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").
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.
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.