, 2015)

 “This Ottawa band is growing by leaps and bounds with each new song. Living On An Island – Sounds like: A plea.” – Larry Lootsteen, Alan Cross – A Journal of Musical Things (Dec 11, 2013)

 

Freedom’s Note Rocks Their Debut Single “All We Know” With An Official Video Release Nationwide January 4, 2016

Freedom's Note Video Press Release Image

Canada’s newest band, FREEDOM’S NOTE, are rocking the scene in 2016 with the release of their first single, “All We Know” (CANCON) from their debut full-length album TRIAL BY FIRE (May 2016). The rock and roll quartet originally from Newfoundland and now based in Fort McMurray (AB), consists of Donny Synard (Rhythm Guitar/Lead Vocals), Trevor Lethbridge (Drums), Danny Fewer (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals), and Mark Stewart (Bass/Backing Vocals).

FREEDOM’S NOTE takes the listener on a sonic journey of varying energy to many places, through several feelings reminiscent of the rich Rock ‘n’ Roll history of legend before them, with subtle nods in homage to several other genres along the way. Drawing on music influences from Guns ‘N Roses, Queen, Foo Fighters, Nickelback, Shania Twain and Pink, to name only a few, the foursome are steadily growing audiences and continue to awe those they perform for.

Recorded at multi award-winning MCC Recording Studios (Calgary) under the direction of Grammy nominated producer, Johnny Gasparic, Trial By Fire is filled with songs of love, passion, fun and excitement. “All We Know” is supported at radio with tracking and promotions by Linda Dawe of Music Solutions (Sutton, ON). The edgy rock vibe and compelling lyrics are also cleverly captured in a captivating, high energy video. Filmed in cooperation with Ben Brignall at Brignall Equipment Solutions (Fort McMurray), and under the direction of multi award-winning videographer and photographer Barrett Klesko (FadeBack Studios United, St. Albert, AB), the inclusion of Rock 97.9 FM CKYX radio announcer Cubb Carson’s immediate voiceover adds an extra dimension and imagination to “All We Know.”

All We Know” is about carving your own path in life, taking the road less travelled and putting everything on the line no matter what consequences or barriers are put in front of you,” states Donny Synard. “Too many people look for the easiest or safest road in life.  “All We Know” is about seizing each moment and believing that anything is possible. BE INSPIRED.”

FREEDOM’S NOTE (formerly Destranged) have opened for various renowned acts including Simple Plan, Finger Eleven, Trooper, Kim Mitchell, Mother Mother, Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil, and Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver fame. While steadily growing their fan base, Freedom’s Note will expand their performances and showmanship to audiences during their first national tour in the summer of 2016.

-30-

Learn More:

www.freedomsnote.com

Radio Tracking | Promotions:

Linda Dawe
linda@lindadawe.com
905-722-4543
Music Solutions Inc.

Media Interviews | Industry Enquiries:

i see.
Irene Carroll Et Associates
Public and Media Relations

Irene Carroll, Strategist

t] 416.366.5473
e] irene@iseeassociates.ca

 

 

“Gun Kontrol” by The Trygger Twins Packs a Pistol (New Video)

The Trygger TwinsI don’t usually publicly discuss my political opinions…

I’ve only ever voted for the NDP or Green parties

…or talk about complex issues such as same-sex marriage,

Hallelujah #SCOTUS for making it legal in all 50 states in the USA!

…or taking religious studies out of the classroom

I’m against mandatory religious curriculum in public or high schools unless all religions are studied, as I feel that an individual should be an adult before making up his or her mind about religious or spiritual beliefs and should be free to study them in college or university if they choose.

…or legalizing marijuana.

I’m all for it.

However, when a friend of mine turned me onto this crazy, thought-provoking video by The Trygger Twins – because I’m concerned about the USA’s lack of gun control and the NRA‘s mandate – I found it to be a powerfully delicious little gem that packs a pistol, er, I mean, punch. What do you think?

Here’s “Gun Kontrol” by The Trygger Twins.

Learn more about up and coming alt-country / alt-rock duo The Trygger Twins as they shoot the breeze with MuzikTown Magazine here.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 12, 2014


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

 Jon Davis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

____________________________________________________________

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

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

WHEN:
Thursday, October 2, 8:00pm

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

ARTIST WEB:
www.jondavismusic.ca

____________________________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

— 30 —


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