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Backstage with Douglas McLeanSocial shar

Douglas McLean a commencé à jouer de la musique à l'âge de 11 ans en tant que batteur. Il a écrit sa première chanson à 15 ans et il a commencé à enregistrer à 20 ans. Il a enregistré 5 albums et écrit une soixantaine de chansons ou plus, dont plusieurs vidéos.

Douglas a un profond amour pour la poésie, en particulier les œuvres de Leonard Cohen, TS Eliot et Rumi. Ses chansons reflètent ces influences profondes et en tant que parolier, il choisit de poursuivre le langage comme un stimulant profond pour la compréhension ; et l'art pratiqué de ce que Van Morrison appelle « le discours inarticulé du cœur ».


Plusieurs de ses chansons enregistrées ont été positionnées dans le Top 20 de la radio locale de Muskoka. Il joue des spectacles et des concerts locaux généralement rejoints par sa femme, la violoniste, Arlene McLean.


McLean travaille également avec d'autres artistes en tant que producteur exécutif ; vidéographie; animatrice de radio et écrivant pour les journaux locaux.

Douglas a parlé avec de nombreux artistes de leur processus d'écriture de chansons, vous pouvez écouter ces interviews, avec la musique de leurs albums, entrecoupées.

Écoutez plus d'interviews de nos coffres-fortsICI

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Chuck Jackson of The Legendary Downchild Blues Band


I had the opportunity to chat briefly with Chuck Jackson May 09th, 2023 about this summer’s tour and a special show at Massey Hall May 13, 2023.


Downchild is of course the inspiration for Hollywood stars Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi’s hit film The Blues Brothers. In fact, two Downchild songs “I Got Everything I Need (Almost)” and “Shotgun Blues” are found on The Blues Brothers smash album Briefcase Full of Blues.


The inaugural Erin McCallum Blues Legend & Legacy Distinction Award was presented to Chuck Jackson, just recently, Chuck is a musician, also the founder and Artistic Director of the Tim Horton's Southside Shuffle in Port Credit, Ontario. (Look out for more updates on this amazing initiative here and also on the dedicated website page at Blues and Roots Radio (our sister platform), who are also based in Port Credit, Ontario.)

It was just announced that, leader and co-founder, Donnie Walsh, often called the 'Father of Canadian Blues', will be inducted into the Kitchener Blues Festival Hall of Fame on August 11, 2023 and receive the Mel Brown Award to join past recipients, Buddy Guy, Holger Petersen and David Wilcox. Donnie is a member of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, alongside some of the greatest songwriters of our time, like Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell.


The Legendary Downchild Blues Band is a Canadian blues institution with an international reputation. They have shared the stage with American blues icons B.B. King (at Massey Hall), Buddy Guy and John Lee Hooker to name a few and have performed around the world, leaving fans thoroughly entertained wherever the go.

It’s tempting and not altogether far-fetched to apply an engine metaphor to the mighty Downchild, one of the planet’s foremost, most fêted, longest-running blues outfits with quite possibly the best back story ever told.


Roaring through bracing, high-octane performances since 1969, the band founded and continuously steered by harmonica and guitar ace Donnie “Mr. Downchild” Walsh is as vibrant today as when Dan Aykroyd and the late John Belushi went sniffing around for inspiration for their brilliant Blues Brothers venture back in the 1970s. The pair elevated Downchild’s “Shotgun Blues” and Walsh’s “(I Got Everything I Need) Almost” to smash status on their 1978 Briefcase Full of Blues record.


Actually, the 2017 iteration of Downchild — with each member boasting a minimum of 20 years of service — might be the most electrifying yet. For proof, simply check out the sextet’s towering, lid-lifting, juke-joint–jumping 18th studio album, Something I’ve Done, a bona fide group effort and a sonic highlight in a 50-year career spilling over with them.


Internal combustion certainly describes scorchers like the swaggering, harp-goosed “Mississippi Woman, Mississauga Man,” the thundering piano-pummelled title track, and opener “Albany, Albany” which contrasts a singalong chorus with sharp melody forwarded by Pat Carey’s marvellously skronking sax.


Indeed, if Downchild didn’t exist, the blues world would have to invent them. Who else could so clearly serve as contemporary torchbearers for riveting original music firmly rooted in tradition while acting as a thriving spiritual link to past greats like Sonny Boy Williamson II, James Cotton, and B.B. King?


But don’t take our word for it. Downchild’s epic reputation has been reaffirmed time and again.


Witness their 2014 Blues Album of the Year Juno Award for their last studio effort, Can You Hear The Music — their second Juno win overall. Their boatload of Maple Blues Awards. Their marquee billing on the globe’s most prestigious stages. And, of course, their inimitable 1973 reading of Big Joe Turner’s classic “Flip, Flop and Fly” which placed Walsh and band co-founder, late brother Richard “Hock” Walsh on the charts and in the souls of music fans worldwide.


“I was pretty lucky to get a hit record just a few years after starting the band,” Walsh confirms. “After that, the rest is geography. You just get in the van and go, and that’s what we did. For the longest time, we played 250 to 300 dates a year.”


Musical careers don’t rev higher than that. But how does Downchild keep the creative process fresh, preventing itself from becoming an oldies machine? Band-wide songwriting input, that’s how.


“The fact that a bunch of guys in the band have been writing songs means this album has a different flavour to it,” says Walsh, previously the principal songwriter on Downchild records. “We are really looking forward to playing these songs live.”


“It’s a challenge to go into the studio and come up with new tunes but it’s a fun challenge,” Downchild singer Chuck Jackson adds. “And it’s really fun for us to play new songs when we go on tour. We will always play the staples but doing the new tunes keeps us fresh. We’re not a jukebox.”


Something I’ve Done is a truly collaborative effort, with Walsh writing the brisk instrumental “Evelyn,” Jackson penning “Albany, Albany” and the cheeky “Mississippi Woman, Mississauga Man,” bassist Gary Kendall chipping in “Mailbox Money” and “Take A Piece of My Heart,” keyboardist Michael Fonfara bringing “Something I’ve Done” and “Can’t Get Mad at You,” and drummer Mike Fitzpatrick offering “Into the Fire.”


Rounding out the album’s stellar 10-track roster is “Worried About The World” by noted B.C.-based bluesman David Vest and “She Thinks I Do” by onetime Downchild member, late singer John Witmer, a song that had essentially been mothballed until now.


“Quite a story with that song,” Walsh allows of Witmer’s rollicking but wryly mournful tune. “It’s never been part of our live set, we never recorded it and John passed away a long time ago (in 2004). I don’t think we played it even when John was alive. But it’s kind of a tribute to him.”


While the writing behind Something I’ve Done marks a new way of working for Downchild, the album’s recording found the band sticking with the tried and true. The six assembled at Toronto’s Loud Mouse studio with award-winning engineer L. Stu Young who also assisted on Downchild’s Can You Hear The Music and who has a history with the band dating back to the mid-1990s. (Other Young credits include Prince, Triumph, Alan Doyle, David Wilcox, Great Big Sea, The Guess Who, and Prairie Oyster).


“Since we made the last record, they have acquired a baby grand piano, so this time we were able to do the whole record there,” bassist Kendall says of Loud Mouse. “The studio has three different rooms separated by the control room, so we could all have visual contact. It helps if you can look at someone while you’re playing, as well as hearing them. And L. Stu Young has great ears.”


Says Jackson, “On the new album, you will see various songwriting credits but it is very much a collaboration with everybody adding their two cents.”


“I think we are keeping a tradition alive, whereas a lot of newer bands are leaning more to blues-rock,” Kendall notes. “This is not blues rock. It’s jump blues. We are trying to move the form forward, writing songs that relate to today, but we have a line we don’t cross.”


“And we all know each other so well that things tend to come easy,” Walsh offers, namechecking Kendall’s “Mailbox Money” as an example of a song that hit the sweet spot in the studio. “Over the years, there have been many different players in Downchild, but now we’ve stuck with the same guys as everyone gets along personally as well as musically. That comes off in the live performances, too.”


Now that the new album is done, Downchild is ready to do what it does best: perform, taking blues on the road to fans old and new from Nanaimo, B.C. to Norway and back again. “We really hope people get a chance to hear this record,” Jackson says. “It would be great to win another Juno but it’s not really about awards. We are all still very hungry to make this music, no doubt about it. We love what we do.


“These days with Downchild, we have people coming to see us who have been following us for 40 years and they bring out their children who now bring out their children,” Jackson howls. “We hope this music can generate interest in younger people and keep the blues alive.”


Can You Hear the Music (Live)

Mississippi Woman, Mississauga Man (Live) [feat. Erja Lyytinen]

Hog Wild


Bryan Bassett of Foghat

“Slow Ride”, “Fool for the City”, “I Just Want to Make Love to You”, “Third Time Lucky” “Drivin’ Wheel”, “Stone Blue”, “Honey Hush”, “Home in My Hand”, “Road Fever” and “Terraplane Blues”.


