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The Sound Cafe Editor Stevie Connor Receives Blues & Roots Radio's Prestigious 'Unsung Hero Award'

By Megan Routledge.

Blues & Roots Radio have announced the recipient of their Unsung Hero Award. The award is in recognition of outstanding commitment and service to the station for over a decade. A core team from the station in Canada, Australia and the UK have decided to honour and acknowledge the dedication, hard work and long hours devoted to creating one of the worlds best multi-genre independent online radio platforms, serving independent artists on a global scale. As the designated Head Of Programming from the start, Stevie Connor built the Blues & Roots Radio schedule from the ground up, with only two shows on the original roster, of which Stevie's was one, he created a global platform adding over fifty shows from across Canada, the USA, Australia, Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, Germany, Poland, Italy, The Netherlands and Belgium. With these shows there came a global audience, which to this day continues to grow. Ten years ago, Stevie with co-founder Neil Mitchell in Australia, pioneered a new way of delivering the shows to the audience, by using a cloud based system created by a now well known company called, Blues & Roots Radio were one of the first organizations to use this UK-based provider, having previously worked with their original company, Wavestream. The exemplary quality of service and output have been one of the hallmarks of our station. Along with scheduling over fifty radio shows on a weekly basis for ten years, Stevie remains in constant contact with radio hosts, independent and established artists, managers, record labels and publicists from all over the world, and he has become adept at working across many time zones. This takes an exceptional amount of his time, and Blues & Roots Radio has had much feedback over the last ten years about the professionalism he displays and his dedication to the artists. Blues & Roots Radio has accepted a number of awards in recognition of the work we do, and the commitment to independent artists. In 2013, Blues & Roots Radio was nominated for a 'Star Of Mississauga Award', and the following year in 2014, won a 'Home Based Business Excellence Award' from the City of Mississauga, on behalf of the Legislature Of Ontario, Canada. This award was won for a second time in 2017. The Station was proud to win the 2021 ISSA (International Singer Songwriter Association) Award for 'Best International Radio Station'. This award meant a lot to everyone at the station, as it was presented by the organization based in Atlantic City in the USA, who represent the very artists that Blues & Roots Radio was set up to serve. These awards would not have been possible without Stevie Connor's input and dedication. Aside from the studio duties, Stevie, along with his wife Anne, who is President of Blues & Roots Radio, have attended many performances locally, nationally and internationally on behalf of the station, and have received media accreditation for major music festivals in Canada, Australia and France, the highlight of which have been The Summerfolk Music & Crafts Festival (Canada), Port Fairy Folk Festival (Australia) and The Interceltique Festival de Lorient (France). Stevie was also instrumental in gaining access to Four Chords and The Truth, founded and curated by Andrea England in Toronto, the concert series is one of the most popular and successful in Canada, and on behalf of Blues & Roots Radio, over a period of five years Stevie conducted over 100 exclusive behind the scenes interviews with some of the best songwriters in Canada, including Andy Kim, Tom Wilson, Madeline Merlo, Don Amero, Liz Rodriquez, Kim Stockwood, Damhnait Doyle, Scott Helman, Shakura S'Aida and many more. Stevie was also instrumental in launching the Blues & Roots Radio Album Of The Year Award, The International Song Contest (of which there was monetary prizes) and the Radio Presenter Of The Year Award, all recognizing excellence in the particular fields of music. Blues & Roots Radio like many other businesses went through an uncertain time at the beginning of the pandemic, thanks to the team of presenters, supporters of the station, and our listeners around the world, through many generous donations, the station managed to stay online. Due to the pandemic, Blues & Roots Radio lost a significant amount of radio hosts, and over a period of time Stevie had to rebuild the schedule, filling the slots with more quality shows. It was also around 2020 that he decided to create an offshoot of the station, and built an online music platform called The Sound Cafe, with the intention of getting news of releases out during the pandemic to further help artists. The platform has grown to over 50K readers per month, and is recognized as a leading resource in Canada and around the world for finding new music in varying genres, with many exclusive articles and monthly columns. Co-founder of Blues & Roots Radio and Head Of Operations in Australia, Neil Mitchell said, "Blues & Roots Radio has an international audience, and has garnered respect for the work we do worldwide, there is no other platform that can boast that, I know this from artist, listener and industry feedback here in Australia and on my travels in Europe and North America, it's quite an achievement, this award is a nod to the work that Stevie has put in over the years, congratulations from us all here at the station." It's on behalf of the international team at Blues & Roots Radio, that the station thanks Stevie Connor, who has been involved in music for over five decades, for his dedication to the station over the last ten years and present him with this well deserved Unsung Hero Award.

Sincerely Megan Routledge Blues & Roots Radio | The Sound Cafe

About Stevie Connor Born in Edinburgh Scotland, Stevie Connor was taught to play music from the age of eight, by his father, a world champion piper. He was then sent to, Charlie MacLeod Williamson in Edinburgh for further tutoring. Stevie played for a local High School Pipe Band from the age of 14 and won a number of band and solo piping contests. From the age of 15 he began a career as a soccer player, juggling music and soccer until at the age of 18 he signed professionally. He put music to the side for a number of years, but, at the age of 23 decided to resume his musical journey. He joined the Lothian and Borders Police Pipe Band, and was an employee of the force for eleven years, travelling in the UK and around the world performing with them, winning many band and solo piping competitions. Stevie also had spells with The City Of Glasgow Pipe Band, The Scottish Gas Pipe Band and Carnegie Melllon University Pipe Band in the USA. In addition to pipe bands, he was a member of folk bands and Celtic rock bands in the mid 80's through to the 90's (Stevie also plays guitar, bodhran, Low D and penny whistle), his own original compositions have been played by pipers and pipe bands worldwide, and have been used on recordings by artists such as Dougie Pincock (The Battlefield Band) and renowned Celtic rockers Wolfstone. He has been commissioned to compose tunes which are now housed in a museum in the north of Scotland, and in The St Andrew Society of Java headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In 2004 Stevie joined an eclectic folk/jazz/Celtic fusion band performing and recording a number of EP's with them until late 2008. Over the years Stevie has recorded and contributed to over thirty albums, including his own debut album in 2006. In 2004 Stevie moved to be near his parents in the Scottish Borders region, and it was there that he met his Canadian wife, in 2009 he emigrated to Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. His intention was to give up music, but, he found himself getting involved once again, setting up a music company, booking artists in soft seater venues which garnered a nomination for a national cultural music award. He also started his own radio show playing Celtic, Folk and Roots music. In 2013, Blues & Roots Radio was formed and the task was given to Stevie to build the schedule, and he has been working tirelessly to promote independent artists ever since. In the past few years Stevie has been honoured to have served on the juror panels of The JUNO's (Canada's Grammy's), The Canadian Folk Music Awards and The Maple Blues Awards.

L to R: Stevie Connor, Anne Connor, JP Cormier, Dave Gunning and front and centre Richard Flohil.



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