BTW- Jenny Berkel, Lost And Profound, Little Miss Higgins, Small World Asian Music Series, Aidan Knight, The Mountain Man, Betty Moon

Jenny Berkel.jpg

Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Montreal based singer/songwriter Jenny Berkel is getting ready to throw the snow tires on in support of her upcoming sophomore album with a Spring tour beginning Apr. 14. Set for release the following day, Pale Moon Kid was recorded with producer Daniel Romano. Steeped in sparkling guitars, sparse piano, pulsing bass, and percussion, this glowing new collection reveals writing that has grown even sharper and more lyrical. Born in the heart of Ontario’s lush forests and fields, Berkel's music has drawn her across the country, experiencing dramatic changes in landscape. This constant shifting finds its rest in her songs, as is the case with album track and first single Wealth In The Country."

“This song came from a stormy autumn spent in a cottage on a farm in southern Ontario,” says Berkel. “The farm was on the very outskirts of the city; to get there, you had to drive down this little gravel road with a high bridge to get over the train tracks. From the top of the bridge, you could see the shape of the suburbs, but from the bottom, you could feel completely enclosed by the forest and fields. The images in this song come from my time there. I love how we recorded this - at its heart, it’s very much a folk song, but the production shifts it into a new and exciting direction.”

Recorded with Romano at the peak of summer in Welland, ON, they were joined in studio by sister, Kay Berkel, who was an important part of making Pale Moon Kid. “The three of us spent eight days in the studio, building the songs layer by layer, coming up for breaths of fresh air and slices of Welland's famed Rex's pizza,” says Berkel. “I couldn't be happier with the work we did together.”

Since releasing her debut album, Here on a Wire, Berkel has been steadily accumulating a fan base with her evocative songs and voice. The new album and tour should accelerate that. Doesn't hurt that her ethereal looks nicely compliments the material.

TOUR DATES
Apr 14 - Wakefield, QC - Black Sheep Inn
Apr 15 - Peterborough, ON - The Garnet
Apr 16 - London, ON - London Music Club
Apr 17 - Guelph, ON - Silence Guelph

More dates to be added. Keep watching the site.
www.jennyberkel.com

Lost And ProfoundLost And ProfoundFans of Canadiana will be happy to know one of the genre's paramount practitioners will be touring the land starting Mar.31. Lost & Profoundhas long leveraged the moodiness of the northern climes to influence their songwriting, and most recent releaseGoodbye Minebrings a return of their signature melancholy-infused pop rock.Lead singer Lisa Boudreau and lyricist/guitarist/producer Terry Tompkins were never completely lost, but did take a break from making records together, experimenting separately in different music genres.Lost and Profound’s origins are in the underground music scene in Calgary, where Terry and Lisa first collaborated as the Psychedelic Folk Virgins. They relocated to Toronto in 1985, independently releasing their tequila-fueled Lost & Profound premiere The Bottled Romance of Nowhere. Polygram Records discovered the band and released their major label debut Lost & Profound, resulting in Top 20 single “Brand New Set of Lies” and a JUNO Award Nomination. They had two subsequent releases, and then recorded as Red Suede Red for a 2002 album.

Then they took another time out and now they're back again and ready to do the cross-country thing, appearing in some of Canada’s major cities.To date, the JUNO nominated and critically acclaimed duo will be performing at the listed venues but intend to add many more as they go along.

This resurgence is in large part driven by the success of Goodbye Mine, which has scored loads of airplay on every format from college through online to Sirius and Stingray and of course, le CBC. Still, you really do want to catch them live, so if they haven't yet listed a date for your town, get on their website and make it happen.

April 21st in Vancouver/New Westminster, B.C.
The Heritage Grill 447 Columbia Street, New Westminster, B.C.
April 23rd– Calgary, A.B.

@ Wine-ohs @811 1st SW, Calgary, AB

LIttle Miss HigginsLIttle Miss HigginsFrom the Great Plains of Western Canada, Little Miss Higgins struts and serenades her way, guitar in hand, lips blazoned red, onto any stage. As if she just drove in off the back-road of another time with gravel dust and a sunset trailing behind her, this pocket-sized powerhouse plays music brewed up in old-time country blues sprinkled with a little jazz and maybe a hint of folk. Whether it’s songs about passion or songs about panties, she writes about real things in a rooted and poetic way. Little Miss Higgins (aka Jolene Higgins) was born in Brooks, Alberta, and raised in Independence, Kansas. Music entered her life early.

“When I was about four my dad bought this old piano at a local bar,” she recalls. “It was a mini grand piano. He brought it home and told me it was mine. I carved my name in the side and started taking piano lessons.”