It’s been over 50 years since anyone had to ask: What’s a Foghat? The reason no one asks anymore is obvious. Foghat is a band. In 2023, Foghat turned 52 years old. In November of this year, they will release a new album entitled 'Sonic Mojo'. They are still out on the road, traveling across the land and bringing their infectious boogie to packed houses full of adoring fans nearly every night. A Foghat concert is every bit as much fun and intense in 2023 as it was in 1977 when their classic multi-platinum album, 'Foghat Live' broke them around the world. Looking back, it’s only fitting that it was a live album that made Foghat a household name. The band wouldn’t have it any other way.


Foghat continues to appeal to fans of all ages because their music is timeless. They play with an energy that perpetuates youthful exuberance, no matter how old they may be. This band loves to play music. This band lives to play music. Those in the audience, whether they discovered Foghat in the video game Guitar Hero III, from the movie Dazed & Confused, or they discovered them when they purchased their 1972 debut album, knows they are the real deal. That’s why a Foghat audience is so diverse, yet unified. Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers and Millennials and on down all come together with a single purpose when the band comes to town. They wanna boogie…and boogie they do!


For Foghat fans, the announcement that a new album titled Sonic Mojo will be released November 10 is no surprise. They’ve learned to expect new releases from this band. Sonic Mojo will be met with the same enthusiasm and excitement as their other recent releases which include 2010’s Last Train Home, 2016’s Under the Influence, 2017’s Live at the Belly Up and 2021’s 8 Days on the Road, which was recorded live at Daryl’s House Club in Pawling, NY. These releases join a long history of great music put out by the band.


Foghat began back in 1971 when Lonesome Dave Peverett and Roger Earl decided to leave Savoy Brown and start a band of their own. History has proven that this was a great decision. Over the years, Foghat has earned eight Gold Records, one Platinum Record and one Double-Platinum record. As with any band that survives for over five decades, there have been ups and downs, and tragedies and triumphs. Through it all, they moved ahead in one form or another for only one reason, The Music. For Foghat, it’s all about the music, always has been and always will be.


Sadly, the band has lost three beloved members over the years. Founding member, songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Lonesome Dave passed away in 2000. In 2005, slide guitarist extraordinaire Rod Price left us and then, in 2018, the band lost long time bassist Craig MacGregor. Through all the losses, founding member and drummer, Roger Earl, kept the music, and the band, moving forward.


Now, in 2023, Foghat consists of Roger Earl pounding the skins, long time member Bryan Bassett (Molly Hatchet, Wild Cherry) on lead/slide guitar, bassist Rodney O’Quinn (Pat Travers Band) on bass. The newest member of Foghat who has played with Foghat side project Earl & The Agitators for 8 years, is vocalist and guitarist Scott Holt (Buddy Guy).


These four members remain true to the original spirit of Foghat. They play in reverence to those that have gone on. They understand that Foghat exists solely to share the music they create with anyone who wants to hear it. They deliver each and every night, with giant smiles on their faces, for they are doing the same thing that every one of their fans is doing: Enjoying another Foghat Show.


If Foghat had been a one hit wonder and only had success with the song “Slow Ride” they’d still have a well-deserved place in rock ‘n’ roll history. Thankfully, however, Foghat has been so much more than that. Rest assured, this band will truly roll ‘til they're old and rock ‘til they drop. Roger Earl has been at this for 52 years and has no plan of stopping now.


Slow Ride (Single Version)

Drivin' Wheel (Live)


Séan McCann

2023 marks the XXX anniversary of one of Canada’s favourite bands and Séan will be celebrating the legend with fans across the country. Armed only with his voice, bodhrán (Celtic hand drum), and guitar, the Shantyman will lead us all in a Great Big Singalong as we sail back in time to the brighter bays of his native Newfoundland. Filled with foot stomping favourites and hilarious stories of life on the road, this is the only “tribute” show you need to see this decade and a nostalgic tip of the hat to the legacy of a truly iconic Canadian band.


“I never left the band but I had to get off the road because I was an addict. It’s taken a long time to be comfortable walking through those wild years again without getting triggered, but, I’ve been completely sober for 11 years now and my recovery has made me much stronger. I’m always careful, but I’m not fearful anymore.”


Sean says of the show, “30 years and a dozen albums equal a lot of songs to choose from. Whittling the set list down to just 20 songs was proving to be a challenge so I tasked my teenage sons with listening to some classic Great Big Sea over the holidays. I was very encouraged to learn that a lot of the old favourites were still “bangers”! The kids are alright…


Music is strong medicine and a song is never more powerful than when it is sung together with friends. I felt the end of our pandemic induced social isolation would have been met with a global celebration of peace and love but people are more bitterly divided now than ever. I sincerely believe singing together can help mend this wounded world.”

Séan McCann (the Shantyman) is a founder of the iconic Canadian folk rock band, Great Big Sea, and an Order of Canada recipient for his recovery advocacy. A survivor of sexual abuse and subsequent addiction, Séan has spent the last ten years touring North America as a solo concert performer and musical keynote speaker, singing and sharing his story with theatre audiences, front line workers, teachers, students, patients, inmates, veterans, and anyone who struggles with their mental health.


Séan believes that music is strong medicine and a song is never more powerful than when it is sung with a friend. 2023 marks the XXX anniversary of one of Canada’s favourite bands and Séan will be celebrating the legend with fans across the country.


Run Runaway

Go To Sea No More

Help Your Self



The Shantyman continues the Great Big Singalong as he tours throughout late summer and the fall.

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Christina Hutt

Christina Hutt’s new EP, ‘Beyond the Knowing”, released May of 2023, continues the allure of her initial Ep ‘Mirror Mirror’ and reacquaints audience’s with this powerful singer songwriter, as she maps a course toward her rightful musical destination.  


Christina can fill a room with her rich, resonant, out-of-this era voice and move

you with her honest, charismatic delivery.  Once described as a full-bodied glass of red

wine, her sound is reminiscent of the soul-stirring vocals you would have heard flowing from

a transistor radio in the late 50’s.  You will understand why Hutt has been dubbed “the

voice” in her home region of Muskoka, Ontario.  She welcomes you into the secrets of her

heart with fierce passion and endearing spirit. Christina’s ease in a diversity of genres

brings a captivating quality to her performances. The lyrics in her song “Cracks & Crevices”

take you deep into the chilling darkness of emotional anguish while her tune “Fifteen

Shades” makes you feel like you just might be at a Patsy Cline Tribute Show.

Hutt’s original song “I Should Have Changed” was just placed in the top 10 female songs of 2022 in the Blues & Roots Radio International Song Contest. This small town country girl is currently writing and recording new music with Canadian Music Hall Of Fame inductee, multi-instrumentalist, producer, Jeff Bird of the legendary Cowboy Junkies as well as singer/songwriter producer, Sue Smith.

Christina resides in Kearney, Ontario not far from her hometown, Sprucedale. She was drawn to music at the age of five when her parents bought her a wireless microphone and a Tina Turner album. She continues to be influenced by many artists, recognizing the soul in Etta James, Patsy Cline’s art of delivering a song, the poetry of Leonard Cohen, the warmth of Mary Chapin Carpenter, and the camaraderie of The Cowboy Junkies, to mention a few.


Six years ago, Christina began pursuing her dream to sing and perform music full time. Wholly determined, she launched herself out of her comfort zone on a mission to improve her chops and gain experience. Christina is now well known throughout Central Ontario for her passionate singing and her unique and resonant voice.


In the past several years Christina has performed on the VIA RAIL coast to coast train across Canada; released an EP; recorded backup vocals for Kerrville Folk Award winner Jon Brooks; and performed with Juno Award winner Blues artist Paul Reddick. Hutt has also worked with and been mentored by Juno award winner Blues singer, Rita Chiarelli, and one of Canada’s finest folk artists, Katherine Wheatley. Christina has opened for Canadian Country singers, Tim Hicks and Tyler Joe Miller as well as Juno Award winner Blues artist Paul James and Canadian Folk Singer Craig Cardiff.


Fifteen Shades

You keep On Coming Back

A Rookie In A Veterans Chair.

Wild Woman

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Big Little Lions

On June 9th, Big Little Lions released their first concept album (and seventh album) AMPM via Fallen Tree Records. The trans-continental folk-pop duo enlightens us from morning to night on the new album. Tackling anxiety and self-hate, the grind of daily life, the perils of parenting, and the value of community and forgiveness. The JUNO-winning collaborators once again charm with their intimate, clever, and relatable lyrics, paired with the melodic lilt of indie rock and pop.


Helen and Paul met at a conference for licensing music for TV and film, one is classically trained, the other self-taught and they create their music together from thousands of miles apart. Heavily influence by the likes of Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Police, Big Little Lions are masters of a catchy melody, great harmonies, and a cool turn of phrase.


