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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2016

Harlan Wells

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.harlanwells.com

Rooted By Sasha Lewis Is Roots Rock Worth Shouting About!

CD Review
Title: Rooted
Artist: Sasha Lewis
Label: Independent
Released: 2010
Stars: 4.0

It has been a while since a female singer-songwriter in the roots rock genre has wowed me with her debut album, but Salmon Arm, British Columbia’s dynamite Sasha Lewis has done just that with her stunning 10 track CD, Rooted.

Sasha doesn’t immediately remind me of any other artist, although if you’re a fan of Melissa Etheridge or Feist you will probably love her sound. Her passionate vocal performances, skillful strumming, bleached blond, tattooed, punk goddess/alternating brunette earth mother vibe is one I haven’t seen in an acoustic artist who writes groovy and powerful folk/rock songs. This makes Sasha stand out in a crowd and her music stands out too. Her tenacious vocals and poignant lyrics that reflect the ways we deal with love gone wrong, the exorcism of our demons and the search for a better life, blend perfectly to create a memorable listening experience that becomes more profound with each spin of the disc.

Sasha’s eclectic influences range from Ani Difranco, Jimi Hendrix and Joan Jett to Bruce Cockburn, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Johnny Horton, Alison Krauss, Hank Williams and Ryan Bingham. She wrote all of the songs on Rooted and was accompanied by Jesse Clarke on guitar, percussion & back-up vocals, Jake Verburg on guitar (on Still Photograph), Darrin Herting on bass & cello, Roxy Roth on piano, Leon Power on drums and Stephanie Webster on back-up vocals.

Rooted opens with the slow-burning, evocative rocker Shot You Down, followed by another mid-tempo, melodious rocker, Your Safe Hands. Sasha’s voice morphs from clear-voiced and plaintive balladeer in Roots, Still Photograph, Until Your Home and Monsters (a lullaby about monsters under the stairs) to a feisty, banshee-like wail that stirs the loins in Your Safe Hands, Supergirl, and Following One (my favourite tracks on the album):

FOLLOWING ONE

you’re fragile and young, think you got everything under your thumb,
mercy child you don’t know anything but the mess that you bring,
and the pain from your past, oh the pain from your past

heavily guarded but easily influenced,
you become the poster child to this fake facade
of the next best thing that society brings, society brings

no no no, no no, no no no, no no
I won’t go the way you tell me
no no no, no no, no no no, no no
I’ll tread these waters till I reach land
no no no, no no, no no no, no no, no no no, no no

harnessed my tone,
guided by my gut,
humbled by the packs

following one like the propaganda on your tongue
mercy child you don’t know anything but the mess that you bring,
and the ghost from your past, the ghosts the ghost from your past

Rooted concludes with the reggae-laced Reasons, leaving you wanting more.

After a successful showcase at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival this summer as well as support from CBC Radio, it’s highly likely that Sasha Lewis is a name you’ll be hearing a lot more of in the future.