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Stevie Connor Introduces Five Artists

You Should Get To Know

​Born in Scotland and brought up in the Scottish highland piping tradition from an early age, taught by his father, a world champion piper, and further tutored by Charlie Williamson,  a world class player, at the age of thirteen onwards, he went on to play at a very high level with many leading players of the day. He has won many band and solo piping contests, and, as well as being a world class piper he plays whistles, guitars and bodhran to a high standard.

He has performed with pipe bands, folk bands and rock bands along with being on call as a session player contributing to over twenty albums including his own which contains some of his original songs and tunes. His compositions have been recorded and published  by other artists ,including Wolfstone, Dougie Pincock ( Battlefield Band ) and others.

Since moving to Canada in 2009 Stevie has dedicated himself to the promotion of independent artists from around the world, founding The Sound Cafe Magazine (2020),  Blues & Roots Radio (2012) and Boreal PR (2018). He is editor-in-chief of this magazine, head of programming and produces shows for Blues & Roots Radio including his own weekly  one hour show, Under The Radar. 

He has won a number of awards for his work including the Mississauga Board Of Trade/ Business Association - Home Based Business Excellence Award on two separate occasions, 2014 and 2017, and most recently was the recipient of the ISSA Award (International Singer-Songwriters Association) for Best International Radio Station 2021.


Stevie has served as a juror for a number of years in various categories for The Juno Awards, The Canadian Folk Music Awards and is on the nominations panel for The Maple Blues Awards in Canada.





We asked Stevie to introduce us to five artists we should be listening to, and because of the high volume of music that lands on his desk, we gave him a couple of extra artists to suggest.

Stevie said "The artists I've chosen for this article could all change tomorrow, there has been so many great new artists emerging over the course of the last year or two, all but one of the artists below have recently released their debut album, and I'd highly recommend the readers checking them out."



Award-winning singer/songwriter Grace Pettis has released her highly-anticipated debut full album on MPress Records titled Working Woman.


The record features an all-female/non-binary band, and was produced by singer-songwriter Mary Bragg and mixed by 2x Grammy® award winner Shani Gandhi. The rest of the credits on the album include an all-female/non-binary team as well, including co-writers, the photographer, and the graphic designer. Featured artists include Indigo Girls ("Landon"), Ruthie Foster ("Pick Me Up"), Dar Williams ("Any Kind of Girl"), The Watson Twins ("Never Get It Back"), Gina Chavez ("Mean Something"), and Mary Bragg ("Paper Boat").


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Following a string of warmly received singles over the past year, Calgary, Alberta-based singer/songwriter Kyle McKearney has released his new solo album Down-Home. Produced by the renowned Russell Broom (Jann Arden/Leeroy Stagger/Joe Nolan/Mariel Buckley), Down-Home is poised to be one of the year's most hotly anticipated Americana debuts.


Born and raised in small-town northern British Columbia, Kyle McKearney grew up immersed in Country and Bluegrass music. He followed that passion by first moving to Nashville upon finishing high school, where he absorbed the city’s atmosphere and learned how much of its classic music was made. Taking these lessons back home, where he’s now settled near Calgary, Alberta, he began applying them to his work on stage and in the studio, all while honing his skills as a singer/songwriter.


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Izzy Burns is an eighteen year old singer-songwriter from Moscow, Idaho, USA, she has already been placed in finalist lists of prestigious international songwriting competitions, it's testament to the quality of her creations, and for someone so young, there is a long bright future ahead if she maintains her current path.


The latest album from Izzy is called A Heartbeat Of Your Time and contains five beautifully crafted original songs. Izzy sings indie music with folk and jazz undertones.




American recording artist, Zach Person, is the new face of guitar rock. Emerging out of Austin, Texas, Person plays loud, raw, and connects with his music fans on a primal sonic level. Those seeing him for the first time share one thing in common: they are instant, lifelong fans.


Only 24 years old, Person has a swagger, talent and grit beyond his years. With the poise of a seasoned veteran on stage and the stylings of a mega star, he commands an audience in seconds.


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Singer-songwriter and pop artist Max Parker burst onto the music scene in 2019 and hasn’t slowed down since.


In 2021 Max Parker released his full debut album. The full length was produced by award winning producers, including: John Nathaniel (One Republic, Switchfoot, Marie Mai), Derek Hoffman (Arkells, Ralph, Caveboy), Connor Seidel (Charlotte Cardin, Ralph), and Joel Stouffer (Ria Mae, bülow, Dragonette), and Parker continues to prove he is ‘one-to-watch’ in the Canadian music scene.


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Hailing from Hammond, Indiana and currently based in Nashville, Tennessee, Americana artist Kiely Connell blends working-class Rust Belt grit with Southern charm, defying regional classification and painting a detailed portrait of a life in modern America. On her debut LP, Calumet Queen, Connell pays tribute to her hometown near the Calumet River that shaped her personality while reflecting on the struggles one must endure to thrive in a harsh and often isolating world. 


Throughout Calumet Queen’s ten tracks, Connell plumbs the depths of Americana influence, combining breezy indie-folk with heavy swamp rock & roadhouse country twang. All of the tracks are supported by her dynamic vocals and poetic lyricism in a style that has been described as “Western Gothic.”



Newcastle’s Natalie Henry entered 2021 with a bang, successfully crowd-funding a brand-spankin-new album to the tune of $15,000. After recording at Rocking Horse Studios in the Byron Bay hinterland of New South Wales, Australia in February, Henry’s debut single, “Weed, Wine and Women”, was released 23rd April.


The album was produced by Country Music heavyweight Catherine Britt (toured and performed with the likes of Sir Elton John and Dolly Parton) and Michael Muchow (of ARIA charting music renown).


More artists from around the world you should get to know


David Dee Moore introduces five artists from Ireland



Francesca Fabris introduces five artists from Italy


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Peter Neri introduces five instrumental guitarists


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Craig Mills introduces five artists 


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David Chamberlain introduces five artists from Wales


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Stu Vincent introduces five bluegrass artists



Paul Long introduces five blues & roots artists 


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Stevie Lawrence introduces five artists 


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Beth Williams introduces five artists 



Ken Stearns introduces five artists from the USA


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Anne Connor introduces five artists from Canada



Rick Stuart introduces five artists from England



Ken Wallis introduces five blues artists from Canada



Nathan Seeckts introduces five artists from Australia


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Ian Freedman introduces five folk artists 


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Calum Macdonald introduces five artists 



Dan Raza introduces five artists 



Mike Kennedy introduces five artists 


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