They’ve been nominated and won many awards since their inception:

Nominated Canadian Folk Music Awards - Vocal Group of The Year 2020,

Nominated Roots Group of the Year - Break Out West 2018,

Canadian Songwriting Competition Folk Winner 2018,

Nominated for 2 Western Canadian Music Awards 2017,

Canadian Folk Music Awards - nominated Vocal Group and Contemporary Album 2016,

Canadian Folk Music Awards - Ensemble of the Year 2015,

Initial Collaboration under Helen Austin - JUNO Award Winner 2014,

John Lennon Songwriting Competition - Grand Prize, Lennon Award and Song of the Year 2013,

International Songwriting Competition/Unsigned Only - 2013/2014/2017/2018/2020.


The folk-pop duo Big Little Lions are Canadian Helen Austin (Royston, BC) and American Paul Otten (Springboro, Ohio). Their sound fuses the melodic sense of indie rock and pop with the intimate, heartfelt lyrics of acoustic folk and singer-songwriters. They were born out of a collaboration that won them a JUNO Award and a John Lennon songwriting prize in 2014, and have gone on to win a Canadian Folk Music Award, from their six nominations.


Licensed for use in numerous commercials, films, and TV shows, their music is jam-packed with emotion and tight harmonies – the sound of two people working happily side-by-side, for the enjoyment of fans from Brazil to the Philippines.


Choose Forward


It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere

Oh It’s You Again

Nearly Human

Why Won’t My Brain Stop

All Done Up

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Zoe Ackah

"This album is about how we view our past," shares Zoe. "I dedicated it to my grandmothers to pay homage to my own Southern roots. Every song has a story to tell - literally. "I Miss You (But My Aim is Getting Better)" started with a collection of horrible jokes my mother found in my grandfather's personal effects after he passed away. "Just a Trickle, Just a Nickel" is a reflection of my own experiences with homelessness and a recent experience with a mentally ill friend who disappeared into the streets. "What’s a Little Fire?" is about me burning down the cabin in the woods I lived in as a child. But just as they did in my grandmothers’ time, I talk about many heavy subjects with the tenderness and lightheartedness still expected of women."


Zoe Ackah is a genre defying and imaginative singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist based in Toronto, Canada.


Known on the Toronto scene as a singing drummer and studio backup vocalist,

Ackah is now forging a solo path with fierce determination and a trunk full of creative

ideas. In late 2020, she released her debut album, The World Inside, and has now

released a second full-length, This Hen, a record steeped in classic country. “I wrote This Hen for my mother and grandmothers, true ladies of the South,” Zoe explains.


This Hen’s first song Gotta Stop Loving You (But I Can’t) is a catchy Country ditty. With its 70s harmonies and weeping guitar, it is as hopeful as it is resigned to love’s futility. “Initially written about one guy, I realized I was actually writing about the same emotionally unavailable guy I keep dating, over and over again.”


The album’s title track This Hen (Is Starting to Hate Men) is sure to draw the ire of the world’s roosters, Sung from the perspective of a chicken, this song is an interrogation of the patriarchy. A banger of a tune, with all the cluckin’ and pluckin’ you’d imagine from a song made inside the barnyard that is a mother’s daily life.

The A-list of Toronto musicians featured on This Hen includes Kevin Breit, Ian de

Souza, Rebecca Hennessy, Davide Di Renzo, and a duet with John Borra. Their presence confirms the peer respect Ackah enjoys.


Zoe’s work resists any attempt at genre pigeonholing. Stylistic eclecticism is rooted

deep in her musical soul and her unique and agile voice has many faces. “I have been in every type of singing situation you can imagine, and that has given me the flexibility to follow my imagination,” she explains.


While studying for a Master’s Degree at York University focusing on choral conducting

and classical composition, Zoe also sang her heart out. “I basically sang in every choir

in the school – chamber choir, concert choir, women’s choir,” she recalls. “Music was

my solace then, in one of the most intense times of my life, as a single mother raising

three kids, two of whom were diagnosed with autism.”


Her family situation precluded recording or performing, and meant that, in her words,

“for 11 years, I could only sing the songs I’d written into the kitchen sink!” This period

reinforced the importance of music in Ackah’s life, however, and helps explain her prolific musical output. 


Prior to academic study and maternity, Zoe paid extensive dues on the Toronto scene,

working as a drummer and vocalist in bands ranging from noted all-female reggae

combos Women Ah Run Tings (Zoe was a co-founder) and The Sweet Sensation Band

to African bands. Her first collaborations in recent years was a power duo with reggae great Carl Harvey (Toots and The Maytals). She is a musician with a great breadth of knowledge and abundant musical chops.


Zoe’s focus is already directed to newer songs and recordings. “I have a fire,” she

declares. “My goal is to record 50 songs and put out three or four more records in the

next five or six years. Once I’ve made a record I don’t look back. My real joy in life is

creating songs and making a recording of them, and I now have a massive backlog.”




Gotta Stop Loving You (But I Can't)

Just a Trickle, Just a Nickel

What's a Little Fire?

 I Wanna Be Your Fool

This Hen (Is Starting to Hate Men)

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Sara Shiloh Rae

Creating a truly unique, original sound and a new musical vocabulary is a lofty goal for most bands. With their second album, The Sondheim Project, Sara Shiloh Rae & Bluebird Junction have done just that and more.


This is Stephen Sondheim as he has never been heard before. With five truly original arrangements of classics like “Send in the Clowns” and “Ladies who Lunch” the pandemic-formed band has roared its way into the classical, jazz, americana and world music scene with a sound that is fresh, sophisticated and entirely their own.


The idea of arranging the music of Sondheim for an americana-bluegrass-informed stringband is the brainchild of Ms. Rae and her partner, banjo player Max Hoetzel.


“Our idea was to take the quintessential American quality that is Sondheim — the wit, the neurosis, the warmth, and sophistication — and marry it to the other quintessential American art forms, which are bluegrass and americana.” said Hoetzel, who also produced the album.

A fearless interpreter in the contemporary classical music world, Sara Shiloh Rae (Sara Hershkowitz) has been celebrated for her interpretations of Ligeti, Luigi Nono, and John Cage with orchestras such as the BBC Scottish Symphony, the L.A. Philharmonic, and the Bergen Symphony.


It is a rare feat for a singer hailing from the classical world to have the colour palette, Ms. Rae has at her disposal. In these five Sondheim arrangements, she infuses aching vulnerability into a considerable vocal prowess, tinged with melancholy, joy, and dry wit. There is a beauty and warmth to her voice that is singular.


The arrangements by Myles Sloniker are transparent and sophisticated; the colours of the string band in fascinating juxtaposition to the song’s musical origins on Broadway. The EP features some of the hottest musical stars of the contemporary bluegrass scene: Alex Hargreaves on fiddle (currently on tour with Billy Strings) Mike Robinson on guitar (Sarah Jarosz) Jacob Jolliff on mandolin (Jacob Joli Band), Molly Aronson on cello, Myles Sloniker on bass and Max Hoetzel on banjo.


This five-track EP breathes new life into these beloved classics and gives a whole new perspective on some of Sondheim’s most brilliant songs.



“Ladies who Lunch” is Stephen Sondheim’s epic anthem of angry, drunken snark. Sara Shiloh Rae and her outstanding band, the bluegrass-inspired Bluebird Junction, give this Broadway classic a gorgeous banjo-and-fiddle laced treatment that is fresh, surprising and full of wit.


“Send in the Clowns”is Stephen Sondheim’s most well-known song. Sara Shiloh Rae & Bluebird Junction’s interpretation is a heartbreakingly fragile read on the Sondheim classic, weaving threads of chamber music, folk, and bluegrass into a whole tapestry of sound.

With “The Miller’s Son” from Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music” Sara Shiloh Rae & Bluebird Junction are pushing far into the bluegrass vernacular with a hoedown fiddle and banjo section that dares push the boundaries. Sara’s powerful vocals touch on a wide palette of colours and give a whole new perspective on this song.


“Sooner or Later” written by Stephen Sondheim for the 1990 film “Dick Tracey’s” character Breathless Mahoney was originally sung by Madonna. With a brilliant, fresh arrangement by Myles Sloniker, Bluebird Junction has taken a musical approach far from the big-band sound of the film, focusing instead on a sultry, intimate and sophisticated sound.


“Broadway Baby” is what happens when Broadway meets country. With a swinging, old-time country feel, Sara Shiloh Rae & Bluebird Junction bring easy charm and sweetness to the Sondheim classic.


