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Jo's Picks Of The Month: October 2023

By Jo Louks.

For the month of October my choices for you to explore are from Canada, both artists have garnered critical acclaim and have released some amazing music to date.

This article is a regular monthly contribution, published exclusively in the Sound Café magazine with the intention of providing you with information on artists that you might not have heard of, but I think are truly worth exploring further.


While on Holiday in PEI I had a great experience, I was invited to attend a Ceilidh, pronounced (Kaylee). WOW, did we have fun, accordions, guitars, harmonicas and lots of stories. Our hands and feet were clapping and stomping the whole night. The place was jammed with young and old. Obviously something they do a lot!

I had the pleasure of meeting a father and Son, Mike Pendergast and his son Shane. Shane had just come back from the Summerfolk Music & Crafts Festival in Owen Sound, Ontario, where he had the chance to meet and speak with, The Sound Café’s own, Stevie Connor.

Based on the exceptional music I heard from him that evening, not the least of which was his recent single, Bluebell, I’m featuring Shane Pendergast as one of my Artist's of the Month for October.

Shane is a very talented folk singer from Prince Edward Island, it is in his blood, from a long lineage of storytellers and musicians. Shane is keeping the Maritime folk tradition alive with his honest and insightful compositions. From acclaimed folk festivals to the back rooms of Toronto cafes (where I believe he dabbled in the film industry at Ryerson), Shane has cemented himself as one of Atlantic Canada's finest young folk troubadours. His 2021 album "Second Wind" won contemporary Roots Album of the Year at the Music PEI Awards.

For you, my song of the month from the Album, Place to a Name is "White Lies." And if you get a chance check out the song Shane wrote about a deer swimming over from N.B. to PEI, the 1st deer ever, it made the news for about a month. It’s called, "Island Deer"


My second artist is another fine Canadian singer-songwriter, Jamie Fine, from Ottawa, who I actually saw on the show The Launch, produced by Ryan Tedder, from One Republic.

Jamie is a fiery performer known for electronic pop. Fine grew up listening to jazz and classical music. She started singing at age 11 and continued through high school. Music was her passion but took 2nd to another passion of hers, the Culinary Arts.

In 2014 she met and began collaborating with songwriter/producer Elijah Woods. After finishing 1st place on The Launch, the duo released the Ryan Tedder produced song "Aint Easy." It reached the top 40 of the Canadian Hot 100 in April 2018 and earned them a 2019 SOCAN Pop Music Award.

Then in November of that same year, "Better Off" reached 69 on the charts. Both tracks are on their debut EP, 8:47, which earned them Juno Award nominations for Group of the Year and Pop Album of the Year. The song "Want you Back" arrived in March 2020, and Fine collaborated with the Colombian group Nanpa Basico on the song "No Se Que Somos." She also released her debut solo track, "Sellout."

My Jamie Fine Song of the Month is "If Anything's Left"

About Jo Louks:

"My collection of K-TELS playing on my portable candle record player is where my relationship with and love for music of all genres began. It continued throughout my life, from going to concerts through to my more recent luck in being involved in an album production, from studio recording to mastering. WOW! What an experience, and from it I've gained an even greater respect and appreciation for what it takes to make great music!

Couple that with my air guitar acumen, and that of course makes me a consummate professional in bringing 'Jo's Picks Of The Month' to you.

All kidding aside my repertoire of songs is vast and what an honour it is to share my picks with the readers of The Sound Cafe Magazine!" - Jo Louks.

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