Douglas McLean started playing music at the age of 11 years as a drummer. He wrote his first song at age 15 and he started recording when he was 20 years old. He has recorded 5 albums and written some 60 or more songs including several videos.
Douglas has a deep love for poetry, particularly the works of Leonard Cohen, T.S Eliot and Rumi. His songs reflect those deep influences and as a lyricist, he chooses to pursue language as a deep stimulus for understanding; and the practiced art of what Van Morrison calls “the inarticulate speech of the heart”.
Several of his recorded songs have been positioned in the Top 20 in local Muskoka Radio. He plays local shows and concerts usually joined by his wife, violinist, Arlene McLean.
McLean also does work with other artists as an executive producer ; videography; radio host , and writing for local newspapers.
Douglas has talked with many artists about their songwriting process, you can listen to these interviews, with music from their albums, interspersed throughout.
MUSIC & CHAT
Martin Barre is recognized as one of the greatest guitarists of his generation.
For forty-three years, his elegant playing was the artistic backbone of the classic progressive rock band Jethro Tull.
For over four decades, Jethro Tull recorded some of the most innovative and iconic rock tunes of all time. Aqualung, Thick As a Brick, Passion Play, Songs from the Wood, Crest of a Knave,
During his tenure in Jethro Tull, Martin Barre created one of the most distinctive and enduring guitar sounds to emerge from popular music.
On November 06, 2020, The Martin Barre band released a double CD 50 Years of Jethro Tull which presents some of these great songs reimagined and reinvigorated by Barre’s band which Martin has been touring with since 2011 when Jethro Tull disbanded.
The Martin Barre band is:
Dan Crisp (guitar / vocals), Alan Thomson (bass/fretless bass), Darby Todd (drums). With appearances by Becca Langsford (vocals/backing vocals), Josiah J (Percussion/Hammond),
Aaron Graham (drums), Alex Hart (vocals/backing vocals).
For A Thousand Mothers
On My Way
Al Lerman is considered by many to be one of Canada’s finest bluesman both as solo artist and as the bandleader of the renowned Juno Award winning band Fathead. Featuring songs from his latest album Northern Bayou, Al Lerman spoke to Backstage in early December 2020 about his career and songs and overall approach to the blues and the current music scene.
Features Songs :
Down to the River
Fire in the Hole
Dirty Little Secret
Gonna Have To Wait
A Few More Miles to Go
"BLUES WITH A WHOLE LOT OF SOUL!"
Veteran bluesman Al Lerman is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter. He was founder and leader of the much loved 2X Juno Award winning band FATHEAD, and along the way built a solid career touring as an acoustic solo act. With wry wit and a great knowledge of the blues tradition on both harmonica and guitar, he brings that sensibility to songs that are written about his own contemporary life and times. He is considered among the top harmonica players in the country, and he has been heard on countless recordings and live sessions. His newest album “Northern Bayou” was released on April 12, 2019, where it remained on the Top Ten Canadian Album Chart for over six months. It charted internationally and ranked #4 in Canada on the annual Roots Music's Radio Top 200 Blues Recordings of 2019.
Windsor, Nova Scotia funeral director Terra Spencer discovered a passion for songwriting while touring as a vocalist and guitar player with country artist Ryan Cook, after being recruited while she scooped ice cream at a music festival. Since making her solo debut in 2018, she has charmed audiences in the Maritimes, Ontario, the UK, and Europe with deft fingerstyle guitar, gospel piano, butterscotch voice, and easy onstage conversation, making you feel knee-to-knee with her in a room of 500.
Her knack for telling intimate stories with heart and humour has caught the attention of Canadian musical mentors like David Francey, Ron Sexsmith, and Catherine MacLellan, and led to collaborations with artists including Dave Gunning and Mike T. Kerr. Her 2019 debut album Other People's Lives was nominated for Music NS Americana Album of the year. Her brand-new follow-up album, Chasing Rabbits, is a collection of very personal songs about home life and wildlife, leaving and longing, and the meaning of home, set against the backdrop of the Canadian winter and featuring some of Nova Scotia's best players including The Bombadils and Bela Strings. Produced by Terra and recorded at Sonic Temple in Halifax, Chasing Rabbits has received international airplay and quickly claimed spots on numerous lists of the Best Albums of 2020.
Jack de Keyzer
Acclaimed guitarist, singer, song writer, band leader and producer, Jack de Keyzer rarely sits still. For 46 years or roughly a couple million miles , de Keyzer has been hitting the road , air and studio to bring his brand of guitar driven blues around the globe.
With 12 records, 1 DVD , 2 Junos and 7 Maple Blues Awards, de Keyzer delivers the goods wherever, whenever he performs. Playing over 100 shows a year, de Keyzer’s music is steeped in Chicago blues, London England’s (de Keyzer’s birth place) blues rock, Detroit’s Motown, Muscle Shoals deep soul, Memphis’ rock and roll, and Philadelphia’s funky soul jazz .
De Keyzer knows first hand as he has played with many first generation pioneers of these sounds and styles, Bo Diddley, Otis Rush, Etta James, King Biscuit Boy and Ronnie Hawkins to name a few. His latest recording TRIBUTE (2020) features twelve rousing new original blues, rock and soul songs and pays tribute to the great blues and rock guitar masters, singers and song writers de Keyzer has been influenced and inspired by through the years. A tour de force by an artist at his peak powers.