Sara ShilohRae: Vocals Max Hoetzel: Banjo

Mike Robinson: Acoustic Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar Myles Sloniker: Bass

Alex Hargreaves: Fiddle Jacob Jolliff: Mandolin Molly Aronson: Cello


Arrangements by Myles Sloniker Tracking: Mike Robinson Hoetzel

Mixed by Joel Jacks at Joel Jacks Studios in Santa Ynez Produced by Max Hoetzel




Ladies Who Lunch

Broadway Baby

Send In the Clowns

Millers Son

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Marc Jordan

A songwriter’s songwriter, Marc Jordan is best known for writing (along with John Capek) “Rhythm of My Heart,” the 1991 smash hit for Rod Stewart. Marc’s songs have been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker, Diana Ross, Cher, Chicago, Bette Midler, Natalie Cole, Kenny Loggins, Kim Carnes and the Manhattan Transfer, to name a few.


Waiting for the Sun to Rise sees Jordan turning his gaze outward, writing from a place of weathered wisdom. “Rio Grande,” is the album’s centerpiece, and is a hymn to what’s left of the world, squandered potential and abiding hope live side by side, and a soaring solo by Grammy-winning trumpeter Randy Brecker tops off producer Lou Pomanti’s arrangement.


The stunning “Coltrane Plays the Blues” continues Jordan’s penchant for mid-century jazz references. Like his thematic cousin Paul Buchanan of the Blue Nile (whose “The Downtown Lights” is covered here), Jordan sets his stories in an after-hours netherworld populated by lonely lovers and disappointed dreamers. 


Jordan is a Juno Award and Genie Award winner, and in 2019 was Juno-nominated for his last album Both Sides. He is married to singer-songwriter Amy Sky, and in 2022, the duo recorded an album of duets entitled He Sang She Sang.




Rio Grande Intro / Frontier

Rio Grande

Bad Time to Say Goodbye

Cradle to the Grave

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

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Michael Jerome Browne

Three-time Canadian Folk Music Award winner (Traditional Singer, 2015; Solo Artist, 2012 & 2008), Recipient of the Blues With A Feeling Award at the 2020 Maple Blues Awards (with 35 nominations since 1999), five-time Juno Award Nominee in both the Roots/Traditional and Blues categories, Kerrville (Texas) New Folk Finalist -- Michael Jerome Browne is a multi-instrumentalist, a songwriter, and a living encyclopedia of American Roots music.


After three years of sporadic performing, Michael is hitting the road again and has released his new album “Gettin’ Together” in May of 2023. He traveled to different places to record with old and new friends: Harrison Kennedy, Mary Flower, Eric Bibb, John Sebastian, Colin Linden, J.J. Milteau, and many others. Getting together with these great musicians in the studio was highly therapeutic.


Whether he's gliding a slide across his resonator guitar, creating an intense mood with his tremolo 12-string guitar, or “hammering the claw” on his gourd banjo, Michael's passion and virtuosity always shine through. In the true tradition of folk music, his performances inspire us to see the interconnections between the many cultures and influences that gave birth to American Roots Music. Gospel, Blues, Old-Time, Country, Soul and Cajun, expect to hear all of this and more from a performer who's been called a street-smart archivist and an absolute treasure.


Born in South Bend, Indiana, Michael is the son of English professors whose love of music and poetry inspired them to take their nine year old son to the great jazz, blues and folk clubs in their adopted home of Montreal. By the age of fourteen, MJB was already a regular on the vibrant folk and coffee house scene adding banjo, fiddle, and mandolin to his masterful command of all variety of guitars and harmonica.


A musician's musician, when he isn't performing his own material he is in demand backing up and recording with other artists, most notably Eric Bibb, whose 2017 Grammy nominated CD “Migration Blues” he co-produced, played and sang on.


Please Help

Fixin' To Die Blues

Diamond Joe

Living With The Blues

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Friendly Rich

Friendly Rich, Canada’s legendary songsmith of dark and deranged folk songs, has just released his highly anticipated new LP Man Out of Time (March 31st on We Are Busy Bodies).


Man Out of Time is a riveting soundscape and explosive investigation of uneasy themes and sonic presentation not heard readily in the mainstream, but worthy of every minute spent in listening closely to it.   


Friendly Rich describes his latest studio recording as a “dark reflection of the pandemic”. But there’s more going on here - a punk sensibility with a folky delivery creates a unique sound that is as dark and hopeless as the pandemic that inspired it. Reflecting on his inspiration for the new album Friendly Rich had to say “I hope you enjoy this release; this work means a lot to me, I honour the great Quebecois songwriter Felix Leclerc, and I go to even darker places as a songwriter. I wanted to honour Felix Leclerc's music, and was able to dive into it with Mike T Kerr and Drew Jurecka to help.” 


What came out is a dark and unique interpretation that sets the tone for this record. With 4 Leclerc songs embedded throughout the recording, Man Out of Time shows the many sides of Friendly Rich as a composer and performer.


Man Out of Time features a rolling cast of Canadian musicians and guest performances by Brian Poole (Renaldo & The Loaf), Kevin Breit (Nora Jones, Hugh Laurie), Christine Duncan (Tanya Tagaq), Michael Ward-Bergeman (Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble) and many more unique musicians. The full-length recording features unique interpretations of legendary Quebecois songwriter Felix Leclerc among Friendly Rich's honed brand of deranged folk songs. The music can be described as high-energy, rhythmic and atmospheric, ranging from sullen stripped-down ballads to frenetic folky foot-stompers. Friendly Rich’s music is theatrical and melodic and brings to mind early Bowie with hints of operatic rock in the vein of T-Rex and Roky Erickson. Friendly Rich recalls “I really enjoyed making this record, flexing a new collaborative muscle in the process, sharing files internationally and pulling it all together. The last recording, I released before the pandemic was "We Are All Terrorists" a recording that featured over 75 guest musicians, recorded in several studios in Quebec and Ontario. From there, I was wanting to get more insular in my approach anyhow,  I was deeming a return to the days when I'd record naked in my parents' basement. Then the pandemic happened and voila, I present you...Man Out of Time.”


Hailing from Oakville, Ontario, Friendly Rich has composed background music for three seasons of MTV’s The Tom Green Show as well as a myriad of tunes as The Lollipop People released on his own eclectic record label, The Pumpkin Pie Corporation. More recently his work has been released in Europe by Hazelwood Records, which has led to playing in the massive summer festival circuit including the Fusion Fest in Germany, and the Balkan Fever Festival and Danube Festival in Vienna. On top of his musical career, Friendly Rich also just completed his PhD in Music Education from the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Lee Bartel. His doctoral research was on musical playgrounds as a vehicle for community development. Man Out of Time is released by We Are Busy Bodies and will be followed by tours in Canada and the US. Things are busy with Friendly Rich and The Pumpkin Pie Corporation, but as Friendly says, “One can either produce, or become produce.”



Alone On The Bus

Man Out Of Time


Petit Bonheur

Salvation Mountain

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Justin Rutledge


Acclaimed songwriter Justin Rutledge released his tenth album entitled ‘Something Easy’, May 19th,2023, via Outside Music.


“Something Easy” is an album and set of songs of rare beauty, each song is a world unto itself and yet draws you into a compelling narrative of discovery and understanding.


The new album was no small feat for Rutledge. He decided to write, record and produce the whole album, with one, then later two, bouncing baby boys at his feet.


Indeed, it was the arrival of Rutledge’s first son that convinced him he should level up on this record. As any new parent knows, free time is at a premium when there’s an infant in the house, and the Toronto-born-and-bred singer/songwriter didn’t want to waste any of that time. He took guitar lessons for the first time in his life, even though he’s been making a living as a professional musician for 20 years now. He went back to school and got a degree in Arts Administration, taking an internship behind the scenes at iconic Canadian concert venue Massey Hall. And, of course, he learned how to make a record by himself while simultaneously learning how to be a parent.


“It started after Jack, our first born, came along,” says Rutledge. “I had no time to go into the studio, so I started learning how to engineer and record myself. I ended up producing the whole album at home, working for 45 minutes to an hour each night for 2 years and calling friends for advice about the recording process. It was probably the slowest album I’ve ever made, but at the same time, I was teaching myself the basics of engineering.” He continues, "All of these songs are about youth, and I hadn’t realized that. And it’s interesting because I feel that, as a new dad, there’s this transition that’s happening where suddenly I’m realizing I’m in my 40s. And what’s happening is that our wild-and-free years are suddenly over there, and our ‘middle-aged’ years are now right here. I feel like I’m at this apex where I’m thinking a lot about my youth, But I’m not lamenting anything. I’m not old, I’m just shocked at how suddenly this new phase of life has begun.”


He'll celebrate the album release with a string of Ontario dates.

Thursday, June 22, 2023 - Toronto, ON - TD Music Hall

Friday, June 23, 2023 - Ottawa, ON - Red Bird Live

Saturday, June 24, 2023 - Ottawa, ON - Red Bird Live

Sunday, June 25, 2023 - Picton, Prince Edward County - Acoustic Grill


Accolades have piled up at Rutledge's feet since he released his first album, No Never Alone, via Six Shooter Records in Canada and Slowdive/Mojave 3, main man Neil Halstead’s Shady Lane Records overseas back in 2004, to rave reviews in such international publications as Uncut and NME. He won a Juno Award for Roots Album of the Year in 2014 for the album Valleyheart – which also landed him a Canadian Folk Music Award – and has since been nominated for three more Junos. He’s been long listed twice for the critic-voted Polaris Music Prize and has penned songs with Booker Prize-winning author of ‘The English Patient,’ Michael Ondaatje. Rutledge has also had songs included in film and television, including the Zac Efron film The Lucky One or TV shows The Blacklist, Vampire Diaries, and Teen Wolf. The music gets around.