Growing up playing piano, Higgins now uses guitar and voice as her main instruments as well as her theatre background to bring a “refreshing sound and story to the stage.” She spent a number of years after studying theatre at a college in Alberta, roaming Western Canada, acting in plays, frequenting blues clubs and playing her guitar. Higgins finally settled down in Saskatchewan and that’s when music took the driver’s seat. Her stage name, Little Miss Higgins suits the undeniably inflammatory mix of her blues and country music repertoire but the moniker was largely accidental. “When I moved to Saskatchewan in 2002 I started hanging out with this Greek guy,” she recalls “He started calling me Little Miss Higgins so I used it on poster for a gig I was doing and it just stuck.”

Little Miss Higgins has built a strong national reputation throughout Canada, appearing in clubs and on festival stages in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Owen Sound, and Canso, Nova Scotia performing most often as a duo with partner and guitar player, Foy Taylor. As a songwriter, she has been influenced by a range of artists from Memphis Minnie, Billie Holiday, Big Bill Broonzy to Joni Mitchell, Dolly Parton and Bob Dylan.

For newest release, Bison Ranch Recording Sessions, she teamed up with a very talented quintet of musicians from Manitoba. She calls them the Winnipeg Five - Jimmie James McKee on trumpet, Eric Lemoine on banjo and pedal steel, Blake Thomson on guitar, Patrick Alexandre Leclerc on upright bass, Evan Friesen on drums and all five sing harmonies. As they play music in a similar vein as Higgins, it was a fitting alliance both onstage and in the studio. With new songs waiting on the sidelines, the six of them decided to record in a barn, a barn on a bison ranch in rural Manitoba.

The album was engineered by Steve Loree and co-produced by Higgins and Winnipeg Five bass player, Patrick Alexandre Leclerc. Everything was captured live off the floor—fire crackles and crow cawing included. The experience of recording live brought out the authenticity of the music, the talent of the musicians and the connection of the group. This was an important part of the process for Higgins and Leclerc. What you hear is how it happened.

On Mon. Apr.11 Little Miss Higgins & The Winnipeg Five checks in at Toronto's Hugh’s Room at the top end of a Spring tour. There will be dancin,' romancin' and lotsa prairie humor.

CANADIAN TOUR DATES

April 10 Wakefield QC- The Black Sheep
April 11 Toronto ON- Hugh's Room
April 14 Kemptville ON- The Branch
April 15 Hamilton ON- The Pearl Company
April 16 Meaford ON- Meaford Hall Arts & Cultural Centre 8pm
June 23 Winnipeg Jazz Festival (King's Head Pub)

From April 2nd - May 29th 2016, Small World Music proudly presents the 14th edition of its Asian Music Series which embraces the scope of sounds from across the Asian cultural landscape. The series celebrates Asian and South Asian Heritage Month and is generously supported by TD Bank.

Small World Music showcases the best Asian Music in the GTA, and gather the finest artists to appear on Toronto’s premier stages from Koerner Hall to the Aga Khan Museum, Roy Thomson Hall to the Markham Theatre. Highlights this year include two of the most significant artists in South Asian music Anoushka Shankar and Abida Parveen performing, as well as Indo-Canadian star Kiran Ahluwalia, pipa maestro Wu Man and singer Ramneek Singh, Panglobal fusion crew Avataar, Telematic Asia and Japanese drum ensemble Tsumugu, among many notable others.

Aidan KnightAidan KnightAidan Knight is back in North America after the last few months making stops across Europe, supporting his latest record, Each Other. During the time overseas, “The Arp”, lead single from the album, has become a mainstay at BBC Radio, while the album has been named BBC6 Music’s Album Of The Week. Just out, the spacey new video for “The Arp” from Joe Schweers and Josh Huculiak of Amazing Factory.

“We wanted to experiment with the idea of experiencing a profound event with two characters and then seeing how that event has stuck with them for their whole lives,” says Schweers. “The concept was partially formed in the house where it was shot, and then, fittingly enough, completed in the deserts of Nevada. We listened to the song over and over as we drove through Nevada, and by the end we had a sci-fi music video in our notebook.”

“‘Stereo phase all guitars’ - that's in my notes for writing this song,” claims Knight of “The Arp”. “I kept a chart of all the songs for Each Other complete with how the song should make you feel. Aside from things phasing away from themselves throughout this track, there's also a great French horn arrangement by Olivier that we said should be like a BBC horn section from 1966 on Ketamine. When Joe and Josh came up with the sci fi angle for the video, I thought that's somewhere our friends in the horn section might head to after their session at BBC studios. Up into space. Up into the mothership. Also, for the record let me state my undying love for Independence Day."

