August 2011

NSAI Adds Canadian Cowboy Drake Jensen to their Roster

Drake Jensen

Canadian singer/songwriter Drake Jensen joins the supportive songwriting force, Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI).

Executive Director Bart Herbison, Drake, and established songwriter Beau Fuller smile for the camera while certifying membership at NSAI. Their slogan, “It All Begins With A Song,” exemplifies Drake’s love and passion for songwriting.

At the age of 12, Drake started taking classical guitar lessons and at 15, he began learning the piano. “It wasn’t long after that when I began writing my own music and decided to pick up the guitar and continue playing.” The workshops and services that NSAI provides will aid Drake in his ever-growing songwriting career.

Born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Drake grew up listening to country music because it was his mother’s favorite. At the age of 4, he connected to John Denver’s Country Roads, influencing him to give his heart over to the music long before his mind and voice knew how to sing it. As a teenager, Cape Breton was the proving ground for Drake. He took any opportunity to play both rock and country in any venue available but in time, his music fell by the wayside. After a lengthy hiatus and a lonesome longing for some deep-rooted country croon, Drake re-invented his style, reloaded his soul and brought his dream of becoming a vocal artist back to life. Now, armed with his first album, Drake is ready to show the world what he’s made of.

Sarah MacDougall Drops Sophomore album The Greatest Ones Alive

sarah macdougall

Sarah MacDougall is the folkie buzz babe of the moment, West Coast division.  The Swedish-born looker debuted in 2009 with Across The Atlantic which earned her rave reviews in genre bibles such as No Depression and the Irish Times and landed the album of critics Top ten lists in profusion, courtesy of her speedy guitar proficiency and strong and supple voice.

The current offering, THE GREATEST ONES ALIVE was produced in Vancouver and Whitehorse with the help of Matt Rogers (Mark Be rube, C.R. Avery, The Fugitives), and Bob Hamilton (Kim Barlow, Geordie Entrees, the Breakmen). It features ten melodic, beautifully written, epic, and touching songs showcasing the growth in Sarah’s songwriting and performance skills.

Songs themes include storms (literal and metaphoric), success, growing up, love, friendship, and dying. Backing Sarah on all this is a Vancouver who’s who of nu-folk musos including Tim Tweedale, Shawn Killaly, Patrick Metzger, and the Kims, Beggs and Barlow.

Sarah’s songs have been chosen for onboard entertainment on Lufthansa airplanes twice, on the Fox TV drama ’15 Love’, and she’s been a semi-finalist on the International Songwriting competition with her song Crow’s Lament. Sarah has performed live on the Bob Harris BBC2 show in the UK, played several Canadian and International Festivals, performed with such notable artists as Mary Gauthier, Todd Snider, Kimmie Rhodes, and toured with Po’Girl.

HOODED FANG: Tosta Mista

hooded fang


Almost a year to the day, multi-membered popsters Hooded Fang have dropped their follow-up album. It’s a good one and bound to win them new fans, since the debut album’s too cool for the crew’s title Album, guaranteed it wouldn’t do much standing out.

As a result, not as many people heard that collection of catchy and clever pop confections as should have. So here’s the Fangers chance to do it all over again and they have.

A little deeper this time, nods and snarls to the dark side of romance, most notably “Clap”, but overall the loose, jammy vibe is intact, enabling them to deal with some tricky subject matter and keep smiling

Big ups for the 180 turn on the cover art, going from retro-minimalist lettering on the debut to imagistic Lucha Libre masks rendered in vivid detailing but still staying within the cartoonish parameters set by the debut cover.
The musical style has undergone significant revision. It sounds like it was recorded on vintage lo-fi equipment with a raw and organic feel and a distinctly surf guitar undertow.

The album moves out at a brisk pace, clocking in at a sizzling22 minutes and change, packing seven songs and the “Big Blue” series of instrumental interludes. The danger therefore and it does come down in places, is that songs bleed into each other but the ‘Big Blue’ interludes serve as breathing spaces and sets up nicely for the next sonic blast.