Angry Young Man



Head for the Hills

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Ronnie Douglas

“Music is Medicine”, the new solo album from Ronnie Douglas, was put together during the pandemic since he wasn’t able to perform with his working band, The Ronnie Douglas Blues Band. The album is touching not only for its songwriting and stellar guitar playing but also for its tender appeal to the soul and the true healing powers found in music, no matter the genre.


I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of the album that came out March 2023. It is quite a gem and our conversation, delayed in part by some technical issues, focuses on Ronnie’s understanding that Music is Medicine for the spirit, body, soul and mind.    


Ronnie Douglas and his band will perform live June 11, at the Etwell Concert series, in Huntsville; 2012 Etwell Road, Huntsville, ON.


“Ronnie Douglas grew up in the First Nations village of Rama, geographically close to but culturally far removed from Toronto. He recalls a strong sense of both home and community, in particular, the influence of his 'big brother' Larry, a respected musician in his own right who introduced the younger sibling to a wide variety of musical stylings" - John Taylor,


Previous Maple Blues Award Nominees as Best New Blues Artist and 2-time Canadian Aboriginal Music Award recipient in Best Blues Category, The Ronnie Douglas Band has performed at various jazz and blues venues and festivals. Notable performances include Mariposa Folk Festival, The Southside Shuffle, Wasaga Beach Blues Festival, and their music has been featured on APTN’s Rez Bluez television.




Helping Hand (feat. Leanne Douglas)

Blues You Can Use

Right Between The Eyes



Maggie Fraser

Maggie Fraser sat down with Douglas in conversation about her riveting new album, "The Way That I Wish It Was”.


Maggie is a songwriter’s songwriter. Her songs are compelling, mysterious vignettes that completely capture the imagination and travel into unexpected and surprising terrain. Maggie Fraser is a Canadian singer/songwriter living in Toronto, Ontario.


Identifying primarily as a songwriter in the Folk/Americana genre, her songs have been recorded and performed by other artists, most notably Ontario singer and multi-instrumentalist, Colleen Hodgson, in her 2008 release Songs of Maggie.


Over the last few years, Maggie has stepped up to the mic and begun performing solo around the Toronto area. "The Way that I Wish it Was" is her first release as both singer and songwriter.


"The Way That I Wish It Was”, with songs distinguished by a unique lyrical quality, seems to know how to find its way into that dark, secret place inside and keep us company there."



Wild Black Dogs

Your Ghost

After The Loving

Song For Susan



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James Banning

James Banning is the lead vocalist and songwriter for the Quebec based band, Stunned. I met with James for a lively conversation in late January 2023. I am thrilled to share their exciting sound on Backstage.


Stunned is a 4-piece pop/rock band with some progressive elements. Stunned have recorded two albums thus far, Only Human and Alien Satellite. Both are fast paced, musically inventive and filled with thoughtful, timely lyrics, which reflect James’ political and philosophical outlook on the era we live in and his hopes for a better future. 


The indie band moved to Ottawa this year, in hopes of finding a broader fan base, while establishing their brand of rock in the thriving club scene. Stunned is an undiscovered Canadian gem. The band is preparing to release their third album in 2023. 




Tinfoil Hat Man

Only Human

Live this life


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Alex Southey

“Common Fantasies” was released December 16th, 2022. This explorative, intriguing and progressive album came to my attention somewhat serendipitously over the holiday season. I was immediately taken by the songs and a new artist that I was not, to date, aware of. Alex and I spoke January 17, 2023 and I am very pleased to introduce his music on Backstage on the Sound Café.   


Southey's immersive indie rock lives at the intersection of shoegaze and folk. By fusing these disparate genres together with cerebral, emotionally insightful songwriting he is one of the most interesting, endearing voices in this generation of Canadian musicians. 


Southey began as a solo acoustic artist in 2019. With each subsequent release (2019's winter folk Christmastown LP, the 2020 bells-and-whistles follow-up You're Not Just A Body to Me LP, the 2021 simultaneously weighty and spry ... And the Country Stirred, and finally its 2022 idiosyncratic, glitchy little brother My Nights On the Island EP) Southey has developed an increasingly passionate fanbase, along with positive recognition from Domionated, Exclaim!, The Manitoban, CBC Radio, CHCH Morning Show, and more.


In late 2021, Southey developed a backing band consisting of Christina Dare on bass and backing vocals, Gab Lavoie on synth and piano, and Craig McCann on drums and percussion, which took his performances from intimate displays of songwriting craft all the way to an emotive full-band in-your-face experience you'll have playing in your head long after it's finished.




The Gods are Fighting


Common Fantasies

You Want It Brighter





Lynn Harrisson

Lynn Harrison se joint à Douglas pour discuter de son nouvel album,Trésoret interprète trois chansons acoustiquement pendant leur discours, laissant la magie de ces chansons parler d'elles-mêmes.  


"Un artiste doué connu pour ses chansons réfléchies et sincères d'une beauté, d'une puissance et d'une perspicacité hors du commun ; L'auteure-compositrice-interprète torontoise Lynn Harrison est une présence inspirante sur les scènes canadiennes. Son nouveau septième album solo Treasure (produit par Douglas September) met en vedette les musiciens David Woodhead, Bob Cohen et Ambrose Pottie.


Harrison célébrera la sortie de l'album en concert et en ligne sous forme d'événement en direct le samedi 25 février à l'église Eastminster, 310 Danforth Avenue, Toronto. Les portes ouvriront à 18h30 avec de la musique à partir de 19h30. Les billets et le lien Livestream coûtent 20 $ chez Eventbrite ou à la porte.


Lynn Harrison est une conteuse concise, une auteure-compositrice prolifique et une spécialiste de la traduction de phrases mémorables. En tant que ministre ordonnée Unitarian Universalist (UU) servant actuellement à la First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, il est clair que dans tous les aspects de son travail, Harrison présente un message inspirant d'amour, d'espoir et de justice.


Trésorest un album sur le fait de rester sain d'esprit dans un monde fou ; affronter le changement avec amour et optimisme ; un cycle de prières de 12 chansons à la fois personnelles et universelles - d'un auteur-compositeur-interprète, dont le lyrisme habile, la sensibilité mélodique et la voix captivante sont sans égal. Harrison révèle les choses qu'elle chérit et, ce faisant, fournit une carte à la nôtre. Écouter Treasure, c'est comme avoir une expérience spirituelle sans avoir à aller dans une église.


SurTrésor, Lynn Harrison a documenté les nombreux trésors petits mais significatifs de sa vie et réfléchi à ceux qui sont à notre disposition à tous. Comme il est tout à fait approprié que ces chansons elles-mêmes soient aussi des trésors. Il suffit d'écouter pour les trouver.


Lynn joue trois sélections de Treasure :


"Parlons-nous comme des arbres" est une méditation réfléchie et poignante sur la communication au niveau de l'âme, avec les autres et avec la terre. Les paroles de cette chanson ont inspiré la pochette et la pochette de l'album.


Au son hypnotique et pénétrant de la guitare rythmique de Harrison, "Punctuation" met ingénieusement en parallèle les périodes, les points d'interrogation et les phrases d'un auteur avec ceux de nos vies. C'est une prière musicale intime et réfléchie pour les tournants de toutes sortes.


"Good Songs" est une pièce solo acoustique au cœur tendre mettant en vedette la voix intime et la guitare étincelante de Harrison, affirmant la valeur des chansons pour inspirer l'amour et guérir le monde. C'est une auteure-compositrice magistrale célébrant le pouvoir de sa profession choisie.


Aidez-moi à faire la prochaine bonne chose

Chaque jour précieux

Parlons-nous comme des arbres


Bonnes chansons


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Kate Weekes


Sur son 4e album, Better Days Ahead, l'auteure-compositrice-interprète québécoise Kate Weekes explore "l'espace liminal créé par les confinements et les plans annulés".  inspiré par les voyages, Better Days Ahead nécessitait une toute nouvelle façon d'écrire, utilisant des repères internes pour cartographier un moment dans le temps. Composant principalement dans les collines de la Gatineau au Québec, Weekes trouvait que « la forêt boréale et le Bouclier canadien étaient de beaux endroits pour passer une période difficile ». En effet, les chansons extrêmement éclectiques rassemblées sur Better Days Ahead – que Weekes décrit de diverses manières comme «des ballades de meurtre-suicide influencées par les Appalaches, une folk-pop hymne, des valses instrumentales fantaisistes» et «un cow-boy à cheval de mauvaise humeur rencontre le rock britannique» – annoncent une artiste farouchement détachée des conventions musicales mais capable d'articuler sa vision avec précision.