Each Other was recorded at the Bathhouse Studio, just outside of Kingston and home to Millhaven Maximum Security Prison, where the band sequestered themselves in the studio for over two weeks with producer Marcus Paquin (The National, Local Natives, Stars). They were meticulous with each song, piecing together the raw energy of the live show along with the layered textures that could only be captured in the studio. An exhaustive process which Knight reflects on in saying, “Marcus guided an unruly collection of ideas and a sometimes impulsive person (me) with remarkable patience.” Each Other was mixed over a very cold winter by Mathieu Parisian (Patrick Watson, Karkwa), a man familiar with intricately elaborate recordings. All that has culminated in Knight's most laidback and delicately shaded album to date.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES

04/05 New York, NY, USA – Rockwood
04/06 Boston, MA, USA – Brighton Music Hall
04/07 Philadelphia, PA, USA – Milkboy
04/08 Vienna, DC, USA – Jammin' Java
04/12 Hamilton, ON, Canada - Inland Island
04/13 Waterloo, ON, Canada - Starlight Room
04/14 Toronto, ON, Canada - Horseshoe Tavern
04/15 Montreal, QC, Canada - O Patro Vys
04/16 Wakefield, QC, Canada - Blacksheep Inn
04/20 Chicago, IL, USA - Beat Kitchen
04/21 Minneapolis, MN, USA - 7th Street Entry
04/22 Winnipeg, MB, Canada -The Goodwill
04/23 Saskatoon, SK, Canada - Amigos
04/26 Edmonton, AB, Canada - Studio 96
04/27 Calgary, AB, Canada - Palomino
04/29 Vancouver, BC, Canada - Biltmore

The Mountain ManThe Mountain ManNow for an intriguing mashup of Canadiana and metal from Vancouver’s rugged outdoorsmen-headbangers, The Mountain Man. The quintet deals in a diverse blend of genres of hard-hitting music, paying homage to the Sasquatch through crushing riffs, ball-bustin' drums and classic rock power chords. The songs celebrate all things Canadian; camping, plaid, beer, hockey and above all else the energetic style of metal which defined the Canadian contribution to the genre in the Eighties.

Parker (ex-BRAUHEIST) gets straight to the point with his raw, gruff vocals and lyrics filled with animosity that cut through the instruments like an unyielding axe. Each song is a hand-drawn map guiding fans through the British Columbian wilderness. While the first half is complete, the second half is up to the listener to build their own path and take what they will from each track.

The band developed it sound from immersion in the music of The Black Dahlia Murder, Crowbar, Guairá, Lamb of God, and Black Sabbath, taking to heart the importance of dedicating their lives to their craft. Tuvin Pace (Bass), Ryan McCredie (Drums), Parker (Vocals), Tyson Timberline (Rhythm Guitar), and Jordan Orr (Lead Guitar) are like woodsmen secluded from civilization with nothing but their instruments to craft doomy, energized metal. The Mountain Man dropped debut EP Bloodlust in March: five rough hewn slabs of metal welded to purposefully open ended lyrics so that listeners can interpret each song and find meaning for themselves.

Betty MoonBetty MoonQuirky single of the week comes from transplanted The 6ix Goth Queen Betty Moon. Over seven albums Moon cut a niche as a top end belter with a menacing growl of a bottom end. Hers has always been one of the more melodic voices on the Goth scene, but current single "No Ordinary Love "is right outa left field. It's a romantic ballad that was a hit for Sade in the Nineties, so not exactly in the Glamour Goth's ballpark.

Working a lush, chocolate covered midrange weaving in and out of throbbing synths and great washes of guitars, Moon makes it her own by infusing the vocals with the kind of caution you'd expect from two big cats meeting each other in the jungle. This sharp contrast to Sade's 'surrender to love' approach brings the tense uncertainty of Goth ballads to the table, exposing a dark undercurrent in the song. Moon then brings it all back home by going out on a falsetto croon that'll haunt ya..

"I'm working on an album coning in the fall and I just felt I wanted to try something new and different at this stage. Sade has been on various playlists of mine and I've always thought it was one of her very best songs. I thought it would be very challenging to record but in fact we did it very quickly and easily which was great.It signals a change in direction. Don't want to get too deep into it yet but all the new music is more in the 'Time to Move On' / 'Drink Your Dears Away' vibe. Downtempo, smooth and very laid back."