Quiet Talkers – Is the third release from London, Ontario born singer/songwriter Ken Yates.
Reuniting with Jim Bryson, who produced Yates’s 2016 release Huntsville, (which won two Canadian Folk Music Awards for Songwriter of the Year and New Artist of the Year), Quiet Talkers is a dark, introspective step away from acoustic, guitar-driven, folk songs, yet still maintains Yates’ signature guitar style and lyrics that never waste time getting to the point.
After almost a decade of extensive touring, supporting artists like Passenger, Stu Larsen, Rose Cousins and Jenn Grant, Yates is starting to find peace in his role as an independent artist. “Lately I’ve been able to take a step back and look at all the things I’ve been able to achieve almost purely on my own, and I’m starting to appreciate the small victories now”.
Says Yates, “This by far my most personal album to date. I’ve always been better at observing than being a part of the action, so I like to think of this collection of songs as “thoughts from the quietest person in the room”. If Huntsville was about his experiences on the road, Quiet Talkers is about coming home, facing the monsters hiding under the bed – or in some cases, the monsters hiding in plain sight.
Lynne Hanson is a Canadian singer-songwriter based in Ottawa, Ontario who has released seven albums and has toured internationally.
After performing with Shane Simpson from 2000 to 2005, she launched her solo songwriting career with the release of her first album, Things I Miss in 2006, followed by Eleven Months (2008) and Once the Sun Goes Down (2010). Her fourth studio album River of Sand was produced by Juno-award-winning songwriter Lynn Miles, and released in September 2014 on Continental Song City by the Dutch record label CRS.
In 2010 she was the winner of the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award for her song "Rest of My Days" and in 2009 was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award in the New/Emerging Artist category. Hanson was a New Folk Finalist at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas in 2009.
She has toured across Canada and internationally as a solo artist. She has toured in Europe and the Southern US with fellow Canadian songwriter Lynn Miles, and the United Kingdom and Ireland as support for Grammy-nominated Nashville based songwriters Steve Forbert in October 2012 and Gretchen Peters in March 2012. In 2014, she performed at the CBC Canada Day Songwriters' Circle.
Lynne also collaborates with Lynn Miles in the band project The LYNNeS, who released their debut album Heartbreak Song for the Radio in 2018. In 2018 The LYNNeS were nominated for 5 Canadian Folk Music Awards, winning English Songwriter of the Year and Ensemble of the Year.
Lynne's latest release ' Just Words ' was met with critical acclaim. It's her 7th studio album. Produced by Jim Bryson. Recorded at North of Princess, Kingston, Ontario and Fixed Hinge Studio, Stittsville, Ontario.
The song ' Higher Ground ' from the album was chosen as Blues & Roots Radio's International Song Contest 2019 overall winner by an international panel of jurors from the station based in Canada, the USA, the UK, Europe, and Australia.
On his new album Drifters, Edmonton, Alberta singer/songwriter Joe Nolan continues a remarkable creative run over the past two years, getting down to the bone with a 10-track predominantly acoustic collection, his first to be released in partnership with Canadian roots music label Fallen Tree Records.
Nolan, who has been heralded by outlets such as the Globe & Mail and No Depression as a roots rock wunderkind, is a Canadian star to watch out for in 2020 as he continues to build upon the a massive year that came in the wake of his 2018 independently released album Cry Baby. Over that time, Nolan played over 175 shows across North America and six European countries, most while traveling in his faithful 2003 Dodge Caravan. Along the way he also recorded the EP Rootsy House Sessions in Sweden, and signed deals with Mongrel Music Agency (Chuck Prophet, Lake Street Dive), as well as European label Rootsy Records (John Prine, Patti Griffin, Anderson East). His work also earned the Cobalt Prize for songwriting at the 2018 Maple Blues Awards, as well as Blues Artist Of The Year at the Edmonton Music Awards. Furthermore, Nolan was nominated for Roots Solo Artist Of The Year at Breakout West 2019, capping off a truly momentous comeback, which is still in its early stages.
Drifters begins the next leg of that journey, made at Riverdale Recorders in Edmonton with engineer Scott Franchuk, which takes fresh material written in the midst of touring and combines them with songs that date back to Nolan’s late teens. However, the common thread among them is reflected in the album’s title: songs of longing, wanderlust and lost love.
“I wanted to keep it as stripped down as possible,” Nolan says. “We recorded most of it to my Tascam 2-track reel-to-reel in an attempt to make something that resembled the sounds of my favorite records from the ‘70s with that real warm tape sound and vibe. I also have always wanted to collaborate with guitarist Kevin Breit [Norah Jones] and he graciously added some beautiful touches to this album.”
In the past, Nolan has stated that his definition of rock ‘n roll is an artist letting their heart bleed on and off stage, without any fear. There’s probably no better way to describe Drifters, as on it Nolan once again demonstrates a willingness to venture deeply into the dark corners of his psyche. It’s a trait that puts him in good company with artists he has shared stages with over the past decade, from Wilco and Shakey Graves to The Strumbellas and Hawksley Workman. He may be categorized as a roots artist, but Nolan never wants that tag to define him completely. By drawing inspiration from vintage rock ‘n roll, blues, country and punk, he intends to keep pushing boundaries with every record he makes.
“I’m feeling as if I’m becoming much more myself, and being true to who I am,” Nolan says. “I have become a better listener and I have less fear of what people think. I am doing what I love, making music, and if I can continue to do that then for me, that’s success.”