Tous les albums sont des sortes de récits de voyage, des plongées profondes dans des mondes étrangers (parfois familiers) entreprises avec un peu plus qu'une guitare, un carnet de notes et un désir inextinguible d'explorer. Peu de voyages artistiques ont été aussi vastes que celui monté par Kate Weekes alors qu'elle assemblait 'Taken by Surprise', enregistré en 2019 avec James Stephens à Chelsea, QC. Ce troisième album solo éblouissant retrace une période tumultueuse de la vie de Weekes; son premier album pour chroniquer sans peur non seulement le paysage physique qui l'entoure, mais aussi le paysage émotionnel à l'intérieur.

Maintenant basé à Wakefield, au Québec, après avoir passé près d'une décennie immergé dans la scène musicale dynamique du Yukon, Weekes s'est inspiré d'un éventail étonnant d'expériences, notamment le traîneau à chiens en Norvège, une tournée en Chine avec un groupe de swing, du canoë de Whitehorse à Dawson City et, notamment, plusieurs relations personnelles intenses pour écrire ces chansons tour à tour lugubres et joyeuses.

Cette trame de fond unique explique pourquoi une description d'un genre ne peut tout simplement pas capturer la portée musicale de l'album. C'est plutôt : folk/pop éclectique, lyrique, propulsé vocalement avec de subtils fondements de jazz soutenus par tout, de l'orgue au bugle en passant par la trompette. En effet, vous pourriez dire que "Taken by Surprise" est l'ultime album sonore d'une vie audacieuse vécue au maximum.




Navires en perdition

Face cachée flottante

Bouteilles vides

Ami poète

Temps par la lune


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Les caves à sel


Avec leur nouvel album, "Inside These Walls", les Salt Cellars ont fait un grand pas en avant sur leur route pour s'imposer comme un groupe incontournable. Cette conversation a eu lieu en avril 2022, avant la sortie de l'album en août. J'ai longtemps espéré publier cette conversation avec ces talentueux musiciens sur Backstage. Prenez le temps de faire connaissance avec ce groupe incroyable.     


Les caves à sel proviennent du côté sud du parc Algonquin. Ils sont actuellement un groupe de 5 musiciens composé de Virginia DeCarle (Lead Vocals and Harmonies), Rob Bersan (Lead Vocals and Harmonies, Guitars), Ron Kapitain (Harmonica, Accordion, Keyboards, Harmonium), Richard Joudrey (Bass guitar), Anne Wilde (Harmonies).

Virginia deCarle et Rob Bersan sont la fondation des auteurs-compositeurs-interprètes et en 2016, ils ont formé le duo "The Salt Cellars". Les deux ont également joué de la musique ensemble les années précédentes avec d'autres musiciens. S'inspirant de leur amour de l'Americana, du Folk, du Blues, du Jazz, du Reggae, du Rock et de presque toutes les autres musiques qui chatouillaient leurs oreilles, ils ont écrit un mélange éclectique de chansons au fil des ans. Après de nombreuses années d'écriture individuellement, ils ont apporté leurs paroles et leur musique l'un à l'autre. Ils écrivent également en collaboration et ont joué dans de nombreuses salles de différentes régions de l'Ontario (Rob en Suède également), obtenant d'excellents commentaires du public qui a assisté à leurs spectacles. Les gens ont adoré les harmonies serrées et la musicalité habile.

En 2017, Ron Kapitain, harmoniciste, accordéoniste et claviériste accompli de la région de Maynooth, a rejoint le duo. Fin 2017, le trio rencontre le producteur d'Anax Junius Music Studio et gagnant d'un JUNO, Richard Joudrey (Blue Peter/Rational Youth). Impressionné par leur originalité, il était ravi de commencer la production de leur premier CD intitulé « Truth ».

Le groupe est devenu six musiciens, dont Rick Joudrey à la basse, Anne Wilde aux chœurs et Brendon Burgess aux percussions et à la batterie. Le groupe Salt Cellars a joué des spectacles d'Essonville à Killaloe, Haliburton, Bancroft, Maynooth et Peterborough, ON pour des critiques élogieuses. Pendant la pandémie de COVID, Virginia et Rob ont continué à jouer en direct en tant que Salt Cellars Duo.

The Salt Cellars ont sorti leur deuxième CD intitulé "Crooked Tree", en septembre 2019, et leur troisième album au printemps 2022.



Marqueurs de pierre tombale

À l'intérieur de ces murs



Amour fou

Mon jeu


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Le réveil de Maggie

Ensemble de racines contemporaines Maggie's Wake est un groupe de racines canadiennes qui combine l'instrumentation celtique traditionnelle avec une approche contemporaine. Né des cendres de Rant Maggie Rant, Maggie's Wake est une collaboration passionnante entre la co-fondatrice de Rant Maggie Rant, Lindsay Schindler (violon, chant) et Tara Dunphy (flûte, flûte, violon, chant), chanteuse et compositrice de musique country acclamée. tenue, Les Rizdales. 


Ils sont rejoints par un groupe puissant composé des meilleurs musiciens de l'Ontario, dont Stephan Szczesniak aux percussions, Andrew Kosty à la basse, Kenneth Palmer à la guitare et Dean Harrison au piano et à l'accordéon.



Bridget O'Brien

Secoué et remué

Noël approche (pour vous)



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Basset sont les auteurs-compositeurs d'Acoustic Sam Clark et Yasmine Shelton, mais cela ne suffit pas à décrire la beauté éthérée et les harmonies étonnantes de leur nouvel album "In The Clay". Heureusement, Douglas McLean a pu leur parler brièvement de l'album et de leur composition phénoménale, ainsi que de la création de cet ensemble de chansons réfléchies et luxueusement hypnotiques.


Le duo folk basé à Toronto, Basset, est plein d'un cœur intemporel. Les auteurs-compositeurs acoustiques Sam Clark et Yasmine Shelton vous emmèneront dans les rues de la ville quelques heures avant le réveil du monde, ou dans une maison en tôle ondulée au nord de la limite des arbres.


Basset apporte un amour profond du monde naturel à son premier album magnifiquement méditatif et assuré, In The Clay, sorti le 30 septembre 2022. Produit par Joshua Van Tassel (Sarah Slean, David Myles), les dix chansons de 'In The Clay ' explorent divers thèmes de la vie en changement, les voyages de Shelton et Clark dans le nord de l'Ontario, les prairies canadiennes et américaines, leur vie à Toronto et les nombreux personnages qui ont croisé leur chemin.


Avec des comparaisons avec The Milk Carton Kids, Hozier et Bon Iver, leur inventivité brille sur des harmonies de violon et complexes, les voix de Shelton et Clark s'enroulant l'une autour de l'autre comme des flammes jumelles dans un feu chaud.



Dans l'argile

Changement d'heure

Salut mon amour

A mes pieds

Navires en mer




Justin Saladin

Douglas McLean a eu le grand privilège d'avoir une longue conversation avec Justin Saladino à propos de son nouvel album "Honest Lies", un ensemble de chansons exaltantes et une étape progressive pour l'artiste Americana/Blues. Lyriquement aventureux et passionnant musicalement, le Justin Saladino Band (JSB) crée du matériel opportun et direct sur l'époque dans laquelle nous vivons et l'impact sur nous tous.

Justin a honoré notre conversation avec une discussion et une démonstration de guitare, dont je suis un grand fan. Il joue depuis l'âge de 13 ans et ne cesse d'en apprendre davantage sur le métier et son amour de la guitare transparaît dans chaque chanson.

Montréalais d'ici, Justin Saladino dirige un groupe axé sur la guitare avec une palette sonore qui comprend les couleurs du rock, du blues, de l'americana, du funk et de la jam - reliant les genres et les influences pour créer le son roots contemporain pour lequel ils sont vénérés. Ce qui est certain, c'est que tout ce que JSB fera inclura un jeu de guitare puissant, des voix sensuelles et des compositions mélangeant les genres qui sont uniquement la signature du chef d'orchestre. Solidement soutenu par la fondation de Denis Paquin et Gabriel Forget, le trio explosif a présenté ses albums acclamés No Worries, A Fool's Heart, JSB Live et Honest Lies sur les scènes de l'Est du Canada et d'ailleurs.




Coule ou nage

Attiser les flammes

Mensonges honnêtes

Sans enthousiasme

Te laisser partir




Citation Le Corbeau

Mon introduction à Quote the Raven est venue de Terra Spencer qui a mentionné les avoir rencontrés lors d'un festival en Colombie-Britannique au printemps 2022.


