Stevie Connor - Photograph by Randy MacNeil.
When the pandemic hit in early 2020 no-one knew what lay ahead, especially in the music industry, I had been running a successful international online radio station for almost ten years, and had supported artists around the world in many genres of music on our weekly schedule, but, we were only scratching the surface of music that was being submitted. I had written articles for music magazines in the UK, Australia and the USA, mainly about independent artists based in Canada, where there is such a wealth and depth of talent in all genres. I had one or two articles a month published, again, it seemed that it did not make any dent in the music landing on my desk.
As the months crept on into the Summer from Spring of 2020, I wanted to do more to help artists who had ceased touring, whose revenue streams were drying up and whose future seemed uncertain. I created a website to house my own articles, and spent time in lockdown gathering these all together. I have a very good friend who is an extremely talented singer-songwriter - she is also a savvy businesswoman - I asked her what she would like to see and read about if I created an online magazine, a few days later she came back with some great ideas, a number of which I had also thought about. The resulting website is what you see today.
The Sound Cafe Magazine was launched on June 1st 2020, within a few weeks we were receiving submissions from PR company's, artists, managers and record labels. The team of one grew rapidly into a global network of contributors covering a wide range of topics and genres. Linking up with our radio station, Blues & Roots Radio, we launched listen on demand podcasts, showcasing the station with a selection of shows from around the world, we have since added more as in depth feature shows covering the process of songwriting with artists in Canada, the USA, UK, Ireland and Australia..
On June 1st 2021 we celebrate our one year anniversary, having published over 450 articles, we air 23 weekly podcasts, and have featured 75 in depth interviews with artists as diverse as Richie Blackmore & Candice Knight, John McCutcheon, James McMurtry, Grainne Duffy, Mary Stokes, Shaun Murphy, Lachy Doley, Victor Wainwright, Eric Bogle, Joe Louis Walker, Joe Newberry, Michael Barre (Jethro Tull), Terra Spencer, Kirk Fletcher and many more.
Our readership and subscriptions grow month on month, we are truly grateful for that.
It is with gratitude that I write this note to say thank you to the team at The Sound Cafe, to all of our contributors, everyone who submits music to us, our followers on social media platforms and to you the reader for supporting us, by supporting us, you are supporting the artists we write about.
For June's edition of the magazine, after a chat last month with Richard Flohil, who contributes an extremely popular monthly column, we decided to celebrate the week with a series of articles, with live music being a real possibility again, we asked a number of our contributors to write about 5 of their memorable festivals, musical moments or events, I'm sure you will enjoy the read.
We are honoured to have David Francey as our Rapid Fire monthly feature, it seems fitting that David is taking part, as this is JUNO's week in Canada, David has previously won 3 JUNO Awards, among many other accolades.
We are also honoured to have multi award winning producer, musician, recording artist, writer and broadcaster Paul Long write this months Five Artists You Should Get To Know. Paul spent his career working as a senior producer for the BBC in the UK, he has won many awards with his band Catfish, touring extensively with them, and last month won the UK Based Broadcaster of the Year at the UK Blues Awards.
If all that wasn't enough for our anniversary week, we have added Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby, with their show Stories and Songs, to our podcasts. The show is a fabulous blend of stories about artists that they have worked with, or have known in their illustrious careers and features music by those artists. The Northern Ireland based duo individually have worked with the likes of The Righteous Brothers, Shel Silverstein, Mary Hopkin, Strawbs and Nanci Griffith. Now they are front of stage touring, recording and playing their own brand of music.
As always there are many great articles published daily/weekly/monthly in The Sound Cafe.
Tell a friend, help spread the word that there is always an open door and a welcoming seat in The Sound Cafe. We have some new features coming later this year that I can't wait to share with you.
Until then, stay safe, explore, engage and enjoy!
Editor in Chief
The Sound Cafe Magazine