« Les trois récipiendaires du prix Music Newfoundland & Labrador (dont le groupe de l'année 2019 et 2021) se sont lancés dans cinq tournées impressionnantes dans l'Est du Canada, ont tracé une randonnée Home Routes dans l'Ouest canadien, ont ouvert pour les Barenaked Ladies et se sont produits à AmericanaFest à Nashville”


Jordan Coaker et Kirsten Rodden-Clarke de Quote the Raven se sont joints à moi pour une conversation délicieuse sur leur album de 2021, "Can't Hold the Light".

Un voyage impromptu à Nashville en 2019 a mis les roues en mouvement pour le deuxième album du duo Americana Folk, Quote the Raven. Les sons remplissant les airways de Nashville ont revigoré l'inspiration du duo de Terre-Neuve et ils ont trouvé une nouvelle maison dans le genre Americana. Leur disque Can't Hold the Light est un résumé des voyages que le couple a vécus au cours des trois dernières années.


La collaboration a toujours été au premier plan de tout ce que Quote the Raven a fait. Semblable à leur premier disque Golden Hour, Can't Hold the Light présente une liste de collaborateurs canadiens, dont Chris Kirby, Charlie A'Court, Blake Reid, Andrew Waite, Jessica Pearson, Andrew Sneddon, Nick Earle et bien d'autres. .


Au cours des trois dernières années, Quote the Raven a atteint plus de 1 000 000 de flux, a été ajouté aux listes de lecture officielles sur Spotify et Apple Music, et a remporté des vitrines et des nominations aux East Coast Music Awards. Ils se sont produits dans de nombreux festivals partout au Canada, ont visité les centres des arts et de la culture de Terre-Neuve, ont été présentés régulièrement sur la chaîne Folk Roots de Stingray, ont figuré dans le top 100 country canadien avec les 3 premiers singles de Can't Hold the Light et ont reçu plusieurs emplacements de synchronisation, y compris le drame CityTV "The Wedding Planners".


Les trois lauréats du prix Music Newfoundland & Labrador (dont le groupe de l'année 2019 et 2021) se sont lancés dans cinq tournées dans l'Est du Canada, ont tracé une randonnée Home Routes dans l'Ouest canadien, ont ouvert pour les Barenaked Ladies et se sont produits à l'AmericanaFest à Nashville.

Quote the Raven associe des harmonies vocales douces à une esthétique parfois envoûtante qui envoûte et séduit à la fois l'auditeur. Ils s'inspirent de Joy Williams (Civil Wars), Brandi Carlile et The Milk Carton Kids. La paire divertit le public avec leur dynamique d'esprit décalée et rapide qui entrevoit la vie quotidienne des musiciens en tournée.




Je ne peux pas tenir la lumière

Montagnes brumeuses


A travers la nuit

Heure d'or


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Matthieu Barbier


Sorti le 22 juillet 2022, "No Singing or Dancing", fait suite à l'album très réussi de Barber en 2018 "Phase of the Moon". Tout au long de l'EP de six chansons, Matthew Barber démontre une fois de plus pourquoi il est un auteur-compositeur très aimé et vénéré dans le panthéon des interprètes canadiens.   

Matthew Barber est un auteur-compositeur-interprète basé à Toronto qui exerce son métier depuis deux décennies, sortant dix disques et faisant des tournées sur quatre continents en cours de route. Son travail a remporté quelques nominations aux prix Juno, une poignée de nominations aux prix de la musique folk canadienne et même deux prix du Théâtre anglais de Montréal pour ses contributions musicales au monde des arts dramatiques.


Plus à l'aise avec une guitare acoustique et chantant devant un public attentif, Barber est connu pour se brancher et transpirer dans le vacarme d'un club de rock de temps en temps. Comme ses héros Neil Young et Bob Dylan, il se nourrit du contraste entre performance solo intime et énergie de groupe électrique et cet équilibre se reflète dans son œuvre. Depuis ses débuts avec Paper Bag Records et Warner Music Canada et tout au long de sa relation de longue date avec Outside Music, l'album Ghost Notes de Barber a recueilli des millions de flux, a été nominé pour un prix Juno, avec presque toutes les pistes du disque sous licence à la fois pour le film et Spots télévisés, y compris Hockey Night in Canada, Heartland, Gabriel's Inferno et plus encore.


Au fur et à mesure que les kilomètres de route se sont accumulés, les spectacles en direct de Barber se sont éloignés du côté bruyant et plus du côté doux des choses. En 2016, Matthew a collaboré avec sa talentueuse sœur Jill Barber et le résultat a été The Family Album et une longue tournée avec trois générations pour la balade. De nombreuses tournées mémorables ont eu lieu avant et après, y compris une tournée de 20 villes en Chine, quelques incursions en Europe, plusieurs voyages Down Under et d'innombrables kilomètres sur l'autoroute transcanadienne.


En 2020, Barber a participé à huit spectacles dans le cadre d'une tournée américaine à guichets fermés pour soutenir son ami Noah Reid lorsque tout s'est arrêté et que le monde a changé pour toujours. Être confiné à la maison l'a amené à se concentrer davantage sur son amour d'être en studio et il a agi en tant que producteur sur une poignée de disques pour d'autres personnes, y compris le duo prometteur Clever Hopes, l'auteur-compositeur-interprète Ian Lake et le Reid susmentionné avec qui il a fait maintenant trois albums. 2022 verra Barber sortir sa propre musique pour la première fois depuis Phase Of The Moon de 2018 et il en est très excité.



Pas de chant ni de danse


Est-ce que quelqu'un sait vraiment?

Chaque fois que tu pleures

Chante moi une chanson pour que je dorme


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Jean Pippus


Pour son 5e album, Hermosa Star - Family Album, L'auteur-compositeur-interprète vancouvérois John Pippus suit une nouvelle voie, loin de sa réputation de blues innovateur et dans le groove de ses influences folk et roots. Sa femme, la musicienne de formation classique Pam Searle, chante en étroite harmonie sur chaque morceau, leurs décennies de chant ensemble étant évidentes dans la façon dont leurs voix se mélangent.


Son Jacob Pippus — un batteur en demande sur la scène de Vancouver — was s'est enrôlé, avec l'ancien coéquipier, Peg Wilson, à la basse et aux chœurs. Ensemble, ils ont enregistré 10 chansons folkloriques originales ainsi que le traditionnel «Will The Circle Be Unbroken» pour clôturer l'album.




Deux côtés à chaque mensonge

Certains jours

Vu un fantôme

Le diable est en route

Écraser la peur

Juste une danse

Regarder le monde entier (pour l'Ukraine)




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Jim McCarty

En tant que batteur et l'un des membres fondateurs originaux des légendaires  Yardbirds, Jim McCarty a fait une vie dans la musique qui s'étend sur plusieurs groupes à succès, de nombreux enregistrements, une carrière solo d'auteur-compositeur profondément touchant. en tant qu'auteur, il a deux livres et se joint à Douglas McLean pour discuter de son dernier, 'She Walks In Beauty'  ainsi que de sa longue aventure musicale.


Les Yardbirds sont célèbres non seulement pour une série de succès inoubliables dans les années 60, mais aussi pour présenter au monde trois des guitaristes solo les plus remarquables du rock ; Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page et Eric Clapton.   


Ce qui rend l'histoire de Jim McCarty si étonnante, c'est sa recherche continue de ce qu'il appelle le "Bigger Picture", ainsi que son travail prodigieux en tant que batteur, auteur-compositeur, chef de groupe et auteur, tout au long des soixante dernières années.



Au-dessus, en dessous, sur le côté, en bas

Tant de questions

Arrêtez de vivre la vie dans le passé

Femmes perdues






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MD Dunn


MD Dunn a joué pendant trois décennies et a sorti neuf albums depuis 1993. Son dernier album, The River Lately, est sorti en 2018, et son troisième livre de poèmes, Even the Weapons (BuschekBooks) a été publié en 2014. La musique de Mark a été jouée sur CBC, NPR et de nombreuses stations collégiales et communautaires. Il se produit le plus souvent en soliste, mais a travaillé avec plusieurs groupes (The Innocent Weapon Ensemble, New Toque, Clay Rooster, Uncle OSAP & the Collection Agency, et bien d'autres).





Des miracles se produisent (et passent souvent inaperçus) même un jour comme celui-ci

Je te remercie, dieu

La lâcheté des rois

Eau Fantôme

Nous avons besoin de tout le monde




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Joe Nolan

Joe Nolan est un auteur-compositeur canadien précieux avec un nouvel album "Scrapper" sortant du verrouillage de la pandémie. Enregistrées au célèbre studio Riverdale Recorders de Scott Franchuk à Edmonton, AB., les onze chansons sur  "Scrapper" sont une autre démonstration des prodigieux pouvoirs créatifs de Nolan. 


Joe Nolan a parlé à Douglas McLean en juin 2021 de la sortie de l'album qui est sorti en octobre 2021.

Joe Nolan, qui a été annoncé par des médias tels que le Globe & Mail et No Depression comme un enfant prodige d'Americana, est une étoile montante canadienne à surveiller en 2021. Nolan est un auteur-compositeur incontournable de l'industrie de la musique depuis plus d'une décennie. ses deux premiers albums à Nashville avec le producteur poids lourd Colin Linden. Il a également enregistré un EP avec Hawksley Workman et John Gullmarstam en Suède. Maintenant, il continue de s'appuyer sur l'année massive qui a suivi son album indépendant Cry Baby en 2018 et sa sortie en 2020 Drifters.


En mars 2020, Joe Nolan était un concurrent musical sérieux. Il venait de rentrer dans sa ville natale d'Edmonton, au Canada, après avoir joué une série de spectacles en Europe, le point culminant de plus de 170 concerts l'année précédente, en partie grâce à sa signature avec l'agent Mongrel Music Agency (Chuck Prophet, Lake Street Plonger). Il avait signé des accords de disques avec Rootsy Records en Suède (John Prine, Patti Griffin, Anderson East) et Fallen Tree Records au Canada. Il avait remporté des trophées, dont le prix Cobalt pour son écriture aux Maple Blues Awards 2018/2020, ainsi qu'une nomination aux Breakout West Awards 2020.


C'était maintenant son heure.


Puis vint le COVID-19.


Ça l'a renversé.


Mais, il n'a pas été assommé.


Au lieu de cela, il a connu une poussée d'énergie artistique. Le chanteur, auteur-compositeur et multi-instrumentiste a tiré les enseignements des revers précédents et les a canalisés en chanson, après chanson, après chanson.


Ces chansons ont fusionné pour devenir son dernier album poids lourd, Scrapper.


"Je voulais faire quelque chose d'un peu plus énervé cette fois", explique Joe Nolan. "Quelque chose avec de la viande sur l'os, quelque chose d'un peu plus percutant et granuleux, mais je voulais aussi faire correspondre cette énergie avec douceur et sensibilité."


Le résultat est onze chansons, certaines terminées quelques heures avant la session d'enregistrement de dernière minute qu'il a pu réserver au célèbre studio Riverdale Recorders de Scott Franchuk à Edmonton, AB.


La musique honnête, intime et originale que produit Joe Nolan peut être difficile à définir. Il est influencé par le folk et le blues, comparé à Leif Vollebekk et Chuck Prophet, John Prine et Jeff Tweedy, Buddy Miller et Guy Clark. Pourtant, avec sa tendre approche et son instrumentation, il préfère dire simplement sa musique Roots, "parce que c'est de là que vient tout ce que je fais".


 Les chansons abordent les thèmes de la solitude sur la route, les luttes de ne pas avoir de maison enracinée et les malentendus qui divisent les amis et les amants. C'est un regard hors du ring d'un musicien en tournée, avec une tristesse cachée sous la beauté mélodique, qui se révèle au fur et à mesure que l'album se déroule. C'est peut-être l'esprit qui vient de la survie, de la persévérance et de la détermination fortifiée de repartir.


« C'est presque comme si je n'avais pas le choix », accepte Nolan. « Je ne pense pas que je m'arrêterai un jour ou que je prendrai ma retraite. C'est ma vie, c'est difficile à expliquer, mais c'est quelque chose que je dois faire.


En revenant à ses racines, Nolan a entrepris un voyage personnel à travers sa propre histoire familiale. Des histoires du passé sont sorties, accompagnées de photos de famille, dont certaines ont été intégrées à l'album et aux pochettes de singles. Ils mettent en évidence son grand-père, un mentor résilient. Et ainsi, Nolan a réalisé la valeur de ces liens physiques avec la famille. Les liens qui se forment lors d'une performance sur scène. Et il savourait la joie de mettre un disque sur le lecteur et de lire les notes et les paroles de la pochette.


Quant à savoir où Scrapper emmènera Nolan, il réserve déjà des spectacles extérieurs régionaux à mesure que les restrictions se lèvent, et a hâte de revenir sur le ring, en tournée des chansons non seulement de Scrapper, mais aussi de son album Drifters, sorti au début de les confinements de 2020. Il a été nominé pour un Canadian Folk Music Award 2021 et salué par le magazine musical Exclaim! pour "Son mélange de racines et de folk [qui] est rafraîchissant et corsé" dans leur revue 9/10, et d'autres publications, notamment Folk Radio UK et Americana Highways.


Nolan continue de prouver sur cette prochaine offre qu'il est vraiment un artiste indéniable, un interprète dynamique et un talent virtuose qui ne peut être ignoré.


À la fin de l'album Scrapper, la dernière chanson s'estompe et vous entendrez la faible voix d'une femme murmurer : « Tu me manques, quand rentres-tu à la maison ?


 Pour Joe Nolan, dont la maison est sur scène pour vous, la réponse réside dans le nom de la chanson. Il s'intitule « A bientôt.



Voici pour espérer


Démarre la voiture

Lève-toi pour ton amour

Sweet Lil' Blues

Où vais-je à partir d'ici


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Briar Summers

Taken By Storm Records est heureux d'annoncer la sortie prochaine du premier album de Briar Summers, From The Ashes.


Son premier album, From The Ashes, vient de sortir. Produit et mixé par le producteur David Bottrill (Tool, Rush, Peter Gabriel), trois fois lauréat d'un Grammy Award, Briar est rejoint par une distribution de superbes talents canadiens qui comprend Ben Riley (batterie), Chris Stringer (guitares), Drew Jurecka ( violon), Daniel Dennis (violoncelle), Jamie Bestwick (basse), Logan Coey (batterie), Jason Logue (trompette), Dylan Teakle (battements).


Briar et son producteur nous ont rejoints pour discuter de l'album en mai 2021 avant la sortie de l'album.


From The Ashes est sorti sur disque compact et sur toutes les plateformes numériques le 8 octobre. (Il sera disponible en vinyle début 2022.)


Son premier single "Stronger", sorti plus tôt cette année, a été largement diffusé sur les radios locales et de campus, en plus d'un tour ou deux sur CBC.


Le fait qu'elle n'ait que 17 ans ne l'a pas empêchée de faire la une des festivals locaux tels que Muskoka Pride et Muskoka Vegfest, ou de partager la scène avec des artistes renommés comme Jim Cuddy, Julian Taylor, Miranda Mulholland, Kandle Osborne, Sarah Slean et Hawksley Workman, ou de recevoir des distinctions telles que le prix Bill Waterhouse de la ville de Huntsville et la Médaille académique du Gouverneur général de son école secondaire.





Des cendres

je ne veux pas

Plus forte

Ange sans ailes

Comment voler


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Poètes du comté de Durham


L'un des groupes les plus contagieux et les plus surprenants de la scène blues canadienne, Durham County Poets se joint à Douglas McLean pour parler de leur prochaine tournée et de leur nomination aux prix JUNO pour l'album blues de l'année, pour leur album "Hand Me Down Blues".   

Durham County Poets est né de la scène musicale animée d'Ormstown, au Québec, autrefois appelée Durham. Les cinq musiciens chevronnés, qui sont tous également auteurs-compositeurs, travaillent ensemble individuellement et en collaboration pour composer leur musique. Plongant dans une variété de styles et de genres, leurs influences musicales incluent une large gamme, tissées ensemble pour créer leur propre style authentique.

Ils ont sorti 4 albums indépendants en 10 ans, leur dernier effort presque entièrement blues ayant reçu une nomination aux prix JUNO, suivi de 2 nominations Maple Blues et d'une nomination aux Canadian Folk Music Awards pour Kevin. En fait, le groupe était prêt à se rendre à Saskatoon en mars 2020 pour participer à la semaine du Festival JUNO (et soutenir Dawn Tyler Watson), lorsque les prix ont été annulés et qu'une nouvelle réalité est apparue : être virtuel. C'est ce que le groupe a adopté, leur premier «concert en ligne» vu par des milliers de personnes, gracieuseté du Centre national des Arts d'Ottawa.

La joie de vivre évidente qu'ils expriment dans la performance se reflète dans la sensation de bon temps que le groupe crée, captivant le public constamment avec ses grooves serrés et ses performances apparemment sans effort, mêlées aux propres observations amusantes de Kevin sur la vie. Comme l'a dit Nate Dow du Fallout Shelter dans le Massachusetts : « Le chanteur Kevin Harvey et son groupe sont des métamorphes sonores de premier ordre. Qu'il s'agisse de blues, de folk, de soul, de country, de gospel ou de swing de la Nouvelle-Orléans, ils le transmettent avec talent, aplomb et une pure honnêteté.

Les tournées à ce jour les ont amenés aux festivals Ottawa Blues, Rochester Jazz, Montreal Folk, Deep Roots Nova Scotia et Wintergrass Seattle, Southside Shuffle de Port-Credit et le Pop-up 'Superfolk' à Morin Heights QC.




Transmettez-moi le blues

Lundi matin

Le grand partage

J'ai vécu avec le blues

Mal au coeur.

Avec un peu d'aide de mes amis



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